Patol (Parwal) Amazing Vegetable For Health

In Ayurveda, Parwal, Patol or Pointed-gourd(Trichosanthes dioica) plant is used for treating several diseases. Parwal is very healthy vegetable having many medical usage and this is used to make several Ayurvedic medicines. Parawal has many benefits for diabetic people and this is excellent vegetable for managing constipation.

In Ayurveda, Parwal, Patol or Pointed-gourd(Trichosanthes dioica) plant is used for treating several diseases such as constipation, fever, skin infection, wounds, low appetite and digestion problems. The leaves juice of the plant are very effective in the treatment of febrifuge, edema, alopecia and in sub acute cases of enlargement of the liver. Cooked parval is helpful in improving appetite and digestion.

Parwal, is an extensively climbing herb with edible fruits and leaves. It is found throughout India, in many other Asian countries and Australia. It is mainly cultivated for its edible fruits which are known as parwal, palwal, parmal, patol, and potala in India. They are 5-15 cm long and have tapering ends. They have white and green strips along the length and white-brownish seeds inside.

Parwal is cooked and eaten as vegetable. It belongs to bitter gourd family, Cucurbitaceae. Cucurbitaceae is a very important vegetable family and to this family belongs Karela, Lauki, Tori, Pumpkin, Cucumber, Bitter apple, and watermelon. The member of Cucurbit family are not only important economically but they are also rich medicinally. Many members of this family exhibit blood sugar lowering properties and used as anti-diabetic drug.

Pointed gourd or Parwal is a very easily available vegetable. We all are familiar with it as food. But it is used as medicine since time immemorial. Its edible leaves contain several important chemical constituent due to which they are used in treatment of skin diseases, the liver disorders and accumulation of fluid inside the body.

Scientific Classification

  • KINGDOM Plantae
  • DIVISION Magnoliophyta
  • CLASS Magnoliopsida
  • ORDER Cucurbitales
  • FAMILY Cucurbitaceae
  • GENUS Trichosanthes
  • SPECIES dioica


  • SANSKRIT NAMES: Patola, Kulaka, Tikta, Panduka, Karkashachchhada, Rajiphala, Panduphala, Rajeya, Amritaphala, Beejagarbha, Pratika, Kushthaha, Kasabhanjana, Meki, Pargavi, Parvara
  • HINDI: Parwal, Parvar, Palval
  • ENGLISH: Wild Snake-gourd, Pointed gourd
  • BENGALI: Patol
  • GUJRATI: Potala, Patal
  • KANNADA: Kadupodavalu, Kaadu-padavala
  • MALAYALAM: Patolam, Kattupatolam
  • PUNJABI: Palwal, Parwal
  • TAMIL: Peyu-padal, Kombu-pudalai
  • TELUGU: Adavi-patola, Kommupotla
  • ORIYA: Patal
  • MAITHILI: Paror
  • PAKISTAN: Palwal, Parol, Parwar, Petal
  • UNANI: Parwal


A dioecious climber with perennial root stock;Leaves are 7.5x5cm in size, ovate-oblong, cordate, acute, sinuatedentate, not lobed, rigid, rough on both surface and with a petiole of 2cm. Flowers are unisexual. Male flowers are not racemed but woolly outside. Calyx tube is 4.5cm long, narrow, teeth linear and erect. Anthers are free. Fruit is 5.9cm long, oblong or nearly spherical, acute, smooth and orange-red when ripe. Seeds are half-ellipsoid, compressed and corrugated on the margin.

Trichosanthes dioica is generally propagated by stem cuttings or root suckers.


It is extensively cultivated all over the warmer regions of India, particularly in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and Assam for fruits.

It is also found in tropical Asia and Australia.


Medicinally: Root, leaf, and fruit.

Food: Fruit

Ayurvedic Properties and Action on body

  • Rasa (Taste): Tikta/Bitter
  • Guna (Characteristics): Laghu/Light, Ruksha/dry
  • Virya (Potency): Ushna/Hot
  • Vipaka (Post Digestive Effect): Katu/Pungent
  • Effect on Tridosha – Balances Kapha & Pitta

Action on body: Vedanasthapana/pain relieving, Keshya/good for hair, Vranashodhana/wound cleaning, Vranaropana/wound healing, rochan(Improve the taste), Dipana/ deepana (Digestive stimulant), Pachana (digest ama/toxins), Anulomana/downward movement of wind, Rechan/Cathartics, Pittasaraka (promote production of bile juice), Trishnanigrahana/Anti-thirst Krirnighna/anti-parasitic, Raktashodhaka (blood purifier), Hridya/Good for the heart, Shothahara/reduces inflammation, Kaphaghna/reduces phlegm, Kushthaghna/ Curing skin lesion, Jwaraghna/curing fever, Balya/ Strength promoter, Vrishya/Improve the potency, Vishaghna/removes toxins from the body.

