What is a Loofah?
Raise your hand if you thought loofahs grew in the ocean? Me! Until someone gave me a seed, I didn’t realize that loofahs grow in the garden. You can actually grow your own luffas right in your backyard. What is a loofah anyway?
What is a loofah?
Loofahs or luffas (either spelling is correct according to Wikipedia) are actually a gourd. They grow vigorously on a vine. Click here to see how to grow loofahs yourself.
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Loofahs can be eaten when young or allowed to mature on the vine when they become very fibrous. They are excellent to use for bathing and many other things. Click here to see more uses for luffas.
The loofah gourd is harvested when it begins to turn yellow. The skin is removed and seeds are taken out. It’s then washed and dried and cut into lengths convenient for bathing. Some people use loofah fragments or slices in soaps as well.
What are loofahs made of?
It’s amazing that a sponge actually grows in the home yard or garden. Loofahs are fascinating to grow. They are difficult to germinate and take up a lot of space.
If you buy loofahs, they can be quite costly. They are natural fibers, so that makes them great for the environment. They last for quite a long time, even up to a year.
How to use a loofah for bathing
Simply wet your loofah like you would a washcloth or scrubby. Lather it up with your soap or body wash and scrub away. The sponges are excellent exfoliators. Washing with a luffa will keep your skin soft as you wash away dead skin cells with the scrubbing power. Even just twice a week will have your skin looking great. Not only does the luffa exfoliate the skin, it improves circulation.
Keep your loofah clean and dry in the shower. We hang ours on a shoelace so it doesn’t remain damp. Make sure you rinse your loofah thoroughly, shake the water out, and then hang somewhere to dry. Allowing the luffa to stay moist will cause it to mold and collect bacteria. If you think your luffa is harboring bacteria, you can wash it with a mild bleach solution.
Loofahs are edible
If you harvest your loofahs young, you can eat them raw or cooked. They have a flavor similar to zucchini. They also have a small amount of slime like okra, but not as severe. They are an excellent source of vitamin A and antioxidants.
Luffas are fascinating to grow, eat and use. If you have a nice, long, hot summer and plenty of room, grab some seeds and grow some this year. If you don’t, I still suggest using luffas in your shower. I love the idea of using natural materials for anything I can.
Are loofah seeds edible?
Luffa seeds cause diarrhea and induce vomiting, so I wouldn’t recommend eating them. My kids wanted to try them, so I tried to research it and there is very little information available about consuming them.
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