Puhul increases sperm and treats disorders

by Namini Wijedasa
White gourd melon (Benincasa hispida) or puhul is classified a fruit but also treated as a vegetable in Sri Lanka. Ayurveda physicians call it kushmanda and a preparation with the fruit is called kushmanda avaleham. The raw fruit alleviates vatha and pitta while the ripe one alleviates all three humours. Lakshmi Senaratne, senior scientist (Ayurveda) of the Bandaranaike International Ayurveda Research Institute, noted that its light on the digestive system and cooling to the body. Thus, it is especially useful during hot weather.

If there is burning or smarting sensation in the body, apply the fruit paste and it provides relief, Senaratne recommended. For burns, the fruit paste or leaf juice is applied to the affected area. For headache brought about by vatha or pitta, the seed oil is applied on the head. The fruit juice is used to treat mercury poisoning.

Internally, puhul is most commonly cooked or eaten as a fruit. It is known to increase the power of the brain as well as the ability to remember. It also induces healthy sleep and increases urine. The very ripe fruit cleans the bladder when taken internally. "It is recommended for those who suffer from bad smelling or concentrated urine," Senaratne said.

In the gastro-intestinal system, white gourd melon acts as a laxative. It reduces thirst. The seeds are anthelmintic and has special effect on tapeworm. "To treat tapeworm, take half-a-teaspoon of seed powder, twice a day for one week," said Senaratne. "Follow with a purgative. The worms are killed."

Puhul is good for the heart. It is said to strengthen a weak heart and the lungs. It is effective on people who have cavities in the lungs and who suffer from tuberculosis. For these, it is best taken as a curry. Meanwhile, it reduces and stops bleeding. For women experiencing excessive bleeding — for instance, menstruation twice a month — eat puhul or kushmanda avaleham, the paste that is found in Ayurveda medicine shops. It is also good for women suffering from excessive vaginal discharge.

"Puhul also increases sperm and treats disorders and defects of sperms," Senaratne pointed out. It increases sperms.

For mental disorders, give the ripe variety. For bleeding piles and during cough and fever, eat raw curry. For disurea (difficulty is passing urine) and stones in the bladder, eat the curry.

Puhul is given to lean people as it is known to increase body weight. Kushmanda avaleham is a popular administration in this instance. Prepare the paste with ghee and eat in order to increase body weight. It should be taken twice a day. However, it is cooling so those with aggravated sinusitis and related ailments should take it with caution.