Angled Loofah, Courge Éponge, Courge Torchon, Dishcloth Sponge, Éponge Loofa, Éponge Végétale, Laine Torchon des Antilles, Liane Torchon, Loofa, Loofah, Lufa, Luffa acutangula, Luffa aegyptiaca, Luffa cylindrical, Luffa operculata, Luffaschwamm, Papangaye, Sigualuo, Sponge Cucumber, Vegetable Sponge, Water Gourd.


Overview Information

Luffa is a plant. When the mature fruit is allowed to dry, a fibrous, sponge-like structure remains. The fibers can be boiled in water, which is then used as medicine.

Luffa is taken by mouth for treating and preventing colds. It is also used for nasal swelling and sinus problems. Some people use it for arthritis pain, muscle pain, and chest pain.

Women use luffa to restore absent menstrual periods. Nursing mothers use it to increase milk flow.

Sometimes the whole luffa "sponge" is rubbed against the skin to remove dead skin and stimulate the skin. Luffa charcoal, which is prepared by heating luffa fibers in a closed container, is applied directly to the skin for shingles in the face and eye region.

In foods, young luffa fruits are eaten as vegetables.

In cosmetics, powdered luffa is used in skin care products to reduce swelling and "detoxify" the skin.

How does it work?

There isn't enough information to know how luffa might work.


Uses & Effectiveness?

Insufficient Evidence for

  • Hay fever. Early research suggests that using a homeopathic nasal spray (Luffa comp.-Heel Nasal Spray) containing luffa and other ingredients for 6 weeks might help control seasonal allergy symptoms.
  • Swelling (inflammation) of the nasal cavity and sinuses (rhinosinusitis). Early research suggests that taking a specific homeopathic product (Sinusitis PMD) containing luffa and other ingredients for about 2 weeks might help relieve symptoms of sinusitis.
  • Common cold.
  • Pain.
  • Menstrual problems.
  • Shingles (herpes zoster).
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of luffa for these uses.

Side Effects

Side Effects & Safety

When taken by mouth: Luffa is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth in food amounts. But there isn't enough reliable information to know if luffa is safe when taken as a medicine or what the side effects might be.

When applied to the skin: Luffa is LIKELY SAFE for most people when applied directly to the skin as a sponge. However, the safety of using luffa charcoal for shingles is unknown.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Luffa is POSSIBLY SAFE for pregnant and breast-feeding women in food amounts. But there isn't enough information to know if luffa is safe in the larger amounts found in medicine. Stay on the safe side and stick to food amounts.



We currently have no information for LUFFA Interactions.



The appropriate dose of luffa depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for luffa. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

View References


  • Kawahara, N., Kurata, A., Hakamatsuka, T., Sekita, S., and Satake, M. Two new cucurbitacin glucosides, opercurins A and B, from the Brazilian folk medicine "Buchinha" (Luffa operculata). Chem.Pharm Bull (Tokyo) 2004;52(8):1018-1020. View abstract.
  • Kawahara, N., Kurata, A., Hakamatsuka, T., Sekita, S., and Satake, M. Two novel cucurbitacins, neocucurbitacins A and B, from the Brazilian folk medicine "Buchinha" (Luffa operculata) and their effect on PEBP2alphaA and OCIF gene expression in a human osteoblast-like Saos-2 cell line. Chem.Pharm.Bull.(Tokyo) 2001;49(10):1377-1379. View abstract.
  • Menon-Miyake, M. A., Carvalho de, Oliveira R., Lorenzi-Filho, G., Saldiva, P. H., and Butugan, O. Luffa operculata affects mucociliary function of the isolated frog palate. Am J Rhinol. 2005;19(4):353-357. View abstract.
  • Menon-Miyake, M. A., Saldiva, P. H., Lorenzi-Filho, G., Ferreira, M. A., Butugan, O., and Oliveira, R. C. Luffa operculata effects on the epithelium of frog palate: histological features. Braz.J Otorhinolaryngol. 2005;71(2):132-138. View abstract.
  • Adler, M. Efficacy and safety of a fixed-combination homeopathic therapy for sinusitis. Adv Ther 1999;16(2):103-111. View abstract.
  • Weiser, M., Gegenheimer, L. H., and Klein, P. A randomized equivalence trial comparing the efficacy and safety of Luffa comp.-Heel nasal spray with cromolyn sodium spray in the treatment of seasonal allergic rhinitis. Forsch Komplementarmed 1999;6(3):142-148. View abstract.
  • Wiesenauer, M., Gaus, W., Bohnacker, U., and Haussler, S. [Efficiency of homeopathic preparation combinations in sinusitis. Results of a randomized double blind study with general practitioners]. Arzneimittelforschung 1989;39(5):620-625. View abstract.

Vitamins Survey

Have you ever purchased LUFFA?

Did you or will you purchase this product in-store or online?

Where did you or where do you plan to purchase this product?

Where did you or where do you plan to purchase this product?

What factors influenced or will influence your purchase? (check all that apply)

Vitamins Survey

Where did you or where do you plan to purchase this product?

Do you buy vitamins online or instore?

What factors are most important to you? (check all that apply)

This survey is being conducted by the WebMD marketing sciences department.Read More

More Resources for LUFFA

CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version.
© Therapeutic Research Faculty .