Indian round gourd or simply round gourd, scientifically termed Praecitrullus fistulosus, goes by the vernacular name “Tinda” in many local Indian languages including Hindi, Telugu, Marathi and Tamil. It is also commonly called apple gourd, round melon, Indian squash and Indian baby pumpkin.

This green vegetable has been well-regarded for its significant medicinal value since ancient times and is widely documented in Ayurvedic texts. Today, it continues to be heralded for its immense health benefits and is widely incorporated, in popular local cuisine across India, as well as in alleviating illnesses of the stomach, liver and skin, to name a few.
tinda tree

Indian round gourd naturally grows in the wilderness in South-East Asian countries such as India, Sri Lanka, China, Nepal and Indonesia, as well as in the warmer southern regions in Australia.

It is a creeper which produces big yellow flowers. The leaves are long around 10 to 20 centimeters and have a hairy long stem. The fruits are usually oval in shape and grow up to 30 centimeters in diameter. Plant propagation is done by seeds.

This vegetable when immature has white thick flesh which is sweet. By the time it reaches maturity, it loses the hairs and a waxy coating is developed which provides a long shelf life.

Indian round gourd is commonly considered a vegetable, which is used in cooking a variety of staple Indian dishes such as kootu, curry, sabzi and dal. The therapeutic and remedial traits offered by the vegetable, as well as round gourd seeds and leaves are extensive. Moreover, the roots and juice of round gourd also have applications in skin and hair care. Also Read: 7 Ultimate Vitamins To Nourish Your Skin And Hair

Round gourd supplies plenty of nutrition, being inherently high on water content providing a cooling effect on the body, having zero cholesterol thereby augmenting heart health and abounding in a plethora of vitamins and minerals to facilitate key metabolic functions in the body.

This remarkable natural wonder, which belongs to the cucumber and squash family similar to snake gourd, also provides valuable curative properties for conditions such as fever, jaundice and diabetes. This is owing to its noteworthy antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities, due to the presence of beneficial plant compounds like flavonoids and carotenoids. In addition, the juice of Indian round gourd also heals hair and scalp disorders like dandruff and bald patches. Also Read: Snake Gourd: Health Benefits, Nutrition, Uses For Skin And Hair, Recipes And Side Effects

Tinda is being eaten to a great extent nowadays and not just in its native milieus in Asia and Australia. The crop is, in fact, naturalized and propagated all over the world in tropical environments, so that people can procure its marvellous merits, for complete wellness.

Nutritional Content In Tinda/Indian Round Gourd:

Like most flora of the gourd family, the round gourd vegetables, seeds, leaves and juice extracts are enriched with a multitude of crucial fundamental dietary components like carbohydrates, fats, proteins and fibers, vital trace compounds such as vitamins and minerals and a host of plant substances including phenolics and cucurbitacins.

Tinda nutrition facts for a 100 g serving are as follows:

Calories                            86.2 kcal

Macronutrients:

Total Fat                           3.9 g

Saturated Fat                 0.5 g

Total Carbohydrate       12.5 g

Dietary Fiber                   0.6 g

Protein                             2.0 g

Cholesterol                      0.0 mg

Sodium                            33.0 mg

Potassium                        359.1 mg

Micronutrients:

Vitamins:

Vitamin A                        9.8 %

Vitamin B6                       11.3 %

Vitamin C                         30.5 %

Vitamin E                         1.1 %

Minerals:

Calcium                            5.1 %

Magnesium                     6.7 %

Phosphorus                     5.0 %

Zinc                                   7.2 %

Iron                                  5.7 %

Manganese                     12.5 %

Iodine                                5.9 %

Tinda/Round Gourd Health Benefits:
tinda benefits

Promotes Weight Loss

Round gourd, being low on calories and high in essential nutrients, can be taken regularly by those people who are strictly following a diet regime to lose weight, especially in the case of those with diabetes. Round gourd also provides dietary fibers that can be processed easily in the stomach, keeping one feeling full for longer, reducing cravings and assisting in burning fat at a quicker pace.

Augments Heart Function

Having negligible cholesterol content, round gourd can be safely consumed in diet regularly for promoting heart health. The boiled vegetable can be effortlessly added to many standard homemade Indian dishes, as it improves the circulation of blood to and from the heart, ensuring optimal functioning of cardiac muscles.

Detoxifies The Kidneys

Indian round gourd stimulates the normal elimination of body wastes via the excretory system in the body. It boosts the secretion of fluids within the kidneys, promptly getting rid of accumulated toxins and at the same time, guaranteeing proper hydration of the internal organs in the body. Tinda juice supports the routine tasks of kidneys and bladder. Also Read: Natural Ways To Get Rid Of Kidney Stones

Enhances Digestive System

Tinda or round gourd has a significant fiber content, which helps to prevent instances of constipation, bloating and cramping of the stomach, upon ingestion of a heavy meal. Moreover, its laxative nature regulates bowel movements, thereby easing any discomfort experienced in the gut.

