Kushmanda, Winter Melon (Benincasa Hispida)

Benincasa hispida, sometimes referred to as wax gourd, fuzzy gourd, or kadu, is another name for kushmanda. It originates from Southeast Asia. This plant grows every year. With the assistance of some support, this creeping plant can climb over fences and sprawl along the ground. It has branching tendrils. This plant is mostly grown for food. The thick, hairy, sharply grooved stems of kushmanda are coated in bristles. Large, coarsely textured leaves with five-lobed leaves adorn the stalks. Their leaves have a rough top surface and are rounded, kidney-shaped leaves. These feature stunning golden yellow flowers that reach up to 3 1/2" wide. Early summer is when these blossoms appear in the axils of the leaves. The female flowers eventually give rise to rectangular to nearly spherical melon-like fruits, which can vary in form and function. This variation is based on their developmental stage, growth mechanism, and environmental factors. Fuzzy gourd is the usual name for young, fresh fruits. This is a result of the delicate, light down that covers these fruits until they are fully ripe and grown. Fruits have highly crunchy and delicious white flesh. Since fruits are perishable when they are young, they can be consumed up to one week before they are harvested. These younger fruits are referred to be summer squash-like. These young, juicy, soft fruits can be used for a variety of cooking techniques, such as baking, sautéing, or chopping into bits. The mature fruits' waxy coating has earned them the moniker "winter melons." This waxy layer keeps the fruit safe from harm and allows for extended use. Winter melons are excellent-sized, weighing between five and twenty pounds, and they can be spherical or cylindrical in shape. The cylindrical one is 15 cm long and the circular one has a diameter of 12. When given the right circumstances and habitat, they can grow considerably larger—up to 25–50 pounds and 4–6 feet in length. These melons work well in soups, baked goods, and vegetable dishes.

General Description

Benincasa hispida is known by its scientific name, Kushmanda.

In chapter 6, "Annapan vidhi of Sutrasthana," Acharya Charaka refers to kushmanda as Aharadrvya. This plant is well-known by many names, including Ash gourd, White gourd, and Green pumpkin. Ayurveda has several more names, such as Pushpaphala and Pitapushpa, in addition to Kushmanda.

Kushmanda regulates the pitta and vata doshas; it is oily and light. It uses the phytochemicals found in the plant to regulate and control these doshas. The main constituents are n-hexenal, n-hexyl formate, and (E)-2-hexal. The plant's roots include bryonolic acid and pentacyclic triterpenes. Ethylidene cholesterol and 24b-ethyl cholesterol are found in seeds. Numerous substances, including lupeol, setosterol, rhamnose, mannitol, cucurbitin, alkali, fat, vitamins, glucose, adenine, histidine, and others, are present in the fruit of this plant. Cucurbita 5, 24-dienol is extracted from the entire plant, including the pericarp, roots, stems, and leaves.

Tonic, braintonic, carmintive, diuretic, refrigerant, antihelmenthic, hemostatic, and vitalizer are some of the benefits of this plant. These plants are raktapitta-pacifying. This plant's fruit pulp juice is highly beneficial for hemoptysis and other internal discharges. Particularly tapeworms, stomach worms respond well to seeds. The entire plant is beneficial for the heart, body, rasyana, and bhramana, which promotes dhatu.


Kingdom - Plantae

Subkingdom - Tracheobionta

Superdivision - Spermatophyta

Division - Magnoliophyta

Class - Magnoliopsida

Subclass - Dilleniidae

Order - Violales

Family - Cucurbitaceae


In India, kushmanda grows up to 1,204 meters in plains and hills. The majority of their production takes place in warm nations. In Europe and America since the time of the Romans. It is present in Burma, Ceylon, and India.

Although it is grown all over India, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh are the two regions where it is most prevalent. It is grown for the fruits. February is the month that seeds are sowed. The fruits are ripe in three to six months.


Latin name - Benincasa hispida

Sanskrit name – Kushmanda, pushpaphala

Assamese name  - Komora, Kumora,

Bengali name  - Kumra, Chal Kumra,

Hindu name  - Gol-Kaddu, Raksa,

Malayalam name  - Cumbulam, Kumpalam,

Marathi name  - Kohala,

Mizoram name  - Maipawl,

Sanskri name - Brhatphala, Kushmanda,

Tamil name  - Alattuppucini, Ven Poosani,

Tulu name  - Karkumbuda,

Telugu name  - Budidegummadi, Pendligummadikaaya,

Urdu name  – Petha

French name  - Courge Cireuse

German name  - Wintermelone

Chinese name  - Pai Gua

Italian name  - Zucca Della Cera

Japanese name  - Togan, Togwa

Malay name  - Kundur

Nepalese name  - Petha

Pakistan name  - Petha

Singapore name  - Tang Kua

Sri Lanka name  - Puhul

Ayurvedic Properties


Hindi / Sanskrit


Rasa (Taste)



Guna (Physical Property)

Laghu, Snigdh

Light, Unctuous

Virya (Potency)



Vipaka (Post-Digestive Taste)



Effects on Doshas

It controls and manages Vata and Pitta

Practical Uses

  • Winter melon, also known as kushmanda, is highly beneficial in the Ayurvedic treatment of nervous system illnesses, including epilepsy.
  • Peptic ulcers are known to be treated by it.
  • The fruit of this plant is used in India to treat a variety of illnesses, including diabetes mellitus, dyspepsia, heart disease, cough, ulcers, gastrointestinal issues, asthma, burning feeling, and urinary tract infections.
  • It is used in Sri Lanka to treat cholera, asthma, insanity, hiccoughs, diabetes, anthelmintic, and vegetable poisoning as well as to treat other illnesses.
  • It was used to treat diabetes and disorders causing diuresis in Korea.
  • This plant is utilized in China for skin softening, treating face blemishes, aging the skin, and reducing wrinkles. It is also used to treat hypertension and inflammation. Dried fruit peels are used to treat oliguria, or thirst brought on by heat strokes.
  • This plant's fruit is also used as a laxative, cooling agent, diuretic, and tonic.
  • This plant is used as a styptic, demulcent, astringent, and tuberculosis remedy in the Philippines.

Parts used

Fruits, Seeds

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