(Momordica charantia L.)

Abrus precatorius pods

Abrus precatorius picture

Kingdom: Plantae
Family: Cucurbiraceae
Genus: Momordica
Species: charantia
Common names: bitter melon, papailla, melao de sao caetano, bittergourd, balsam apple, balsam pear, karela, k'u kua kurela, kor-kuey, ku gua, pava-aki, salsamino, sorci, sorossi, sorossie, sorossies, pare, peria laut, peria Condiamor
Part Used: Leaf, Seed, Root

Main Actions Other Actions Standard Dosage
  • kills bacteria
  • reduces inflammation
  • Leaves, Fruit
  • kills viruses
  • fights free radicals
  • Decoction: 1 cup 1-2 times daily
  • kills cancer cells
  • enhances libido
  • Tincture: 1-3 ml twice daily
  • kills leukemia cells
  • cleanses blood
  • Capsules: 1 g twice daily
  • prevents tumors
  • detoxifies
  • treats diabetes
  • expels worms
  • reduces blood sugar
  • balances hormones
  • reduces blood pressure
  • enhances immunity
  • lowers body temperature
  • mildly laxative
  • lowers cholesterol
  • promotes milk flow

    Ethnobotanical Uses

    Sorosi is the most renowned medicinal plant of Belize. It is used by grandmothers and mothers as a household tonic to treat and prevent intestinal parasites, amoebas, anemia, tiredness, constipation, delayed menses, skin problems, and painful periods - a small handful of leaves and vine is boiled in 3 cups of water for 10 minutes; 3 cups are drunk daily (for a maximum of 10 days) before meals. The entire plant is used to baths skin conditions, skin infections, infestations of ticks and chiggers, and stubborn sores and wounds - a large double handful per gallon of water is boiled for 15 minutes and allowed to cool to tepic. It is said to be useful to treat early stages of diabetes and as a find blood and organ cleanser,. Fresh, ray leaves are chewed for sore throat and outh sores.

    East Indians of Belize relish ripe soroso fruits in curry dishes. A related cultivar of this plant is the well known "bitter melon" used in Oriental cuisine. Research Results

    There has been a great deal of pharmacological research on this plant and the resulting literature is quite complex and sometimes contradictory. Caution is advised when ingesting this plant, as more than one source points to its toxicity when taken orally, and pregnant women should avoit it completely. Jelliffe et al. (1954) suggested that the use of this plant may be associated with the development of acute veno-occlusive disease of the liver in Jamaican children. The TRAMIL 4 workshop classified the internal use of the fruit as toxic, but suggested that external use of the leaves and stems was wrothy of further investigation.

    Habitat; Clearings, edges of forests, fields, pastures, backyards, empty lots.