Coccinia grandis, Ivy Gourd or Kundru: A Miraculous Vegetable
An article published in Journal of Diabetes Research "Blood Sugar Lowering
Effect of Coccinia grandis J. Voigt: Path for a New Drug for Diabetes Mellitus"
has risen great interest in the researches minds about this vegetable called
Coccinia grandis, Ivy Gourd or Kundru. More details about the research is
http://www.hindawi.com/. Another research published in
Journal of Applied Pharmaceutical Science Vol. 3 "Pharmacological Activities of Coccinia Grandis: Review" is available at:
Coccinia grandis, the ivy gourd, also known as baby watermelon, little gourd,
gentleman's toes, tindora, or (misleadingly) gherkin, is a tropical vine. It is
also known as Cephalandra indica and Coccinia indica.
Its native range extends from Africa to Asia, including India, the Philippines,
China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, eastern Papua New
Guinea, and the Northern Territories, Australia. Its documented introduced range
includes the Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Guam, Saipan, Hawaii, the
Marshall Islands, Samoa, Tonga, and Vanuatu.
Seeds or fragments of the vine can be relocated and lead to viable offspring.
This can occur when humans transport organic debris or equipment containing C.
grandis. Once the ivy gourd is established, it is presumably spread by birds,
rats, and other mammals. In Hawaii, the fruit may be dispersed by pigs.
Long-distance dispersal is most commonly carried out by humans due to its
culinary uses or by mistake. Regarded as very invasive and on the Hawaii State
Noxious Weed List, ivy gourd can grow up to four inches per day.
It grows in dense blankets, shading other plants from sunlight and highjacking
nutrients, effectively killing vegetation underneath. It was introduced to
Hawaii as a backyard food crop. It is sometimes tolerated along garden fences
and other outdoor features because of its attractive white flowers. It has
escaped to become a vigorous pest in Hawaii, Florida, Australia, and Texas.
Both physical and chemical recommendations are made for control of the ivy
gourd. It is very difficult to control this plant physically except by bagging
fruits. Hand-harvesting normally does not kill the plant, but rather breaks the
vine blankets into smaller pieces and the plant is able to re-establish when it
touches the ground. These methods can make the infestation worse and further the
need for more rigorous control methods. Picking the fruit and placing them in
plastic bags can help decrease the seed bank present with the soil. When using
chemical controls, that ivy gourd responded well to a thin-lined bark
application of 100% Garlon 4 (triclopyr), leaving plants in place so as not to
translocate the herbicide or spread the pest.
It is applied multiple times until the vine dies. In Hawaii, several species of
insect have been introduced with the purpose of being a biocontrol. Two weevils,
Acythopeus burkhartorum and A. cocciniae, were introduced by the Department of
Agriculture to Oahu and Hawaii. African vine moths (Melittia oedipus) were also
released onto Oahu and Maui. On the island of Maui, the A. cocciniae apparently
is established and damaging leaves. The larvae feed on the plant and the adults
chew holes in the leaves. The moth has yet to appear successful in its purpose.
In Southeast Asia, ivy gourd is grown for its edible young shoots and edible
In traditional medicine, fruits have been used to treat leprosy, fever, asthma,
bronchitis, and jaundice. The fruit possesses mast cell-stabilizing,
antianaphylactic, and antihistaminic potential. In Bangladesh, the roots are
used to treat osteoarthritis and joint pain. A paste made of leaves is applied
to the skin to treat scabies.
Ivy gourd extracts and other forms of the plant can be purchased online and in
health food stores. These products are claimed to help regulate blood sugar
levels. Some research supports that compounds in the plant inhibit
glucose-6-phosphatase. Glucose-6-phosphatase is one of the key liver enzymes
involved in regulating sugar metabolism. Therefore, ivy gourd is sometimes
recommended for diabetic patients. Although these claims have not been
supported, a fair amount of research on the medicinal properties of this plant
are focusing on its use as an antioxidant, antihypoglycemic agent, immune system
modulator, etc. Some countries in Asia, such as Thailand, prepare traditional
tonic-like drinks for medicinal purposes.
