Calabash (Crescentia Cujete) medicinal herb is native to Central and South America as well as the West Indies. The common names are Gourd tree, Kalbas, Di mondi and it belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family. Yerba-mate tea, which is a very popular tea, is prepared in it.
The dried shells are used as natural bowls for drinking water, wine, tea as well as eating food. It is one of the highlights and attractions at the craft markets in regards to the tourist industry. In this department, it is not only reserved to the bowls, but it used to make souvenirs including, containers for money, handbags, jewellery, instrument for music, such as rattles, and other impressive and attractive art work.
The Jamaicans continue to use the dried shells or the gourd extensively for all different kind of purposes, and as mentioned before especially in the tourist industry it is used as crafts and sold to tourists, and they love them.
It can also be referred to as a medicinal herb because herbal remedies and health benefits can be derived from the entire tree. It can be used to treat diabetes by mixing the pulp of the green fruit with the leaves of the lignum vitae.
The young fruit may be warmed, split open and then apply to abscesses as well as boils to pull out infection and reduce them. Also, the juice squeezed from the meat of the fruit can be simmered down with cinnamon, nutmeg and anise to make a herbal syrup. This can be used to treat respiratory conditions and it can also be applied to sores, external ulcers and other skin ailments to promote healing.
It may be utilized to remedy colds and coughs. It contains chlorogenic acid as well as crescentic acid. Some folks used the young fruits to cleanse the womb by squeezing out the juice from the roasted fruits and then combine it with castor oil medicinal herb. This method will expel after-birth as well as boost menstruation.
Deemed also as a purgative and laxative herb, the pulp of the fruit may be used with castor oil to cleanse and purify the body.
Among the six species is the Lagenaria siceraria which is a vine grown for its fruit. The fruit itself is edible, primarily when it is young, and then when it is dried calabash is used to make bottles, utensils as well as pipes.
Updated July 25, 2015
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