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Momordica charantia

Momordica charantia                          Common name:  Bitter melon, Kerala, Cerasee

Family: Cucurbitaceae

Parts used:  Fruit & seed, leaf & stem (whole plant – immature/unripe)

Constituents:  Peptides, Steroidal saponin & glycosides (Charantin & mormordin), alkaloid (mormordicine)

Medicinal actions:  Anti-diabetic (hypoglycemic)

Medicinal use:  Momordica has therapeutic potential for non-insulin dependent diabetic patients. The juice of the fruit is also a purgative and is prescribed for colic and gas.


  • Insulin-like peptide is known to lower sugar levels in the blood and urine.
  • Has both pancreatic & extra-pancreatic effects, acting to increase insulin sensitivity and uptake in fat and muscle cells, while helping preserve beta cell function and reduce oxidative stress.


  • Decoction: 6-8 melons sliced/chopped in jar, cover with water and boil for 30 minutes. Strain, keep in fridge. Drink 1 Tbsp daily.
  • Tincture: 5-10 ml (1:5, 40%), TID.
  • Juice the melon (including seeds).

Toxicity: A mildly toxic lectin occurs in the seeds and outer rind of fruits which is capable of interfering with protein synthesis in the intestinal wall (Mature fruit). Avoid use for longer than 4 weeks. Do not take if prone to hypoglycemia or else monitor blood and urine glucose levels if indicated.

Contraindications: None known.

Interactions: None known.

About Marisa Marciano

Naturopathic Herbalist


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