Tuesday, 25 September 2012


Click here for the 'Seeds of Eaden' seed shop

We are all familiar with the bathroom loofah, but what exactly is it? 

The loofah (also luffa) is the fruit of a subtropical vine comprising of the genus Luffa, which is part of the cucurbitaceae family. There are six species in the Luffa genus.

The loofah looks like a cucumber.  It is traditionally harvested in China and India for food and use as a sponge.

The loofah we find in our Bathrooms which we use as a body scrub sponge is the ripened, dried fruit of the plant.  The mature fruit is allowed to dry and everything is removed except the network of xylem or fibres. The loofah is used to exfoliate the skin 

The fruit of two species, Luffa acutangula and Luffa aegyptiaca (Luffa cylindrica), are grown and harvested before maturity to be eaten as vegetable.  The luffa is eaten as a immature green vegetable (also known as patola) in China, India (called sebot) and the Philipinnes. The ridge luffa is used in a common vegetable dish called dodka and the smooth luffa in a dish called ghosavala. The fruit is also known as Chinese okra.

The juice is also a natural remedy for jaundice. The bitter luffa is pounded and squeezed through a cloth to collect the juice.  Its seeds and crust are also dried for the same use.

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