Belonging to the Cucurbitaceae family , the San caetano melon is a pantropical vine from eastern India and southern China. Its scientific name is Momordica charantia L. , and in Brazil its wild type is considered a weed that often appears in orchards, vegetable gardens, fences, fences, coffee plantations and wasteland. Also known as snake fruit, sao caetano herb, laundress herb and melon, the plant has an unpleasant smell and pale yellow or white flowers that appear in bunches or corymbos. Its fruit opens into three golden spiny valves with seeds inside.
It is easily found in tropical areas of the Amazon, the Caribbean, Asia and Africa, in addition to appearing in almost all of Brazil. It has been widely used for medicinal purposes by Amazonian tribes, and its name “laundry herb” comes from its use to lighten clothes and remove stains from them.
Benefits and properties
The melon plant is indicated for use in the treatment of liver inflammation, joint pain, diabetes, eczema, abdominal cramps, inflammatory edema, skin problems, pharyngitis, burns with purulent leucorrhoea, flu, boils, hemorrhoids, intermittent fevers, prison bellyache, cough, yellow phlegm, vaginal irritation, menstruation and PMS, insect bites, ulcers, earaches and rheumatic pain.
Its benefits are possible due to its properties that involve its action as a purgative, vermifuge, antiparasitic, antileukoretic, bactericidal, hypoglycemic, antileukemic, anticancer, antitumor, anti-inflammatory, aphrodisiac, antimycotic, healing, blood purifying, astringent, anticatarral, antirheumatic and antiviral.
In a container, put 1 liter of water and bring to fire. Then add 2 tablespoons of the San caetano melon herb and bring to a boil. When it starts to boil, turn off the heat and cover, leaving the tea sweltered for approximately ten minutes. Then you can strain and consume. The maximum recommended dose is two to three cups of tea a day.
Contraindications and side effects
Consumption is not indicated for pregnant or lactating patients, as well as children. It is also contraindicated for those who want to have children, diabetics and those with chronic diarrhea.
Attention, seeds have toxic compounds and, therefore, should not be consumed in large quantities. It can cause a drastic drop in blood glucose, miscarriage and may have teratogenic action.
When in excess, it can cause vomiting and diarrhea and, according to some sources, just half a spoonful of juice from the ripe fruit can kill a large calf in less than a day.
It should not be taken together with chlorpropamide, antidiabetic drugs and cholesterol-lowering drugs, as it enhances its effects.