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Benincasa hispida - Kushmanda, Winter melon

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Winter melon

The winter melon is a vine grown for its very large fruit, eaten as a vegetable when mature. It is the only member of the genus Benincasa. Native to South Asia and Southeast Asia, the winter melon is widely grown throughout Asia.


Summer fevers, Painful wounds, Vaginal discharges, Cough, Intestinal abscesses, Excess thirst, Epilepsy, Gonorrhoea, Nervous diseases

Parts Used

Flowers, Fruits, Leaves, Seeds.

Chemical Composition

It contains Vitamins - A: 0mg; Thiamine (B1): 4mg; Riboflavin (B2): 0.11mg; Niacin: 0.4mg; B6: 0mg; C: 13mg. The fruits contain lupeol, beta-sitosterol, their acetates and several amino acids.[1]

Common names

Language Common name
Kannada Boodagumbala, Boodu gumbala
Hindi Pethaa
Malayalam Kumbalanga
Tamil Neer poosanikai, Pooshnikai
Telugu boarda goomoodoo, boodida gummadi
Marathi NA
Gujarathi NA
Punjabi NA
Kashmiri NA
Sanskrit Kushmanda
English Ash gourd, Ash pumpkin


Reference: Dravya - Substance, Rasa - Taste, Guna - Qualities, Veerya - Potency, Vipaka - Post-digesion effect, Karma - Pharmacological activity, Prabhava - Therepeutics.



Madhura (Sweet)


Laghu (Light), Snigda (Unctuous)


Sheeta (Cold)


Madhura (Sweet)


Kpha, Pitta



Annual Climber



Kind Shape Feature
Simple Roundish White gourd is a vine grown for its very large fruit, eaten as a vegetable



Type Size Color and composition Stamen More information
Unisexual 5-15 cm long Yellow 5-20 Densely hairy, lobes lanceolate, acute, 6-12 mm long


Type Size Mass Appearance Seeds More information
Fuzzy 7–10 mm (0.28–0.4 in.) long pome The fruit loses its hairs and develops a waxy coating Its very large fruit with hooked hairs Many {{{6}}}

Other features

List of Ayurvedic medicine in which the herb is used


Where to get the saplings

Mode of Propagation

Seeds, Cuttings.

How to plant/cultivate

Benincasa hispida is a plant of the tropics, and is also cultivated in the subtropics.[4]

Season to grow

May - June.[5]

Required Ecosystem/Climate

This annual vine can easily be grown from seed. It is best grown in fertile, organically rich, medium moisture, well-drained loams in full sun.[6]

Kind of soil needed

Requires a warm sunny position in a rich well-drained soil.

Commonly seen growing in areas

Tall grasslands, Meadows, Borders of forests and fields.

Photo Gallery


External Links