ArticlePDF Available

Momordica charantia linn. (Karela): Nature's silent healer

Authors:
  • Patanjali Research Institute

Abstract

Momordica charantia Linn. (karela) is an herbal climber grown in tropical and subtropical regions, belonging to the Cucurbitaceae family. Momordica charantia (Karela) have provided many remedies for various diseases from ancient days to now a day. It has been used in various Asian traditional medicines for the treatment of cholera, bronchitis, anemia, blood diseases, ulcer, diarrhea, dysentery, gonorrhea rheumatism, gout, worms, colic, disease of liver and spleen, cancer and diabetes etc. The main constituents of Karela are triterpene, protein, steroid, alkaloid, inorganic, lipid, and phenolic compounds, which are responsible for biological and pharmacological activities including anti-diabetic, anti-cancerous and anti-tumorous, anti-microbial, anti-viral, anti-helmintic, antimalarial, anti-ulcerative and immunomodulatory. Combination of its Ayuervedic properties i.e. Gunna, Rasa and Virya (Dry, pungent, light, bitter and hot) makes it the real natures wonder. In this article, general description, traditional uses and medicinal properties of Momordica charantia Linn (Karela) have been reviewed.
Volume 11, Issue 1, November – December 2011; Article-007 ISSN 0976 – 044X
International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences Review and Research
32
Available online at
www.globalresearchonline.net
Madhu Gupta, Sushil Sharma, Ajay K. Gautam and Rekha Bhadauria*
School of Studies in Botany, Jiwaji University Gwalior (M.P.) 474011, India.
Accepted on: 21-07-2011; Finalized on: 20-10-2011.
ABSTRACT
Momordica charantia Linn. (karela) is an herbal climber grown in tropical and subtropical regions, belonging to the Cucurbitaceae
family. Momordica charantia (Karela) have provided many remedies for various diseases from ancient days to now a day. It has been
used in various Asian traditional medicines for the treatment of cholera, bronchitis, anemia, blood diseases, ulcer, diarrhea,
dysentery, gonorrhea rheumatism, gout, worms, colic, disease of liver and spleen, cancer and diabetes etc. The main constituents of
Karela are triterpene, protein, steroid, alkaloid, inorganic, lipid, and phenolic compounds, which are responsible for biological and
pharmacological activities including anti-diabetic, anti-cancerous and anti-tumorous, anti-microbial, anti-viral, anti-helmintic, anti-
malarial, anti-ulcerative and immunomodulatory. Combination of its Ayuervedic properties i.e. Gunna, Rasa and Virya (Dry, pungent,
light, bitter and hot) makes it the real natures wonder. In this article, general description, traditional uses and medicinal properties
of Momordica charantia Linn (Karela) have been reviewed.
Keywords: Momordica charantia Linn. (karela), general description, medicinal properties.
INTRODUCTION
Momordica charantia Linn. (Karela) commonly known as
Bitter melon or Bitter gourd is tropical and subtropical
climber of the family Cucurbitaceae. It is widely
distributed in China, Malaysia, India and tropical Africa.
The Latin name Momordica means “to bite” (referring to
the jagged edges of the leaf, which appear as if they have
been bitten). All parts of the plant, including the fruit
taste very bitter1, as it contains a bitter compound called
momordicin that is believed to have a stomachic effect2.
In Ayurveda, various parts of Momordica charantia
(Karela) are recommended for many diseases like;
cholera, bronchitis, anemia, blood diseases, ulcer,
diarrhea, dysentery, sexual tonic and as a cure for
gonorrhea3. Karela contains an array of biologically active
plant chemicals including triterpens, proteins, steroids,
alkaloids, saponins, flavonoids and acids due to which
plant possesses anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-parasitic,
anti-viral, anti-fertility, anti-tumorous, hypoglycemic and
anti-carcinogenic properties4-8. Fruits are used as
traditional medication to cure various diseases like:
rheumatism, gout, worms, colic, disease of liver and
spleen9. It is also found useful in the treatment of cancer
and diabetes10. It is a potent hypoglycemic agent due to
alkaloids and insulin like peptides and a mixture of
steroidal sapogenins known as charantin11.
ORIGIN AND DISTRIBUTION
The Karela is believed to be originated in the tropics of
the old world. It is widely grown in India and other parts
of the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, China, Africa,
and the Caribbean and South America as a food and
medicine12.
Cultivation
Karela is an annual or perennial climber found throughout
India and also cultivated up to an altitude of 1500m. It is
cultivated during warm season i.e. during April to July by
sowing seeds in a pit. Seeds are sown at a distance of half
a meter and provided with manures. Only one plant is
retained and plant seedlings are watered once or twice a
week. Plants begin to flower 30-35 days after sowing and
fruits are ready for harvesting after flowering 15-20
days13, 14.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF THE PLANT
Momordica charantia Linn. (Karela) has many synonyms
like M. chinensis, M. elegans, M. indica, M. operculata, M.
sinensis, Sicyos fauriei2. It is known with different
common names in different languages i.e. Hindi – Karela;
English – Bitter gourd; Sanskrit – Karavelli; Marathi – Karli;
Gujarati – Karelo; Bangali – Baramasiya; Kannada – Karali;
Malayalam – Kaypa; Tamil – Pakar; Telugu – Kakara15.
Botanical Description
Momordica charantia Linn. (Karela) (FIG.1) is a flowering
climber of family cucurbitaceae. The herbaceous, tendril-
bearing plant grows to six meter or longer. It bears
simple, alternate leaves 4-12 cm across, with 3-7 deeply
separated lobes (FIG.2). The lobes are mostly blunt, but
have small marginal points. Stipules are absent. Flowers
are actinomorphic and always unisexual. Perianth has a
short to prolonged epigynous zone; yellow on short
(female) or long (male) peduncles that are short-lived.
Fruit has ovoid, ellipsoid or spindle shaped usually distinct
warty looking exterior and an oblong shape (FIG.3). It is
hollow in cross-section with a relatively thin layer of flesh
surrounding a central seed cavity filled with large flat
seed and pith12. Seeds in size 8-13mm, long compressed,
corrugate on the margin, sculptured on both faces3.
