This plant in the curcubit (Cucurbitaceae), or gourd, family has reddish stems and alternating leaves. Its flowers are yellow or orange, and the spherical fruit can grow to 2 pounds. It is high in amino acids, lineolic acid, vitamins A and B, and several minerals. The seeds are used for women's medicine and digestive issues.
WHERE IT CAN BE FOUND:
Central America to Brazil, Caribbean
PROPERTIES AND USE:
Stomachic, diuretic, nervine, antiparasitic, febrifuge, and used to treat rheumatism, constipation, nausea, symptoms of menopause, menstrual difficulties, benign prostate hyperplasia, skin conditions
For all conditions, boil a large handful of the chopped root in 1 liter water for 30 minutes. Remove from heat, and allow to steep for 30 minutes. Strain, and sip throughout the day.
For women's issues, boil 1 gallon water. Remove from heat. Add V2 cup seeds, and allow to steep for 15 minutes. Strain, and allow to cool. Sip three glasses per day. This same infusion is used for digestive issues. Sip the liquid throughout the day. For skin conditions, scoop out the fruit's pulpy insides, and apply directly onto the affected area. For fevers, place the fruit's skin directly on the forehead