Beet should be thoroughly washed before boiling and the skin should be removed before use. (curative vegetables) The leaves, like all green vegetables, should be cooked with a small amount of water and for only a short time.
The peel of the bottle gourd can be used as a beauty aid. Its inner side can be rubbed over the face to lighten the complexion. The juice of the peel imparts coolness to the eyes and prevents eyestrain. A few drops of the juice should be put in the eyes for this purpose.
The sweet variety of bottle gourd is used as a cooked vegetable in tropical Africa and Asia. This vegetable is also used for preparing sweets, raita and pickles. The seeds of some varieties are used as a masticator and the oil from the seeds for culinary purpose.
The juice of bottle gourd has been found to be beneficially in the treatment of cholera and other cases of severe dehydration caused by gastrointestinal disorders. This juice should be mixed with an equal quantity of coconut water and given to the patient every ten minutes in 30 ml doses. It helps restore electrolyte fluid balance.
Externally the pulp may be applied as a poultice and as a cooling application to shaved heads in delirium. The juice of the bottle gourd, boiled with sesame oil in equal parts till the juice is absorbed in the oil, can also be applied to the head in this condition.
The mixture of the bottle gourd juice and sesame oil acts as an effective medicine for insomnia. It should be massaged over the scalp every night. The cooked leaves of this vegetable are also beneficial in the treatment of insomnia.
The bottle gourd should not be eaten in a raw state as it may prove harmful for the stomach and intestines.