Scientific name: Trichosanthes cucumerina. Name in different languages:- English: Wild snake gourd, Bitter snake gourd. Malayalam: Kaippanpadolam, Kovankodi, Kattupadavalam, Peppadolam, Pepparalkodi, Padolam.
Wild snake gourd has the botanical name Trichosanthes cucumerina and belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family. Wild snake gourd grows more in length and height than the normal snake gourd. It is also creepers that clings on to tree and grow. The fruits attain a length of 8 cm. The seeds are found in the pulp inside the fruit. The fruits have white lines on the outer surface. Since ancient times, it is used as a medicine to purify the blood. A child with indigestion or disinterest in taking food is given a medicine called padavalathi tincture. It is a good medicine for blood related and skin related diseases.
The roots of it contains chemicals like tannin, oil content, sponin, phytosterol, hentriacontane etc. The wounds that occur to diabetic patients are highly painful. The ground leaves of wild snake gourd is applied on the wound, as a pain reliever and also heals it and helps in expelling the toxic blood from the wound as well. To cure head ache and heaviness of the head, the roots of it are ground and applied on the forehead.
The seeds of wild snake gourd are collected from the mature fruits and the cultivation is stared in the months of September to December. A pit with 60 cm width and half a meter depth is used for this. The pit is filled with soil and dried animal manure. In a pit we can sow 2 or 3 seeds and the plants should have a gap of 2 meters between them. Once the creepers start climbing, it would be ideal to add 1 kg powdered cow dung at the base of the plant. Support should be given for the creepers to grow. After harvesting, the creepers of wild snake gourd are dried and either stored or sold in the market , since that too fetches money.