Ayurvedic Medicines containing Parval/Patol

Punarnavadi kvatha (Picrorhiza kurroa, Boerhaavia diffusa, Azadiarchta indica, Tinospora cordifolia, Terminalia chebula, Berberis aristata, Trichosanthes dioica and Zingiber oficinale) is effective in the management of viral hepatitis.

Patolavrisha Kwath Patolvrish kwath is prepared by boiling leaves of patol and adusa. This decocotion is helpful in Hernia (antra-vriddhi).

Patoladi kvatha (decoction of a mixture of Trichosanthes dioica, Citrullus colocynthis, Gentiana kurroo, Terminalia chebula, Terminalia belerica, Emblica oficinalis, Picrorhiza kurroaand, Zingiber oficinale) is effective in the treatment of various skin diseases.

Jatyadi ghrita: Jatyadi ghrita contains leaves of Patol plant along with many other ingredients. It is used as an ointment for treating wounds, burn injuries, boils, deep cuts, etc.

Patolakaturohinyadi Kashayam: Patolakaturohinyadi Kashayam removes toxins from blood and the liver. It rejuvenates the skin, improves digestion, and protects the liver. It is effective in diseases of the liver such as jaundice, viral infections etc.

Chemical constituents

Parwal fruits contain free amino acids, nicotinic acid, riboflavin, vitamin C, thiamine, 5-hydroxytryptamine; Root conatin Colocynthin, trichosanthin, hentriacontane;Plant and root contain cucurbita-5, 24-dienol.

Medicinal Properties of Roots, Leaves and Fruits


  • Roots are febrifuge and drastic purgative.
  • They are useful in jaundice, Anasarca (extreme generalized edema) and ascites.


  • Patol Leaves have following medicinal properties:
  • Febrifuge (reduces fever)
  • Laxative (stimulates or facilitates the evacuation of the bowels)
  • Cholagogue (promotes the discharge of bile from the system, purging it downward)
  • Aperient (relieve constipation)
  • Expectorant (promotes the secretion of sputum by the air passages, used to treat coughs)
  • Anthelmintic, alterative and tonic

The juice of leaves is tonic. Internal administration of this juice removes the blood impurities and thus helps in the treatment of skin diseases. The leaves juice is used as febrifuge, in edema, alopecia, and in subacute cases of enlargement of the liver. In Charaka Samhita, leaves and fruits are used for treating alcoholism and jaundice.


The parwal vegetable, which we buy from market is the fruit of the plant. The edible part of fresh Parwal contains about: moisture 92%, protein 2%, fat 0.3%, fiber 3%, carbohydrate 2.2%, minerals 0.5%, vitamin C 29mg/100g, carotene 153 mcg/100g, Magnesium 9mg/100g, sodium 2.6mg/100g, potassium 83mg/100g, copper 1.1mg/100g, and Sulphur 17, mg/100g.

The ripe fruit is sour to sweet, tonic, aphrodisiac, expectorant and removes blood impurities.

Parwal Vegetable has the following medicinal properties

  • Cooling
  • Febrifuge (fever reducing)
  • Antibilious (prevent or cure biliousness)
  • Cholagogue (promotes the discharge of bile from the system, purging it downward)
  • Aperient (mild purgative or laxative effect)
  • Cholesterol-lowering
  • Antacid and anti-ulcer

Health Benefits of Eating Parwal

There are several benefits of eating parwal. Parwal is a good source of carbohydrates, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B1 and B2, other nutrients and certain essential trace elements such as magnesium, potassium, copper, sulfur, chlorine, calcium, phosphorus, iron and fiber. It also contains flavonoids, alkaloids, glycosides, terpenes and sterols. It is an excellent vegetable with medicinal properties for people with diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, gastric ulcer, hyperacidity, and fever.

Parwal helps in lowering cholesterol activity and blood sugar. It also helps in treating alcoholism and jaundice.

  • It is rich in fiber. Due to which its intake gives relief in constipation.
  • It is low in calories, fat and cholesterol.
  • It helps to improves appetite.
  • It is helpful in aiding digestion.
  • Patol reduces fever and stimulates the liver.
  • It has cooling effect on the body.
  • Patol Vegetable is easily digestible.
  • It is diuretic in nature.
  • It purifies the blood. Due to which it is effective in the treatment of diseases of skin.

