Family • Cucurbitaceae - Benincasa hispida Cogn. - WHITE GOURD MELON - Tung-kua P'i

Scientific names

Benincasa hispida (Thunb.) Cogn.
Benincasa cerifera Savi
Curcubita hispida Thunb.
Curcubita pepo-aspera Blanco
Dong gua (Chin.)

Common names

Kandol (Bis.)
Kondol (Iv., Tag.)
Kundal (Sul.)
Rodal (Bik.)
Tabugok (Sub.)
Tambulok (Tagb/)
Tibiayon (Bis.)
Petha (India)
White gourd melon (Engl.)
Tung-kua P’i (Chin.)
Ash gourd (Engl.)
Wax gourd (Engl.)

Other vernacular names

CHINESE: Bai dong gua, yin dong gua
DANISH: Voksagurk
DUTCH: Waskalebas
FRENCH: Courge à la cire, Courge cireuse, Pastèque de Chine.
GERMAN: Wachskürbis, Prügelkürbis.
HINDI: Petha
ITALIAN: Zucca della cera
NEPALESE: Kubiindo, Pethaa
THAI: Faeng, Fak, Mafak khom, Mafak mon, Mafak mon khom.
TURKISH: Mom kagai.
VIETNAMESE: Bi dao, bi bee.

Kondol is a rather coarse, wide-spreading, softly hairy, annual vine with branched tendrils reaching a length of 4 to 8 meters. Leaves are rounded or kidney-shaped, 10 to 25 centimeters diameter, 5- to 7-lobed, heart-shaped at the base. Peduncles are hairy, those of the males being 5 to 15 centimeters long and of the females much shorter. Flowers are large and yellow, with a densely hairy bell-shaped calyx tube. Petals are 5 and spreading, 3 to 5 centimeters long. Fruit is ellipsoid or ovoid, 25 to 40 centimeters long, with few to many fragile hairs, green, and densely covered with a white and waxy bloom. The seeds are many, oblong, and compressed.


– Cultivated for the edible fruit.
– Occasionally wild.
– Introduced to the Philippines.
– Also occurs in India to Japan, Malaya and Polynesia in general cultivation.


– Amino acids, mucins, mineral salts, vitamins B and C, fixed oil, 44%; starch, 32%; an alkaline, cucurbitine; an acid resin; the proteids, myosin and vitellin; and sugar, 4%.
– Phytochemical studies indicate two triterpenes, alunsenol and mutiflorenol, with mast cell stabilizing effects in rats.
– Major constituents of the fruit are triterpenoids, flavonoids, glycosides, saccharides, carotenes, vitamins, ß-sitosterin, and uronic acid.
– Fruits yielded three new triterpenoids (3α,29-O-di-trans-cinnamoyl-D:C-friedooleana-7,9(11)-diene , oleanolic acid 28-O-β-d-xylopyranosyl-[β-d-xylopyranosyl-(1→4)]-(1→3)-α-l-rhamnopyranosyl-(1→2)-α-l-arabinopyranoside, and oleanolic acid 28-O-β-d-glucopyranosyl-(1→3)-β-d-xylopyranosyl-[β-d-xylopyranosyl-(1→4)]-(1→3)-α-l-rhamnopyranosyl-(1→2)-α-l-arabinopyranoside), together with 12 known compounds (multiflorenol, isomultiflorenyl acetate, stigmasterol, stigmasterol3-O-β-d-glucopyranoside, α-spinasterol, α-spinasterol 3-O-β-d-glucopyranoside, β-sitosterol, daucosterol, arbutin, nicotinic acid, (+)-pinonesinol, and ethyl β-d-glucopyranoside).


• Considered astringent, anthelmintic, aphrodisiac, demulcent, diuretic, febrifuge, styptic, tonic.
• Seed is anthelmintic, antiinflammatory.
• Fruit is nutritive, tonic, diuretic, alterative, and styptic.

Parts utilized
Whole fruit with seeds and skin.

• Edible: Flowers, fruit, leaves, seed.
• Unripe fruit is boiled and eaten as vegetable.
• Ripe fruit is peeled and candied; used in pickles, curries and preserves.
• The fried seeds eaten as a delicacy.
• Young leaves and flower buds steamed and consumed as vegetable.
• Pulp is a source of vitamins B and C.


