HEALTH REJUVENATOR: The fruits are green in colour, oval in shape and weigh 750 -1000gms.
° Common vegetable used in Indian kitchens for cooking and making sweets .
°Certain ayurvedic and siddha medicines have Ash Gourd as an invariable ingredient .
Hindi – Petha
Tamil – Poosini kai
Telugu – Boodida gummadi
Traditional vaidyasalas in Kerala use a specific ash gourd variety called Vaidya kumbalam or Nei kumbalam for preparing
ayurvedic medicine called Kushmanda rasayana.
It is also used as a tonic and
health rejuvenator for treating diabetes, fever and also as a laxative.
For more than a decade scientists at the Centre for Indian Knowledge Systems (CIKS) in Chennai have been conserving and promoting the propagation of several traditional vegetable varieties such as Vaidya
Traditional vegetable varieties.
Mr. A.V. Balasubramanian, Director of CIKS,
The seeds of Vaidya kumbalam variety are considered to be rare.
The fruits of the variety are green in colour and oval in shape and weigh 750-1000gm.It is found to grow well in red, clayey and loamy soils and comes to harvest in about
80-100 days of sowing.It can be cultivated all through the year.
Before sowing, the seeds should be soaked in water for 4-6 hours and then in 5 per cent cow’s urine for about half an hour. About
three to five seeds should be sown in circular pits of 2.5-3 cm depth and irrigated.
About one kg of farmyard manure, 500 gm of vermicompost and 100gm of neem cake should be applied as basal manure in each
pit before sowing. The seeds germinate in a week’s time. Only
one or two seedlings should be allowed to grow in each pit.
After 60 days, about 500gm of vermicompost and 100gm of groundnut cake should be
applied as side dressing. Irrigation must be done on the 3rd and 5th day of sowing and should be continued at weekly intervals or once in 10 days.
The first weeding should be done 25 days after sowing, and the second on the 40th day.
The plant comes to flowering in about 50 days. The flowers are yellow in colour.
During the initial stages of plant growth only male flowers are produced and there will not
be any fruit setting. Increasing fruit setting .
About three per cent of panchagavya solution should be sprayed over the plants during this time to increase the number of female flowers and induce fruit setting.The crop is susceptible to pumpkin beetle infestation, thrips infestation,
leaf-eating caterpillars and leaf spot disease. Spraying 10 per cent cow dung slurry on the 15th and 18th day after sowing is found to be effective in the control of pumpkin beetle
About 10 per cent neem seed kernal extract (NSKE) sprayed on the 40th day is found to control the spread of thrips infestation. To control the damage caused by leaf-eating
caterpillars spraying about 10 per cent Siriyanangai ( Andrographis panniculata ) leaf extract is found to be effective. Leaf spot disease can be managed by spraying 10 per
cent cow’s urine solution.
Harvesting schedule .
The fruits can be harvested from the 80th day after sowing and successive harvests can be done at intervals of five days. About 4
tonnes of fruits can be harvested from a hectare.
For more information readers can contact Mr. A. V. Balasubramanian, Centre for Indian Knowledge Systems, No.30, Gandhi Mandapam road, Kotturpuram, Chennai,
Tamil Nadu 600 085, Phone: 044-2447 1087 and 2447 5862, email: firstname.lastname@example.org and