Pointed – gourd : Parwal


Parwal, Patol, or Pointed-gourd (Trichosanthes dioica) plant is used for medicinal purposes for treating several diseases according to Ayurveda. Parwal is a very healthy option in vegetables and this is used to make many Ayurvedic medicines. Parawal is a good vegetable to manage constipation and is also an excellent source to maintain blood sugar levels in diabetic patients.

Classification

  • Kingdom- Plantae
  • Division- Magnoliophyta
  • Class- Magnoliopsida
  • Order- Cucurbitales
  • Family- Cucurbitaceae
  • Genus- Trichosanthes
  • Species- dioica

 Names

SANSKRIT NAMES: Patola, Panduka, Kulaka, Rajeya, Tikta, Panduka, Karkashachchhada, Panduphala, Rajiphala, Amritaphala, Beejagarbha, Pratika, Kushthaha, Kasabhanjana, Meki, Pargavi, Parvara

  • PUNJABI: Parwal, Palwal
  • HINDI: Parwal, Parvar
  • TELUGU: Adavi-patola, Kommupotla
  • ENGLISH: Wild Snake-gourd, pointed gourd
  • BENGALI: Patol
  • ORIYA: Patal
  • GUJRATI: Potala, Patal
  • KANNADA: Kadupodavalu, Kaadu-padavala
  • MALAYALAM: Patolam, Kattupatolam
  • TAMIL: Peyu-padal, Kombu-pudalai
  • URDU: Parora
  • MAITHILI: Paror
  • UNANI: Parwal

Distribution

It is majorly cultivated in warmer regions of India, specifically in U.P, Bihar, Assam, and West Bengal for fruits. It is found in tropical regions of Asia and Australia as well.

Parts used

Medicinally: Roots, leaves, and fruits.

Food: Fruits

Ayurvedic Properties and Action on the body

  • Taste (Rasa): Bitter
  • Characteristics (Guna): Light, dry
  • Potency (Virya): Hot
  • Post Digestive Effect (Vipaka): Pungent (Katu)
  • Effect on Tridosha – Balances Kapha and Pitta

Action on the body:

  • Pain-relieving
  • Good for hair
  • Wound cleaning, wound healing
  • Improve the taste
  • Digestive stimulant
  • Digest ama/toxins
  • Downward movement of wind
  • Cathartics, promote the production of bile juice
  • Anti-thirst, anti-parasitic, blood purifier
  • Good for the heart, reduces inflammation, reduces phlegm
  •  Curing skin lesion, curing fever
  • Strength promoter, Improve the potency, removes toxins from the body

Ayurvedic Medicines containing Parval/Patol

Punarnvadi kwath: It is effective in the management of viral hepatitis.

Patolavrisha Kwath: Patolavrisha kwath is formed by boiling leaves of patol and adusa. This decoction is very beneficial in antra-vriddhi (Hernia).

Patoladi kvath: It is beneficial in the treatment of various skin disorders.

Jatyadi ghrita:  It contains leaves of Patol herb along with many other constituents. It is beneficial in wounds, burn injuries, boils, deep cuts, and used as an ointment.

Patolakaturohinyadi Kashayam: It purifies the blood and removes toxins. It prevents aging of the skin, helps in indigestion, and protects the liver. It is very effective for the treatment of viral infections like jaundice.

Chemical constituents

This fruit contains various free amino acids, vitamin B-3, vitamin B-2, vitamin C, vitamin B-1, and 5-hydroxytryptamine. Its root contains Colocynthin and trichosanthin; the Plant contains Cucurbita-5 and 24-dienol.

Medicinal Properties of Roots, Leaves, and Fruits

Roots

  • Roots are antipyretic and have purgative action.
  • These roots are beneficial in jaundice, extreme generalized edema, and ascites.

Leaves

  • Anti-pyretic (reduces fever)
  • Laxative/purgative (activates or facilitates the emptying of the bowels
  • Promotes the discharge of bile, facilitating it downward
  • Relieve constipation
  • It expectorates sputum by the air passages, used to treat coughs
  • Act as anthelmintic
  • To treat Alopecia areata juice of patola leaves is applied to the scalp for        continuous 21 days
  • Decoction or kwath of leaves is very helpful in case of excessive cough. The decoction is formed by boiling pointed gourd leaves 6g and dry ginger powder (sonth) in one glass of water for 10 minutes on low flame. After filtering the decoction with the help of a sieve, this can be taken twice a day.
  • In raktpitta (numerous bleeding disorders that occur due to excessive intake of spicy, fermented, hot, acidic, and sour food), juice of pointed gourd leaves should be taken in a dose of 8-10 ml with honey or water.
  • The juice of leaves works as a tonic. Consumption of this juice removes the blood impurities and toxins, thus helps in the management of skin diseases.
  • Juice of leaves acts as antipyretic, helpful in edema, alopecia, and cases of enlargement of the liver. Leaves and fruits are used for treating alcoholism and jaundice according to charak Samhita.

Fruit

  • The parwal vegetable, which we get from market is the fruit of the plant.
  • The edible part of fresh Parwal contains approximately- water-92%, protein- around 2%, fat – around 0.3%, fiber- 3%, carbohydrate -2.2%, minerals- 0.5%, vitamin C- around 29mg/100g, carotene -around 153 mcg/100g, sodium-2.6mg/100g, Magnesium -9mg/100g, sulphur – 16mg/100g ,potassium -83mg/100g, copper -1.1mg/100g.
  • The ripe fruit is sour and sweet. Act as Tonic, aphrodisiac, expectorant and removes toxins from the body and purifies the blood.

Other uses

To manage hyperacidity, take leaves of pointed-gourd, turmeric powder, and fruit rind in equal parts and make the powder. 3 to 6 gm. of dose should be taken with the fresh juice of ginger and 3 ml of papaya latex twice a day.

  1. In some alternative medicine the fresh juice of the unripe fruit is generally used as a coolant and laxative medicine.
  2. In spermatorrhoea the fruit is used as a remedy.
  3. In primary biliary cholangitis, a decoction/kwath of pointed gourd leaves and coriander leaves in equal parts is given. When pointed gourd is given with other herbs can be prescribed in snakebite and scorpion sting.