Phut (Snapmelon) – Medicinal Qualities, Uses, Research

By Dr Renita D’Souza
Snapmelon (Cucumis momordica) is a fruit commonly called as Phut in India. Phut means ‘split’, you can see splits or cracks over the fruit. It is considered mainly the source of Vitamin C, iron and calcium.(1)

Introduction

Botanical Name – Cucumis momordica, Cucumis melo momordica
Family – Cucurbitaceae

Names in different Languages


English Name – Indian snapmelon
Hindi Name – Phuut, Phumta
Bengali Name – Phuti
Marathi Name – Phut

Medicinal Qualities of Chirbitam fruit


Taste – Sweet (madhura)
Virya (potency) – slightly hot (anushna)
Qualities
Ruksha – dry
Guru – heavy to digest
Grahi – absorbent in nature
Vishtambhi – causes constipation

Effect on Tridoshas
Balances Pitta and Kapha dosha

Ripe Chirbita Fruit
Hot in potency and increases pitta dosha.

According to Shodala Nighantu


Qualities of Young Phoot
Virya (potency) – Cold (shitha)
Pittahara – balances pitta dosha

Kuchirbat
Kuchirbat is the sub variety mentioned in Shodala Nighantu.
Taste – Sweet, sour
Balances vata dosha. Increases kapha and pitta dosha.

Uses of Snapmelon

  • Seeds of chirbita fruit are used to relieve burning sensation.
  • Fruits are cooked, pickled or eaten raw.
  • Seed kernel is used in bakery products and traditional drink ‘Thandai’.
  • Ripe fruits can be used to make drink mixed with jaggery or sugar.

Interaction with medicines, supplements

Can this be used while taking Homeopathic medicine?
Yes. This product does not react with homeopathic medicine.

Can this medicine be continued while taking supplements like multivitamin tablets, Omega 3 fatty acids etc?
Yes. Generally, this product goes well with most of the dietary supplements. However, if you are taking more than one product per day, please consult your doctor for an opinion.

With western medicines
Seek your doctor’s advice if you are taking this product along with other western (allopathic / modern) medicines. Some Ayurvedic herbs can interact with modern medicine.
If both Ayurvedic and allopathic medicines are advised together, then it is best to take Allopathic medicine first, wait for 30 minutes and then take the Ayurvedic medicine.

Morphology, distribution, synonyms, categorization

Morphology
Cucumis momordica is a creeper with palmately lobed leaves. Flowers are small. Fruits 1-2 feet long, 3-6 inch wide, green when unripe, ripe fruits are lime yellow in colour.

Distribution
It is found widely in India.

Sanskrit Synonyms
Chirbhita, Dhenudugdha
Gorakshakarkati

Classical Categorisation
Bhavaprakasha Nighantu – Aamraadi Varga
Kaiyadeva Nighantu – Aushadi Varga
Shodala Nighantu – Guduchyadi Varga
Click to Consult Dr Renita D’Souza

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