MOMORDICA CHARANTIA
LINN. (KARELA):
NATURE’S SILENT HEALER
Review
Article
Volume 11, Issue 1, November – December 2011; Article-007 ISSN 0976 – 044X
International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences Review and Research
33
Available online at
www.globalresearchonline.net
In India, it has typical morphology i.e. narrower shape,
pointed ends and surface covered with jagged, triangular
“teeth” and ridges with green coloration. It has a strong
bitter taste among all vegetables12.
Figure 1: Plant of Momordica Charantia bearing fruits
Figure 2: Leaves of Momordica Charantia
Figure 3: Fruits of Momordica Charantia
Parts Used
The fruits of bitter melon are utilized as vegetable where
as the whole plant parts like, fruits, leaves, roots and
seeds of bitter melon as medicine.
BIOLOGICAL ACTIVITIES
The different parts of the Karela contain following various
biological activities:
Root - Acrid, astringent, bitter.
Leaf - Antipyretic, bitter, emetic, purgative.
Fruits - Acrid, anthelmintic, anti-diabetic, anti
inflammatory, appetizer, bitter, depurative, digestive,
purgative, stimulant, stomachic, thermogenic15.
Ayurvedic Properties
Momordica charantia Linn. (Karela), a vegetable/
medicinal plant is used in the Ayurvedic system of
medicine for treating various diseases including diabetes
mellitus, measles, fever, hepatitis, itch etc.
According to Ayurveda it contains:
1. Gunna (properties) laghu (light), ruksh (dry)
2. Rasa (taste)
katu (bitter) and tikta (pungent)
3. Virya (potency) vshna (hot)
Combination of these properties makes karela a magic
potion for diseases15.
BIOCHEMICAL CONSTITUENTS
The main constituents of bitter melon (Karela) are
triterpene, protein, steroid, alkaloid, inorganic, lipid, and
phenolic compounds 5.
Momordica charantia (Karela) consists the following
chemical constituents those are alkaloids, momordicin
and charantin (FIG.4), charine, cryptoxanthin, cucurbitins,
cucurbitacins, cucurbitanes, cycloartenols, diosgenin,
elaeostearic acids, erythrodiol, galacturonic acids, gentisic
acid, goyaglycosides, goyasaponins, guanylate cyclase
inhibitors, gypsogenin, hydroxytryptamines, karounidiols,
lanosterol, lauric acid, linoleic acid, linolenic acid,
momorcharasides, momorcharins, momordenol,
momordicillin, momordicinin, momordicosides,
momordin, momordolo, multiflorenol, myristic acid,
nerolidol, oleanolic acid, oleic acid, oxalic acid,
pentadecans, peptides, petroselinic acid, polypeptides,
proteins, ribosome-inactivating proteins, rosmarinic acid,
rubixanthin, spinasterol, steroidal glycosides, stigmasta-
diols, stigmasterol, taraxerol, trehalose, trypsin inhibitors,
uracil, vacine, v-insuline, verbascoside, vicine, zeatin,
zeatinriboside, zeaxanthin, zeinoxanthin Amino acids-
aspartic acid, serine, glutamic acid, thscinne, alanine, g-
amino butyric acid and pipecolic acid, ascorbigen, b-
sistosterol-d-glucicide, citruline, elasterol, flavochrome,
lutein, lycopene, pipecolic acid16-18.
Volume 11, Issue 1, November – December 2011; Article-007 ISSN 0976 – 044X
International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences Review and Research
34
Available online at
www.globalresearchonline.net
Fruits consists glycosides, saponins, alkaloids, reducing
sugars, resins, phenolic constituents, fixed oil and free
acids12.
Leaves are nutritious and have been reported as a source
of calcium (1%), magnesium (4%), potassium (7%),
phosphorus (5%), and iron (3%); fruits and leaves are
great source of B vitamins; Thiamine (vit.B1) 4%,
Riboflavin (vit.B2) 4%, Niacin (vit.B3)2%, vit.B6 3%, Folate
(vit.B9)13% 16, 2, 17.
Structure of Important Chemical Constituents
Charantin
Figure 4: Phytochemicals: Momordicin and Charantin
(Source: Kumar et al., 2010)
TRADITIONAL AND MEDICINAL USES
Karela has been used in various Asian traditional medicine
systems for a long time, as useful for preventing and
treating various diseases.
Fruits of Momordica charantia (karela) used in asthma,
burning sensation, colic, constipation, cough, diabetes,
fever (malaria), gout, helminthiases, inflammation,
leprosy, skin diseases, ulcer and wound. It has also been
shown to have hypoglycaemic properties (antidiabetic) in
animal as well as human studies. Juice of the Karela
leaves used to treat piles completely. Karela is used as a
blood purifier due to its bitter tonic properties. It can heal
boils and other blood related problems that show up on
the skin. Juice of karela is also beneficial in treating and
preventing the liver damage19, 20.
Leaves are used in treatment of menstrual troubles,
burning sensation, constipation, fever (malaria), colic,
infections, worms and parasites, as an emmenogogue,
measles, hepatitis and helminthiases12. In Guyana
traditional medicine, leaf tea is used for diabetes, to expel
intestinal gas, to promote menstruation, and as an
antiviral for measles, hepatitis, and feverish condition. It
is used topically for sores, wound, infections and
internally and externally for worms and parasites21.
Seeds are used in the treatment of ulcers, liver and
spleen problems, diabetes, intestinal parasites, high
cholesterol, and intestinal gas, heal wounds and
stomachache etc.15.
Roots are used in the treatment of syphilis, rheumatism,
boils, ulcer, septic swellings, opthelmia, and in Prolapsus
vagenae15, 19.
Karela juice helps to reduce the problem of Pyorrhea
(bleeding from the gums). Karela capsules and tinctures
are widely available in the United States for the
treatment of diabetes, viruses, colds flu, cancer, tumors,
high cholesterol and psoriasis2.
Ethnomedical Uses
In India, Momordica charantia Linn. (Karela) used by tribal
people for abortions, birth control, increasing milk flow,
menstrual disorders, vaginal discharge, constipation,
food, diabetes, hyperglycemia, jaundice, stones, kidney,
liver, fever (malaria), gout, eczema, fat loss,
hemorrhoids, hydrophobia, intestinal parasites, skin,
leprosy, pneumonia, psoriasis, rheumatism, scabies,
snakebite, vegetables, piles, tonic, anthelmintic,
purgative5.
