It is one of the most beneficial medicinal herbs in traditional and Ayurvedic medicine. The subsistence of secondary metabolites like alkaloids, flavonoids, saponins, glycosides, etc. in the plant may give to their medicinal value.
In this blog, we will explore the nutrition facts, benefits, side effects, and more about Ivy Gourd.
Ivy Gourd is a rich source of various vitamins and minerals. The Ivy Gourd nutrition content is listed below (per 100gram).
|Nutrient||Content per 100 g|
|Water Soluble Proteins||11.25%|
Benefits of Ivy Gourd
There are many ivy gourd benefits, stemming from its various properties and capabilities to manage weight and treat disaeses like Type 2 Diabetes.
- Antibacterial properties
Studies have proven that the aqueous extract of Ivy Gourd leaves shows antibacterial activity against bacteria such as Escherichia coli, Salmonella choleraesuis, Shigella flexneri NICED, Shigella dysenteries, Bacillus subtilis and Shigella flexneri.
- Antioxidant properties
Studies have reported that the ethanol extract of root of Ivy Gourd possess antioxidant properties due to the presence of flavonoids. Similarly, methanol extracts of Ivy Gourd that have glycosides and flavonoids possess potent antioxidant activity.
- Antiulcer properties
An experimental study on rats for the evaluation of anti-ulcer activity of Ivy Gourd leaves was done. With ulcer index being the parameter, the Ivy Gourd leaves extract showed a significance inhibition in ethanol-induced gastric lesions.
- Hypoglycemic capacity
Traditionally, Ivy Gourd benefits include being used for the treatment of type 2 Diabetes mellitus. The hypoglycemic activity of Ivy Gourd is due to the presence of alkaloids, flavonoids, triterpines, and β-carotene.
Consumption of Ivy Gourd herb reduces ill effects of diabetes with lesser side effects and at low cost.
- Weight management capacity
Studies have shown that Ivy Gourd root extract consisting of adipogenic activity significantly reduced intracellular fat accumulation during the early stages of adipocyte differentiaton. This established that Ivy Gourd may help prevent obesity mainly on the ability of its active constituents to suppress adipocyte differentiation.
Uses of Ivy Gourd
Scarlet gourd, or Coccinia grandis, is another name for the ivy gourd, a multipurpose plant with a range of culinary and medicinal uses. Here are a few typical applications:
Due to the ivy gourd’s possible therapeutic qualities, traditional medical systems like Ayurveda have employed it.
- Blood Sugar Control: Ivy gourd extracts may have characteristics that assist control blood sugar levels, which may help manage diabetes, according to certain research.
- Antioxidant Properties: Its antioxidant content may aid in the body’s defense against oxidative stress.
- Anti-inflammatory: Studies suggest that it has anti-inflammatory qualities that may help with a number of medical issues.
It’s important to speak with a medical professional before using ivy gourd as a medicine because its effects can vary and it may interfere with medicines.
Here’s how to consume ivy gourd
Ivy gourd is a common vegetable in Indian, African, and Southeast Asian cuisines. It can be cooked in curries, sautéed, or stir-fried.
- Pickles: To make a tart relish, ivy gourd is pickled in some areas with vinegar, oil, and spices.
- Stews and Soups: Because of its mildly tangy flavor, it’s used in stews, mixed vegetable dishes, and soups.
- Stuffed Ivy Gourd: Ivy gourds are excellent for stuffing with a variety of contents, such as spicy meats or other vegetables, due to their hollow structure.
- Salads: For a crisp texture, raw young ivy gourd can be added to salads.
Side Effects of Ivy Gourd
While Ivy Gourd is used in traditional and modern medicine for the treatment of diabetes, pain, hypertension, fever, jaundice, etc., it does show certain side effects. These Ivy Gourd disadvantages are as enlisted below:
- Reduced potassium levels
- Increase in bleeding
- Allergic reactions
- Gastrointestinal tract problems
- Uterine contractions
Precautions & Warnings for Ivy Gourd?
