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Botanical Name : Momordica charantia Linn.

Family : Cucurbitaceae

Introduction :

Latin name : Momordica – original Latin name mordeo one bite, appears jagged as if bitten; charantia.

Synonyms :

Kaaravellaka, Kaaravella, Kaathilla, Sushaavi

Varieties & adulterants – (CV – controversy, AD – adulterants)

Varieties : There are two varieties –

1) large – karavellali

2) small – karavelli.

Morphology :

Annual creeper with tendrils.

Leaves – simple, entire, cordate-round. with irregular margins.

Flowers – yellow, unisexual

Fruits – 2.5 to 7 cms. long, green with tapering ends and triangular spikes on the surface.

Seeds – 05.-1 cm. in size, flat.

Fruits are used as vegetable.

Distribution & Habitat :

Throughout India cultivated

Chemical constituents :

Rich in iron and minerals,  Hydroxyl tryptamine, charantin, diosgenin, cholesterol, lanosterol , betasitosterol,  cucurbitacin glycosides

Properties :

Guna: laghu, ruksha;

Rasa : tikta;

Veerya : ushna;

Vipaka – katu

Karma :

Dipani, bedaka, pachana, vishaghna, krimi-kustaghna

stomachic, laxative, antibilious, emetic, anthelmintic

Srotogamitva :

Dosha : Tridoshashamak,

Dhatu : Rasa (galadogogue, dysmenorrhoea, amenorrhoea), wound healing, rakta, meda (anaemia), rakta (dermatoses), liver disorders, high blood sugar, bleeding disorders).

Mala : Mutra (calculi, urinary disorders). purisha (helminthiasis), Organ : Intestine.

Indication :

Kamala, pandu, kusta, kandu, jwara, swasa, kasa, vrana, prameha, visha,

fever, skin disease, cough, piles, leucorrhoea,vomiting, dysentery, gout, burning sensation

Part used :

Whole plant

Dosage :

Leaf juice 10-15 ml

Powder 2-4 g

Decoction 50-100 ml

Uses :

External uses : It has analgesic, wound cleaning and healing properties. It is useful in burning sensation. dermatoses and piles. It is beneficial to the eyes. Leaf juice is applied on eyes in night blindness.

Internal uses : Being an appetizer, digestive, cholagogue, purgative and anthelmintic, it is used in anorexia, loss of appetite, ama dosha, liver disorder&, piles and helminthiasis. It is a blood purifier, anti-inflammatory, diuretic, emmenagogue and galactogogue. It alleviates kapha hence It is useful in blood disorders, inflammation, asthma, cough, dysmenorrhoea, amenorrhoea, disorders of lactation, urinary disorders, dermatoses. fever, obesity and poisoning. Experience has shown that it is an excellent remedy for high sugar levels in blood and urine.

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