• In the Philippines fresh fruit is made into a syrup and used for disorders of the respiratory tract.
• Fresh fruit also used for hemoptysis and other hemorrhages of the internal organs.
• Fresh juice used as vehicle for administering pearl-ash for first-stage phthisis. Also used, with or without liquorice, for insanity, epilepsy, and other nervous disorders.
• Used as antidote for various vegetable poisons, mercurial and alcoholic poisoning.
• Juice of cortical portion used with powdered saffron and red rice bran for diabetes.
• Preserve used for piles and dyspepsia as anti bilious food.
• Seeds applied to simple skin eruptions.
• Seeds, deprived of the outer covering, used as vermifuge against tapeworm and lumbrici. Also, used as diuretic.
• Seeds, incinerated, taken internally for gonorrhea.
• Fruit rind is diuretic; ashes applied to painful wounds.
• In Indo-China, leaves and seeds used as purgative.
• Decoction of seed used for vaginal discharges and coughs.
• Fresh juice used as antidote for vegetable poisons.
• In China, popular for its dermatologic and cosmetic applications – for facial blemishes; moisturizing and skin softening use; anti-wrinkle and anti-aging skin properties; preventing sun damage.
• In Japan, kondol is a component of most traditional dermatologic formulations because of its skin regenerative.
• Tincture or liniments made through percolation with propylene glycol or hydro-alcoholic solution.
• In Korea, used for diabetes and kidney problems
• In Ayurveda, used for coughs, epilepsy, asthma, peptic ulcers. It is also the main ingredient in “Kusumanda Lehyam”, used as tonic and for various conditions like epilepsy, constipation, hemorrhoids, dyspepsia, syphilis and diabetes.
• In India, used for treatment of peptic ulcer: Juice is squeezed out of grated gourd, equal amounts of water is added, taken daily on an empty stomach, with no food intake for 2 to 3 hours.
• Fruit juice used for insanity, epilepsy.


