Food

10 Amazing Facts About Luffa

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Each gardener has a corner on his site where he grows plants not only for food and benefit but also for the soul. This is how liana became for me – luffa. It belongs to the pumpkin family. It grows wild in India and Africa. This is a herbaceous liana-like plant of enormous size, has a powerful root system, rounded-heart-shaped, pointed leaves. Flowers are dioecious, yellow, rather decorative.

  1. More common is the Egyptian luffa, known as cylindrical, or pumpkin. It is grown mainly for the production of sponges. Doctors believe that natural washcloths are the best remedy for a wellness massage. In cosmetology, they are also used as a mild peeling agent, as well as for the prevention and control of cellulite.
  2. Luffa acute-angled, or ribbed, is more often used for food. She is more early maturing. Young fruits are fragile, juicy, aromatic, starchy, contain vitamins, calcium salts, and phosphoric acid. It is consumed fresh, like cucumbers, soups, sauces are prepared, and fried in oil is served with meat dishes. Infusion of luffa fruits is used in folk medicine.
  3. The fruits of these types of loofah are different: in the “washcloth” – cylindrical up to 70 cm long, up to 15 cm thick; in acute-angled – ribbed, clavate or pear-shaped, 15-40 cm long, 5-8 cm thick. Seeds in fruits are flat, black, rarely white, with a firm dense skin that does not allow moisture to pass through for a long time. Therefore, before sowing, the seeds are soaked in warm water for 2-3 days, changing the water every day.
  4. Luffa among the pumpkin seeds is the most demanding for heat and humidity. The growing season (until the seeds are fully ripe) is 180-200 days. The optimum temperature for growth and development is 25-30C. At a temperature of + 10C, its growth slows down, the seeds do not germinate, so it is best to grow luffa through seedlings. 30-day-old plants are planted in a permanent location, such as a greenhouse or along with a net that wraps around an arch or veranda on the sunny side of the house.
  5. Luffa needs frequent watering, especially when growing leaves. Responds well to spraying. Over the summer, it is advisable to feed her 3-4 times with a solution of mullein or chicken droppings.
  6. In mid-latitudes, it is quite possible to provide yourself with washcloths from your own beds.
  7. To do this, leave 2-3 fruits on the plant. Under favorable conditions and correct agricultural practices, 3-5 large cylindrical luffa fruits and 6-8 sharp-ribbed luffa fruits can be obtained from each plant.
  8. How to make a Luffa? It’s not tricky either. It is necessary to dip the fruit in boiling water for 10-15 minutes. Then remove the peel, shake out the seeds and rinse well in soapy water. The natural washcloth is ready.
  9. And also, for a long time, seals for mechanisms, hats, shoes, mats, and soap have been made from fruits. Luffa was also appreciated by manufacturers of pet products because toys made from it are an excellent toothbrush for beloved pets.
  10. There is no doubt about the decorativeness of the washcloths. Yellow bell-shaped flowers look very beautiful against the background of green leaves. You can decorate a gazebo with a loofah liana, hide from inquisitive neighbors by planting it by the fence, or simply disguise some garden bed.

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