Nuffnang Ads

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

GROWING WILD BITTER GOURD & ITS MEDICINAL USES.

When I was younger, I do not know how to appreciate bitter melon or bitter gourd. It was later in my adult years that I learned to eat and appreciate bitter gourd. The common ones are the longer and bigger bitter gourd that we normally buy from the local market and they are used in our Asian cuisines.
Today I am sharing about the wild bitter gourd or the Indian variety which is also edible. It is smaller in size and harder in texture than the normal, longer and bigger ones. And also more bitter than the normal ones. At one time, these can only be found at the Indian stalls in the market but now these can also be easily found at other stalls.
I bought some wild bitter gourds and kept them in the refrigerator. By the time I remembered and wanted to juice them, some have ripen and turned yellow. I cut them open and took the seeds out to plant.

When the gourd is ripe, the seeds covering called arils are red and fleshy. From the internet, I have read that the arils can be eaten. But the ripe orange gourds and the seeds are toxic and not to be eaten. So far, we have eaten the green ones but not the fully ripen fruits.

The seeds germinated very easily and very soon, baby plants were growing well and healthy in the moist garden soil. I watered them daily and fertilized them every two weeks.

Very soon, tendrils started growing from the plants, I put up some supports for them to climb and twine. I placed the pot in full sun.

The vines are not very big and the fruits are small and not heavy. The leaves or vines when touched, have a kind of smell.

These are the small yellow flowers. Once the female flowers are pollinated, the small bulge below the flowers will turn into gourds.

After pollination, the gourd started to grow. Notice there are fine hairs along the vines.

Here is another baby gourd. There are also fine hairs under the leaves.

Wild bitter gourds are plucked, cooked and eaten when they are still green. The gourds can also be juiced and drank for their health benefits and to lower blood sugar. Bitter gourds are rich in potasium, vitamin A & C. Some claimed that the leaves and flowers are edible but I have not tried.

These are some of the ways I used the wild bitter gourds.
  • Fry egg omelette with thinly sliced gourds, etc.
  • Raw fruits to juice and drink (very bitter, dilute with water before drinking).
  • In soups together with minced or sliced meat or dried shrimps or anchovies and vegetables.
This was the first fruit. Before I could pluck it, it has ripen to this colour. Keeping the seeds for future germination.

There are many claims that wild bitter gourds have many medicinal uses. Some of them are:
  • One of the most popular claim is to lower blood sugar effectively. Diabetic patients on medications are advised to be cautious when consuming wild bitter gourds to avoid the blood sugar dropping too low.
  • Traditional treatment to relieve stomach disorder, induce menstruation, etc.
  • Intestinal worms - boil vines and leaves, drink as tea.
  • Also for cooling down body heat.
Side-effects/Caution of over dosage.
  • Not advisable for pregnant and breast feeding women and also for those going for surgery or after surgery because bitter gourds may induce bleeding for some.
  • Some may experience mild diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever, etc.
  • Pregnant women - bleeding, contraction, abortion, etc.
  • Reduce fertility in both men and women.
He will love you and bless you, and He will give you many children.

He will give fertility to your land and your animals.

When you arrive in the land He swore to give your ancestors,

you will have large harvests of grain, new wine, and olive oil,

and great herds of cattle, sheep, and goats.

(Deuteronomy 7:13, New Living Translation-NLT)

40 comments:

  1. Omigosh..you are so tempting me to plant everything..lol! ^.^
    This sounds easy enough to plant. Fingers crossed that mine will be as gorgeous as yours. x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sharon, this is very easy to grow. With enough water and fertilizer, there should be no problem with this plant.

      Delete
  2. Nancy, you are an amazing gardener! I always see this small bittergourd at the supermarket. I've tried it before, raw in a kerabu. It was surprisingly good.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Phong Hong, I have not tried the kerabu style. I will have a go at it.

      Delete
  3. I have a few bitter gourd plants too. Just harvest 2 this morning. Mine looks exactly like yours but longer, not bitter at all & more crunchy. I love to stir fry with eggs & lap cheong.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Irene, they come in different shapes and sizes. I also noticed the spiky ones too. Frying with egg and lap cheong will be very yummy.

      Delete
  4. Till now, i do not eat bitter gourd...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sharon, you do not eat even the common, bigger ones? They are nice.

      Delete
  5. Oh you have such green fingers. So healthy.

    ReplyDelete
  6. What an interesting plant, it's from a different world. Tom The Backroads Traveller

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tom, it is also a very useful plant.

      Delete
  7. Your plants are always so beautiful, that's why I always make it a point to visit your blog. Thank you for sharing Nancy! Btw, bitter melon is really bitter. lol. God bless!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Lei. You are such an encouragement. When it is cooked, it is not so bitter. But the juice is really bitter!

      Delete
  8. I have never heard of this gourd, your plants look wonderful. Enjoy your day!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Eileen, thank you and have an enjoyable day!

      Delete
  9. How cool! Used to have bitter gourd clay pot very often during the summer time. Totally miss it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Angie, we used to refer to bitter gourd as king of all vegetables because it can be used to cook many dishes.

      Delete
  10. I would love to walk in your garden. I really would. Beautiful and you're so knowledgeable about plants.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Sandee. My garden is not big, it is a very small garden.

      Delete
  11. I love bitter melon with eggs. I'm growing one at our backyard. I'm so excited to see it grow.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kayni, we both know the joy and excited in seeing our plants grow!

      Delete
  12. I like to eat raw bitter gourd. Have seen this type in supermarkets. So nice that you grow them in your garden.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is very easy to grow and not much care. Have a great day!

      Delete
  13. I have never tried these, you have such a variety in your garden.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is a very useful vegetable to have in the garden.

      Delete
  14. Nancy, your posts are so informative and your photos are so beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing, dear friend. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Linda. Have a lovely day!

      Delete
  15. wow, interesting fruit which I have not seen before

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Gosia. Have a wonderful day!

      Delete
  16. I made juice out of this small bittergourd for hubby before. To lower his blood pressure. Drink in the morning. Add a bit of honey to juice.

    Thanks for sharing this, Nancy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rose, I am also juicing this small bitter gourd for hubby. Use to buy from market.

      Delete
  17. You have gold hands, I'm so bad with plants and you made such an effort to grow one! Outstanding!

    Tanya
    www.StripesNVibes.com
    BlogLovin

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Tanya. I love garden. Have a beautiful day!

      Delete
  18. I've never heard of bitter gourd. A fruit? A vegetable?
    Amalia
    xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Amalia, bitter gourd can be both a fruit and a vegetable.

      Delete
  19. You always have the most amazing plants growing in your garden. I never tried bitter gourd.
    Hugs,
    JB

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Julia, I love to try growing different kinds of plants. Have a great weekend!

      Delete

Thank you for your visits and encouraging comments. They are greatly appreciated. Have a beautiful day.

Linkwithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...