PHARMACOLOGICAL ACTIVITY
Antioxidant Activity
Different parts of this plant have been used in the Indian
medicinal system for a number of ailments besides
diabetes. Antioxidant activity of extracted phenolic
compound from bitter melon has been reported by 22.
Antioxidant properties of Momordica charantia (Karela)
Seeds on Streptozotocin induced-diabetic rats has been
studied and results clearly suggest that seeds of
Momordica charantia (Karela) may effectively normalize
the impaired antioxidant status in streptozotocin
induced-diabetes23.
Antidiabetic Activity
Karela contains bitter chemicals like, charantin, vicine,
glycosides and karavilosides along with polypeptide-p a
plant insulin, which are hypoglycemic in action and
improve blood sugar levels by increasing glucose uptake
and glycogen synthesis in the liver, muscles and fat cells.
Volume 11, Issue 1, November – December 2011; Article-007 ISSN 0976 – 044X
International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences Review and Research
35
Available online at
www.globalresearchonline.net
Reports indicate that they also improve insulin release
from pancreatic beta cells, and repair or promote new
growth of insulin-secreting beta cells. P-Insulin, a
polypeptide from the fruits and seeds rapidly decreased
and normalized the blood sugar level in rats. Bitter melon
contains another bioactive compound i.e. lectin that has
insulin like activity. The insulin-like bioactivity of lectin is
due to its linking together 2 insulin receptors. This lectin
lowers blood glucose concentrations by acting on
peripheral tissues and, similar to insulin's effects in the
brain, suppressing appetite. This lectin is a major
contributor to the hypoglycemic effect that develops
after eating Karela. Charantin extracted by alcohol, is a
potent hypoglycemic agent composed of mixed steroids
which is sometimes used in the treatment of diabetes to
lower the blood sugar levels12, 24-27.
Anticancerous and Antitumorous Activity
Bitter melon and its extract inhibit cancer and tumor
formation. A novel phytochemical in karela has clinically
demonstrated the ability to inhibit an enzyme named
guanylate cyclase. This enzyme is thought to be linked to
the pathogenesis and replication of not only psoriasis, but
leukemia and cancer as well28, 29. Other phytochemicals
that have been documented with cytotoxic activity are a
group of ribosome-inactivating proteins named alpha and
beta momorcharin, momordin and cucurbitacin B. In
1996, Lee-huang et al.30 have developed and patented
one more chemical compound “MAP-30”, which was able
to inhibit prostate tumor growth.
Momordin, another phytochemical has clinically
demonstrated anti cancerous activity against Hodgkin’s
lymphoma in vivo31 and several other in vivo studies have
shown the cytostatic and antitumor activity of the entire
plant of bitter melon. Further studies reported that a
water extract blocked the growth of rat prostate
carcinoma and a hot water extract of the entire plant
inhibited the development of the mammary tumors in
mice29. Numerous in vitro studies have also demonstrated
the anti-cancerous and anti- leukemic activity of bitter
melon against numerous cell lines including liver cancer,
human leukemia, melanoma and solid sarcomas28, 29.
Antimicrobial Activity
Sankaranarayanan and Jolly32 have clinically
demonstrated broad spectrum antimicrobial activity of
leaf extracts of Karela. They have reported the in vitro
antibacterial activities of water, ethanol, and methanol
leaf extracts of Karela against E. coli, Staphylococcus,
Pseudomonas, Salmonella, Streptobacillus and
Streptococcus; an extract of the entire plant have shown
anti-protozoal activity against Entamoeba histolytica. In
another study, a fruit extract of Karela has demonstrated
antibacterial activity against the stomach ulcer-causing
bacteria Helicobacter pylori 33.
Various plant species possessed antimicrobial activity
against different microorganisms34-36.
The antifungal potential of crude ethanolic extract of
kaffir lime, bitter cucumber and tobacco has been studied
by Thanaboripat et al., (2006)37 against Aspergillus flavus.
Jagessar et al., (2008)21 evaluated antibacterial and
antifungal activity of leaf extracts of Momordica charantia
(Karela) against Candida albicans, Staphylococcus aureus
and Escherichia coli and reported that the ethanol
extracts of Momordica charantia (Karela), can be used for
controlling E. coli and S. aureus induced diseases.
Antifertility Activity
Stepka et al., (1974)38 have demonstrated in vivo
antifertility effect of fruit and leaf of bitter melon in
female animals.
Antiviral Activity
Karela and its isolated phytochemicals, also has been
documented with in vitro antiviral activity against
numerous viruses including Epstein-Barr, herpes and HIV
viruses39, 40. In an in vivo study, a leaf extract
demonstrated the ability to increase resistance to viral
infections as well as to provide an immunostimulant
effect in humans and animals (increasing interferon
production and natural killer cell activity)41. Two proteins
known as alpha-and beta- momorcharin (which are
present in the seeds, fruit and leaves) have been reported
to inhibit the HIV virus in vitro39, 40). In one study, HIV-
infected cells treated with alpha- and beta-momocharin
showed a nearly complete loss of viral antigen while
healthy cells were largely unaffected42. In 1996 the
inventors of the chemical protein along MAP-30 filed a
U.S. patent, stating it was “useful for treating tumors and
HIV infections. In treating HIV infection, the protein is
administered alone or in conjunction with conventional
AIDS therapies43. Another clinical study showed that
MAP-30’s antiviral activity was also relative to the herpes
virus in vitro44.
Anti-Genotoxic Activity
Balboa and Lim-Sylianco, (1992)45 have reported that
Momordica charantia (Karela) decreases the genotoxic
activity of methylnitrosamine, methanesulfonate and
tetracycline, as shown by the decrease in chromosome
breakage.
Anti-Helmintic Activity
Momordica charantia (Karela) was found more effective
in the treatment of Ascaridia galli46. Ethanol (95%) extract
of fruit juice, was found active on Ascaridia galli, whereas,
hot water extract of seed at concentration of 1:50 was
active on Haemonchus contortus47.
