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Herb of the Month


Botanical Name: Momordica Charantia.
Common Name: Karela (Bitter Guard)
English Name : Bitter melon, Bitter cucumber, Balsam pear

The generic name "Momordica" comes from Latin meaning "to bite", referring to the jagged edges of the seed which appears as if the leaves have been bitten. The plant lives up to its Bitter Melon name as all parts of the plant including the fruit tastes very bitter.

Parts Used: Fruits, Leaves.

Origin of Herbs:  

The bitter gourd is a common vegetable cultivated exten­sively all over the world. It is 10 to 20 cm. long, tapering at the ends and covered with blunt tubercles. The seeds are white in raw fruits and become red when they are ripe. There are two varieties of this vegetable. The large kind is long, oblong and pale green in color. The other kind is small, little oval and dark green. Both the types are bitter in taste. They turn reddish-orange when ripe. Bitter Gourd has excellent medicinal virtues. It is antidotal, antipyretic tonic, appetizing, stomachic, antibilious and laxative. The bitter Gourd is also used in native medicines of Asia and Africa.

Healing power:

Several research trials followed the discovery, culminating in studies examining Bitter Gourd's effectiveness in humans.

Diabetes :

The bitter gourd is specifically used as a folk medicine for diabetes. Several researches proved that it contains a hypoglycemic or insulin-like principle, designated as 'plant-insulin', which has been found highly beneficial in lowering the blood and urine sugar levels.

Skin diseases :

It is helpful in the treatment of  Boils, Scabies, Itching, Psoriasis, ring worm and other fungal diseases. Its regular use in endemic region of leprosy acts as a preventive medicine. It is also used as blood purifier.

Blood Disorder:

Bitter gourd is highly beneficial in the treatment of blood disorders like blood boils, scabies, itching, psoriasis, ring-worm and other fungal diseases.

Respiratory Disorder:

Bitter gourd plant roots are used in folk medicine for respira­tory disorders from ancient times.

Eye Problem:

It also provides pain relief from neurological complications and delays the onset of cataracts or Retinopathy.

G.I System:

Karela is widely used as appetizer, stomachic and laxative.


Leaf juice is beneficial in the treatment of alcoholism. It can be used in liver damage due to alcoholism

Anthelmenthes :

Dry powder of  Karela fruit is used as anthelmenthes


Fresh juice of leaves of bitter gourd is also an effective medicine in early stages of cholera and other types of diarrhoea during summer.

Piles :

Paste of Karela roots powder useful in haemorrhoids for local application

Ayurvedic Supplements that contains Karela :


Diabet Guard

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Karela capsule

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