Minggu, 28 Juni 2009

Rainforest Plants,Momordica " Bitter Melon"

By Tony Mandarich

Family: Cucurbitaceae
Genus: Momordica
Species: charantia

Common Names: bitter melon, papailla, melao de sao caetano, bittergourd, balsam apple, balsam pear, karela,

General Description: Bitter melon is a herbaceous tendril-bearing vine that bears small leaves, yellow flowers and fruity gourds shaped like cucumbers. The light green fruit is eight to 12 inches long and ridges punctuate the fruit's exterior. The flesh is thin and surrounds a cavity of seeds and pith. Before the fruit ripens, seeds and pith are white. In this state, they are not bitter and for culinary purposes, are removed before cooking.

Location: Bitter melon grows in tropical areas, including parts of the Amazon, east Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean, and is cultivated throughout South America as a food and medicine.

Uses: When fully ripe, the pith becomes sweet and turns red. It can be eaten at this time; the fruit of the melon cannot, however, because it becomes tough as it ripens. Ripened sweet Bitter Melon pith is used extensively in salads in Southeast Asia.

As it ripens, this fruit becomes bitter. Therefore, the fruit is most often eaten green. Some miniature species are like small pickles and may be served as stuffed vegetables.

Bitter melon has also been used for numerous medical conditions by shaman in tropical rainforests for centuries. Infections, cancer, leukemia, and diabetes have all been treated with it over the years.

Highly touted in internet marketing circles as a cure for diabetes and psoriasis, supporters believe it has impressive curative properties. Unfortunately, there is no solid research to support these claims. However some research documents improvement in both diabetes and psoriasis following use of Bitter Melon.

Disclaimer: The statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.

Any reference to medicinal use is not intended to treat, cure, mitigate or prevent any disease.

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