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Momordia charantia - Bitter Melon

A plant Momordica charantia is in the Cucurbita family Cucurbitaceae, aptly named Polish przepękla balsamka melon or cucumber. However, the most common name in the world is simply bitter melon (bitter melon). Other names, depending on the country grouping, Balsam pear, bitter cucumber, bitter gourd, Foo gwa, Karel, La-KWA. It's kind of the tropical areas of Asia and Africa. Momordica charantia is an annual plant with thin stems, to 5 m, climbing or crawling. It is heart-shaped leaves, deeply indented sections, 7-9 cloves. The flowers are yellow and funnel-shaped. The fruit is a berry with a length of 20 cm. Fruit-shaped cucumber, spiny, warty, yellow-orange and bulged. The body is purple. The fruits are edible. They are eaten as a vegetable or as a spice, a little bitter, reminiscent of curry flavor.

In folk medicine, bitter melon has been used for centuries to treat diabetes, it is difficult to heal wounds, malaria, constipation, and as abortifacient. It has been used to treat painful menstruation, eczema, kidney stones, leprosy, arthritis, jaundice, hemorrhoids, vitiligo, pneumonia and scabies.

It turned out that the plant contains in its composition, saponins, glycosides, triterpenes, proteins, sterols and fatty oils. Unripe fruits showed that a good source of vitamin C, provitamin A, iron and phosphorus. Studies have shown that hypoglycemic activity corresponds to the mixture of steroid saponins, known as charantyny, a peptide similar to insulin action and alkaloids, all of these components are present in highest concentration in fruits Momordica charantia.