Coccinia indica is botanical name of Ivy Gourd. It is also known as Kundru (Hindi), Kovai (Siddha) and Bimbi, Bimbaka (Sanskrit). This plant is native to Central Africa, India and Asia. In India, it is cultivated in Assam, West Bengal, Bihar, Orissa, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. The fruits of this plant are eaten as vegetable throughout the country. In traditional medicine system whole plant of Ivy gourd is used for treatment of many common ailments. It is a folk medicine for diabetes. In Ayurveda, it is used for treatment of cough, respiratory illness, fever, burning sensation, swelling, and anemia.
- Scientific Classification
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Division: Magnoliophyta
- Class: Magnoliophyta
- Order: Cucurbitales
- Family: Cucurbitaceae
- Genus: Coccinia
- Species: Indica
- Botanical name: Coccinia indica W. & A.
Synonym: C. cordifolia Cogn. Cephalandra indica Naud
Assam: Kawabhaturi; Bengali: Bimbu, Telakucha, English: Ivy-Gourd, Scarlet-fruited gourd, tindora, kovai fruit, Gujarati: Kadavighilodi, Ghilodi, Hindi: Kundaruki-Bel;Kannada: Tonde-Balli, Malayalam: Kova, Nallakova, Marathi: Tondale, Oriya: Pitakundii, Kainchikakudi; Punjabi: Kanduri, Tamil: Kovai, Telugu: Donda Tiga, Urdu: Kunduru, Chinese: hong gua, Danish: skariagenagurk
Medicinal uses of Ivy-Gourd
Whole plant of Coccinia Indica is used for medicinal purpose. The leaves, fruit and roots show anti-diabetic effect.
Plant leaves are used to treat ring worms, scabies, sinuses, UTI and respiratory ailments. Leaves have cooling effect on body and causes sweating which helps to reduce fever.
Plant stem has anti-spasmodic, expectorant and anti-diabetic action on the body. The fruits are eaten as vegetable and useful in curing tongue sores. In traditional medicine system whole plant is used to treat variety of ailments. The fruits are useful in biliousness and diseases of blood. The leaves paste is applied externally on skin diseases. The leaves are boiled in til oil and applied on ringworm, psoriasis and itch.
Diabetes Management using Kunduru or Kovai
Coccinia indica is used in Ayurveda and Siddha for treatment of diabetes. It has blood sugar lowering effect on the body. For lowering blood sugar, various parts of the plant viz. root, fruit, leaves and stem are used. The juice of root/ leaves/fruits are given in doses of 6 teaspoonful, thrice a day. Or chew two raw Kovai fruits.
The active principle (with Insulin like activity) which is responsible for anti-diabetic effect is slow acting. So the visible effect is obtained only after a month of treatment. Therefore for controlling high sugar level and high lipid level in blood use this for longer duration.
Laxative or purgative are medicines that stimulates the evacuation of bowel.
For this purpose, the root bark powder of the plant is given in doses of 2 teaspoonful before going to bed with hot water.
Sores on the tongue
The green fruits of the plant is used for treating tongue sores. Chewing fruits helps to get relief from tongue sores.
Itches, skin abscesses, insect stings
The leaves are grinded to make paste. This paste is applied externally on affected area.
Excess body heat
In the case of excessive body heat, extract five teaspoon juice of ivy-gourd leaves and drink with a glass of water, thrice a day for three days.
Take 2 teaspoon root and boil in 150 ml water till volume reduces to half. Filter and drink.