Parwal is antipyretic, diuretic, cardiotonic and laxative.

Eating parval reduces excess cough and acidity in the body.

Traditionally Parval are used in the treatment of diarrhea, acid gastritis, obesity, eye diseases, oedema, fever, and sperrnatorrhoea.

Acharya Charak and Sushruta used Parwal as cooked vegetable for treatment of fever, loose motions, urinary diseases, fluid retention in the body, skin diseases, internal bleeding, and digestive disorders. The soup of parwal is prescribed for alcoholism.

You can daily eat cooked Parval. But don’t make it too spicy. You can make Parwal-Bhujiya or parwal curry with less salt and spices. Regular eating of Parwal vegetable helps to gain weight, immunity, health and gives relief in various abdominal diseases. It also has beneficial effect in heart diseases.

Medicinal Uses of Parwal Leaves and Fruits


  • Leaves are used in the treatment of enlarged the liver and spleen, hemorrhoids, fistula in ano, fevers, leprosy, intrinsic hemorrhage, erysipelas, alopecia, diseases of mouth, inflammations and wounds.
  • The juice of patola leaves is applied on scalp for 21 days to treat baldness.
  • In the case of excess cough, decoction of leaves is beneficial. It is prepared by boiling Parval leaves 6g and dry ginger powder in one glass water for a few minutes. This is filtered and taken twice a day.
  • Patol leaves of the plant are boiled in water and this decoction is taken internally for hyperacidity and biliousness.
  • In the case of boils, wounds, the paste of leaves is applied topically.
  • In raktpitta (variety of bleeding disorder that occur due to excessive use of food which has hot, acidic potency), parwal leaves juice should taken in a dose of 5-10 ml with honey.
  • The decoction of tender shoots with sugar improves digestion.
  • The Patola leaf juice is rubbed over the chest in liver congestion and over the whole body in intermittent fevers.
  • The Dosage of fresh leaves juice: 10 – 20 ml per day; Powder:3-6 grams; decoction:25 – 50 ml per day.

Fruits/Parwal/Pointed Gourd

In hyperacidity, take turmeric powder, leaf of pointed-gourd/parwal, and fruit rind of in equal parts and make the powder. A dose of 3 to 6 g should be taken with the fresh juice of ginger and 30 drops of papaya latex twice/day.

  1. The fresh juice of the unripe fruit is often used as a cooling and laxative adjunct to some alterative medicines.
  2. The fruit is used as a remedy for spermatorrhoea.
  3. In bilious fever, a decoction of patola leaves and coriander in equal parts is given. The fruit in combination with other drugs is prescribed in snakebite and scorpion sting.

What Scientific Studies Say

Lowers Blood sugar, total cholesterol, and triglyceride levels

Sharma and Pant have showed influence of alcoholic extract of whole fruit of T. dioica on blood sugar, serum lipids, lipoproteins, and fecal sterols in normal albino rabbits. Effects of oral administration of 2 ml per day of suspension (in water) of alcoholic extract of whole fruit of T. dioica (2%) with basal diet for 4 weeks have been studied in the normal albino rabbits. It was observed that this extract lowered the blood sugar, total cholesterol, low density lipoprotein cholesterol, and triglyceride levels and increased high density lipoprotein cholesterol, phospholipid, and fecal sterol levels.

Cholesterol-lowering effect of fruits

Sharmila et al. (2007) observed cholesterol lowering activity of the aqueous fruit extract of Trichosanthes dioica Roxb. in normal and streptozotocin diabetic rats. The administration of extract of whole fruit of Trichosanthes dioica (2%) with basal diet for four weeks lowered the blood sugar, total cholesterol, low density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and increased the high density lipoprotein cholesterol, phospholipid and faecal sterol levels.

Blood Sugar lowering and Antidiabetic effect of leaves

Rai et al. have showed that in rats with streptozotocin (STZ) induced severe diabetes mellitus, aqueous extract of T. dioica fruits dose of 1000 mg/kg body weight daily once for 28 days reduced the levels of fasting blood glucose, postprandial glucose, asparate amino transferase, alanine amino transferase, alkaline phosphatase, creatinine, urine sugar, and urine protein, whereas total protein and body weight were increased. Sharmila et al. have observed cholesterol-lowering activity of the aqueous fruit extract of T. dioica Roxb. in normal and STZ diabetic rats.

