Nowadays in the market you can often find a kind of fruit of a bright orange (up to bright red) color, on the surface of which the small something like suckers are visible, and inside it contains the red and delicious fetuses. This former exotic south plant is called the Momordica (Charantia).
The homeland of momordica is considered the region of South-East Asia. Its fruits have an interesting taste; it is also called the Indian garnet. Among other things, the momordica has a number of medicinal and medicinal properties, so it is widely used not only in cooking, but also in folk-medicine. In this article, we will consider the useful and therapeutic momordica properties, cooking and medicinal recipes.
Cultivation of momordica and care
The process of growing this plant is very similar to the cultivation of the ordinary cucumbers. So, the momordica can be safely planted in a frame or a greenhouse, even at home on the window sill. As a rule, plant's seeds are planted, but also the reproduction can occur by cuttings. Someone planted the momordica as an ornamental plant, and someone, as a vegetable garden crop. The momordica seeds are planted in the soil, to a depth of 0.6-0.8 in. At the same time, they are immersed in the ground with their ribs. Immediately after planting, the place should be watered, after which you cannot water for two-three days. The first shoots will appear in 10-15 days, and further, the plant is grown like the cucumbers.
Benefits and Composition of Momordica
It is amazing that not only the fruits of a plant are useful in the momordica, but also the rest of its parts − leaves, stems and even roots. So, for example, in the momordica leaves there are a huge number of useful elements. Here you can find the calcium and the phosphorus, as well as the sodium, the ferrum, etc. In the fruits and shoots of momordica, there is an abundant amount of potassium and silicon, selenium, zinc and, of course, vitamins:
- a group of vitamins B;
- vitamins A and E;
- vitamins F and C.
There are the polyunsaturated acids in the fruits, in particular, pantothenic and nicotinic acids, as well as a small amount of folic acid. The plant's leaves can be used to prepare various dishes − soups, snacks, salads and other delicacies. The momordica fetuses are consumed ripe or slightly green. In principle, there is no difference in the benefits between ripe and slightly immature vegetables, they are both pleasant to the taste, and differ only in tartness and acuity.
The caloric value of momordica is as much as 19 Kcal, which is rather enough for the garden's culture. In the plant's vegetable contains 0.1g of proteins and the same amount of fats, as well as 0.12g of carbohydrates.
The momordica contributes to an increase in the number of enzymes in the organism, especially in the pancreas. This has a positive effect on many functions of the body, the production of insulin, which helps control the normal level of sugar in the blood.
Among the momordica useful properties scientists have been able to identify its ability to inhibit the cancer cells. The momordica's extract is a part of medical preparations intended for the prevention of the prostate cancer. The plant's components are also effective against the sarcoma and the melanoma, in the fight against the liver cancer or the leukemia.
The momordica also has the antiviral properties. Of course because of the plant's small popularity, it is not used to combat the viral diseases, and in vain. After all, the momordica is quietly growing and able to bear fruits even in a temperate climate. However, where, if the plant has long been ingrained in the local folk-medicine, it is used to treat the hepatitis, the diabetes, the asthma, getting rid of worms and parasites, to heal the wounds.
Momordica is able to remove from the body the harmful substances, the toxins and the pathogens that affect the immune system. Therefore, it is mainly indispensable useful product.
Contraindications and Harm to Momordica
Using of momordica is absolutely safe, but there are some limitations and contraindications regarding drug use. The momordica is not recommended for use during the lactation and for the pregnant women. The thyroid gland diseases also limit the momordica using. It is not advisable to consume the vegetables of the plant with the ailments of adrenals and stomach. The decoctions based on this plant can trigger an exacerbation of chronic and ulcerative stomach diseases, contribute to the occurrence of heartburn and increased salivation. Among the side-effects, there is also an allergic reaction, the single cases of poisoning. Actually, the individual intolerance is another reason to refuse to use this vegetable.
Culinary and Therapeutic Recipes of Momordica
Previously, we were said that there are recipes for cooking the momordica as a culinary character, and as a therapeutic drug. Therefore, let us consider in order the recipes for the preparation of this wonderful vegetable.
Appetizer from the momordica. To prepare you need the following components:
- green fruit of the momordica;
- turmeric (optional);
- for frying − vegetable oil.
Choose to feel a hard vegetable and only green, as in the photo. If the inside is already slightly pink flesh around the seeds − it does not matter (but tastes better when it is white-green). Keep in mind that the orange ones are inedible. Slice it with ringlets and fill with the water and add the salt, the latter is added in abundance. While ringlets float in brine, warm oil on a frying pan. The momordica is sprinkled with flour. Fry from two sides. Remove from the frying pan and put on the surface a pair of napkins to collect the oil; on top, too, cover with a napkin.
Salad from Momordica. There are the following components:
- 1 fruit of momordica;
- beet tops;
- 1 onion;
- 1-2 large tomatoes;
- balsamic vinegar for dressing (or simply 1 tablespoon of olive oil).
The momordika is cleaned and soak from the bitterness two hours in the salt water. Then, it rinses and cut into the small blocks. The remaining vegetables are cutting, put together with the momordica into a salad bowl, mixed and filled with balsamic vinegar.
A tincture made from fetuses of momordica. The last (without seeds) are cut into small pieces. Densely fill them into a three-litre jar. Pour in a jar of vodka (0.5 litres), close with the lid. Soak for two weeks in a dark cool place.
This tincture is drunk three days on an empty stomach (30 minutes before meals) for 1 teaspoon three times a day. The tincture of momordica fetuses is effective for the colds (cough, runny nose and temperature), the psoriasis and the rheumatism. And also it is used as a means to strengthen the body's immunity.
Decoction of the momordica seeds. About 15-20 crushed seeds pour one cup of the boiling water, keep on a low heat for ten minutes. Then, insist for an hour and filter. This tincture is drunk 50 mg, three-four times a day, with the hemorrhoids and as diuretic, with the febrile illnesses.