Anti-Malarial Activity
Karela is traditionally regarded by Asians, as well as
Panamanians and Colombians, as useful plant for
preventing and treating malaria. Laboratory studies have
confirmed that various species of Karela have anti-
malarial activity. Leaves brewed in hot water to create a
tea to treat malaria48.
Volume 11, Issue 1, November – December 2011; Article-007 ISSN 0976 – 044X
International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences Review and Research
36
Available online at
www.globalresearchonline.net
Antineoplastic Activity
Various preliminary studies, both in vitro and in vivo, have
found antineoplastic activity in crude extracts and
purified fractions of M. charantia5. In a skin
carcinogenesis in mice, aqueous extract of the fruit of M.
charantia provide protection against the development of
skin tumors and increases life expectancy. The extract
also reduced carcinogen-induced lipid peroxidation in the
liver, DNA damage in lymphocytes, and significantly
activated hepatic glutathione-S-transferase, glutathione-
peroxidase, and catalase, all of which had become
functionally depressed by exposure to the carcinogen
used in the study49. Many studies suggest a potentially
prophylactic role against carcinogenesis of water-soluble
constituents of bitter melon fruit, possibly mediated by
their modulatory effect on enzymes involved in the
biotransformation and detoxification of xenobiotic
substances49.
Antiulcerative and Immunomodulatory Activity
The traditional use of bitter melon for treating
gastrointestinal ulcers is recommended. Dried fruits
powder administered in filtered honey have significant
and dose-dependent activity against ethanol-induced
ulcerogenesis in rats. Various studies have found both
immunostimulating and immunosuppressive effects, due
to extracts and isolated constituents of bitter melon 16. It
is highly dependent on the type of extract or constituent,
its dosage and its route of administration.
CONCLUSION
Momordica charantia Linn. (Karela) is a potential herbal
plant which is used as vegetable and medicine. It is a
good source of various medicinally important
biochemicals like, triterpene, protein, steroid, alkaloid,
and phenolic which are responsible for its biological and
pharmacological activities including anti-diabetic, anti-
oxidant, anti-cancerous and anti-tumorous, anti-
microbial, anti-fertility, anti-viral, anti-helmintic, anti-
malarial, anti-ulcerative and immunomodulatory etc. on
the basis of all these properties Momordica charantia
Linn. (Karela) can be utilized as a good source of
nutritional, medicinal and pesticidal agent.
REFERENCES
1. Taylor L: Technical Data Report for Bitter melon
(Momordica charantia) Herbal Secrets of the Rainforest.
2nd edition. Sage Press 2002. Austin.
2. (www.rain-tree.com\bittermelon.htm)
3. Kirtikar KR and Basu BD: Indian medicinal plant. 1987;
1130.
4. Beloin N, Gbeassor M, Akpagana K, Hudson J, de Soussa K,
Koumaglo K and Arnason JT: Ethnomedicinal uses of
Momordica charantia (Cucurbitaceae) in Togo and
relation to its phytochemistry and biological activity. J
Ethnopharmacol 96: 2005; 49-55.
5. Grover JK and Yadav SP: Pharmacological actions and
potential uses of Momordica charantia. A Rev J
Ethnopharmacol 93(1): 2004; 123-132.
6. Ng TB, Chan WY and Yeung HW: Proteins with
abortifacient, ribosome inactivating,
immunomodulatory, antitumor and anti-AIDS activities
from Cucurbitaceae plants. Gen Pharmacol 23: 1992;
579-590.
7. Scartezzini P and Speroni E: Review on some plants of
Indian traditional medicine with antioxidant activity. J
Ethnopharmacol 71: 2000; 23-43.
8. Zafar R and Neerja: Momordica charantia-a review.
Hamdard Medicine 34: 1991; 49-61.
9. Nazimuddin S and Naqvi SS: Flora of Pakistan No 154,
Cucurbitaceae Deptt Botany University Karachi 1984; 56.
10. Duke JA: Handbook of medicinal herbs. CRC Press, Boca
Raton FL 1985; 315-316.
11. Agrawal M and Kamal R: In vitro clonal propation of
Momordica charantia L. Ind J Biotech (3): 2004; 426-430.
12. Kumar DS, Sharathnath KV, Yogeswaran P, Harani A,
Sudhakar K, Sudha P and Banji D: A medicinal potency of
Momordica charantia. Int J Pharmaceu Sci Rev Res 1(2):
2010; 95.
13. Indian Medicinal Plants: A Compendium of 500 species,
Orient Longman Ltd., Madras 4: 1995; 48-51.
14. Nadkarni KM: Indian Materia Medica. Vol 1, Popular
Prakashan 1993; 805-806.
15. Jadhav D: Medicinal plants of Madhya Pradesh and
Chhattisgarh 2008; 213-214.
16. (http://www.singleherbs.org/products/karela.htm)
17. Dhalla NS, Gupta KC, Sastry MS and Malhotra CL: Chemical
composition of the fruit of Momordica charantia Linn. Ind
J Pharmacol 23: 1961; 128.
18. Braca A, Siciliano T, D’Arrigo M and Germano MP:
Chemical composition and antimicrobial activity of
Momordica charantia seed essential oil. Fitoter 79: 2008;
123-125.
19. Agharkar SP: Medicinal plants of Bombay Presidency.
Scientific Publishers, Jodhpur 1953.
20. Garau C, Cummings E, Phoenix DA and Singh J: Beneficial
effect and mechanism of action of Momordica
charantia in the treatment of diabetes mellitus a mini
review. Int J Diab Metabol 11: 2003; 46-55.
21. Jagessar RC, Mohamed A and Gomes G: An evaluation of
the antibacterial and antifungal activity of leaf extracts of
Momordica Charantia against Candida albicans,
Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli. Nat Sci 2008;
6(1).
22. Horax R, Hettiarachchy N and Islam S: Total Phenolic
contents and phenolic acid constituents in four varieties
of bitter melons (Momordica charantia) and antioxidant
activities of their extracts. J Food Sci 2005; 70.
23. Sathishsekar D and Subramanian S: Antioxidant properties
of Momordica Charantia (bitter gourd) seeds on
Streptozotocin induced diabetic rats. Asian Pacific J Clin
Nutr 14(2): 2005; 153-158.
