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    Snake gourd

    Trichosanthes cucumerina is a tropical or subtropical vine, raised for its strikingly long fruit, used as a vegetable, medicine, and, a lesser known use, crafting didgeridoos. Common names include snake gourd (var. anguina), serpent gourd, chichinga, and padwal. It is known as chichinga or chichinge in Bengali, purla in Sambalpuri language, potlakaaya in Telugu, pathola in Sinhala, pudalankaai in Tamil, dhunduli in Assamese, paduvalakaayi in Kannada and padavalanga in Malayalam. The narrow, soft-skinned fruit can reach 150 cm long. Its soft, bland, somewhat mucilaginous flesh is similar to that of the luffa and the calabash. It is most popular in the cuisine of South Asia and Southeast Asia. The shoots, tendrils, and leaves are also eaten as greens. Snake gourd is a natural antibiotic, expectorant, and laxative. It has anti-inflammatory properties and can disperse phlegm, remove pus, expel toxic matter from the body It creates a cooling effect in the body. It enhances the processing of nutrition in the body and restores the normal function of the system. Snake gourd helps stimulate the production of body fluids, relieving dryness. An intake of Snake gourd is useful in reducing bilious fever. Snake gourd is considered useful in treating diabetes especially by those with Type-II diabetics to reduce weight and also at the same time get adequate nourishment. The juice of the fresh leaves of snake gourd is useful in the disorders of the heart like palpitation and pain in the heart on physical exertion. An intake of the decoction of the leaves is beneficial in the treatment of jaundice. The juice of the snake gourd leaves when applied to the scalp treating Alopecia, a disease of the scalp resulting in complete or partial baldness. Since its high in fiber it also relieves constipation.