Momordica balsamina L.: An unexploited vegetable crop rich in medicinal and nutritional properties


  • BR Choudhary ICAR-Central Institute for Arid Horticulture
  • MK Berwal ICAR-Central Institute for Arid Horticulture
  • Hanuman Ram ICAR-Central Institute for Arid Horticulture
  • MK Choudhary ICAR-Central Institute for Arid Horticulture
  • Dhurendra Singh ICAR-Central Institute for Arid Horticulture



Momordica balsamina, medicinal, phytochemical, phytotherapeutic


African pumpkin (Momordica balsamina L.) is a tendrilled, wild-type vine plant with a wide range of therapeutic and nutritional properties that has been used as a conventional medicament in many countries. Alkaloids, resins, glycosides, flavonoids, saponins, cardiac glycoside, steroids and terpenes are found in the plant's fruits, seeds, leaves and bark, and they have varied medicinal properties viz., anti-bacterial, anti-diarrheal, anti-plasmodial, anti-septic, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, antioxidant, hypoglycemic, analgesic, and hepatoprotective activities. 'Momordin,' a therapeutic agent, can stop HIV and other viruses from multiplying. The leaves are also a good source of nutrients because they contain 17 amino acids and minerals like potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, sodium, zinc, manganese, and iron. It also aids in the fight against soil micronutrient deficiencies and high protein and fat content with low fibre content. High potassium content is an excellent source for controlling hypertension and other cardiovascular disorders. This plant may be a protein supplement for poor rural people's cereal-based diets. The medicinal and nutritional value of this wild herb for health care management is discussed in this review.


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Author Biographies

BR Choudhary, ICAR-Central Institute for Arid Horticulture

Principal Scientist

MK Berwal, ICAR-Central Institute for Arid Horticulture

Senior Scientist

Hanuman Ram, ICAR-Central Institute for Arid Horticulture


MK Choudhary, ICAR-Central Institute for Arid Horticulture


Dhurendra Singh, ICAR-Central Institute for Arid Horticulture

Principal Scientist


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How to Cite

Choudhary, B., Berwal, M., Ram, H., Choudhary, M., & Singh, D. (2022). Momordica balsamina L.: An unexploited vegetable crop rich in medicinal and nutritional properties. Journal of Agriculture and Ecology, 14(14), 84–92.

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