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About Bittermelons

Name- Momordica charantia
 Family- Cucurbitaceae.

  It is available in China,Vietnam, Thailand, India .

Bittermelon is a long cylinders 4 to 12 inches in length and 1 and ½ to 3    inches in diameter. It is little bumpy in Chinese variety. It contains with large seeds inside.

  Its general uses:

  It is used in Chinese and Indian Cooking. It tastes very bitter. It is considered as a blood purifier. It can be cut into rings and deep fried for a snack. Also can be stir fried cooked with any meat, shrimps and fish.

Bitter Melons
Synonyms :
Sanskrit : Karavella, Kathilla English : Bitter Gourd
Assamese : Kakiral, Kakral Bengali : Karolla
Gujrati : Karela Hindi : Karela
Kannada : Hagalakai Malayalam : Kaippa, Pavackkai
Marathi : Karla Oriya : Kalara, Salara
Punjabi : Karla Tamil : Paharkai
Telugu : Kaakara Kaaya Urdu : Karela
Geographical Distribution

Momordica charantia is perennial climbers cultivated throughout India and in southern China and is now found naturalized in almost all tropical and subtropical regions. . It is an important vegetable in India, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines and southern China. It is also cultivated on a small scale in tropical America.

Plant Facts :

Momordica charantia is a herbaceous, tendril-bearing vine grows up to 5 m. It bears simple, alternate leaves, with 3–7 deeply separated lobes. Each plant bears separate yellow male and female flowers. Fruit 2.5 - 25 cm long, oblong, pendulous, fusiform, usually pointed or beaked, ribbed and bearing numerous triangular tubercles, 3 valved at the apex when mature.

Parts Used :

Fresh green fruits of the plant


The fruits and leaves a steroidal saponin called charatin and fruits contain a cathartic principle called momordicin. It also contains a polypeptide named gurmarin, which is similar to insulin in composition. It also contain Ascorbic acid, carbohydrates, alkaloids, glucoside, saponin and mucilage.