Study Findings
• Anti-Ulcer: Extracts of Benincasa hispida prevent development of experimental ulcers: Used in Ayurveda for peptic ulcers, the study showed extracts of BH may be a natural drug with anti-ulcer activity.
• Anti-angiogenic Effect: Study showed the seed extract of Bh decreased bFGF-induced endothelial cell proliferation and tube formation in a dose-dependent manner. It showed no cytotoxicity and showed potent inhibitory effect on bFGF-induced angiogenesis in vivo. Seed extract of BH supports its anti-angiogenic property through inhibition of endothelial cell proliferation.
• Gastroprotective / Anti-Ulcer / Antioxidant: Study results were comparable with the omeprazole treated group. Study suggest BH possess significant antiulcer and well as antioxidant property.
Anti-Ulcer: Study showed decrease in ulcer index in animals treated with fruit extract of Bh. BH has been shown to contain active principles – terpenes, flavonoid C, glycosides and sterols which have antioxidant effects, probably helping inhibit gastric mucosal damage by scavenging free radicals and repressing production of superoxide dismutase.
• Bronchodilator Effect: The ME of BH showed excellent protection against histamine-induced bronchospasm probably through an antihistamine activity (H1 receptor-antagonism).
• Opioid Withdrawal Benefit: Study showed the juice of Bh showed significant activity against symptoms of morphine withdrawal. Results suggest a potential for Bh in preventing the development of morphine addiction and suppression of opioid withdrawal in animals.
• Antinociceptive / Antipyretic: Study results indicate that the ethanolic extract of Benincasa hispida possesses potent antinociceptive and antipyretic effects and pharmacologically justifies its folkloric use for fever and pain conditions.
• Antidiarrheal: Study showed the methanolic extract of fruit of Bh showed significant inhibitory activity against castor oil-induced diarrhea and inhibited PGE2 induced enteric pooling in rats. Results establish its efficacy as an antidiarrheal agent.
• Antioxidant / Alzheimer’s disease: Results revealed chronic treatment of Bh pulp extract markedly decreased lipid peroxidation level, significantly increased superoxide dismutase, CAT and reduced glutathione level in different parts of the brain. Study showed the antioxidant property of Bh may be beneficial in the management of colchicene-induced rat model of Alzheimer’s disease.
• Anorectic / Potential Anti-Obesity Benefit : Study investigated the anorectic effect of the methanol extract of Bh in Swiss albino mice. Results reveal, for a the first time, a possible anorectic activity of Bh, probably through CNS mediation, with no effect on gastric emptying. Further studies are suggested for its antiobesity potential.
• Diabetes : Study investigated the hypoglycemic effects of Bh in STZ-induced diabetic rats. Results showed a possibility of therapeutic or preventive use of wax gourd in diabetes mellitus.
• Renoprotective: Study results showed Benincasa cerifera treatment prevented renal damage induced by ischemia/reperfusion injury in hyperlipidemic rats through decreasing of lipid peroxidation and increased antioxidant enzyme activities.
• Antifungal: Study of a methanol extract of fruit showed no inhibition on bacterial strains tested but showed significant inhibition against Candida albicans.
• Anti-Inflammatory: Study of a methanolic and petroleum ether extracts of fruit of Bh produced dose-dependent and significant inhibition of carrageenan-induced paw edema, histamine induced paw edema and cotton pellet-induced granuloma in a rat model.
• Anti-Urolithiatic: Study evaluated the ameliorating effect of an ethanol extract of seeds in hyperoxaluria and renal cell injury. Results showed an anti-urolithiatic effect with reduction in stone forming constituents in the urine and decreased kidney retention that reduced the solubility product of crystallizing salts.
• Hepatoprotective / Diclofenac Induced Toxicity: Study evaluated the protective role of an aqueous extract of pulps on diclofenac sodium-induced hepatotoxicity model in adult albino rats. Results showed restoration of biochemical changes produce by diclofenac to normal. The significant hepatoprotective effect was through the modulation of antioxidant-mediated mechanism.
• Anthelmintic / Leaves: Study of anthelmintic activity using Pheretima posthuma as test worm showed an extract of fresh leaves with significant activity compared with standard Piperazine citrate group.
• Bioactive Proteins / Cytotoxicity: Study isolated three bioactive proteins from the fruits, seeds and roots. The highest was 0.54% from the root which on cytotoxicity testing showed inhibition of proliferation of HeLa cell and K-562 cells.
• Hispidalin / Cationic Bioactive Peptide / Antimicrobial / Antioxidant / Seeds: Study yielded a bioactive peptide, Hispidalin, from the seeds of Benincasa hispida. The peptide showed broad and potent inhibitory effects against human bacterial and fungal pathogens. It also exhibited DPPH free radical scavenging activity and lipid peroxidation inhibition.
• Anti-Convulsant / Fruit: Study y evaluated a methanol extract of fruit in various convulsive models in mice. Results showed potential anticonvulsant activity with significant inhibition of hind limb extension induced by MES and increased latency of convulsion induced by pentylenetetrazole and strychnine.
• Anxiolytic / Analgesic / Nootropic: Study investigated the neuropharmacological activity of various extracts of B. hispida. Results showed decreased locomotor activity and exploratory behavior. There was significant prolongation of haloperidol induced catalepsy in mice and increased analgesic activity in hot plate method. Results showed potential anxiolytic, analgesic and nootropic activity.
• Hypoglycemic / Analgesic / Nootropic: Study evaluated an aqueous extract of stem of B. hispida for hypoglycemic effect in alloxan-induced diabetic rabbits. The results showed significant dose-dependent reduction in blood glucose levels.
• Memory and Learning Effects / Seeds: Study evaluated the nootropic potential of aqueous and methanol extracts of B. hispida on various behavioral models. Results showed dose-dependent reduction in transfer latency by elevated plus maze, water maze and object recognition task. Results conclude the methanolic extract of B. hispida can be a useful restorative agent in the treatment of dementia.
• Effect on Testosterone Induced Prostatic Hypertrophy: Study evaluated effects of extracts of seed oil on hyperplasia of the prostate induced by subcutaneous administration of testosterone in rats. Results showed inhibition of testosterone-induced hyperplasia in rats, and suggests studies to evaluate its effect in human benign prostatic hyperplasia.
• Hepatoprotective / Nimesulide Induced Toxicity: Study evaluated the protective role of an aqueous extract of pulps on nimesulide-induced hepatotoxicity model in adult albino rats. Results showed significant hepatoprotection through modulation of antioxidant-mediated mechanisms.
• Anthelmintic / Roots: Study evaluated the anthelmintic of various extracts of root. Results showed significant anthelmintic activity against Pheretima posthuma compared to standard Piperazine citrate.
• Anticompulsive Effect: Study of methanolic extract exhibited significant anti-compulsive effect in marble-burying behavior test in mice, which was attributed to enhanced serotonergic function.
• Protective Effect on Colchicene Induced Alzheimer’s Disease: Study of water extract of Benincasa hispida pulp showed a protective effect on colchicene induced experimental rat model of Alzheimer’s disease.

Cultivated for edible fruit.
Occasionally, wild.

