Coarse, erect, branched, annual herb, 0.6 to 1.5 meters high. Leaves are long-petioled, orbicular or orbicular-ovate, about 25 cm long; heart-shaped base; margins, 3- to 5-lobed. Flowers are axillary and solitary; corolla, large and yellow, and inside, deep purple at the base. Fruit is elongated, 10-25 cm long, 1.5 – 3 cm in diameter, tapering to a blunt point and containing rows of rounded, kidney shaped seeds.
Demulcent, emollient, sudorific, cooling, carminative, stimulang, cordial, antispasmodic
Cultivated for its edible fruit. Ubiquitous in market places.
- Roots, leaves, young pods, seeds.
Contains vitamins A and C. A good source of iron and calcium. Also contains starch, fat, ash, thiamine and riboflavine.
- Decoction of roots and leaves as a tea or for washing.
- Decoction of young fruit useful for catarrh, urinary problems.
- Syrup from mucilaginous fruit used for sore throat.
- Poultice of roots and leaves for wound healing.
- Young pods for fevers, difficult urination and diarrhea.
- Decoction of roots for headaches, varicose veins, arthritis, fevers.
- Decoctions of leaves for abdominal pain.
- Leaves also useful as emollient poultice.
- Seeds used a coffee substitute. Paste of seeds, mixed with milk, used for pruritic skin lesions.