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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Buffalo Gourd Survival Uses

Cucurbita foetidissima, has numerous common names, including: buffalo gourd, calabazilla, chilicote, coyote gourd, fetid gourd, fetid wild pumpkin, Missouri gourd, prairie gourd, stinking gourd, wild gourd, and wild pumpkin.

The feral perennial buffalo gourd has evolved in the semiarid regions and is well-adapted to desert environments. It contains high amounts of protein and carbohydrates and yields abundant oil. The carbohydrates that are formed in the tap root have led to the idea of growing the plant for biofuel.

The fruit is consumed by both humans and animals. When mature, a stage marked by increasing desiccation of vine, leaves, fruit-stem, and fruit, the fruit begins its final gourd stage.


The buffalo gourd has the potential of being a crop adapted to arid to semiarid lands.

Fresh gourd: The fresh young gourd can be eaten like squash. When the fruit is mature, it is no longer edible due to bitter compounds.

Oil: The extractable oil content in whole seeds reaches from 24.3% to 50%. Linoleic acid, an essential polyunsaturated fatty acid, comprises 38% to 65% of the oil. A characterization of the oils from buffalo gourd indicates that this oil is similar to other common edible oils.

Protein: Whole Buffalo gourd seeds contain approximately 31% crude protein, which is usable for human consumption and for feed. The seeds can be roasted and eaten like pumpkin seeds. The seeds can also be boiled and turned into a mush, or dried into a flour.

Starch: Is mainly located in the tap root which forms after the first year of growth. The starch content in the dried root is between 47.5% and 56%.

Fodder: Fresh leaves or the whole plants can be used as animal food.

Biofuel: Biodiesel can be produced from the oil in the seeds. But the main interest to produce renewable fuels is to produce biofuel with the carbohydrates which are located in the tap root.

Other uses: In many Native American cultures, the fruit and other parts of the plant, buffalo gourd oil, were used for soap. The young leaves can be used as a mild soap. Take few leaves in your hand and add water and then agitate by rubbing between your hands to produce a green soapy froth.

Furthermore, the protein can be used for industrial purposes (water paints, paper coating, adhesives and textile sizing). The Zuni people use a poultice of powdered seeds, flowers and saliva for swellings.

The dried gourd can be turned into containers to hold water or food.

The dried gourds are also used to make ornaments.

[Source: Wikipedia]

Stay Prepared! Stay Alive!



  1. this is an exact copy of the buffalo gourd wiki page

    1. You are correct. I listed the source at the end of the post as [Wikipedia]. Thanks for viewing.