Hechima 糸瓜



The Luffah or Hechima plant produces a large gourd which is dried and then used to make the hard luffah sponge which is commonly known in the west for exfoliating the skin while bathing.

Together with bitter melon, it is also a popular plant to grow outside of a building window during the hot Japanese summer, in order to create natural sun shades to block out the direct sunlight and reduce the amount of heat radiating into a building. The gourds hang downwards and create a "cool as cucumber" effect.


In Japan, Luffah is known as Hechima and is cultivated during the hot summer months all over the country . It is commonly used as a green vegetable in the traditional dishes of Nansei Islands and Kyushu while the other regions of Japan have been growing it predominantly to make skin care such as sponges, soap, shampoo and especially a skin care water extracted from the roots called hechima lotion. When the gourd is ripe the juice from the roots and stems are siphoned off into bottles to make the skin care lotion. Hechima lotion is made in the tradiional way and is time consuming process. It is difficult to obtain as it is only made once a year in October when the gourds are ready and ripe.


The lotion called hechima water has an earthy aroma and is renowned for moisturising and softening rough skin, for skin lightening, anti-perspirant and astringent. It also has anti inflammatory, anti-allergic bryonolic acid properties.

It is cooling and soothing and is thought to stop sun spots or brown patches on the skin which are caused by the strong sunlight and UV rays in summer.
Therefore it is usually kept in the fridge and patted on the face in summer to avoid a suntan or just to make the skin feel soft and silky. We expect this back in stock by end of October 2016.
Natural Japanese Beauty Hechima lotion