The bitter melon or bitter gourd is the bitterest of all vegetables known to humankind, but it is also the most medicinally effective. Though bitter, its fruit is eaten as a vegetable and is used to make several mouthwatering dishes especially in India. In India, the bitter gourd is known as the Karela. Its biological name is Momordica charantia.
Morphologically, the bitter melon is an herbaceous vine which bears tendrils and it creeps along supports. Leaves are simple and alternate, and flowers are yellow. Male and female flowers grow on separate plants. The fruit of the plant, which is known as the bitter melon, has an oblong shape with a warty exterior and is dark green in color.
Bitter melon possesses various chemicals such as charantin, peptides
resembling insulin and several alkaloids. Due to these constituents,
bitter melon is quite widely used in the treatment of diabetes mellitus.
Bitter melon is a valuable vegetable. It is useful in most metabolic and physiological processes of the human body. (…)