Ash gourd, also known as ‘Petha’, is generally cultivated for its nourishing and medicinal values. Its mineral and vitamin contents are calcium, phosphorus, iron, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin and vitamin C. It’s green in colour from outside and white inside.
Petha is generally used for making sweets, preparing sambar and other curries of South India. Ash gourd / Petha juice is highly recommended for maintaining general good health and in curing diseases of any order.
Petha juice can be prepared by crushing the pieces (without the seeds but with the peel intact) in the mixer-grinder. The pulp can then be wrapped in a fabric and the juice can be squeezed by hand. One should drink it daily in the morning on an empty stomach.
The juice should be taken fresh and in small sips instead of gulping it down so that the saliva mixes with the juice. Some quantity of water can be added to facilitate smooth extraction of juice in the grinder.
- Being extremely low in calories, the ash gourd is used to treat obesity as it promotes metabolism and prevents sugar (carbohydrates) from being converted into fat.
- It is alkaline and has a strong ‘antacid’ action. It maintains the pH of the body and counteracts the acidity created in the stomach because of the intake of acidic foods like soft drinks, fried and denatured food.
- It helps in treating constipation and tones up the general digestive system.
- Cough, common cold, fever, influenza, bronchitis, sinusitis can be controlled without any side effects.
- Any kind of severe and chronic asthma can be cured with regular consumption.
- It can help treat thyroid problems.
- It can also help treat mouth cancer and protect the life of teeth and gums when a mouth gargle of the juice is done regularly.
- It is also an effective cure for pyorrhea i.e. bleeding of gums.
- Being grown on creepers, it has the highest prana or ‘life force’ which helps in making meditation practice more effective.