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Plant Information

Scientific Name: Momordica charantia
Alternative Names: Balsam Pear, Karela

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Momordica charantia
Momordica charantia


  • Annual
  • Native to tropical Africa and Asia.
  • Important food plant in parts of the tropics.
  • Annual climber.
  • Needs well drained soil in sun.

Culinary Uses

  • Unripe (green) fruits are added to curries or eaten raw, boiled, or fried, after parboiling or soaking in salt water, to remove bitterness.
  • Young leaves and shoots are cooked as a vegetable.

Parts Used

  • The leaves and fruit.

Medicinal Uses. It is said that

  • Internally for colitis and dysentery (fresh juice), intestinal worms, jaundice, and fevers (leaves).
  • A laxative duiretic herb that soothes irritated tissues, lowers fevers, kils parasites and cleanses toxins from the system.
  • Externally for haemorrhoids, chapped skin and burns (fruit).
The information contained within this website is for educational purposes only. This site merely recounts the traditional uses of specific plants as recorded through history. Always seek advice from a medical practitioner.

Mountain Herb Estate, and its representatives will not be held responsible for the improper use of any plants or documentation provided. By use of this site and the information contained herein you agree to hold harmless Mountain Herb Estate, its affiliates and staff
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