Volume 11, Issue 1, November – December 2011; Article-007 ISSN 0976 – 044X
International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences Review and Research
37
Available online at
www.globalresearchonline.net
24. Virdia J, Sivakamia S, Shahanib S, Sutharc AC, Banavalikar
MM and Biyanic MK: "Antihyperglycemic effects of three
extracts from Momordica charantia." J Ethnopharmacol
88(1): 2003; 107-11.
25. Khan BB and Flier JS: "Obesity and insulin resistance." J
Clin Investigation 106:2000; 473-481.
26. Shetty AK, Kumar GS, Sambaiah K and Salimath PV: "Effect
of bitter gourd (Momordica charantia) on glycaemic
status in streptozotocin induced diabetic rats." Plant
Foods Human Nutr 60: 2005; 109-12.
27. Lotlikar MM and Rao MRR: Pharmacology of a
hypoglycaemic principle isolated from the fruits of
Momordica charantia Linn. Ind J Pharmacol 28: 1966;
129.
28. About Herbs: Bitter Melon": Memorial Sloan-Kettering
Cancer Center. http://www.mskcc.org/mskcc/html/
69138.cfm, Retrieved 2007; 12-27.
29. Cunnick JE, Sakamoto K, Chapes SK, Fortner GW and
Takemoio DJ: Induction of tumor cytotoxic immune cells
using a protein from the bitter melon (Momordica
charantia). Cellular Immunol 126(2): 1990; 278.
30. Lee-Huang S, Bourinbaiar AS, Huang P, Huang HI and
Huang PL: Plant proteins useful for treating tumors and
HIV infection. U.S. Patent #5484889 1996; 1-28.
31. Terenzi A, Boloqnesi A, Pasqualucci L, Flenghi L, Pileri S,
Stein H, Kadin M, Biqerna B, Polito L, Tazzari PL, Martelli
MF, Stirpe F and Falini B: “Anti-CD30 (BER=H2)
immunotoxins containing the type-1 ribosome-
inactivating proteins momordin and PAP-S (pokeweed
antiviral protein from seeds) display powerful antitumor
activity against CD30+tumor cells in vitro and in SCID
mice.” Braz J Haematol 92: 1996; 872–79.
32. Sankaranarayanan J and Jolly CI: Phytochemical,
antibacterial, and pharmacological investigations on
Momordica charantia Linn. Emblica offidnalis Gaertn. and
Curcuma longa Linn. Ind J Pharmaceu Sci 55(1): 1993; 6.
33. Yasilada E, Gurbuz I and Shibata H: “Screening of Turkish
anti-ulcerogenic folk remedies for anti-Helicobacter pylori
activity.” J Ethnopharmacol 66(3): 1999; 289-93.
34. Ziad D, Elias A and Roula AM: Antibacterial activity of
Rheum rhaponticum, Olea europaea, and Viola odorata on
esbl producing clinical isolates of Escherichia coli and
Klebsiella pneumoniae. Int J Pharmaceu Sci Res 2(7): 2011;
1669-1678.
35. Ghosh P, Chakraborty P and Ghosh GB et al.: Antibacterial,
antifungal and phytotoxic screening of some prepared
pyrazine derivatives in comparison to their respective α-
diketo precursors. Int J Pharmaceu Sci Res 2(7): 2011;
1687-1692.
36. Johnsona DB, Shringib BN, Patidara DK, Chalichema NSS,
Javvadia AK: Screening of antimicrobial activity of
alcoholic & aqueous extract of some indigenous plants.
Indo-Global J Pharmace Sci 1(2): 2011; 186-193.
37. Thanaboripat D, Chareonsettasilp S, Pandee K and
Udomwongsup K: Inhibitory effect of Kaffir lime, Bitter
cucumber and Tobacco extracts on the growth of
Aspergillus flavus. KMITL Sci Technol J 6(1): 2006; 18-24.
38. Stepka W, Wilson KE and Madge GE: “Antifertility
investigation on Momordica.Lloydia 37(4): 1974; 645c.
39. Bourinbaiar AS and Lee-Huang S: Potentiation of anti-HIV
activity of the anti-inflammatory drugs dexamethasone
and indomethacin by MAP30, the antiviral agent from
bitter melon. Biochem Biophy Res Commun 208(2): 1995;
779.
40. Lee-Huang S, Huang PL, Chen HC, Huang PL, Bourinbaiar
AS, Huang HI and Kung HF: “Anti-HIV and anti-tumor
activities of recombinant MAP30 from bitter melon.”
Gene 161(2): 1995; 151–56.
41. Huang TM: “Studies on antiviral activity of the extract of
Momordica charantia and its active principle.” Virologica
5(4): 1990; 367–73.
42. Lee-Huang S: “MAP 30: a new inhibitor of HIV-1 infection
and replication.” FEBS Lett. 272(1-2): 1990; 12–18.
43. Lifson JD, Mcgrath MS, Yeung HW and Hwang KM:
“Method of inhibiting HIV.” U.S. Patent #4795739 1989; 1-
28.
44. Bourinbaiar AS and Lee-Huang S: “The activity of plant-
derived antiretroviral proteins MAP30 and GAP31 against
Herpes simplex virus in vitro.” Bioche Biophy Res Commun
219(3): 1996; 923–29.
45. Balboa JG and Lim-Sylianco CY: Antigenotoxic effects of
drug preparations Akapulko and Ampalaya. Philippine J Sci
121(4): 1992; 399.
46. Lal J, Chandra S, Raviprakash V and Sabir M: In vitro
anthelmintic action of some indigenous medicinal plants
on Ascaridia galli worms. Ind J Physiol Pharmacol 20(2):
1976; 64.
47. Grewal RC: Medicinal plants 2000.
48. http://www.gmanews.tv/story/35962/Ampalaya-tablets-
out-soon-for-diabetics.
49. Ganguly CDeS and Das S: Prevention of carcinogen-
induced mouse skin papilloma by whole fruit aqueous
extract of Momordica charantia. European J Cancer
Preview 9(4): 2000; 283-288.
