Scouring Sponge Made of Loofah
All-Natural, Sustainable, Purely Vegan: Loofah Sponges.
In recent years, we have come across loofah products more and more often in the kitchen as well as the bathroom, and it almost seems as if loofah is a new invention. However, the sponge gourd, also known as smooth luffa to distinguish it from the rigid luffa (or ribbed loofah), is a historic plant species cultivated for centuries. For example, in India and Asia, the young, unripe fruit is popular as a vegetable – like courgettes in our hemisphere – while people in the Middle East and Western Europe use almost exclusively the fibrous interior of the ripened fruit, the so-called endocarp. After drying the fruit, the inner layer of the residual pericarp looks like a finely branched, sponge-like structure. The firm yet elastic cell walls allow using a piece of loofah like a sponge, except that loofah can neither absorb nor hold water. Yet, precisely this property gives loofah the advantage because it makes loofah sponges easy to clean; plus, they dry quickly. Therefore, they are also ideal as a tray for soaps, letting the water quickly drain away and the air circulate.
Sustainably Grown and Treated with Thermal Water.
Our loofah sponges come from Spain; hence, this cucurbit plant grows best in hot regions. In the heart of Galicia, near Santiago de Compostela, the company “Iberica de Esponjas Vegetales” cultivates sponge gourds sustainably on fromer vineyard areas and fallow land, thus ensuring gentle renaturation. Indeed, the company dispenses with pesticides and artificial fertilisers. Its cooperation with the Galician beekeepers’ association is downright fruitful. Based on the species called Luffa aegyptica or Luffa cylindrica, the company has bred its own loofah variety through crossbreeding, which forms fibres of varying density. The resulting loofah sponges are very sturdy but at the same time much softer than conventional ones so that you can use them on sensitive skin. Especially the fibres inside the fruit become softer on contact with water than is the case with other loofah varieties. A treatment with thermal water enhances this effect: After harvesting the fruits, the harvest hands remove the claggy pulp from the inner structure of the fruits, leave them to dry and then immerse them in natural thermal water. The water comes from one of the thermal springs of Caldas de Reis – at a temperature of 43 °C. All working steps are carried out by hand, including cutting the loofah to size. The possibilities to use loofah sponges seem to be unlimited. You can use the all-rounders for body care: They provide gentle exfoliation as well as a circulation-enhancing massage. In the kitchen and bathroom, they get rid of dirt effectively but non-abrasively, and they excel as soap trays. You may cut your loofah sponge into a size that suits you. Probably, the sponge will surprise you: When you put your loofah to practice, you will undoubtedly find even more uses.
Article Number 204276
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