Hechima

Hechima is a well known sponge cucumber. Actually, Japanese people in mainland use hechima as sponge for body wash. But it is not the only way to use hechima, it is also a vegetable and Okinawan people eat it a lot. It is an annual plant and kind of the creeper, and the male and the female are on the same stock. As for sowing, it is suitable around May, when soil temperature is about 20 to 25 degrees. A stalk branches off by about 5cm to 8cm and it makes a yellow flower bloom from August to September, and yellowish green fruit is borne, which reaches the length of 30cm to 60cm. The water of the dishcloth gourd has been used as a beauty lotion since Edo period (1603 to 1867). It is effective to especially dry rough skin and suntan prevention. It is also called “Itouri”.