is a small genus of fruit-bearing vines in the family Cucurbitaceae
Hodgsonia was named for Brian Houghton Hodgson in 1853 by British botanists Joseph Dalton Hooker and Thomas Thomson, who examined the plant under Hodgson's hospitality in the Himalaya.
- The flowers bloom for just one night, then fall off.
||H. macrocarpa |
||Usually 3 |
Although the flesh of Hodgsonia
fruit is inedible and considered worthless, the large, oil-rich seeds are an important source of food. The kernels are occasionally eaten raw; they are slightly bitter, possibly due to an unidentified alkaloid
, but "perfectly safe" to eat. More commonly, the seeds are roasted
, after which they taste like pork
scraps or lard
; many mountain peoples consider these roasted seeds a delicacy. In addition to eating the seeds alone, the Naga
incorporate them into various types of curry
The medicinal importance of Hodgsonia
is mostly in its leaves. In Malaya, native physicians report several uses for the nose. The leaves may be dried and burnt, and the smoke inhaled, or the juice of young stems and leaves is squeezed into the nostrils to allay irritation from small insects. The leaves are also boiled and the resulting liquid taken internally, both for nose complaints and to reduce fevers. The ashes from burnt leaves of H. macrocarpa
are also used to heal wounds.
In Nagaland, the fruit bulb is applied to bacterial infections in the feet. In Sarawak, Hodgsonia oil is used to anoint the bodies of mothers after childbirth; it also forms the base of embrocations carrying ashes from the leaves of coconut palm and Kaempferia. The oil is also used as a base for medicines in Eastern India.
- In the north, H. heteroclita:
- In the south, H. macrocarpa:
- Thailand, Pattani: Kāpā yê
- Malaysia, Malaya: Akar kêpayang, Kêlêpayang, Pepayang, Teruah, Breuh
- Indonesia, Java: Akar kêpayang; (Sundanese): Aroi pichung, Chèlèng; Sumatra: Bilungking, Kadam
- Imperial languages:
- (English): Kadam seed, Kapayang, Lard fruit; Chinese lardplant
- (Dutch): Kadamzaad
Some of these names are ambiguous. "Kepayang" might mean Pangium edule, the "football fruit" tree whose aril is edible but whose large seeds are so laden with hydrocyanic acid that they are used as a powerful arrow poison. (The seeds can be prepared for human consumption; they are boiled and steeped in water, not roasted.) "Kadam" can also mean Anthocephalus cadamba, a tree with much smaller fruit and minute seeds.
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- W.J.J.O. de Wilde and B.E.E. Duyfjes (2001). "Taxonomy of Hodgsonia (Cucurbitaceae), with a note on the ovules and seeds". Blumea 46 169–179.
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- Hooker, Joseph Dalton (1855). Illustrations of Himalayan plants. London: L. Reeve.
- Hsu Chien (1963). ""Lard fruit" domesticated in China". Euphytica 12 261–262.
- Hu Shiu-ying (1964). "The economic botany of Hodgsonia". Econ. Bot. 18 167–179.
- Hu Shiu-ying (2005). Food Plants of China. Hong Kong: Chinese University Press. ISBN 962-201-860-2.
- Loewer, Peter (2002). The Evening Garden. Timber Press. ISBN 0-88192-532-2.
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