Product code: P11005
Also known as Momordica chinensis, Karella, Papailla, Bittergourd, Balsam apple, and Balsam pear.
Bitter Melon is from the Cucurbitaceae family, and the Charantia species. The whole plant, fruit and seed are all used.
Bitter melon grows in tropical areas, including parts of the Amazon, east Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean, and is cultivated throughout South America as a food and medicine. It is a slender, climbing annual vine, with long-stalked leaves and yellow, solitary male and female flowers. The fruit appears as a warty gourd, usually oblong and resembling a small cucumber. The young fruit is green, turning to orange-yellow when ripe, and at maturity, the fruit splits into three, curling backwards and releasing numerous brown or white seeds encased in scarlet arils. The Latin name for Bitter Melon, 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 bitter as the name suggests.