Dear visitor, this is a machine-translated article. It makes perfect sense in its original language (Czech), and is fully backed by independent scientific literature. The translation, though, is far from perfect and takes patience and imagination, if you decide to read it.

Drobečková navigace

Bitter balsam apple (Momordica charantia Descourt.)

(Tykvor bitter, togua Ind. Charles, Eng. bitter melon, bitter gourd)

Dried fruit balsam apple
Dried fruit balsam apple

Bitter balsam apple (Momordica charantia), also tykvoř bitter, healing is vegetables from the family Cucurbitaceae (Cucurbitaceae). Her Chinese name togua [Kua to] simply means "bitter pumpkin," but they have a bitter taste and other cucurbits - for example, the ends of garden cucumbers. Bitter balsam apple is traditionally used for diabetes and it seems also that it is one of the few herbs thou-so effective against obesity. According etnobotanického syllabus Dr. Duke this plant stands and other substances contained.

Description of the plant:

M. charantia belongs to the family Cucurbitaceae (Cucurbitaceae) and its origin due deny. It's creeping, similar to squash plant with herbaceous stems to 5m long. Its tendrils are branched, palmate leaves typically five to sedmilaločné, unisexual flowers, pentamerous, yellow in color, with distinct veins. Fruits are 5-25 cm long, spindle-shaped, with a furrowed surface maturation turn yellow. The plant was introduced into virtually all tropical areas.

Fruits are bitter, but when you get used to them, we will taste just like beer and Fernet. They can be eaten in raw state (the way which I prefer), and despite the bitterness are extremely fresh and pleasant taste. In the immature state they are green and taste like a stiffer, juicy and crunchy cucumber. In the mature state of bitterness almost disappear, skin yellows, gets mealy consistency with melon flavors, wine-stained marrow is, it becomes gelatinous and gets sweet. Out of season or in countries where you can not get fresh balsam apple (like us) it is possible to use dried as a tea.

Bitter balsam apple (Taiwan van)

Balsam apple - the whole plant (Author: Boris Štítnicka)
Balsam apple - the whole plant.
Balsam apple - the whole plant (Author: Boris Štítnicka)
Balsam apple - the whole plant.
Balsam apple - blossom (Author: Boris Štítnicka)
Balsam apple - blossom.
Balsam apple - young brood (Author: Boris Štítnicka)
Balsam apple - young fetus.
Balsam apple - the fruit ripening (Author: Boris Štítnicka)
Balsam apple - the fruit ripening.
Balsam apple - the fruit (Author: Boris Štítnicka)
Balsam apple - the fruit.


For therapeutic purposes they are used mainly fruits, but also seeds and leaves. To the main active substances include saponins kukuacin J karavilosid XI kukuaglykosid C momordikosid QU charantin acid, α-eleostearic and peptides, e.g. α-momorcharin ( Dandawate2016bmp ). Research continues substances contained balsam apple, recently it has been described in a large number of triterpenoids ( Zhao2014ctf , Zhang2012ctf ).

Fruits are a rich source of ascorbic acid-bound forms (called. Ascorbigen). M. charantia also contains steroidal saponins (called. Charantin) and glukokinetické substances that have a positive effect on lowering blood sugar in diabetes ( Yin2008tcm ). Momordica enhances the action of insulin ( Sridhar2008bgm ).

More than 100 scientific studies (for an overview eg. Grover2004pap ) lists several effects M. charantia most important of which are:

anticancer effects

It seems that the balsam apple has a considerable preventive and therapeutic potential for tumor diseases . Cytostatic properties balsam apple were first described nearly half a century ago ( West1971ape ). Pioneered this research, Dolores J. Takemotová Kansas State University, which examined the effect of balsam apple healthy leukocytes ( Takemoto1982pcc ), leukemia cells ( Takemoto1982cce ) and tumor formation in animals ( Jilka1983vaa ). Dr. Takemotová describe the typical opposed adaptogens (activation and inhibition) balsam apple effect on immune cells - compare its publications Takemoto1982pcc and Cunnick1990itc , if necessary. also Licastro1980tmc .

Since that time, there were dozens of publications describing the effect of the balsam apple against various cancer cell lines in vitro, which are too numerous for me to do here is named. To studies describing the anticancer effect in vivo animal belongs Jilka1983vaa , Singh1998mcb , Ganguly2000pcm , Ganguly2000pcm , Agrawal2010cae . Anti-cancer effect has also balsam apple seeds, mainly due to its acid content of α-eleostearic, which makes up 60% of oil balsam apple ( Kobori2008aai , Grossman2009eai ). Balsam apple seed oil acts on the PPAR gamma receptor and to suppress an experimental model of developing cancer of the colon and rectum ( Khan2007bgm ). An overview of the current state of research balsam apple as an anticancer agent providing publications Raina2016pbm , Dandawate2016bmp and Nerurkar2010bma .

Momordica antiobesity

Obesity is a disease refractory . To date not discovered any natural or artificial means (except toxins) that obesity would be promptly and completely removed. Herbs at least somewhat effective against obesity is a scarce and therefore I think this effect balsam apple deserves special mention.

The core problem of obesity

For the fat man is the true meaning of the proverb "rich hungry not believe." Expert system in our brain controls food intake is superior to our will. The means by which govern us are as strong as the strongest drug addiction. Most people also do not realize how smart our built-up nutritional computer. It is smart enough to literally "see" most of the means by which we are trying to deceive hunger. It does not help caffeine, caloric sweeteners or Doberského contrasting days. I suspect that its systems are backed up two or three neural circuits of unequal structures. (They had always been cheating plants naturally - to the sweet taste must not be relied upon.) Long-term management of obesity in essence lies in the fact that our nutritional computer and try to jump over, how far we can go on a diet without him angry.

Bitter cucumber - a new card in the game against the thickness

In rodents it has been recently demonstrated that Momordica reduces body fat animals exposed to unhealthy diet with an increased content of fat ( Huang2008bmm ). Momordica also reduced the amount of fat vnitrobřišního with possible effects through PPAR-γ receptors ( Shih2008emc ). Work shows that reducing fat content in the body of laboratory animals was accompanied by an overall improvement in several indicators associated with metabolic syndrome ( Chen2005rab , Chan2005rab ).

Method of use balsam apple

Despite her bitterness with M. charantia its incidence in countries with treats like pumpkin, served with cooked as an accompaniment to food or makes her soup. When I gave her the first time, I almost went to complain to the chef, but now her swear.

Dried slices that deliver recommend preparing some 5-minute boiling 5-6 pieces in 200ml of water, or add to any just drenched tea for 2-5 minutes.

Otherwise it is basically dried vegetables, and accordingly it is necessary to deal with it - try it for example. Add a cup of chicken broth for extra healthy soup. Pieces of bitter then try to eat pumpkin. The pulp itself is excellent, but watch out for seeds in rozkousnutí have an unpleasant aftertaste.

| 4.3.2009

Related articles