Herb: Ivy Gourd


Latin name: Coccinia grandis


Synonyms: Coccinia cordifolia, Coccinia indica


Family: Cucurbitaceae (Cucumber Family, Gourd Family)



Medicinal use of Ivy Gourd:

The juice of the roots and leaves is considered to be a useful treatment for diabetes. The juice of the stem is dripped into the eyes to treat cataracts. The leaves are used as a poultice in treating skin eruptions. The plant is laxative. It is used internally in the treatment of gonorrhoea. Aqueous and ethanolic extracts of the plant have shown hypoglycaemic principles.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Perennial


Height:
3 m
(9 3/4 foot)

Flovering:
August to
September

Habitat of the herb:

Deciduous bush, savannah, dry evergreen forest and thickets. Moist neglected places, especially on hedges, to elevations of 1400 metres in Nepal.

Edible parts of Ivy Gourd:

Young leaves and long slender stem tops - cooked and eaten as a potherb or added to soups. Young and tender green fruits - raw in salads or cooked and added to curries etc. Ripe scarlet fruit - raw. Fleshy and sweet. The fruit is up to 5cm long.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - sow March in a warm greenhouse in pots of fairly rich soil placing 2 - 3 seeds in each pot. The seed usually germinates within 2 - 4 weeks at 20C. Thin to the best seedling in each pot and grow them on fast, giving occasional liquid feeds. Plant out after the last expected frosts and give the plants some protection such as a cloche until they are growing away well.

Cultivation of Ivy Gourd:

Deciduous bush, savannah, dry evergreen forest and thickets. Moist neglected places, especially on hedges, to elevations of 1400 metres in Nepal.

Known hazards of Coccinia grandis:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.