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Bottle Gourd Juice Leaves Scientist Dead

thot4food's picture

bottle gourd juice

The Indian Bottle Gourd known as the ‘lauki’ in India has caused the experts to delve deeper into its constituents and their effects on the body. The frantic pace of investigations were initiated after Sushil Kumar Saxena, a  59 year old Indian scientist died after drinking the juice from the bottle gourd which had turned bitter. Similar incidences of death were also reported from around the country.



A committee comprising of experts were set up soon by the Indian Council of Medical Research which met for the second time last Sunday in order to discuss the potential side effects of consuming vegetable juices. The body had been formed in April, this year.

The panel of experts discussed the cause of bottle gourd related deaths with particular emphasis placed on the recent incident. Saxena had, apparently decided to the bottle gourd juice blended with the juice from the bitter melon after he learnt of its benefits from a Baba or Indian Guru who endorsed it as being beneficial for curing diabetes. He died soon after he was taken to the hospital after complaining of pain and uneasiness.



Practitioners of alternative medicines like the Ayurveda frequently prescribe vegetable juices as a means of controlling diabetes and other serious conditions. The commonest vegetable juices that are consumed on a daily basis for their medicinal effects include:-

  • Squash
  • Gourds
  • Cucumbers
  • Pumpkins
  • Melons



However, scientists have found that the chemical constituent, Tetracyclic Triterpenoid Cucurbitacin present within these vegetables can turn toxic resulting in fatal consequences if consumed in large quantities.


The committee formed for checking out the facts is continuing with their research meanwhile. They also hope to start an awareness campaign which will propagate the harmful effects of drinking vegetable juice when it turns bitter. Dr. Anoop Mishra, an expert in diabetes also stated that the gourd extracts often have little or no effect in reducing the blood sugar levels. He advised the patients to stick to the mainstream form of treatment.


It will, therefore be wise to avoid the Indian bottle gourd and its juice which tastes bitter. Else, the consequences might turn out to be bitter too!



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Anonymous's picture
Thanks for this information. Even I used to know that bottle gourd juice is good for diabetic patients, according to the Ayurveda. But, never knew that it could take such a serious turn.
priyam's picture
I always thought that vegetable juices are good for the body and should admit that I believed that they can help in controlling various health issues... but this is alarming and exercising caution is now mandatory while gulping down those vegetable juices...
The.Hungry.Soul's picture
I love bottle gourd and use it to make soup or eat it boiled. Never eaten it raw. If you want to have juice, boil it and then blend it with lemon and a little sugar and chill it. Do not store it for more than a day.
FitGal's picture
I started drinking bottle gourd juice about a year ago and today I vouch for its benefits.
chockyfoodie's picture
Oh, thats sad. How can a bittergourd juice kill someone? Let the Scientific fraternity find answers for all such questions.
Rashmi Ambadkar's picture
Bottle gourd juice was much recommended for wonderful health benefits. Suddenly this news about the scientist dead after drinking the bottle gourd juice ...... do we have any scientific explanation for this?
Anonymous's picture
Hey, thanks for this update. But I need some clarifications. Could you tell when exactly does the bottle gourd juice turn bitter? For that matter any spoilt juice will have bad effects on the human body. Also, toxicity is a true condition for any vegetable juice when consumed in very high amounts. You drink large amounts of carrot juice, you die of B-vitamin poisoning. The juice, when spoilt, maybe bad for health, but bottle gourd, the vegetable is being consumed by people for ages now in the form of various Indian dishes- baba or no baba. Why do you ask to avoid the vegetable? I think fresh bottle gourd is as good as any other vegetable. It soothens your system.
thot4food's picture
Hi, Thanks for reading through. Some bottle gourds tend to taste bitter much like the cucumbers. this is caused by the toxins accumulated. It is best to refrain from consuming the gourd if you find it bitter in taste
Anonymous's picture
Thanks for the information. I love bottle gourd and have prepared so many dishes from the veggie. All of them are simply delicious...
Anonymous's picture
I can never believe this news as I had 2 glasses of mixed vegetable juice including bottle gourd all through my pregnancy and reaped the health benefits. can anyone tell me what is the recommended dose for vegetable juices?
chefgirishparab's picture
I guess we should go for fresh vegetable juices instead of bottled one, thanks for sharing the information.
foodietweetie's picture
oops! How could such a beneficial vegetable prove fatal. This proves the saying that 'anything in excess is bad'. We should take care while going for such prescriptions.
oatmeal's picture
Lauki has toxins? Then I need to be more careful while using them...
delicious.bites's picture
Quite shocking..
Gourmet.lover's picture
This write-up is quite an eye-opener!!!
ShakunS's picture
Never knew something as common-place as lauki could be this harmful!
Deez's picture
I wonder if the same applies to other greens that have a naturally bitter taste...
barbecue's picture
wonder gourd really!
Linda Burt's picture
This is such a great blog post! Very good information! Appreciating the hard work you put into your site and detailed information you present. It’s awesome blog.
Bottle Gourd Juice Leaves Scientist Dead