Karela

Botanical Name

Momordica charantia L.

Family

Cucurbitaceae.

Synonyms

Momordica charantia subsp. abbreviata (Ser.) Greb., Momordica chinensis Spreng., Momordica indica L., Momordica sinensis Spreng., Sicyos fauriei H. Lév., Cucumis intermedius M.Roem., Cucumis argyi H.Lev.

Regional Name

English : Bitter gourd, Hindi : Karela, Karila, Sanskrit : Karavella, Kathilla, Varivalli, Karavalli, Urdu : Karela, Punjabi : Karela, Gujrati : Karela, Assamese : Kakiral, Kakral, Bengali : Karolla, Kannada : Hagalakai, Kashmiri : Karel, Malayalam : Kaippa, Pavackkai, Marathi : Karla, Oriya : Kalara, Salara, Tamil : Paharkai, Telugu : Kaakara Kaaya.

Part Used

Fruit.

Description

Karela is globally distributed in the Paleotropics and naturalised in South East United States, parts of Asia, Africa, South America and the Caribbean.  It is widely cultivated in the tropical countries up to an altitude of 1500 m. Within India, it is cultivated as a vegetable crop and sometimes naturalised. It is herbaceous, tendril-bearing vine grows up to 5 m (16 ft) in length, Fruit 2.5 - 25 cm long, oblong, pendulous, fusiform, usually pointed or beaked, ribbed and bearing numerous triangular tubercles ,3 valved at the apex when mature, surface rough; light green to green in colour containing numerous seeds; taste, extremely bitter.

Phytoconstituents

It contains Alkaloid, Glycosides, Triterpenes, Proteins and Steroids. It contains-  charantin, charine, cryptoxanthin, cucurbitins, cucurbitacins, cucurbitanes, cycloartenols, diosgenin, elaeostearic acids, erythrodiol, galacturonic acids, gentisic acid, goyaglycosides, goyasaponins, gypsogenin, karounidiols, lanosterol, momorcharasides, momorcharins, momordenol, momordicilin, momordicine, momordicinin, momordicosides, momordin, multiflorenol, myristic acid, nerolidol, oleanolic acid, pentadecans, peptides, petroselinic acid, polypeptides, rosmarinic acid, rubixanthin, spinasterol, steroidal glycosides, stigmasta-diols, stigmasterol, uracil, vacine, v-insulin, verbascoside, vicine, zeatin, zeatin riboside, zeaxanthin, and zeinoxanthin.

Ayurvedic Properties

Rasa : Katu, Tikta, Guna : Laghu, Vipaka : Katu, Virya : Usna, Karma : Bhedi, Dipana, Hrdya, Kaphahara, Vatahara, Raktadosahara.

Ayurvedic Applications

Svasa, Jvara, Kamala, Kasa, Krmiroga, Kustha, Pandu, Prameha, Raktavikara, Aruci.

Medicinal Uses

Karela is used in the treatment of piles, blood disorders, haemorrhoids,  respiratory disorders, weight loss supplement, cataract, cholera and alcoholism. It also used for the treatment of cough, asthma, digestive problems, indigestion, dyspepsia, parasite infestation, diarrhea, constipation, skin diseases, psoriasis, wounds, ulcer, cancer, diabetes, fever, headache, body pain, HIV and AIDS,  infections, gout and rheumatism.
Formulations
Amree Plus