Luffa is a vegetable of cucumber family. It is cultivated and eaten as a vegetable, but must be harvested at a young stage of development to be edible. The vegetable is popular in India, china and Vietnam When the fruit is fully ripened, it is very fibrous. The fully developed fruit is the source of the loofah scrubbing sponge which is used in bathrooms and kitchens. Luffa is taken by mouth for treating and preventing colds. It is also used for nasal swelling and sinus problems. Some people use it for arthritis pain, muscle pain, and chest pain. Women use luffa to restore absent menstrual periods.