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Dudhi

(Benincasa hispada)

Other Names: White gourd, white pumpkin, Lauki, Cucuzza, Po gua

Description:
Coarse vine reaching a length of several meters. Leaves are rounded, 10 - 40 cm wide, slightly hairy on both sides, 5-angled or lobed. Flowers, white, large, solitary. Petals are ovate, 3 4 cm long. Calyx is green, mottled grey or white, usually club-shaped or ovoid. The flesh is white and spongy.

Uses:
Dudhi is used in cooking as per other squashes it makes a perfect alternative to courgette (zucchini).

Health:
Fruit is a good source of iron, calcium, and phosphorus, vitamin B. Fruit is 6% sugar; the seeds contain a fixed oil and saponin. Young shoots and leaves used for enema. Pulp used as purgative adjunct; also used for coughs, and poison antidote. Poultice of pulp applied to the head in delirium; to the soles for burning feet. Oil from seed applied externally for headaches. Seeds also used as antihelminthic.

Climate:
Dudhi requires full sun. The vegetables will grow to only half the size if it does not get sufficient sunlight.

Soil:
Dudhi will grow in many different types of soil but does best in light rich soils.

Propagation:
The seeds are relatively easy to germinate, sow 2 cm deep outside in a warm sunny place. Provide plenty of sunshine, water and space as per standard squashes. It may be easier to sow indoors first and moved outdoors when both daytime and night time temperatures have risen.

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