Luffa aegyptiaca

Luffa aegyptiaca

 Common name: Vegetable sponge

African names - Wolof: nâpé - Bambara: nâbésé, kofu -Goun and Fon: Asangokan, kuvitotékan, yovotékan.


The mucilaginous fruit is used in folk medicine as an emollient, the root as a purgative and diuretic. But it is the vegetable sponge or better the fruit stripped of the epicarp and seeds and then washed to remove the mucilage which is used to wash, massage, and rub the body with or without solutions of plants.


It is an annual plant whose stems can exceed ten meters and crawl or climb trees and houses with the help of tendrils. The leaves are more or less deeply divided into five lobes. The golden yellow flowers open in the morning. The elongated fruits are 20 to 30 cm long and 8 cm in diameter.

Direction of use

Vegetable sponge

The fruit stripped of its husk is sold in the markets and is used for ablutions and for body massages.

Nom vulgaire: Éponge végétale

Noms africains - Wolof: nâpé - Bambara: nâbésé, kofu -Goun et Fon : Asangokan, kuvitotékan, yovotékan.


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