A variety of recipes from all over the world list rashmato, the fruit, as the
main ingredient. They are best when cooked, and are often compared to bitter
melon. The fruit is commonly eaten in Indian cuisine. People of Indonesia and
other Southeast Asian countries also consume the fruit and leaves. In Thai
cuisine, it is one of the ingredients of the kaeng khae curry. Cultivation of
rashmati in home gardens has been encouraged in Thailand due to it being a good
source of several micronutrients, including vitamins A and C.
In India, it is eaten as a curry, by deep-frying it along with spices, stuffing
it with masala and sauteing it, or boiling it first in a pressure cooker and
then frying it. It is also used in sambar, a vegetable and lentil-based soup.
Ivy gourd is rich in beta-carotene.
Ivy gourd is a plant. The leaves, root, and fruit are used to make medicine.
People take ivy gourd for diabetes, gonorrhea, and constipation. Some people
apply ivy gourd leaves directly to the skin for wounds. Ivy gourd fruit and
leaves are used as a vegetable in India and other Asian countries. Taking ivy
gourd by mouth seems to improve blood sugar control in people with diabetes.
Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs) interacts with Ivy gourd
Ivy gourd can decrease blood sugar levels. Diabetes medications are also used to
lower blood sugar. Taking ivy gourd along with diabetes medications might cause
your blood sugar to be too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of
your diabetes medication might need to be changed.
Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide
(DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos),
rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol),
tolbutamide (Orinase), and others.
Health benefits of Ivy Gourd
Coccinia grandis, the ivy gourd, also referred to as baby watermelon, little
gourd, gentleman’s toes or even gherkin is actually a exotic vine. Additionally
it is referred to as Cephalandra indica as well as Coccinia indica. The fruit of
the tindora vine are the same in look to a Indian gherkin. Tindora’s fruits are
ovoid to ellipsoid in shape and thus small they are usually known as “berry”.
They vary in dimensions from 1″ to 2 1/2″ in length. Their skin is smooth along
with variegations of green and white. The clear white flesh of the fruit looks
like the appearance as well as taste of the cucumber, showing numerous seeds
which create a red color. The flesh is equally crispy as well as tasty in
texture having a slightly bitter aftertaste. Mature fruits turn out to be gentle
and create a more gratifying quality. Based on variety, a mature tindora fruit’s
skin color may also turn out to be bright red.
These types of varieties are generally known as “Big Red”.
Tindora or even Ivy gourd is additionally known as by various titles such as the
parwal, kundru, tondli in Marathi, Toroda, kunduri (Oriya), kovai, kundri or
even kovakkai in Malayalam and kovakka in Tamil, Dondakaya in Telugu or even
also baby watermelon or even little gourd is really a exotic vine.
Botanical title of Ivy gourd is coccinia grandis, a perennial herbaceous vine.
Ivy gourd is actually a exotic plant within the pumpkin family and is also a
hostile climbing vine that may distributed rapidly over trees, shrubs, fences
along with other supports. It’s an outdoor plant yet favors a sun-drenched
protected place along with a sandy soil.
Ivy gourd has been considered as a therapeutic herb in traditional Thai as well
as Ayurvedic medication. The parts utilized in diabetes treatment include the
leaves; however the primary usage of ivy gourd is cookery, which is regarded as
a veggie. Ivy gourd includes beta-carotene, an important vitamin A precursor
from plant sources. Additionally it is regarded as an excellent source of
protein and fiber. A number of the health advantages related to the ivy gourd
are provided as follows:
1. Possesses laxative characteristics
This particular vegetable is additionally created seize laxative qualities and
increasing the bowel motions within our body. This particular property is mostly
related to the beta carotene as well as Vitamin A stripped away from the plant
of the vegetable. Because of this, it is also utilized to cure gonorrhea.
2. Normalize blood sugar level
The ability of minimizing the blood sugar level can also be related to this
particular veggie. This is particularly because of an essential liver enzyme
contained in this particular food which standardizes the sugar metabolism within
your body, by improving the glucose production. Therefore additionally it is of
excellent assistance to the diabetic patients and is also strongly suggested for