Strengthens Respiratory Processes

Round gourd has an intrinsic expectorant quality, which implies that it can readily loosen any excess phlegm or mucus secretions and remove them from the respiratory tract. This immensely benefits lung function and also prevents any allergies and breathing difficulties.

Tinda For Keto Diet

Non-starchy vegetables are a constant addition to all keto diets. In this regard, Indian round gourd, being naturally low in carbohydrates and sugars, can be an ideal component of a keto diet, which focuses on lowering calorie intake by cutting down on carbs. A simple quick-fix recipe of boiling cut round gourd vegetable and seasoning with salt and pepper can be incorporated on a regular basis for lunch in the ketogenic diet.

Tinda/Indian Round Gourd Uses For Skin And Hair:

Naturally Moisturizes Skin

Tinda has innate content of the smoothening or emollient Vitamin E, that also has antioxidant properties. The gel extract from the vegetable, when applied on sunburns and rashes, pacifies the aggravated and dried up regions of the skin, leaving it soft and completely moisturized.

Combats Skin Infections

The residue derived from the round gourd leaves has astringent traits. This helps in neutralizing the highly enflamed spots on skin. It also efficiently reduces any boils, pus or carbuncles on the areas of the skin affected by allergies, fungal infections, environmental pollutants and sun rays.

Promotes Hair Growth

Tinda or round gourd has a multitude of vitamins and minerals which provide nourishment and vigour to the hair strands. Moreover, when applied as a gel, it penetrates deep into the layers of the scalp and protects follicles, thereby maintaining the thickness and stability of hair. Round gourd is an ideal option if you are looking to gain long and strong hair. Also Read: 7 Incredible Hair Growth Tips For Healthy, Long And Lustrous Tresses

Tackles Excessive Dandruff

Round gourd has potent chemicals that can reduce the intensity of flakiness and dandruff on the scalp of hair. It can also shelter the roots of the hair strands, known as follicles, from the dirt and fungus particles that trigger dandruff. Round gourd or tinda gel obtained from the flesh, when applied routinely to itchy and peeling scalp and dry hair, can significantly revamp the appearance of dull hair, giving it an incredible sheen.

Tinda/Round Gourd Hair Gel

Ingredients:

1 medium sized tinda

Method:

Remove the peel of the round gourd and cut it into two halves.

Now, scrape out all the seeds thoroughly and use only the soft inner portion.

Blend it into an even paste in a mixer without adding water, to obtain a slightly viscous gel.

Apply it on scalp, leave it on for about 30 minutes and then wash it off using a gentle shampoo.

How It Works:

Round gourd possesses moisturizing and anti-fungal properties, which act as a balm, soothing the irritated scalp and eliminating dandruff particles. When used once a month, this simple yet highly effective homemade round gourd hair gel prevents flaking of scalp and ensures nourished and lustrous tresses.

Tinda Therapeutic Potential In Ayurveda:
tinda in ayurveda

Since time immemorial, the Indian round gourd has been utilised in the vegetable, leaf, root and juice forms,  as these are imbued with potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory plant elements, to prepare ayurvedic concoctions and tonics, to remedy sicknesses such as fevers, jaundice, heart ailments and bone disorders.

Battles Fevers

The phytonutrients or plant compounds in round gourd have an inherent temperature reducing potential. The leaves of round gourd, when rubbed on a person suffering from high fever, provides immediate relief, reducing body temperature and symptoms of fatigue. Moreover, since normal metabolism is affected during fevers, round gourd leaves also expel excess water and salts from the body, in order to help maintain ideal electrolyte balance.

Fights Jaundice

The leaves of round gourd contain substances called cucurbitacins, which play the crucial role of boosting the defense system and liver function in the body. In addition, round gourd leaves also contain remarkable amounts of Vitamin C, which adds to the defense function and antioxidant capacity in those suffering from jaundice. The ayurvedic remedy comprises crushing the leaves of round gourd along with coriander seeds and consuming it twice a day, to treat jaundice. Also Read: Yellow Eyes? It Could Be Jaundice

Remedies Heart Ailments

Round gourd extract is considered as one of the best remedies for cardiac ailments such as palpitations, irregular heartbeats, chest pain, high blood pressure and coronary heart disease. In traditional Indian medicine, a dose of two cups of round gourd extract is given to those suffering from heart problems, to promote blood circulation and ameliorate the difficulties in performing normal day to day activities.

Treats Alopecia

Round gourd gel, when prepared and applied in instances of severe hair fall, invigorated the blood circulation and nerve function in the scalp, promoting rapid hair growth. Alopecia is characterized by prominent bald spots and excessive hair loss, and the high carotene content in tinda gel extract counters these factors, to reduce constant hair fall and enhance the strength and smoothness of hair.

Recovers Joint Illnesses

Being an effective anti-inflammatory, round gourd juice actually reduces bone and muscle pain and heals joint disorders such as arthritis, osteoporosis, gout and fractures. In addition, it is packed with the three essential bone-fortifying minerals namely calcium, magnesium and phosphorous, which in turn increases bone mass and helps regain flexible movement in muscles and joints.

