Botanically it is known as Momordica charantia. It contains vitamin A, thiamine, riboflavin, nicotinic acid, vitamin C and iron. The fruit is very useful in gout, rheumatism, diseases of the spleen and liver. The fruit juice subsides vata, pitta and kapha the tridosas in ayurveda. The fruit and leaves are both administered orally in leprosy, piles and jaundice. Only the green fruit is used for medicinal purposes. The ripe fruit has got no value. Juice of the fresh leaves is also used as a mild purgative. The fruit is eaten by frying or boiling in cases of small-pox, chicken-pox and measles. With the advent of autumn and spring seasons, boiled fruit is eaten as a preventive against small-pox, chicken-pox and measles. Practically it acts as an anti-smallpox vaccine. The root is applied externally as pate to piles. The whole plant dried and powdered is used for dusting over the leprous and other intractable ulcers. Smaller varieties are richer in nutrients than larger ones. It is eaten boiled, baked, fried, stuffed and in curries and pickles.
According to J.F. Dastur, the leaf juice is anthelmintic, emetic and purgative; a decoction of the leaves is used as stomachic. The leaves are locally applied as a galactagogue; it is applied round the eyes for the cure of night blindness. The fruit is antidotal, antipyretic, tonic, appetizing, stomachic, anthelmintic, anti-bilious and laxative; it is used in leprosy, piles, jaundice, diabetes, rheumatism, gout, blood diseases, anaemia, urinary diseases, bronchitis and liver disorders; locally it is applied to burns, boils and eruptions.
Benefit and uses of Bitter-gourd.
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