Momordica charantia var. abbreviata Ser.
Momordica muricata Willd.
Momordica zeylanica Mill.
Family: Cucurbitaceae - Cucumber family
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.
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.
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.
Cultivated throughout Bangladesh.
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