Edited and posted by Ho Dinh Hai Long An - Vietnam Updated: 07/06/2014
1- Introduction to Bitter Melon Plant
1.1-What is Bitter Melon ? Bitter Melon (Momordica charantia) often called Bitter Gourd or Bitter Squash in English, has many other local names. Goya from the indigenous language of Okinawa and karavella from Sanskrit are also used by English-language speakers. It is a tropical and subtropical vine of the family Cucurbitaceae, widely grown in Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean for its edible fruit, which is extremely bitter. Its many varieties differ substantially in the shape and bitterness of the fruit. Bitter melon is a tall-growing annual plant cultivated in Asia, Africa, South America, and India. The plant has lobed leaves, yellow flowers, and edible but bitter-tasting orange-yellow tropical fruit. The unripe fruit is green and cucumber-shaped with surface bumps. The fruit, leaves, seeds, seed oil, and roots are used. Bitter melon is generally consumed cooked in the green or early yellowing stage. The young shoots and leaves of the bitter melon may also be eaten as greens. It is very popular throughout South and Shoutheast Asia. Bitter melon has been used in various Asian and Africanherbal medicine systems for a long time.