Author Name:    Posted: 11/04/2011 03:29:18 AM
A loofah looks like this.







 A loofah also looks like this.







Yes.  The same loofah that's dried for our bodies is the same loofah that's delicious to eat.  A loofah, also known as patola, is used in soups all over the world and the Philippines is no exception.  The loofah plant is a rich source of vitamin B, the loofah sponge is naturally exfoliating.

Growing your own loofah:  The loofah is a vine gourd that grows best when supported by a fence or pole.  If you're interested in growing your own loofah, late May is the best time for planting because they don't grow in the cold.  Before putting your loofah seeds into the ground, begin soaking them indoors two weeks prior to moving them outside, they'll have a smoother sprouting time this way.

They take about 140 days to mature so be patient.  Once they've matured you can chop some up, cook them in a soup, them in your next salad or use them as a sponge.

Making your own sponge: Once your gourd reaches a yellow-brown color with a leather dry skin, you may pick it to turn into a sponge.  If you're still not sure, shake the gourd.  If you can hear the seeds rattle, its ready.  Chop off one end and pour out all the seeds.  Then soak in water.  Then wash in soapy water.  Then let it soak in warm water for 2 to 3 hours.  Finally, soak in diluted bleach water for 15 minutes to remove any final brown spots or dirt, one final rinse and soak in cold water.  Set outside to dry.  Then store, use or give as a gift.  Your welcome.

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