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Momordica charantia L.

Momordica charantia var. abbreviata Ser.
Momordica muricata Willd.
Momordica zeylanica Mill.

Group: Dicot
Family: Cucurbitaceae - Cucumber family
Duration: Annual
Growth Habit: Vine, Forb/herb

Bangla/Vernacular Name: Karolla, Uchhe, Usta.

Tribal Name: Tit gula (Chakma), Achamasi (Khumi), Titkorolla (Marma), Ching-che(Murang), Tit korola (Rakhaing), Belati Tira Gula (Tanchangya).

English Name: Bitter Ground, Carilla Fruit.

Description of the Plant:

A slender climber with angled stem and simple tendrils. Leaves almost orbicular in outline, deeply divided into 5-7 lobes, coarsely spinous-dentate. Flowers monoecious, yellow solitary with long slender peduncles. Fruits pendulousfusiform, bearing numerous triangular tubercles, yellow when ripe.

Chemical Constituents:

Leaves have been reported to contain two acidic resins, a number of bitter substances, momordicines I, II and III; three new cucurbitane triterpenoids and ?-aminobutyric acid. They also contain large quantities of essential amino acids, carotene, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, ascorbic acid and minerals. Fruits contain a large number of steroidal compounds, saponins, two bitter cucurbitacin glycosides, momordicosides K and L, four non-bitter cucurbitacin glycoside, momordicosides F1, F2, G and I and a mixture of acylglucosyl sterols. Fruits also contain the alkaloid momordicine, phenolic compounds, proteins, amino acids and vitamins of B group, ascorbic acid, minerals and a neutral non-nitrogenous principle, charantin. They also contain glucosides of ß-sitosterol and stigmasterol.

Seeds contain a purgative fixed oil consisting of esters of stearic, oleic, linoleic and a-eleostearic acids, ß-sitosterol glucoside and a number of triterpene glycosides. They also contain albumin, globulin, glutelin, vitamin B, carotene and a-aminobutyric acid. The entire plant has been reported to contain a trace amount of alkaloids, saponins and orthophthalic acid. An insulin-like peptide has been reported in this plant (Ghani, 2003).

Momordica charantia L.

Momordica charantia L.

Mode of Uses:

  • Fresh fruits and leaves are cooked as vegetable. Warmed leaf is applied to the affected are to treat the body pain (Khumi).
  • Fruits is taken as curry which is useful is urinary disorder, fever and Jaundice. Leaves are anthelmintic (Murang).
  • Paste prepared in the internodes of bamboo from the leaves of bitter gourd and mustered oil is rubbed into the affected areas to relieve from chest pain. The leaves are eaten as a vegetable (Rakhaing).
  • The fruits are eaten as vegetables. The young leaves are eaten as leafy vegetables (Chakma, Tripura, Marma, and Bawm).


Cultivated throughout Bangladesh.

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