Bitter Gourd as the Potential Source of Various Bioactive Compounds and Its Use for Different Diseases: A Review
Anam Zahid 1*, Fozia 1, Muhammad Ramzan 2, Safyan Ahmed 3
1 School of Landscape Architecture, Beijing Forestry University, Tsinghua East Road, No.35, 100083, Beijing, P. R. China
2 School of Soil and Water Conservation and Desertification Combating, Beijing Forestry University Tsinghua East Road, No.35, 100083, Beijing, P. R. China
3 Department of Agronomy, University of Agriculture, 39000, Faisalabad, Pakistan
Bitter gourd (Momordica charantia) is an important and unique edible and medicinal vegetable-fruit. Bitter gourd is considered the most bitter among all plants, mainly because of the presence of three pentacyclic triterpenes, momordicinin, momordicin and momordicilin. Bitter gourd contains moisture, ash, lipids, fiber, protein, carbohydrates and energy. It consists of calcium, sodium, potassium, iron, manganese, copper, phosphorus and vitamins. It also contains phytochemicals, minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, and bioactive chemicals. It is helpful for different diseases such as inflammatory, leukemic, diabetic, mutagenic, mycobacterial, microbial, tumor, ulcer, aphrodisiac, viral, astringent, carminative, cytotoxic, hormonal, depurative, hypotensive, immuno-stimulant, etc. This article focuses on the review of benefits that bitter gourd offers in terms of its potential as a source of bioactive compounds and its role in the control of different diseases.