Bitter Melon (Momordica charantia)

Bitter Melon (Momordica charantia)

Momordica charantia, known as bitter melon, bitter gourd, bitter squash, or balsam-pear, has names in other languages which have entered English as loanwords, e.g. goya from Okinawan and karela from Sanskrit. Those from the Caribbean island of Jamaica commonly refer to the plant as cerasee.

It is a tropical and subtropical vine of the family Cucurbitaceae, widely grown in Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean for its edible fruit. Its many varieties differ substantially in the shape and bitterness of the fruit.

Bitter melon originated in India and was introduced into China in the 14th century.


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