Patol Patra (Sanskrit name), pointed gourd (English name) or Trichosanthes dioica (Botanical name) are all one and the same thing; that is parwal! Yes, that striped cylindrical vegetable often cooked in your house is the nutrient-laden patol patra.
Patol Patra: Anatomy and Distribution
Patol Patra is a vine-like plant belonging to the family Cucurbitaceae. Cucumber and squash belong to this same family, but pointed gourd is undoubtedly the most beneficial of all. It mostly grows in the monsoon and summer seasons. It grows mainly in the Indian subcontinent.
Patol patra grows usually in a hot and humid climate and has heart-shaped leaves. Flowers are white and have a tube-like structure. The fruit; that is the parwal vegetable is cylindrical in shape with size varying from 2 to 6 inches. It is green in colour and has white or no stripes that run vertically along with the fruit. The plant has a property of remaining dormant during the winter season. Patol patra looks like Ivy gourd but is larger in size.
Uses And Properties
The famous Parwal forms a part of our kitchen and is cooked in the hot seasons. However, most of us just eat it as a vegetable and do not know about the amazing properties it holds. In fact, the vegetable is so nutritious that the Hatha Yoga Paridipika recommends it as one of the most suitable foods for Yogis.
Patol Patra’s Nutrition Profile:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B1
- Vitamin B2
Being such a storehouse of nutrients, Patol Patra has the following medicinal properties:
- Anti helminthic
- Febrifuge (reduces fever)
- Aperient (relieve constipation)
- Laxative (stimulates bowel movement)
- Cholagogue (promotes bile discharge)
Other properties according to Ayurveda include:
- Daha (useful in burning sensation)
- Deepana (improves digestion)
- Varnya (good for skin)
- Rochana (useful in anorexia)
- Asra (blood purifier)
- Vrushya (natural aphrodisiac)
- Kandu (useful in itching)
Ayurvedic Properties or Gunadharma of Patol Patra
- Physical property (Guna) – light and dry
- Taste (Rasa) – bitter
- Potency (Veerya) – ushna or hot
- Conversion after digestion (Vipaka) – pungent after digestion
- Effect on doshas – balances Kapha and Pitta
Charaka in Charaka Samhita writes about the following properties of Patol Patra:
- Truptighna – patol patra is one of those herbs that relieve the feeling of food satisfaction
- Trishna Nigrahana – patol patra can help relieve excessive thirst
Hence pointed gourd or patol patra can not only help cure numerous disorders but can help in the maintenance of our health making our day to day lives easier.
Patol Patra Benefits
As A Blood Purifier
When impure blood runs throughout our body, it not only creates a lot many other problems but it also puts pressure on our organs like the heart, kidney and liver. It makes us feel lethargic and sick. If you feel you aren’t experiencing these symptoms and your blood is completely pure, you might be wrong.
This is because any time we breathe air that is polluted or even touch things covered with pathogens, our body absorbs it all and this finally becomes a part of our bloodstream. Hence it is important to consume such items periodically which help in purification of our blood. Patol patra is one such vegetable which according to Ayurveda is an efficient blood purifier. It helps in regulating the excess buildup of Kapha, cleaning our blood and tissues and removing impurities from our body.
Skin problems come in many forms. Some are a result of internal body imbalances and some are due to external agents like pollution. However be it any issue, patol patra is one of the most effective remedies to deal with a number of skin issues. It consists of a good amount of antioxidants, Vitamin A and Vitamin C.
This is why consuming patol patra ensures not only a glowing and healthy skin but also helps in fighting the signs of ageing like premature wrinkles. Also since patol patra works as a blood purifier, it automatically helps in rejuvenating the skin.
Suggested Remedy: Patol patra, apart from being a part of your regular diet can be used to keep skin problems at bay. Prepare a decoction of Patol patra, Khadira (Acacia catechu), Amalaki (Terminalia Belorica) and Nimba (Azadirachta Indica) and consume regularly.
Patol Patra For Weight Loss
Patol patra has a very special property that it is tasty to consume and it also aids in weight loss. What better can someone wish for! Nowadays when junk food has become the go-to food, there are rising numbers of cases of obesity. And yes it is definitely okay to be fat but one must also keep in mind that obesity comes with a lot of other disorders like heart problems and hypertension.
Therefore if you are obese, you must think of changing your diet from the unhealthy junk food to the healthy homemade food; and there is nothing better than patol patra. It has very little calories and has very high fibre content. This means whenever you consume it, you feel full for a longer duration. Thus it can help cut down unnecessary snacking.