Uplifts Immunity

Being a powerhouse of vitamin C and a host of flavonoids and carotenes, round gourd is a potent agent to boost immune system function in situations of illnesses. Since function of organs is below the optimum during disease, consuming round gourd vegetable instills vitamin C to blood cells, which is subsequently transported to other organs to recover their peak functioning levels. It also helps to recuperate from tiredness.

Regulates Thyroid

The thyroid hormone levels tend to fluctuate and rise above the normal range in some people, causing hyperthyroidism. Round gourd is profuse in iodine content, which is vital to reduce elevated thyroid hormone levels, as well as zinc, which plays a central role in facilitating enzyme function for optimizing thyroid concentrations.

Alleviates Insomnia

The prominent vitamin B6 or pyridoxine content in round gourd juice is very beneficial in monitoring brain functions and allowing the unobstructed conduction of nerve impulses. Hence, during instances of insomnia or severe lack of sleep, having a glass of tinda gourd juice can lessen the activity of neurotransmitters and promote sleep.

Recipes With Tinda:

Spicy Tinda Fry
spicy tinda fry

Ingredients:

5 medium-sized round gourds or tinda

2 tbsp Oil

1 tsp Cumin seeds

2 tsp Coriander powder

2 tsp Salt

1 tsp Red chilli powder

1/2 tsp Turmeric powder

1/4 tsp Garam masala powder

2-3 Green chillies

1 tbsp Coriander leaves, finely chopped

Method:

Scrape the outer fluffy portion from tinda skin, cut the vegetable into thin, long slices

Heat the oil and add cumin seeds.

When the seeds begin to splutter, add the green chillies and tinda, and stir-fry for about 5 – 7 minutes.

Add coriander powder, salt, red chilli powder, turmeric, and the garam masala. Stir to mix well.

Cover and cook over low heat, stirring a few times till cooked.

Serve the spicy tinda fry hot garnished with coriander leaves, as a side for rotis or rice.

Nutrition:

Tinda or round gourd supplies tremendous antioxidants and flavonoids for reducing inflammation during stress and infections. Cumin seeds are an excellent natural food for augmenting heart health, apart from aiding in digestion and regulating blood sugar levels. Coriander leaves are exceptional for treating anemia, as they have high iron content and also assist in managing joint disorders, being rich in calcium and magnesium – the minerals that stimulate bone growth and development. Also Read: Coriander Leaves: 5 Excellent Health Benefits Of Adding These Aromatic Leaves To Your Daily Diet

Tinda Masala Sabzi
tinda masala sabzi

Ingredients:

6 -7 Tinda

1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder

1/2 tsp Red Chilly Powder

1/2 tsp Cumin seeds

1/2 tsp Amchur powder

Salt to taste

2 tsp Oil

1 green chilli

1 tomato,finely chopped

1 onion, cut into thin slices

A small piece of ginger, sliced

2 garlic cloves, finely cut

A spring of mint leaves

Method:

Chop the tindas into slices of even thickness.

Cook the onions on low flame in oil for a few minutes and set aside.

Make a thick paste by blending the cut tomato and onions, along with ginger and garlic, in a mixer.

Heat oil in a kadai. Add cumin seeds and let them splutter.

Transfer the onion-tomato spiced paste onto the kadai and cook for 5 minutes.

Now add chopped tinda along with rest of the powdered spices except amchur. Mix well.

Cook covered on low flame. When half done add the green chillies slit lengthwise and mix well. Stir occasionally.

When till tinda is done, add amchur powder. Mix well. Garnish with fresh mint leaves

Serve hot with parathas, naan or basmati rice.

Nutrition:

Round gourd is a rich source of dietary fibers to aid in digestion, It also has significant amounts of vitamins C and E and antioxidants, which improve skin and hair health and remove harmful free radicals from injuring the healthy cells in the body. Mint leaves are abundant in vitamin C and antioxidants, for immunity, as well as calcium, magnesium and proteins, to build bone mass and perform vital biochemical functions.

Tinda/Round Gourd Side Effects:

Always purchase only fresh produce of tinda from your local market or store. This is recommended because certain infectious agents and pesticide residues may be present in old stock.

Round gourd possesses many vital trace minerals. Hence, excessive consumption is harmful, as it may result in toxic levels of these metallic elements accumulating in the system.

Patients with severe fever and high fluctuations in body temperature must avoid consuming round gourd, due to its further cooling effect on the body, which could slow down healing processes.

Conclusion:

In general, tinda is highly beneficial for promoting physical wellness and appearance of skin and hair. Besides enhancing the fitness traits in healthy individuals, round gourd is also routinely utilised in Ayurveda, as an effective home remedy for various ailments.

In most cases, it is entirely safe to take round gourd vegetables, leaf and juice extracts, but keep in mind to buy only fresh stock of the vegetable.

Tinda is a superfood that can be consumed regularly, in moderation, for effectively augmenting overall well-being.