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Caigua – sources, health benefits, nutrients, uses and constituents at

Tuesday, August 29, 2017 by

Caigua is a tropical herbaceous vine that is native to Peru and is cultivated in many parts of Central America, South America and the Andes region where it is traditionally used as a substitute to cucumber. The plant can be found across the Caribbean Islands, Colombia, Bolivia, Peru, and Mexico. Likewise, it is also grown in eastern countries such as North-Eastern India, Bhutan, and Nepal. An article on the Times of Northwest Indiana website describes the caigua fruit as hollow and thin-walled, which renders it readily available for stuffing. Caigua comes in many other names including stuffing cucumber, slipper gourd, and sparrow gourd.

List of known nutrients

According to an Only Foods entry, caigua contains the following nutrients:

  • Alkaloids
  • Ascorbic Acid
  • Calcium
  • Coumarins
  • Dihidroxitriptamina
  • Diosgenin
  • Estigmadicín
  • Flavonoids
  • Galacturonic Acid
  • Lipoproteins
  • Luteolin
  • Niacin
  • Peptina
  • Phenols
  • Phosphorus
  • Picrina
  • Riboflavin
  • Sitosterol
  • Steroid Compound
  • Stigmasterol
  • Tannins
  • Terpenes
  • Thiamin
  • Vitamin A

Medicinal uses for caigua

Caigua is primarily used as a cholesterol-lowering agent. According to the Naturalpa website, the fruit is known to effectively regulate fat metabolism and increase good cholesterol levels. Previous studies have already demonstrated the heart-healthy benefits of caigua. In one study, the fruit is shown to reduce the incidence of hypercholesterolemia from 75 percent to 12.5 percent in postmenopausal women. Caigua has also helped improve the lipid profile of middle-aged volunteers in another study.

Tea made from brewed caigua seeds also helped reduce blood pressure levels and mitigated the risk of suffering hypertension. Likewise, caigua tea may help address various gastrointestinal issues as as stomach pain. Crushing dried caigua seeds into powder and taking about one gram of it may help eliminate intestinal parasites.

Caigua is valued for its weight loss properties as well. An article posted on the Herbs 2000 website noted that combining caigua with a local herb called hercampuri was found to shed body fats and cellulite. Caigua fruits and leaves are also shown to contain hypoglycemic properties that prevent high blood sugar levels and mitigate the risk of developing diabetes.

The analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties of caigua are also touted to alleviate pain in the internal organs. Likewise, the medicinal plant is traditionally used to address varicose veins. In addition, caigua fruits can be boiled in olive oil and used as a topical treatment to treat pain and inflammation of the skin. The roots are also used to cleanse the teeth.

Caigua is notably effective in fending off various infections as well. The plant is known to rid the blood of impurities and ward off ear infections, malaria, fever and kidney disease.

Body systems supported by caigua

Caigua is best known to improve heart health and protect it from the negative effects of cholesterol. Likewise, the plant promotes weight loss and boosts the body’s overall digestive profile. The medicinal herb purifies the blood as well. In addition, caigua fortifies the immune system against infections and alleviates pain in the internal organs. Caigua also promotes healthy skin and teeth.

Ways to use caigua

The fruits, seeds and leaves of caigua are edible. The fruits are the most commonly used part of the plant. Caigua fruits are traditionally pickled or added to salads. Likewise, the fruit’s hollow interior can be stuffed with cheese, fish or meat. Fresh caigua fruits can also be used in juices. In addition, the leaves and young shoots are consumed as green vegetables, while the seeds can be brewed into hot tea. An entry posted on the Peru Delights website features a sumptuous stuffed caigua recipe.

Where to learn more


Caigua prevents high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes.

Caigua staves off blood impurities, various infections, and malaria.

Caigua alleviates digestive issues, skin inflammation, and kidney disease.

Caigua supports the heart and the digestive system.

Caigua boosts overall blood circulation and immunity.

Caigua improves both skin and oral health.

Sources include:


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