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Extracts of Benincasa hispida prevent development of experimental ulcers / J K Grover et al / Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Vol 78, Issues 2-3, December 2001, Pages 159-164 / doi:10.1016/S0378-8741(01)00334-8

(2) Anti-angiogenic effect of the seed extract of Benincasa hispida Cogniaux: / Lee Keyong-Ho et al / Journal of ethnopharmacology • 2005, vol. 97, no3, pp. 509-513

(3) Gastroprotective effect of Benincasa hispida fruit extract / Manish A Rachchh, Sunita M Jain / RESEARCH ARTICLE, 2008 | Volume : 40 | Issue : 6 | Page : 271-275


(5) Preliminary study of fresh juice of Benincasa hispida on morphine addiction in mice / J K Grover et al / Fitoterapia • Vol 71, Issue 6, December 2000, Pages 707-709 / doi:10.1016/S0367-326X(00)00227-6

(6) Antidiarrheal Evaluation of Benincasa hispida (Thunb.) Cogn. Fruit Extracts / VRUSHABENDRA SWAMY BHYRAPUR MATHAD et al / IRANIAN JOURNAL OF PHARMACOLOGY & THERAPEUTICS, 4:24-27, 2005

(7) Possible anorectic effect of methanol extract of Benincasa hispida (Thunb). Cogn, fruit / Kumar A, Vimalavathini R / Indian Journal of Pharmacology, Vol. 36, No. 6, November-December, 2004, pp. 348-350

(8) Effects of Benincasa hispida Intake on Blood Glucose and Lipid Level in Streptozotocin Induced Diabetic Rats / Lim S J. Jeong J G et al / Korean J Nutr. 2003 May;36(4):335-343.

(9) Benincasa cerifera Ameliorates Renal Ischemia/Reperfusion Injury in Hyperlipidemic Rat / Y S Bhalodia, N J Patel et al / (Pharmacognosy Research) RESEARCH ARTICLE, 2009 | Volume : 1 | Issue : 6 | Page : 406-409

(10) Sorting Benincasa names / Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher, / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE

(11) Ash Gourd — Medicinal Properties and Benefits / Home Remedies Guide

(12) ANTIMICROBIAL STUDIES ON METHANOL EXTRACT OF BENINCASA HISPIDA COGN., FRUIT / D. Natarajan, R.J. Lavarasan, S. Chandra babu, M.A.C. Sahib Thambi Refai, and L.H.Thameemul Ansari / Anc Sci Life. 2003 Jan-Mar; 22(3): 98–100.

(13) Anti-Urolithiatic Activity of Ethanolic Extract of Seeds of Benincasa Hispida (Thumb) / Patel RK, Patel SB, Shah JG / Pharmacologyonline 3: 586-591 (2011) Patel et al.

(14) In-vitro Anthelmintic Activity of B. hispida Leaves / CHIRANJIB BHATTACHARJEE, DEBJIT B, PANKAJ TIWARI, K.K. TRIPATHI AND A.S.DUTTA / International Journal of Pharma and Bio Sciences V1(2 )/ 2010

(15) Cationic Bioactive Peptide from the Seeds of Benincasa hispida / Sunayana Sharma, Hirday Narain Verma, and Nilesh Kumar Sharma / International Journal of Peptides, Volume 2014 (2014) / http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/156060


(17) HYPOGLYCAEMIC EFFECT OF AQUEOUS EXTRACT OF BENINCASA HISPIDA IN RABBITS/ Mohana Rupa L. Mohan K. / International Ayurvedic Medical Journal: IAMJ: Volume 1; Issue 5; Sept – Oct 2013

(18) New Triterpenoids and Other Constituents from the Fruits of Benincasa hispida (Thunb.) Cogn. / Xiao-na Han, Chun-yu Liu , Yan-li Liu , Qiong-ming Xu *, Xiao-ran Li , and Shi-lin Yang / J. Agric. Food Chem., 2013, 61 / (51), pp 12692–12699 / DOI: 10.1021/jf405384r

(19) Evaluation of the Memory and Learning Improving Effects of Benincasa hispida Seeds in Mice / Veni Bharti, Kiran , Surendra Kumar Sharma and Sumitra Singh / Pharmacologia, Vol 4, Issue 3, 2013

(20) Effect of Benincasa hispida fruits on testosterone-induced prostatic hypertrophy in albino rats / Chetan Nandecha, MPharm, Alok Nahata, MPharm, Vinod Kumar Dixit, MPharm, PhD / Current Therapeutic Research, Volume 71, Issue 5, Pages 331–343, October 2010

(21) The protective role of Benincasa hispida on nimesulide – induced hepatotoxicity in albino rat model / Shyamal K Das, Chandan Roy / Internation Journal of Green Pharmacy, 2011, Vol 5, Issue 3, pp 192-197.

(22) Anthelmintic activity of root of Benincasa hispida (Petha) / Chiranjib Bhattacharjee*, Subal Debnath, G. Ganesh Kumar, Santhosh Kumar C, T. Shivaraj Gouda. / IAJPR. 2011; 1(4): 102-106


(24) Dose Dependent Activity of Benincasa hispida on Colchicine Induced Experimental Rat Model of Alzheimer`s Disease / Chandan Roy,T.K. Ghosh,Debjani Guha / International Journal of Pharmacology 2008