*******************
... In ayurveda it is called Karavellaka and used in many therapeutic actions like anti-diabetic,anti-cancerous and anti-tumorous, anti-microbial, anti-viral, anti-helminthic, antimalarial, anti-ulcerative and immunomodulatory (Gupta et al., 2011). It has various active phytoconstituents like charantin, charine, cryptoxanthin, cucurbitins, cucurbitacins, cucurbitanes, cycloartenols, diosgenin, elaeostearic acids, erythrodiol, galacturonic acids, gentisic acid, goyaglycosides, goyasaponins, guanylate cyclase inhibitors, gypsogenin, etc. (Joseph et. ...
... al., 2013). Momordica charantia have many alkaloids like Charantin, vicine, glycosides, karavilosides, plant insulin named as polypeptide-p, etc. which are hypoglycemicin nature (Gupta et al., 2011). ...
Chapter
Full-text available
Plants are the rich source of energy as well as essential nutrients. Since centuries they are principle source of nutrition for living organisms especially vegetarians. In ancient time various medicinal plants were used in different disease conditions. Medicinal plants are natural resources to cure various diseases condition without any harmful effect. They are used as primary curative and palliative treatment. They have starch, proteins, fats and soluble as well as insoluble fibers which makes them choice of treatment agents. Now days there is high prevalence of lifestyle, environmental, occupational disorders, Diabetes Mellitus, Hypertension, Liver disorder, Cognitive disorder, Cancer, Heart diseases etc. Medicinal plants like Gymneme sylvrstre, Allium sativum, Momordica charantia, Rauwolfia serpentine, Withania somnifera,Termialia arjuna, etc. are used in various disorder like liver, lungs, heart etc. Various books of ancient science, review articles from PubMed, Scopus, Google scholar as well as policy documents of government organizations are searched and reviewed. Our review allowed us to identify lifestyle disorders as a real concern and use of 13 medicinal plants in their treatment. The pivotal role of the active principle 144 Medicinal Plants ResearchTrends and Dimensions of medicinal plants in cure and treatment of various pathological conditions especially lifestyle disorders.
... Studies show that a mother expecting a baby (with no cases of diabetes earlier) is diagnosed with hyperglycemia at the time of delivery. It may be due to human placental lactogen or other physiological changes that take place mainly at the time of pregnancy (Gupta M. et al., 2011). Over half of diabetic patients are affected by diabetic neuropathy. ...
... s within a time period of nearly of 72 hours (Furman. et al., 2015). For confirmation of diabetes the rats in each group were tested for blood sugar by using diagnostic kit. After confirmation of diabetes the animals were isolated and divided as per the groups for development of neuropathy. Genearlly, neuropathy develops around 14-21day in rodents (Gupta. et al., 2011). Finally, after 21 days animals were assesed for neuroprotective effect by using experimental methods-Eddy's hot plate and Tail flick analgesiometer. ...
Article
Diabetic neuropathy is the most dangerous complication of diabetes which is very difficult to treat. Its diagnosis in the early stage is very essential for its control and prevent outcomes of the illness. Protective effect of hydroethanolic extract of Clematis Buchananiana leaves was investigated for evaluation of neuroprotective effect in diabetic-induced neuropathy in wistar rats. Streptozotocin induces diabetes within 3 days by destroying the beta cells of pancreatic gland. For assessment of diabetes, blood glucose level was measured with the help of a glucometer. Two different pain models i.e. Eddy's hot plate and Tail flick analgesiometer was used for measurement of analgesic activity in wistar albino rats. As a result of the study, it was the discovered that the animals treated with standard drug (Gabapentin, 100mg/kg) had maximum neuroprotective effect, followed by higher dose of hydroethanolic extract of Clematis buchananiana leave. After this study, it can be concluded that hydroethanolic extract of Clematis buchananiana has exhibit protective effect in diabetic induced neuropathy and it can be further explored and investigated for benefits of humans in management of several ailments.
... In ayurveda it is called Karavellaka and used in many therapeutic actions like anti-diabetic,anti-cancerous and anti-tumorous, anti-microbial, anti-viral, anti-helminthic, antimalarial, anti-ulcerative and immunomodulatory (Gupta et al., 2011). It has various active phytoconstituents like charantin, charine, cryptoxanthin, cucurbitins, cucurbitacins, cucurbitanes, cycloartenols, diosgenin, elaeostearic acids, erythrodiol, galacturonic acids, gentisic acid, goyaglycosides, goyasaponins, guanylate cyclase inhibitors, gypsogenin, etc. (Joseph et. ...
... al., 2013). Momordica charantia have many alkaloids like Charantin, vicine, glycosides, karavilosides, plant insulin named as polypeptide-p, etc. which are hypoglycemicin nature (Gupta et al., 2011). ...
Chapter
Natural products have been used to prevent and to treat various diseases from thousands of years. Cancer chemoprevention with natural phytochemical compounds is an emerging strategy to preventor cure cancer with affordable conditions. Several unfavourable side effects might arise with chemotherapy. Certain bioactive components from the plants have been used for their anticancer activities. These include curcumin, andrographolide, asiaticoside, phyllanthin, withaferin A, gingerol etc. In cancer therapy, using plant-derived compounds may help to reduce negative side effects. However, a myriad of many plant products exist that have shown very promising anti-cancer properties in vitro, but have yet to be evaluated for human’s use. Further study is required to determine the efficacy of these phytochemicals in treating cancers. In recent years, the various plants derived chemical compounds that have shown as anticancer agents and will outline their potential mechanism of action.
... Other important uses are based on its fungicidal effects against phytopathogens and insecticides / larvicides / antipupal effect on plant pests and its beneficial effects against skin conditions, antipsoriasis, anti-wound healing, anti-cardiovascular diseases. The plant also has a hepatoprotective effect, an analgesic effect and is considered a good source of food with a tonic effect on the body [WALTERS & DECKERS, 1988;GROVER & YADAV, 2004;BEHERA & al. 2010BEHERA & al. , 2011KUMAR & BHOWMIK, 2010;GUPTA & al. 2011;MAHMOOD & al. 2012;AGARWAL, 2014;NAGARANI & al. 2014a, b;SAIFI & al. 2014;ANILAKUMAR & al. 2015;TCHEGHEBE & al. 2016;MAHMOUD & al. 2017;DE OLIVEIRA & al. 2018;RAHMAN & al. 2018;ASNA & al. 2020;KOLE & al. 2020;ŞESAN, 2020]. ...