The study proves the leaves of the plant are hypoglycemic and are highly antidiabetic.

Useful in Ulcers

Tripathi and Pathak, (1975) evaluated another Patoladi kasaya which consisted of only four herbs namely Sunthi, Patola, Amrta, Kutaki in the 33 case study of duodenal ulcer. It kept the patients symptoms/complication free when given in a dose of 40 ml/day in two divided doses. It normalized both hyper & hypoacidity of these patient.

Rai and Tripathi, (1968) showed that Patoladi kasaya a polyherbal formulation, consisted of 11 herbs viz., Patola, Haritaki, Bibhitaka, Amalaki, Kutaki, Cirayata, Amrta, Pittapapada, Sunthi, & Bhrngaraja exhibited complete improvement in 50% cases & partial improvement in 40% cases with peptic ulcer (10 patients case study).

Tripathi and Pathak, (1975) evaluated another Patoladi kasaya which consisted of only four herbs namely Sunthi, Patola, Amrta, Kutaki in the 33 case study of duodenal ulcer. It kept the patients symptoms/complication free when given in a dose of 40 ml/day in two divided doses. It normalized both hyper & hypoacidity of these patient.

Aryavansha et al. (1981) studied the efficacy of single herb patola/parwal in 20 patients with duodena lulcer. Effectivity of patola in duodenal ulcer was found 45% excellent response out of 20 cases.

Liver protective

The whole plant has the liver protective activities. Ghaisas et al. (2008) showed hepatoprotectiveactivity of aqueous and ethanolic extract of Trichosanthes dioica (whole plant) in ferrous sulphate-induced the liver injury. Ethanolic and Aqueous extracts of Trichosanthes dioica at different doses (100, 200 and 400 mg/kg) and silymarin (100 mg/kg) were administered orally for 10 days.

The groups treated with 400 mg/kg aqueous and ethanolic extract showed significant reduction in AST, ALT, ALP level. The pretreatment with Trichosanthes dioica extracts showed profound histopathological protection to the liver cells as evident from histopathological studies.

Hence it can be concluded that T. dioica Roxb. has significant hepatoprotective activity.


1. Rai PK, Jaiswal D, Singh RK, Gupta RK, Watal G. Glycemic Properties of Trichosanthes dioica leaves. Pharmaceutical biology. 2008;46:894–9

2. Sharmila BG, Kumar G, Rajasekhara PM. Cholesterol-lowering activity of the aqueous fruit extract of Trichosanthes dioica in normal and streptozotocin diabetic rats. J Clin Dia Res. 2007;1:561–9.

3. Sharma G, Pant MC. Influence of alcoholic extract of whole fruit of T. dioica on blood sugar, serum lipids, lipoproteins and faecal sterols in normal albino rabbits. Indian J Clin Biochem. 1992;1:53–6.

4. 11. Ghaisas MM, Tanwar MB, Ninave PB, Navghare VV, Deshpande T, Hepatoprotective activity of aqueous & ethanolic extract of T. dioica in ferrous sulphate induced the liver injury. Pharmacologyonline, 3:127-135, (2008).

5. Sharmila BG, Kumar G, Rajasekhara PM, Cholesterol-lowering activity of the aqueous fruit extract of Trichosanthes dioica in normal and streptozotocin diabetic rats. J Clin Dia Res, 1(4):561-569, (2007)

6. Sharma RK, Chatterji S, Rai DK, Mehta S, Rai PK, Singh RK, Watal G, Sharma B, Antioxidant activities and phenolic contents of the aqueous extracts of some Indian medicinal plants. Journal of Medicinal Plants Research, 3(11):944-948, (2009).

7. Rai DK, Rai PK, Jaiswal D, Sharma B, Watal G, Effect of water extract of Trichosanthes dioica fruits in streptozotocin induced diabetic rats. Indian Journal ofClinical Biochemistry, 23 (4):387-390 (2008).

8. Chandrasekhar B, Mukherjee B, Mukherjee SK, Blood sugar lowering effect of Trichosanthes dioica Roxb. in experimental rat models. Int J Cru Drug Res, 26:102– 106, (1988).

9. Hypoglycemic effect of aqueous extract of Trichosanthes dioica in normal and diabetic rats Shalini Adiga, K. L. Bairy, A. Meharban, I. S. R. Punita.

One Comment

  1. I don’t like parwal my mother has always asked me eat it a lot of times but i never give it a try but after reading this blog and know how rich and nutritious it is. i think i should give it a try

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