Indian round gourd or simply round gourd, scientifically termed Praecitrullus fistulosus, goes by the vernacular name “Tinda” in many local Indian languages including Hindi, Telugu, Marathi and Tamil. It is also commonly called apple gourd, round melon, Indian squash and Indian baby pumpkin.
This green vegetable has been well-regarded for its significant medicinal value since ancient times and is widely documented in Ayurvedic texts. Today, it continues to be heralded for its immense health benefits and is widely incorporated, in popular local cuisine across India, as well as in alleviating illnesses of the stomach, liver and skin, to name a few.
Indian round gourd naturally grows in the wilderness in South-East Asian countries such as India, Sri Lanka, China, Nepal and Indonesia, as well as in the warmer southern regions in Australia.
It is a creeper which produces big yellow flowers. The leaves are long around 10 to 20 centimeters and have a hairy long stem. The fruits are usually oval in shape and grow up to 30 centimeters in diameter. Plant propagation is done by seeds.
This vegetable when immature has white thick flesh which is sweet. By the time it reaches maturity, it loses the hairs and a waxy coating is developed which provides a long shelf life.
Indian round gourd is commonly considered a vegetable, which is used in cooking a variety of staple Indian dishes such as kootu, curry, sabzi and dal. The therapeutic and remedial traits offered by the vegetable, as well as round gourd seeds and leaves are extensive. Moreover, the roots and juice of round gourd also have applications in skin and hair care. Also Read: 7 Ultimate Vitamins To Nourish Your Skin And Hair
Round gourd supplies plenty of nutrition, being inherently high on water content providing a cooling effect on the body, having zero cholesterol thereby augmenting heart health and abounding in a plethora of vitamins and minerals to facilitate key metabolic functions in the body.
This remarkable natural wonder, which belongs to the cucumber and squash family similar to snake gourd, also provides valuable curative properties for conditions such as fever, jaundice and diabetes. This is owing to its noteworthy antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities, due to the presence of beneficial plant compounds like flavonoids and carotenoids. In addition, the juice of Indian round gourd also heals hair and scalp disorders like dandruff and bald patches. Also Read: Snake Gourd: Health Benefits, Nutrition, Uses For Skin And Hair, Recipes And Side Effects
Tinda is being eaten to a great extent nowadays and not just in its native milieus in Asia and Australia. The crop is, in fact, naturalized and propagated all over the world in tropical environments, so that people can procure its marvellous merits, for complete wellness.
Nutritional Content In Tinda/Indian Round Gourd:
Like most flora of the gourd family, the round gourd vegetables, seeds, leaves and juice extracts are enriched with a multitude of crucial fundamental dietary components like carbohydrates, fats, proteins and fibers, vital trace compounds such as vitamins and minerals and a host of plant substances including phenolics and cucurbitacins.