Chronic fevers can occur due to a number of ailments like jaundice but the most common ones are the common cold and flu which occur seasonally. The major reason behind their occurrence is the poor immunity of our body. Whenever our body is unable to fight these seasonal viruses and the virus turns out to be outmanoeuvring our body, we fall sick and end up wasting a lot of time on our beds. Patol Patra which is a rich source of Vitamin C, if consumed regularly can help boost immunity.
Ayurveda claims that regular consumption of patol patra ensures not only a heightened immunity but it also helps in lowering the body temperature and treating throat problems. Since patol patra is extremely beneficial for the liver, it also helps in the treatment of jaundice.
Suggested Remedy: Prepare a decoction of Patola (Tricosathesdioica) and Dhanyaka (Coriandrumsativum) and consume it with ghee. It helps in alleviating chronic fevers. Apart from this, this decoction also works as an expectorant (treating cough related problems), is carminative and improves appetite. It is also purgatory in nature and thus helps in internal purification too.
Also, when suffering from high fever and chest congestion, one must rub the patol leaves on their body, especially on the chest area.
In case of excessive cough, boil Patol leaves with dry ginger powder. Filter it and drink twice a day.
This plant has a high fibre content which is why it is recommended for the treatment of many stomach ailments, especially constipation. Constipation mostly occurs as our diet includes very less fibre and water and mostly consists of oily junk which sticks in our intestines.
Sometimes consuming foods with a lot of iron in them is also responsible for constipation. Patol Patra’s seeds have the property of easing the stool movement and providing relief from chronic constipation which can otherwise make us feel drowsy and fatigued.
Suggested Remedy: For the treatment of hyperacidity, take the patol fruit and leaves in equal parts. Dry them and turn them into a powder. Mix in this some turmeric powder. This mixture should be consumed along with 30 drops of papaya latex and approximately 4 grams of Adrak swarasa twice a day.
Patol patra has antihelminthic property and thereby consuming it regularly ensures that our stomach is free from helminths. Helminthes inside the intestine can cause poor appetite, vomiting and fatigue and even doctors recommend to consume anti helminths medicines at least once a month.
However, regular consumption of patol patra can help us stay away from antibiotics as well as helminths.
Good For The Heart
Cholesterol is the major reason behind all the heart problems. It gets deposited in the arteries, leads to their hardening and results in poor blood circulation and poor heart functioning. It is recommended to consume patol patra if one wishes to reduce cholesterol buildup.
However, the patol must be consumed along with the seeds as it is the seeds that help in reducing the level of bad cholesterol and enhancing the level of good cholesterol. One can consume the aqueous extract of the fruits to manage their cholesterol level.
Managing Blood Sugar And Diabetes
Patol patra also has antihyperglycemic activity; that is it helps in reducing blood sugar level. In fact, Charaka in Charaka Samhita writes about patol’s ability in curing pittaja prameha. Hence patol patra is beneficial for all those suffering from diabetes mellitus and related complications.
Erysipelas is a disease of the skin caused by excessive bacterial (Streptococcus) infection. It affects the upper derma and causes intense rash and inflammation. It is also sometimes known as St. Anthony’s fire. Patol patra can help in providing relief from erysipelas.
Suggested Remedy: Prepare a decoction from the leaves of Amalaki (Emblica Officinalis), Patol patra and Mudga (green gram). Consume this decoction with ghee regularly.
- Spermatorrhoea is a condition in which there is too much of sperm production and release which is involuntary. It can accompany with a number of other problems too. Pointed gourd’s regular consumption can help in easing out the symptoms.
- The paste of the patol leaves can be applied externally on wounds and boils. It has anti-bacterial property and also helps in faster cure.
- Applying the juice of the leaves of patol on the scalp can help provide relief from hair related problems like baldness.
- Patol patra can also help in curing ascites. It is a condition in which fluid accumulates in the abdomen. It comes with many complications like shortness of breath and increased weight. When affected with ascites, it is recommended to consume root extract of patol patra as it has triterpenoid which helps in reducing the fluid.
- Excessive bile in the bloodstream can cause bilious fevers like jaundice in which the whole body turns yellowish. Giving a decoction of patola and coriander leaves to the patient proves to be helpful.
Patol Patra Dosage
Parts of the plant that are used as a medicine: roots, leaves and fruit
The recommended daily dosage is:
- As fresh juice – 10 to 20 ml
- As decoction – 25 to 50 ml
Patol Patra Side Effects And Precautions
Patol patra is used as a regular vegetable in the Indian subcontinent and does not have any side effects. However, consumption in large quantities can cause diarrhoea and vomiting and even lead to too much fluid in the stomach.
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