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Home » Plant infomation

Momordica charantia  L.

   

Botanical Name

:

Momordica charantia L.

English Name

:

Balsam-Pear, Bitter Gourd, Bitter cucumber, Karela, Leprosy gourd, Bitter cucumber.

Synonym(s)

:

Momordica chinensis, Momordica elegans, Momordica indica, Momordica operculata, Momordica sinensis.

Family

:

Cucurbitaceae

 

General Info

Description

Monoecious and annual vine which reach 5 meters long. The stem is 5-ridged and climbs to the trellises and other structures. The leaves are palmately and deeply 5-to-6 -lobed, the base deeply cordate, margin tooth, blade smooth or with fine hairs. The flowers are solitary; the male and female flowers are found in the same plant with a corolla about 2 to 3.5 cm in diameter across, both having apical bracts which are longer in mallet than in female ones, but the flower stalks are longer in females than in male ones, The fruits are variable in length depending on the cultivar but all are narrower towards the stalk, outside is warty, without hairs, green, when ripe orange yellow, the pulp inside orange when ripe, with bright red seed covering enclosing the seed. Seeds are numerous, flattish, brown, the seed coat ornamented. Propagated by seed and underground stems.

Herb Effects

Abortifacient, anthelmintic, contraceptive, emmenagogue, galactagogue, laxative, purgative, tonic, laxative and emetic (leaf), cytotoxic and lowers blood sugar (fruit and seed), lipogenic and antilipolytic (fruit), kills insects (seed oil).

Links

Tropical Plant Database
PIER

Chemistry

Active Ingredients

Cucurbitacin glycosides and lectins (immature fruit), tetracyclic triterpenes (aerial part and leaf), triterpene glycosides (seed), momordicine and charantin, 5-hydroxytryptamine, ascorbic acid, beta carotene, beta sitosterol, beta sitosterol-D-glucoside, Citrulline, gaba, zeaxanthin (fruit), Linolenic acid, lutein, lycopene.

Chemistry of Active Ingredients
Product Categories

Name

CAS#

IUPAC Name

Formula

Structure

Product Categories
5-Hydroxytryptamine Not Available 3-(2-aminoethyl)-1H-
indol-5-ol
C10H12N2O Click Here To Enlarge
Ascorbic Acid Not Available 2-(1,2-dihydroxyethy
l)-4,5-dihydroxy-fur
an-3-one
C6H8O6 Click Here To Enlarge
Beta Carotene 7235-40-7 3,7,12,16-tetramethy
l-1,18-bis(2,6,6-tri
methyl-1-cyclohexeny
l)-octadec a-1,3,5,
7,9,11,13,15,17-nona
ene
C40H56 Click Here To Enlarge
Citrulline 627-77-0 2-amino-5-carbamoyla
mino-pentanoic acid
C6H13N3O3 Click Here To Enlarge
Gaba 70582-09-1 4-aminobutanoic acid C4H9NO2 Click Here To Enlarge
Zeaxanthin Not Available 4-[18-(4-hydroxy-2,6
,6-trimethyl-1-cyclo
hexenyl)-3,7,12,16-t
etramethyl -octadec
a-1,3,5,7,9,11,13,15
,17-nonaenyl]-3,5,5-
trimethyl-cyclohex-3
-e n-1-ol
C40H56O2 Click Here To Enlarge
Linolenic acid 94138-91-7 Octadeca-9,12,15-tri
enoic acid
C18H30O2 Click Here To Enlarge
Lutein 34445-91-5 4-[18-(4-hydroxy-2,6
,6-trimethyl-1-cyclo
hexenyl)-3,7,12,16-t
etramethyl -octadec
a-1,3,5,7,9,11,13,15
,17-nonaenyl]-3,5,5-
trimethyl-cyclohex-2
-e n-1-ol
C40H56O2 Click Here To Enlarge
Lycopene Not Available 2,6,10,14,19,23,27,3
1-octamethyldotriaco
nta-2,6,8,10,12,14,1
6,18,20,22 ,24,26,3
0-tridecaene
C40H56 Click Here To Enlarge

Pharmacology

Medicinal Use

In jaundice and as a laxative (leaf); diabetes. rheumatism and snakebite (fruit), diabetes mellitus, eczema, fat loss, fever (malarial), gout, hydrophobia, hyperglycemia, kidney (stone), leprosy, leucorrhea, liver, piles, pneumonia, psoriasis, rheumatism, scabies and skin diseases. Hot water extract of dried root is taken orally to induce abortion.

Contraindication

It lowers blood sugar levels and has abortive and contraceptive effects.

Reference

Chandel et al., Biodiversity in Medicinal and Aromatic Plants in India.


Sharma, Classical Uses of Medicinal Plants.

Uniyal et al., Medicinal Flora of Garhwal Himalayas.

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