Health Benefits of Momordica cymbalaria

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Momordica cymbalaria Quick Facts
Name: Momordica cymbalaria
Colors Green
Shapes 20-25 mm long
Momordica cymbalaria belongs to Cucurbitaceae family and originated in tropical regions of India and South East Asia. It is regarded as underutilized vegetable crop. It is not cultivated commercially due to lack of planting materials. It is an abundant source of fiber, vitamin C, beta carotene, calcium and iron content. It possess medicinal properties such as hepatoprotective, anti-diarrhoel, nephroprotective, antidiabetic, antimicrobial and anti-allergic activity.

It is a climbing annual and perennial herb having scadent, slender, striate and branched stems. Leaves are deeply cordate at the base, orbicular-reniform in outline and are obtusely lobed having five to seven lobes. Fruits measure 20 to 25 mm long and is pyriform having 8 sharp ridges and with base narrowed into curved peduncle which is dark green, fleshy and ribbed. Seeds are shiny, smooth, ovoid shaped and is about 4.6 mm long. Male flower is filiform, ebracteate, puberulaus, about 5-30 mm long with pale yellow corolla and two stamens. Female flower is solitary on a peduncle of 28 mm length. Roots are perennial, woody and tuberous.

Health Benefits of Momordica cymbalaria

Let’s discuss on the health benefits of Momordica cymbalaria:

  1. Treatment for diabetes

Momordica cymbalaria possess hypoglycaemic and anti-diabetic activity. The fruit powder possesses hypoglycaemic activity which was evaluated in normal and alloxan induced diabetic rats. The treatment with fruit powder at 0.25 g/kg of body weight for 15 days showed significant reduction in the levels of blood glucose of diabetic rats. Also the improvement was seen in body weights. The fruit powder lowered anti-diabetic effect in diabetic rats by a mechanism than stimulation of insulin release from the cells. It enhanced the rate of glycogenesis which is indicated by high amounts of hepatic glycogen in diabetic treated group.

  1. Cardioprotective properties

Momordica cymbalaria prevent alterations in marker enzymes of myocardial infection and oxidative stress with uric acid. Myofibrillar and myocytosis degeneration are reported in isoproterenol treated rats. M. cymbalaria displayed normal myofibrillar structure with striations and exhibited marked protection by an extract against myocardial necrotic damage. Rats pretreated with M. cymbalaria demonstrated normal myofibrillar structures with striations and showed as marked protection by an extract against myocardial necrotic damage. Isoproterenol increases LDL cholesterol and decreased HDL cholesterol levels in the serum which increases the chances of myocardial infarction.

  1. Prevent diarrhea

It is reported that methanol extract of fruit shows anti-diarrheal activity against castor oil induced diarrhea in rats. The extract resembles similar activity of diphenoxylate, an anti-diarrheal drug when tested at 200, 400 and 600 mg/kg and lower the frequency of defecation and wetness of fecal droppings in comparison to untreated control rats.

  1. Prevent microbes

Momordica cymbalaria has chloroform, petroleum ether, aqueous and ethanol extracts which inhibits the effect of Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumonia, Aspergillus niger and Pseudomonas aeruginosa in comparison to standard antibiotics. It indicates that it is effective to prevent these organisms.

  1. Cancer prevention

The aerial parts of Momordica cymbalaria have methanol extract that showed anticancer properties in comparison to standard cyclophosphamide against ehrilich ascites carcinoma induced cancer in mice.

Traditional uses

  • Fruits are considered to be stimulant, stomachic, tonic, alterative and laxative.
  • Fruits are used to treat rheumatism, gout and sub-acute cases of liver disease and spleen.
  • It is used for colic, malaria, diabetes, infections, wounds, parasites and worms.
  • Leaf juice, fruit pulp and seeds encompass anti-helimetic activity.
  • Since ancient times, it is used to cure various ailments such as stomach ache and mouth ulcers.

Other facts

Generally it is propagated through tuberous roots.

References:

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/332538901_AN_UPDATED_PHARMACOLOGICAL_OVERVIEW_ON_MOMORDICA_CYMBALARIA_ATHALAKKAI

http://oaji.net/articles/2016/3004-1455614420.pdf

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