Patola, Pointed Gourd, Trichosanthes dioica

Description of Plant

Patola is known as Trichosanthes Dioica. Generally, it is famous with the name of pointed gourd. This is one of the most nutritious cucurbit vegetables that have a great, big reputation in the market of India, during rainy and summer seasons. The plant is of perennial, nectarous. Plant grows like a vine. Vines are of thick size, pencil like structure which contains ovate, oblong, cordate, unlobed, rigid, dark green color leaves. Their roots are of tube like structure, have tuberous property with long tap root system to manage the plant processes. Flowers are of white color with a tubular appearance. Flowers of this plant is dioceous type. The male flowers are not strobile. Stigma of the plant remains there for minimum around 14 hours and many of the flowers up to 40 to 70 % set fruits. Fruits generally are of size 5 to 9 cm and of spherical orange red wine color after ripe.

But the fruits of paltola can be categorized in to four types:-

  1. First kind have Long, dark green with white stripes and 10–13 cm long.
  2. Another type has thick, dark green with very pale green stripes and it is 10–16 cm long.
  3. Other ones have Roundish, dark green with white stripe with 5 to 8 cm height.
  4. Last one have Tapering, green and striped, 5–8 cm long.

General Description

Patola or Trichosanthes diocia is a great medicinal plant explained in Ayurvedic literature and in modern science. Patola is mentioned in the several Ayurvedic texts in the treatment of severe diseases, in ayurveda except patola it is also known as lulka, tikta, panduka, rajiphala, amritphala, pratika, kushthaha, meki, parvara, kulaka, nagaphala, Karkashacchada and Tiktottama.

Trichosanthes dioica generally known as Sespadula in English and Parwal in Hindi. It is widely grown in all over the India and more. It is a kind of perennial crop that is highly acceptable due to its availability. This plant is available for eight months in a year, from February to September.

Patola is a tagalog term for luffa or pointed gourd. This plant relates to that family of vegetables which present normally in the Philippines.

This plant contains various important phytochemical constituents that help plant patola to combat several diseases. Roots of the plant contain hentriacontane, trichosanthin, saponin, fixed oil, starch Colocynthin, essential oil containing terpens, reducing sugar and traceof tannin. Stems of the patola contain fatty acids like linoleic, oleic and oleo stearic or trichosanic acid and Cucurbita-5, 24-dienol which also found in mature plant. The leaves of the plant can be eaten as vegetables and contain various biochemical components in some appropriate ratio like 80.5 moisture; 5.4 protein; other carbohydrates 5.8; and mineral matter 3.0% calcium 531; 1.1 fat; 4.2 fiber; and phosphorous 73 mg / 100 g . Fruits also contain active components like riboflavin, vitamin-C, 5- hydroxytryptamine and Nicotinic acidand thiamin.

Classification

  • Kingdom - Plantae
  • Subkingdom - Tracheobionta
  • Superdivision - Spermatophyta
  • Division - Magnoliophyta
  • Class - Magnoliopsida
  • Subclass - Dilleniidae
  • Order - Violales
  • Family - Cucurbitaceae
  • Genus - Trichosanthes
  • Species - dioica

Habitat

Pointed gourd or Trichosanthes dioica or Patola is a tropical vegetable crop. The crop is known to Indo- Malayan origin and distribution extensively in eastern parts of India and up to less extent in the other parts of Asia. It is known with different names in different areas, like by parwal, palwal, or parmal names in different parts of India and Bangladesh. patola is one of the essential vegetables of this region.

Names of the Plant

  • Sanskrit name - Patola, Lulka, Tikta, Panduka, Rajiphala, Amritphala, Pratika, Kushthaha, Meki, Parvara, Kulaka, Nagaphala, Karkashacchada, Tiktottama
  • English name – Pointed Gourd, Wild Snake Guard
  • Gujarati name – Patola, Patal
  • Punjabi name – Parwal, Palwal
  • Hindi name - Parval
  • Telugu name - Kommu Potla / Chedu Potla
  • Bengali name - Patol
  • Marathi Name - Paraval
  • Tamil name - Kambupudalai
  • Kannada name - Kaadu Padaval, Kadu padavala kayi
  • Malayalam name - Patolam
  • Oriya – Patal
  • Urdu - Prora
  • Bangladesh – Potol
  • Pakisthan – Palwal, Parol, Petal
  • Unani name - Parwal

Ayurvedic Properties

Hindi / Sanskrit English
Rasa Tikta Taste Bitter
Guna Laghu, Ruksha Physical Property Light, Dry
Virya Ushna Potency Hot
Vipaka Katu Metabolic Property (After Digestion) Pungent

Effects on Doshas

It balances kapha and pitta. Approximately all the Acharyas have mentioned the leaf of Patola to manage Pitta Samaka, Nala to manage Kapha Samaka and fruit as Tridosha Shamaka. Roots of Patola are virechanakaraka.

Charak Samhita Vagbhata Sushrut Samhita
  • Truptighna - Herbs that relieve the feeling of food satiation.
  • Trishna Nigrahana - Herbs that relieve excessive thirst.
  • Patoladi
  • Aragvadhadi
  • Patoladi
  • Aragvadhadi

Ancient Verse about Patola

The Bhavprakash nighantu edition of 1998: verse 69-70, page no-696

It states that the names of the plants are Patol, Kulaka, tikta Panduk, Karkashacchada, Rajiphala, Panduphala, Rajeya, Amritphal, Beezgarbh, Prateek, kushthaha and kasbhanjan.

This is good for heart, aphrodisiac, light, good for digestive fire, having hot potency. It manages cough, blood impurities, fever and worms.

References

The Bhavprakash nighantu with elaborated Hindi commentary by Padmashri prof. K.C. Chunekar, edited by Dr. G.S. Pandey: edition of 1998: verse69 - 70, page no- 696.

Practical Uses of Patola

Nematocidal and Antihelmintic effects

The extracts of roots dichloromethane (DCTD), methanol (METD) and aqueous (AQTD) contain in vitro show paralytic & lethal effect which against the worms.

Anti-hyperglycemic & antihyperlipidemic activity

Charak Samhita mentions the use of patola in the treatment of Pittaj Prameh. So the use of T.diocia in diabetes management & could be developed as an effective oral agent for treating diabetes mellitus & complications.

Chemo Preventive Activity

Patola shows chemo properties that are present in its root extracts. It reduces the damage done by the carcinogens.

Laxative activity

The laxative activity is present in roots and it gives great relieve from constipation.

Anti-inflammatory acitivity

The Protective role of triterpenoid in the root extracts reduces the inflammation.

Cholesterol lowering activity

The aqueous extract of fruits of this plant is known to control the Cholesterol.

Effect on Ascites

The triterpenoid enriched root extract reduces ascitic fluid.

Neuropharmacological functions

Properties of patola roots show effect to relax Skeletal muscle and shows the sedative property also.

Patola Patra is used in jaundice, as it is purgative.

Patola Patra is beneficial in cough and strengthens the chest.

Patola Patra is very effective in skin diseases.

Patola Patra improves the taste of mouth, appetite and also digestion.

Parts used

Roots, Leaves, Fruits

Precautions

Higher dose causes vomiting and diarrhea.

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