Herb of the Month
Botanical Name: Momordica Charantia.
Common Name: Karela (Bitter Guard)
English Name : Bitter melon, Bitter cucumber, Balsam pear
The generic name "Momordica" comes from Latin meaning "to
bite", referring to the jagged edges of the seed which appears as
if the leaves have been bitten. The plant lives up to its Bitter
Melon name as all parts of the plant including the fruit tastes
Parts Used: Fruits, Leaves.
Origin of Herbs:
The bitter gourd is a
common vegetable cultivated extensively all over the world. It is
10 to 20 cm. long, tapering at the ends and covered with blunt
tubercles. The seeds are white in raw fruits and become red when
they are ripe. There are two varieties of this vegetable. The
large kind is long, oblong and pale green in color. The other kind
is small, little oval and dark green. Both the types are bitter in
taste. They turn reddish-orange when ripe. Bitter Gourd has
excellent medicinal virtues. It is antidotal, antipyretic tonic,
appetizing, stomachic, antibilious and laxative. The bitter Gourd
is also used in native medicines of Asia and Africa.
Several research trials followed the discovery, culminating in
studies examining Bitter Gourd's effectiveness in humans.
The bitter gourd is
specifically used as a folk medicine for diabetes. Several
researches proved that it contains a hypoglycemic or insulin-like
principle, designated as 'plant-insulin', which has been found
highly beneficial in lowering the blood and urine sugar levels.
Skin diseases :
It is helpful in the treatment of Boils, Scabies,
Itching, Psoriasis, ring worm and other fungal diseases. Its
regular use in endemic region of leprosy acts as a preventive
medicine. It is also used as blood purifier.
Bitter gourd is highly beneficial in the treatment of blood
disorders like blood boils, scabies, itching, psoriasis, ring-worm
and other fungal diseases.
Bitter gourd plant roots are used in folk medicine for
respiratory disorders from ancient times.
It also provides pain relief from neurological complications and
delays the onset of cataracts or Retinopathy.
Karela is widely used as appetizer, stomachic and laxative.
Leaf juice is beneficial in the treatment of alcoholism. It can be
used in liver damage due to alcoholism
Dry powder of Karela fruit is used as
Fresh juice of leaves of bitter gourd is also an effective
medicine in early stages of cholera and other types of diarrhoea
Paste of Karela roots powder useful in
haemorrhoids for local application
Ayurvedic Supplements that contains Karela :