April 2012
The Herb Lady

Luffa Gourd


Provides a Good Scrub

I have recently made a discovery. No change that. I have recently made a rediscovery. There was a time when I used a loofah body buff each time I took a shower. I have no idea when or why I stopped the practice. Anyway, nowadays it is a ritual with each bath I take.

A loofah body buff is made from a luffa (Luffa aegytiata) gourd. The plant grows much like a cucumber. It will sprawl on the ground (or on a trellis if one is provided) for at least 30 feet in all directions. The young fruit may be eaten as a vegetable, very much like squash. These fruit are ribbed, cylindrical and may grow to a length of 20 inches. When they are matured on the vine and dried, they become the luffa sponges or scrubbers sold in many stores. They are good for cleanings one’s self or vegetables.

Over 20 years ago, back when I had a greenhouse and garden, I grew luffa gourds. I provided them with a trellis. This plant provided me with pleasure from the planting of the seed to the present day. I dried one of the fruit which is still used for "show and tell." I don’t often serve as guest speaker for clubs and schools these days. However, my basket of "show and tell" items sometimes serves as entertainment for children who accompany their parents to my shop.


I must comment on the beauty of the vine. Yes, it is much like a cucumber. However, the golden blooms are larger. They grow to approximately two-and-a-half inches in diameter and they are beautiful.

Let’s get back to my use of a loofa buff. My arms had begun to look like they were mealed (like preparing okra for frying). I coated them with lotion, of course, but they still looked pathetic. Then I rediscovered the body buff. I wet the buff and apply a liberal amount of shower gel. Every reachable part of my body receives a vigorous massage. However, I can’t reach my back.

At the age of 80, I consider myself wise enough not to attempt to scrub my feet during a shower. Instead, I give them a good soaking. To do this I gather all needed materials including the telephone, towels and a good book to read. I sit on the side of the bathtub with my feet in a pan of hot, soapy water. After soaking for at least 30 minutes, I trim the toenails which don’t absolutely require the attention of a podiatrist. I then scrub my feet vigorously with my body buff.

The use of this wonderful, natural product is very beneficial. While massaging my body, I deep cleanse my pores and exfoliate dead skin. My arms no longer look mealed. Of course, I still apply a liberal coating of lotion.

My body buff was purchased at a drugstore. You’ll find them at other establishments also.

Nadine Johnson can be reached at (866) 570-7302, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or P.O. Box 7425, Spanish Fort, AL 36577. She has a long history of involvement with herbs. She is also an independent distributor of Nature’s Sunshine Products.