Did You Know: Loofah Sponges Are Edible Vegetables Before They're Dried

More than just a scrub.

Cover image via Aporta Shop , Soy , Rice , Fire

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Ever seen or used one of these?

Image via Aporta Shop

If you aren't already aware, these are called loofahs (also spelled as luffa) and they belong to the gourd family

You may have used them as natural sponges to exfoliate your skin while you shower, or as dish scrubbers to clean dishes and surfaces. 

When mature and dried out, the fibrous texture of the loofah sponge helps remove dead skin cells. It can also be cut into slices or used whole to scrub away dirt and grime on dishes.

Another fascinating fact about loofah gourds is that, in their early and tender stages, they can also be enjoyed as a vegetable

Stir-fried loofah with dried shrimp.

Image via Soy, Rice, Fire

These young loofahs are mild in flavour and have a crisp texture.

They are often used in Asian cuisine, where they are stir-fried, added to soups, or incorporated into various dishes.

There are so many uses for this simple plant!

But it's important to note that while loofahs are generally safe for personal use, proper care is needed to prevent bacterial growth.

Image via Aporta Shop

They should be rinsed thoroughly and allowed to dry between uses to avoid mould and mildew.

Additionally, people with sensitive skin should use loofahs with caution, as the exfoliating action may be too harsh for some skin types.

Speaking of interesting plants, this Malaysian one has a really cool use:

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