Introduction of Bitter Melon:fruit of Momordica charantia or bitter guard.

Popular Herbs. ✵The article gives records of the herb Bitter Melon, its English name, Latin name, common names and synoms, property and flavor, its botanical source one plant species, ①.Momordica charantia L., with a detailed introduction to the botanical features of this plant species, the growth characteristics, and ecological environment of this plant species, the features of the herb Bitter Melon, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.

Bitter Melon(fruit of Momordica charantia).

a fruiting plant of Momordica charantia English Name: Bitter Melon.
 Latin Name: Momordica charantia.
 Common Names: bitter melon or bitter guard, bitter apple, wild cucumber, bitter cucumber, balsam apple, balsam pear, margose, la-kwa, leprosy gourd, karela.
 Synoms: ampalaya, pomme de merveille, pomo balsamo, balsamini longa, muop dang, tsuru reishi, bittergourd, bitter melon, balsam pear, sopropo, arsorossie, ku gua foo, pare, peria, karela, balsamina, balsamapfel, mara.
 Property and flavor: cold in nature, tastes bitter.

 Brief introduction: Bitter melon is a green cucumber-shaped fruit with gourd-like bumps all over it. It looks like an ugly, light-green cucumber. The fruit should be firm, like a cucumber. And it tastes very bitter. Although the seeds, leaves, and vines of Momordica charantia have all been used, the fruit is the safest and most prevalent part of the plant used medicinally.

 Botanical source: Common herbal classics defined the herb Bitter Melon as the fruit of the species (1).Momordica charantia L. It is a plant species of the Momordica genus, the Cucurbitaceae family (gourd, squash family). The fruit is used medicinally. This commonly used species is introduced:

(1).Momordica charantia L.

 fruiting plant of Momordica charantia with two green pendulous bitter melon fruits Botanical description: Momordica charantia is an annual climbing plant, with many branches, and villous, unbranched tendrils. The leaves are large, reniform, and round, about 5~12 cm in length and width, usually 5-7-parted, with oval lobes, contracted base, wavy serrated at the edges, and nearly smooth or piliferous on both surfaces; the Petiole is 3~6 cm long. Flowers are monoecious. Male flowers are solitary, stalked, 5~15 cm long, there are bracts in the middle or base, its bract is reniform round cordate, 5~15 mm wide, entire; Calyx is bell-shaped, 5-lobed, lobes are ovate-lanceolate, the apex is mucronate, 4~6 mm long; Corolla is yellow, 5-lobed, lobes are oval, 1.5~2 cm long, the apex is obtuse or concave; 3 stamens, attached to the throat of calyx tube. Female flowers are solitary, stalked, 5~10 cm long, with bracts at the base; the ovary is fusiform (spindle-shaped), with spinous tumor, beak at the apex, slender style, 3 stigmas, and many ovules. The fruit is oval, egg-shaped, or narrow at both ends, 8~30 cm long, all of which have dull, round and irregular tumor-like protrusions, and it is orange when it is mature, with 3 petals splitting from the top. The seed is oval, flat, 10~15 mm long, with angular teeth at both ends and uneven stripes on both sides, and wrapped in a red succulent aril. Its flowering period is from June to July, fruiting from September to October.

 Bitter guard fruit is a berry, there are many irregular surface tubercles, fruit shape fusiform, short round hammer-shaped, oblong hammer shape, etc. The color is green, green-white, and white, and yellow when mature. Ripening fruit top easy to crack, exposing the blood-red pulp, pulp wrapped seeds. The fruit is edible when harvested green and cooked. The taste is bitter.

 Bitter melon seeds are large, flat, tortoiseshell-like, yellow, thick seed coat, the surface pattern, each fruit contains seeds from 20~30, weight 150~180 grams per 1,000 seeds. Acre planted with about 200~300 grams.

 a growing plant vine of Momordica charantia with a bitter bitter guard hanging on stem Ecological environment: Momordica charantia is also known as bitter melon or bitter guard, this tropical vine is a tender perennial, it grows in tropical areas, including parts of Asia, the Caribbean, East Africa, and South America, where it is used as a food as well as a medicine. The leaves and fruit have both been used to make teas and beer or to season soups.

 Growth characteristics: Momordica charantia prefers warm weather. It is heat-resistant and low-temperature, wet, but not stain-resistant. Better select low land with deep and fertile soil layer and convenient drainage for cultivation.

 Bitter gourd plant roots are relatively developed, multilateral, mainly grow in the 30~50 cm depth plow layer, the root mass distribution scope more than 130 cm wide, 30 cm deep or more, the roots prefer moist, afraid of waterlogging.

 pale green dried bitter melon slices of Momordica charantia are piled together Characters of herbs: The dried balsam pear slices are oval or oblong, about 2~8 mm thick, 3~15 cm long, and 0.4~2 cm wide, all of which are shriveled and curved, and the peel is light grayish brown, rough, with longitudinal wrinkles or nodular protrusions. Sometimes there are seeds or holes left by seeds falling off in the middle. The herb is brittle (crisp) and easily broken. Slightly bitter. The herb of a better grade has green edges, white meat, thin slices, and fewer seeds are preferred.

 Pharmacological actions: ①.hypoglycemic effect and lower blood sugar, etc.

 Momordica charantia is a proven hypoglycemic agent, related studies in China identified the herb bitter melon show a hypoglycemic effect, and experiments in rabbits and rats proved taking bitter melon juice could lower their blood sugar, but there are reports of oral taking an alcoholic extract of bitter melon by diabetics did not reduce blood sugar. In studies of Europe, hypoglycemic or blood sugar lowering properties and other actions against diabetes are confirmed from bitter melon, constituents that lower blood sugar is steroidal saponins known as charantins, insulin-like peptides, and alkaloids, the whole plant of Momordica charantia has these constituents, but the fruit has a greater abundance of these constituents, and its hypoglycemic effect is more pronounced. Charantin is composed of a mixture of beta-sitosterol-beta-D-glucoside and 5,25 stigmadien-3-beta-ol glycoside. Momordica charantia is a potential herbal alternative for blood sugar management, particularly in non-insulin-dependent diabetes.

 Medicinal efficacy: In folk medicine, bitter melon was used for viruses, colds and flu, cancer and tumors, high cholesterol, and psoriasis. In TCM books, the herb bitter melon is recorded could clear summer heat and heat, improve acuity of vision or improve eyesight, and detoxification, it is indicated for summer heat and polydipsia, consumptive thirst, red eyes with pain, dysentery, ulcer carbuncle and swelling poison, etc.

 Administration of Bitter Melon (fruit of Momordica charantia): 
Reference: Administration Guide of Bitter Melon (fruit of Momordica charantia)
Herbal classic books and TCM Books: In TCM books, the recommended dosage of bitter melon is internal as water decoction, 6~15 grams dried fruit, or 30~60 grams of fresh fruit, or calcine with property reserved and then is prepared to finely ground powder. Externally proper amount, mashed fresh bitter melon and apply stick, or smear with extract juice. In Europe, the herb bitter melon preparations recommended are fruit juice or concentrate, capsules or tablets containing concentrated fruit and seed extracts, or whole herb and vine powders and extracts in capsules and tinctures. The recommended dosage is 1 gram daily.
 Contraindications, Precautions and Adverse Reactions: In general, the herb Bitter melon is safe, and studies have demonstrated relatively low toxicity of all parts of Momordica charantia when ingested orally, the extracts of the fruit and leaf is safe during pregnancy when ingested orally. The herb bitter melon should not be used concurrently with anti-diabetic agents and cholesterol-lowering medicine.




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