A Winning Winter Juice

The Winter Melon is also known as the ash gourd, white gourd, white pumpkin, wax gourd, petha, safed kaddu, boodida gummadikaya, and pooshnikaij. Whew. The various names seem to indicate that the Winter Melon is a vegetable (and it is often thought to be one, because it is usually prepared as one), but it is actually a fruit.

It’s been revered and cultivated since ancient times throughout China, India, Malaysia, and Papua New Guinea. It is also used as a versatile Ayurvedic cure.

This gourd is sacred in India where it is offered to the gods in various religious rites. The winter melon also carries with it the heavy burden of being able to ward off evil spirits and the evil eye. It is often hung outside of newly constructed homes and buildings.

Nutritional Benefits of the Winter Melon

Weight Loss: The winter melon is approximately 96% water. This fruit is a dieter’s dream food; it’s high in taste, and low on daily caloric intake. The winter melon improves metabolism while clearing the body of toxins by reducing water retention and promoting urination.

This fruit juice offers essential nutrients such as calcium, iron, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, magnesium, copper, Vitamins C and B6, riboflavin, and thiamine.

Ayurvedic Treatments: Ayurveda is a wholistic system of medicine derived from India. The winter melon is used as a general restorative tonic. More specifically, it’s used to treat nervousness and mental illness.

Stomach Soother: The winter melon is an alkaline food. It’s cooling on the stomach and digestive tract. It serves as a neutralizer for dyspepsia, peptic ulcers, and hyperacidity. This fruits seeds are used to expel intestinal worms.

Urinary Tract Health: Due to its water and potassium content and its alkaline nature, the winter melon is great at keeping the urinary tract flowing smoothly.

Hair Health: Winter melon juice can reduce dandruff and also reduce hair loss. Apply it directly to your scalp. Winter melon juice moisturizes and adds a healthy shine to your hair.

Respiratory Health: With a Vitamin C content of 40% your daily value and a solid presence of zinc, the winter melon is a great cure for the common cold. It also assists in the ease of asthma, influenza, bronchitis, and sinusitis.

Selection and Storage of the Winter Mellon

The winter melon is available in the United States, but more predominant in Indian and Asian specialty markets.

This fruit naturally has a long shelf-life due to the chalky wax that covers its skin. The wax prevents micro-organism attack and can effectively preserve the melon for almost a year, as long as the melon remains uncut.

Choose a mature fruit (full size is 1-2 meters or 3-5 feet!), with a solid feel and a blemish free rind. In some markets, the melon is precut.  Choose those with firm flesh. Store pre-cut and cut pieces in the refrigerator. A cut melon will keep fresh for about 3-4 days.

Winter Melon and Apple Juice

Juice the fruits together and then add sweetener to taste.

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