Momordica charantia, commonly known as bitter gourd, bitter melon or karela, is a flowering climber of the family Cucurbitaceae. It is widely distributed in China, Malaysia, India and tropical Africa. It is a tendril bearing plant that grows to six meter or longer. Leaves are simple, alternate, 4-12 cm across, with 3-7 deeply separated lobes. The lobes are mostly blunt, but have small marginal points. Fruit has ovoid, ellipsoid or spindle shape. In Ayurveda, Karela is recommended for many diseases like cholera, bronchitis, anemia, blood diseases, ulcer, diarrhea, dysentery, sexual tonic and as a cure for gonorrhea. It is known to possess antifungal, antibacterial, antiparasitic, antiviral, anti-fertility, anti-tumorous, hypoglycemic and anti-carcinogenic properties. It is also found useful in the treatment of diabetes. It is a potent hypoglycemic agent due to alkaloids and insulin like peptides and a mixture of steroidal sapogenins known as charantin.
- Rasa (taste): Tikta, Katu (Bitter, Pungent)
- Veerya (nature): Ushna (Hot)
- Vipaka (taste developed through digestion): Katu (Pungent)
- Guna (qualities):Laghu, Ruksha (Light, Dry)
- Doshas (effect on humors): Increase Vata dosha & Balances Pitta & Kapha
Bitter Melon (Momordica charantia) Karela Extract Bitters 5% by Gravimetry
Common Name Bitter melon Botanical Name Momordica charantia Standardization Bitters 5% Test Method Gravimetry Part Used Fruits Application Diabetes Management, and Carbohydrate Metabolism