Article
Momordica charantia L. (Cucurbitaceae family), medicinal and nutraceutical plant known from Asia, South Africa, South America, the Caribbean region, has been acclimatized in Romania since 1990 until now. This plant, cultivated in the open greenhouses belonging to S.C. HOFIGAL Import Export S.A. has been studied in several projects, among which “Project 160/2014-2017 – MAIA – Multifunctional and innovative products for safe and bioenhanced functional food from newly cultivated plants in Romania”, coordinated by ICECHIM/ INCDCP Bucharest. Starting from this project, a documentary study was carried out on the Momordica charantia plants acclimatized in different countries, and a morpho-anatomical research was initiated on the specimens grown in Romania, in the greenhouses belonging to S.C. HOFIGAL (Voucher BUC 408946-408950). The anatomical observations concerned the organization of the stem, petiole, and leaf lamina, using sets of cross-sectional and paradermal sections, treated with identification substances (IIK) and differential and successive stains (Iodine Green and Carmine Alum). Structural characteristics have been investigated under optical microscopy and documented through original photographic images and a set of dimensional data, data which are only partially found in the specialised literature. The results of our research are generally within the existent anatomical patterns. However, certain particular aspects have been noticed, regarding the epidermal cells, mechanical tissues, conducting tissues and mesophyll, completing the knowledge regarding the anatomy of acclimatized Momordica charantia plants.
... (with traditional names as Mitter melon,/bitter gourd), is a tropical and subtropical plant of the family cucurbitaceae. It is widely grown in India, South Asia, China, Africa and the Caribbean [1]. It is an annual climber. ...
... Kumar et al (2010) has been reported that has been M. charantia fruit juice and leaf tea used for treating malaria, diabetes and other infections. The activity of this extract may be due to the phytochemicals in the extract derived from M. charantia fruit (Gupta et al, 2011). Phenolic compounds are known to have substantial anti-malarial components (Builders et al, 2014). ...
Article
Full-text available
Malaria continues to be a major global health problem and a leading cause of death worldwide. Momordica charantia is a medicinal plant traditionally used in many parts of the tropics. The plant extracts have been shown to exhibit anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-parasitic effects as well as anti-diabetes. The aim of this study is to evaluate a commercial extract of M. charantia fruit for anti-malarial properties using an in vivo model of malarial infection (Plasmodium berghei NK65). Intra-peritoneal administration different doses of extract into ICR mice infected with P. berghei for four consecutive days resulted in chemo-suppressive and dose dependent manner also prolonged median survival of infected mice. The result mentions that the commercial extract displayed anti-malarial activity in vivo against P. berghei NK65.
... The exterior of the fruits are warty and the cross section is hollow with a thin layer of flesh. Flattened seeds and pith are seen in the central cavity which is surrounded by the thin flesh layer (Gupta et al. 2011). The immature fruits are whitish or pale green in colour whereas the mature ones can be seen in light green, green and dark green depending on the varieties and while ripening the colour turns to orange yellow. ...
Article
Full-text available
Bitter gourd is a tropical wine grown mainly in India, China and South East Asia. The plant is cultivated mainly for its fruit part which is edible. Bitter gourd is unaccepted widely due to its bitter taste. Nevertheless, the fruit is a source of several key nutrients . The plant, as a whole contains, more than 60 phyto-medicines that are active against more than 30 diseases, including cancer and diabetes. Currently, the incorporation of the bioactive compounds isolated from bitter gourd into functional foods and beverages finds a new horizon. Nanoencapsulation and novel green extraction methods can be employed to improve the yield and quality of extracted compounds and their stability while incorporation into food products. The present review is an attempt to throw light to nutritional aspects, various bioactive compounds present and important nutraceutical properties of the bitter gourd plant in detail. Graphical Abstract
... The fruits of M. charantia are rich in vitamins, minerals, protein, and lipids. Its seed is a good source of polyunsaturated fatty acids, lipids, and linolenic acid [17,18]. M. charantia is rich in phenolic compounds that prevent oxidative damage. ...
Article
Full-text available
Momordica charantia (M. charantia) is rich in flavonoids, which possess a strong antioxidant capacity andmay help prevent hair loss. This study aims to develop the microemulsion of M. charantia with antioxidant activity and 5 alpha-reductase (5aR) inhibitory activity. The total phenolic content (TPC), antioxidant activity, and 5aR inhibitory activity of ethanolic and aqueous extracts of the fruit were investigated. The preparation of M. charantia extract-loaded microemulsion (MELM) was optimized and characterized the MELM. The aqueous extract of M. charantia fruit flesh displayed a TPC of 780.75 � 24.82 mg Gallic acid equivalence/g of extract. ABTS (2,20-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzthiazoline-6-sulphonic acid), DPPH (2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl), and nitric oxide (NO) radical scavenging activities were observed in all the extracts. About 0.461 � 0.003 mg finasteride equivalence/g of extract of 5aR inhibitory activity was detected in the aqueous extract of the inner tissue of M. charantia fruit. Based on NO radical scavenging and 5aR inhibitory activity, an aqueous extract of the inner tissue (pericarp with seed) of M. charantia fruit was used to prepare the MELM. The MELM was prepared using a different ratio of tween 80 and ethanol as Smix. The results showed that the 1:1 ratio of tween 80: ethanol produced microemulsion of an optimum size, zeta potential, and polydispersity index. The MELM samples were stored at 5, 30, and 40 �C for 12 weeks, and the stability was assessed. The results revealed that the size, zeta potential, and polydispersity index of the formulated MELM remained unchanged during the investigated time. This study primarily reports the 5aR inhibitory activity of M. charantia extract and the development of microemulsion. The prepared MELM could be further developed into cosmetic or pharmacological preparations to manage hair loss.
