The caigua is a plant that is grown in different parts of the world but that has its origins in the Andes. It has various beneficial effects such as, for example, the ability to restore adequate cholesterol and triglyceride values. It is often administered in tablets in which the properties of the fruit are concentrated and unaltered. In general, it is considered as a "hypertensor". The name may undergo several variations depending on the country where you are located.


There caigua It is a plant with South American origins, in particular of the Andean cordillera where it has been cultivated since time immemorial. In fact, there are several ceramic paintings that reported the existence of this plant. There caigua today it grows, as well as in the Andes and in Perщ, also in Central America but it is not difficult to find it also in India and Nepal. Its botanical name is Cyclantera Pedata and belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family which consists of over 100 genera and 750 species although they are particularly different from each other. The caigua contains: phosphorus, minerals and vitamin C.

Use in the kitchen

The vegetable (since it looks like a fruit but is not) has the appearance of a small elongated pumpkin, it is green and has few seeds. The caigua is used in the kitchen both when it is fully ripe and when it is still unripe. It can be eaten both cooked and raw. In this case, it is used inside salads. Since the interior is often hollow and concave, the caigua can also be used as a decorative base for other foods that go to fill it. If dehydrated, the fruit retains a concentrated amount of active ingredients. Among the recipes based on caigua we can remember several foods of Creole origin such as the Guiso de Caigua or the Caigua Rellena. The fruit can be purchased (at least in its areas of origin or if imported) and can also be kept for a fortnight if placed in a cool place (maximum 7 degrees) and dry.

The beneficial effects

Only a few years ago, this particular plant is also used for pharmacological purposes. In this case, a juice or powder is obtained from the fruit, both of which have beneficial effects on the body. These include a reduction in cholesterol, reduction in blood pressure, reduction of obesity and cellulite. Often the dehydrated fruit is reduced to easily administered tablets. Or it can be consumed in juice or as a real food or condiment.

Effects on cholesterol

The major use that is made of the caigua is undoubtedly to reduce cholesterol. The latter is also the area most investigated and studied. Several tests were conducted on several adult subjects who had high cholesterol and / or triglycerides. It is attested that if a person of this type takes two 300-milligram doses of caligua extract a day a day, the percentage of bad cholesterol (LDL) is reduced by almost 33% in three months. The rather surprising result was another. In fact, in parallel with the reduction of bad cholesterol, the subject has witnessed an increase in good cholesterol (HDL) for the same percentage. At the end of the quarter, moreover, it was possible to verify on the subject also a decrease in serum total cholesterol of almost 20%. The triglycerides also decreased by 30%. The adult lipid profile was correct in most. This test is called Wilcoxon's test. To increase the beneficial effects of the caigua it may be necessary to also take some vitamins from the B group. The first is the vitamin B6 that is absorbed in the intestine acting as a coenzyme and a natural diuretic. This vitamin, in fact, has the characteristic of avoiding the appearance of kidney stones. The second vitamin we recommend taking with the caigua is vitamin B2 which contributes to the metabolism of fat in the intestine.

Other therapeutic uses

It also appears to be useful in postmenopausal women in whom, it is well known, problems related to cholesterol and to weight gain may arise due to the decrease in estrogen. It would be preferable, of course, to associate a balanced diet with caigua.
Due to its properties of hypertensor, the caigua is a valid ally to fight cellulite but also diabetes. The latter was treated with the caigua in Perщ since ancient times. In fact, the shamans of the Perch created packs that not only limited the onset of diabetes but also lowered blood pressure.

Caigua: Contraindications

There are no particular contraindications to the consumption of caligua, at least under the toxicological profile of the vegetable. However, we advise against using it during pregnancy rather as a preventive measure. Suspending the use of the caigua is also recommended in the event that unexpected side effects occur. The advice is always to seek the advice of a doctor.