Allergies: Ivy gourd side effects can include allergic reactions in those who are allergic to plants in the Cucurbitaceae family, which includes melons, squash, and cucumbers. To be safe, start with a modest dosage and see if there are any negative responses.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding: Not much is known about the safety of ivy gourds in relation to pregnancy and lactation. During these occasions, it is best to speak with a healthcare provider before taking substantial amounts of it.
Digestive Issue: Ivy Gourd can have many terpenoids and terpene-rich volatile oils that are irritating to the kidneys and gastrointestinal tract. However, the total yield of volatile oil is significantly lower in ground ivy (0.03%–0.06%) than in pennyroyal (1%–2%).
People who already have renal illness should avoid taking excessive doses as they may irritate their gastrointestinal mucosa.
Blood sugar levels: Traditional medicine occasionally uses ivy gourd to control blood sugar levels, however, it may interact with medication and impact blood sugar levels.
So, if you have diabetes or take medication to control your blood sugar, be sure to closely monitor your levels.
Interactions with other food or drugs
Blood-Sugar Lowering Medications:
- Ivy gourd is frequently linked to hypoglycemic (blood sugar-lowering) effects.
- It may cause a sharp decrease in blood sugar levels when combined with treatments that help lower blood sugar, such as insulin or oral anti-diabetic medications. Hypoglycemia could arise from this, resulting in symptoms like lightheadedness, disorientation, and fainting.
- It is important to constantly monitor blood sugar levels and seek medical advice when using Ivy gourd in conjunction with these drugs.
- Although there is little data to support it, some herbal medicines, such as ivy gourd, may have anticoagulant effects.
- In combination with blood thinners such as aspirin or Warfarin, it may make bleeding more likely.
- When mixing these substances, careful observation and dosage adjustments for medications may be required.
Interaction with Other Herbs or Supplements:
There may be an additive impact and unforeseen repercussions if Ivy gourd is combined with other herbs or supplements that have similar effects (such thinning blood or reducing blood sugar).
What’s More on Ivy Gourd?
Ivy Gourd benefits are not limited to those mentioned above. Every part of this plant is important in medicine as it is used in treatment of various skin diseases, bronchitis, etc. The Unani systems of medicine leverage the Ivy Gourd nutrition for Ivy Gourd benefits for skin such as ringworm, psoriasis, smallpox, and scabies and other itchy skin eruptions and ulcers. While there are many ivy gourd benefits for skin, it is important to consult a healthcare professional before using it as medicine.
In many countries, people use various parts of the plant to get relief from asthma and cough.
The oil of Ivy Gourd plant is used as an injection into chronic sinuses.
The entire plant product has been reported to be useful for the treatment of syphilis, sores and bacterial infections, while the ash of the root is applied for skin complaints.
- What is Ivy Gourd?
It is one of the most beneficial medicinal herbs in traditional and Ayurvedic medicine.
- What attributes for the Ivy Gourd’s medicinal properties?
The subsistence of secondary metabolites like alkaloids, flavonoids, saponins, glycosides, etc. in the plant may give to their medicinal value.
- What are the side effects of Ivy Gourd?
While Ivy Gourd is used in traditional and modern medicine for the treatment of diabetes, pain, hypertension, fever, jaundice, etc., it does show certain side effects like reduced potassium levels, increase in bleeding, allergic reactions, dizziness, gastrointestinal tract problems, uterine contractions, etc.
Ivy Gourd is a nutritious vegetable that offers many health benefits, including regulating blood sugar, promoting weight loss, acting as an antioxidant and much more. However, it can also cause side effects in some people, such as allergic reactions, GIT issues, etc. As with any dietary changes, it is important to consult with your healthcare provider before adding Ivy Gourd to your diet.
Disclaimer: The information mentioned here is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be an alternative to medical treatment by a medical practitioner. Please consult a professional medical practitioner before any dietary modifications.
- Coccinia grandis
- Ivy Gourd (COCCINIA GRANDIS) AN ANTIDIABETIC HERB: A REVIEW
- Ivy Gourd: NUTRITION AND PHARMALOGICAL VALUES
- Ivy Gourd (Coccinia grandis L. Voigt) root suppresses adipocyte differentiation in 3T3-L1 cells