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DISCLAIMER: These pages are presented solely as a source of INFORMATION and ENTERTAINMENT and to provide stern warnings against use where appropriate. No claims are made for the efficacy of any herb nor for any historical herbal treatment. In no way can the information provided here take the place of the standard, legal, medical practice of any country. Additionally, some of these plants are extremely toxic and should be used only by licensed professionals who have the means to process them properly into appropriate pharmaceuticals. One final note: many plants were used for a wide range of illnesses in the past, but be aware that many of the historical uses have proven to be ineffective for the problems to which they were applied.




BOTTLE GOURD
Curbitaceae
(Lagenaria siceraria)
[hù zi]
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CONTAINS: 1.6% choline (B vitamin), based on zero moisture. Some studies indicate a diet deficient in choline can cause male infertility and the fruits rate high in choline. Choline deficiency is also thought to relate to liver damage and the development of liver cancer. Heavy drinkers suffer from vitamin B deficiency in general.

PROPAGATION: By seed.

USES

MEDICINAL:
In Chinese medicine, the fruit is considered antilithic, diuretic (also the rind), emetic, and refrigerant; and an extract of the seeds is considered antibiotic.
Both the flower and the stembark have been used as an antidote to poison.
The fruit has been boiled and used for rheumatism.
The seed has been combined with Achyranthes for gum disease, toothache and boils; has also been used for diabetes (3 g daily), and as a vermifuge.

DOSE: TRADITIONAL DOSAGES FOR PROFESSIONAL NOTE ONLY
All others buy commercial preparations and follow directions carefully.
The fruit is prepared and eaten like squash as part of the diet.

OTHER:
The dried fruit is used as a container to hold water and other liquids; also crafted into a variety of other utilitarian objects, including birdhouses.





©2004 by Ernestina Parziale, CH

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