Lauki (bottle gourd in English) is a common vegetable in India. It is green in colour with a bottle shape. It has white pulp with white seeds embedded in the flesh. The botanical name of Gourd is Lagenaria vulgaris. It is one of the earliest vegetable cultivated in India. Lauki has various health benefits and its juice is widely used as a treatment for weight loss. Lauki is low in calories and high in fibre, has a high water content and is rich in vitamins C and B complex, and iron, sodium and potassium. It is believed that the high fibre and water content of lauki can help curb appetite and reduce hunger pangs if taken on an empty stomach, first thing in the morning. The high fibre content of lauki can help prevent constipation. Lauki juice has a number of other health benefits, too. It may help prevent water retention through its diuretic properties; help soothe urinary disorders if mixed with lime juice and help combat skin infections such as acne.
A glass of bottle gourd juice with a pinch of salt during summer prevents loss of sodium, quenches thirst and helps in eliminating fatigue. The mixture of bottle gourd juice and sesame oil acts as an effective medicine for the treatment of insomnia. Moreover, it should be massaged over scalp every night. Because of high potassium content, it is helpful to treat hypertension and act as a good heart tonic. A glass of bottle juice everyday helps in treating the premature greying of hair. Also, it helps in curing hair fall problem and baldness. It also creates flawless and radiant skin. The juice extracted from bottle gourd juice helps to treat jaundice. A glass of bottle gourd juice is helpful in treating insanity, epilepsy, stomach acidity, ulcers and nervous disorders. This vegetable is very good for balancing liver function. It is often recommended by ayurvedic physicians when the liver is inflamed and cannot efficiently process food for maximum nutrition and assimilation.
However, a physician must be consulted before taking lauki juice and it must be avoided if it tastes bitter. A year before, news reports poured in claiming deaths of people who consumed bitter gourd juice. A deputy secretary in the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in New Delhi in June 2010, spurred an investigation into the effects of the consumption of bottle gourd juice that is bitter. A spate of other deaths relating to the same was also uncovered.