Loofahs Are Actually Gourds? You Can Eat The 'Luffa' Plant Like A Cucumber
By | February 18, 2020
For once, advertising has lead us astray
If you've been scrubbing up with a loofah, not one of those things that you buy in the discount aisle that's made from an unknown synthetic substance but a real-deal natural loofah that stings just as much as it cleans, then you're in for a treat. No, really: You can munch down on it if you're feeling peckish. Don't act like you haven't thought about it.
Loofahs tend to be advertised as a product fished from the warm waters of the Indian Ocean in a similar manner as natural sponges, but they actually come from dried gourds. The white, webbed insides of these gourds get cleaned and all their goop discarded before they innocuously make their way to your shower. Yep, you've been bathing with that gross stuff that always made you cringe when you carved your Halloween pumpkins.
People have been using luffa plants forever
For generations, people across the globe have been making use of the Luffa aegyptiaca, the plant that's used to make loofahs, but you wouldn't recognize it as the exfoliation machine you see in stores. This spongy gourd doesn't grow white; instead, it's a deep green fruit that looks closer to a large cucumber. On the larger end, they can grow up to 18 inches. The plant grows naturally in India, but it's used commercially in China, Korea, Japan, and Central America. Many countries use the luffa as foodstuff; apparently, it has a flavor that's similar to summer squash. It should be eaten fresh, though, before it has a chance to grow its fibrous netting, so disregard what we said earlier about getting your shower grub on.