Article
Full-text available
Diabetes is a metabolic illness defined by hyperglycemia that affects 10% of the world’s population. Diabetic complications such as blindness, kidney failure, and heart failure can develop if left untreated and are made worse by oxidative stress. Oxidative stress contributes to the rise of diabetic complications, particularly type-2 diabetes. In the blood vessels of diabetic individuals, it causes endothelial dysfunction. Diabetes is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. Nowadays, it is alarming that the number of diabetic patients is increasing dramatically. There are plenty of anti-diabetic drugs available on the market, but they possess several adverse effects and do not completely cure diabetes. It has now become a financial burden on patients, their families, and society as well. Medicinal plants have gained popularity in developed and developing countries over the last two decades because of their vast natural sources and lack of harmful effects compared to modern allopathic medications. According to the World Health Organization, traditional medicines, which are mostly manufactured from plants, are still used by 80% of the population in developing countries for the management and curing of diseases. This review includes 81 Bangladeshi medicinal plants from 51 different families that can be used to treat diabetes and oxidative stress. Among them, Psidium guajava (L. ), Aloe vera , Catharanthus roseus , Allium sativum, Annona squamosa , Cinnamon zeylaniucm, Amaranthus esculentus , Eugenia jambolana , Azadirachta indica , Moringa oleifera , Spondias pinnata , Coccinia grandis (L. ), Momordica charantia L. , Heretiera fomes, Trigonella foenum-graecum were most potent. The fundamental purpose of our study is to find out and highlight certain medicinal plants in Bangladesh that have an-ti-diabetic and antioxidant capabilities so that the researchers can develop newer anti-diabetic medications with minimal side effects to treat metabolic dysfunction, diabetic complications, and oxidative stress more effectively.
Chapter
Momordica charantia L. (MC, bitter melon) is a cultivated plant from the family Cucurbitaceae. Regarding metabolomics and phytochemical studies, it has phenolic compounds, terpenoids, saponins, peptides and proteins, and polysaccharides as main constituents with pharmacological effects. Preclinical and clinical studies exhibited numerous biological activities attributed to MC or its constituents. Antidiabetic, cardioprotective, antidyslipidemia, antiobesity hypotensive, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, hepatoprotective, renoprotective, neuroprotective, anticancer antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, anthelmintic, antimalarial, and wound healing are significant beneficial properties of MC and its ingredients. Although its safety and toxicity are not vastly studied in clinical trials, some adverse clinical manifestations have been reported afterward its consumption. Modification of its bioavailability by fabrication of nanotechnology-based formulations and conducting more clinical trials for investigation of its efficacy and toxicity are the future prospects.KeywordsCucurbitaceaePhytochemicals Momordica charantia Bitter melonBitter gourdPharmacological applicationsChemical components
Article
Full-text available
A herb is a plant that is valued for flavor, scent, or other qualities. Herbs are used in cooking, as medicines, and for spiritual purposes. From ancient days to now a day, medicinal plants are a potential and useful for the treatment of several diseases and disorders. Main reason behind of that is medicinal plants is not having any side effects. One of the common tropical vegetable is Momordica charnatia, it has been used in various Asian traditional medicine. In this review, we revealed the medicinal potency of Momordica charantia linn.
Article
Full-text available
The aim of this study was to determine the antimicrobial activity of three selected Lebanese plants (Rheum rhaponticum, Olea europaea, and Viola Odorata) against Extended Spectrum Beta Lactamase (ESBL)-producing Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae, and to identify the specific plant fraction responsible for the antimicrobial activity. The plants were extracted with ethanol to yield the crude extract which was further subfractionated by different solvents to obtain the petroleum ether, the dichloromethane, the ethyl acetate and the aqueous fractions. The Minimum Inhibitory Concentrations (MIC) and Minimum Bactericidal Concentrations (MBC) were determined using broth microdilution. The MICs ranged between 2.5 and 80 μg/μl. The majority of these microorganisms were inhibited by 80 and 40 μg/μl of the crude extracts. The dichloromethane fraction of Olea europea exerted a significant inhibitory effect on 90% of the tested strains. Ethyl acetate extracts of all selected plants presented antibacterial activity with high potency. Aqueous extracts of Rheum rhaponticum and Olea europaea exerted antimicrobial activity against the majority of the tested strains while Viola Odorata's aqueous extract showed less activity. This study constitutes a good example for the screening of antimicrobial activities of plants on highly resistant organisms of clinical importance; however, toxicity of these extracts needs more investigation. INTRODUCTION: Pathogenic bacteria constitute a major cause of morbidity and mortality in humans. The emergence and spread of bacterial resistance has made the treatment of infectious diseases more problematic. In this context, resistance in Gram negative bacteria presents a major challenge for the antimicrobial therapy and significantly narrows the treatment options of human infections 1. Extended Spectrum β-Lactamase (ESBL) producing bacteria are spread worldwide.
Article
Full-text available
Plants known to possess several antimicrobial compounds are used in all traditional medicine. Our study was to screen the leaf extracts of Aloe vera, Datura stromonium, pongamia pinnata, Lantona camara , Calotropis procera. These plants were collected and aqueous and alcoholic extracts were prepared by decoction and hot percolation process. Microbes for study are staphylococcus, E.coli and Aspergillus species. They were isolated from different sources and identified by morphological and chemical tests. Different dilutions of the test drugs were prepared with saline and by using turbidity method MIC was found and anti fungal activity by spore germination method.
Article
Since ancient times, plants and herbal preparations have been used as medicine. Research carried out in last few decades has certified several such claims of use of several plants of traditional medicine. Popularity of Momordica charantia (MC) in various systems of traditional medicine for several ailments (antidiabetic, abortifacient, anthelmintic, contraceptive, dysmenorrhea, eczema, emmenagogue, antimalarial, galactagogue, gout, jaundice, abdominal pain, kidney (stone), laxative, leprosy, leucorrhea, piles, pneumonia, psoriasis, purgative, rheumatism, fever and scabies) focused the investigator’s attention on this plant. Over 100 studies using modern techniques have authenticated its use in diabetes and its complications (nephropathy, cataract, insulin resistance), as antibacterial as well as antiviral agent (including HIV infection), as anthelmintic and abortifacient. Traditionally it has also been used in treating peptic ulcers, interestingly in a recent experimental studies have exhibited its potential against Helicobacter pylori. Most importantly, the studies have shown its efficacy in various cancers (lymphoid leukemia, lymphoma, choriocarcinoma, melanoma, breast cancer, skin tumor, prostatic cancer, squamous carcinoma of tongue and larynx, human bladder carcinomas and Hodgkin’s disease). There are few reports available on clinical use of MC in diabetes and cancer patients that have shown promising results.