Momordica balsamina – balsam apple
Also known as balsam apple or bitter melon, it belongs to the pumpkin family and is native to tropical regions of Africa, Arabia, Asia and the Caribbean.
This plant has special medicinal and nutritional values and is used in traditional medicine in many countries. It contains resins, alkaloids, flavonoids, glycosides, steroids, terpenes and saponins, which have various medical effects. An example is Balsamin that is isolated from the seeds of Momordica Balsamina.
It has broad antiviral activity because it blocks the replication of influenza viruses. These observations can offer new therapeutic options for the treatment of viral infections.
Inhibition of HIV-1 replication by balsamin, a ribsome inactivation protein of Momordica balsamina. Kaur I, Puri M., Ahmed Z, Blanchet FP, Manageat B, Piguet V. PLoS One. 2013 Sep 5;8(9):e73780. Doi:10.1371/journal.pone0073780. eCollection 2013
Momordica balsamina: a medicinal and neutraceutical plant for health care management. Thakur GS, Bag M, Sanodiya BS, Bhadouriya P, Debnath M, Prasad GB, Bisen PS. Curr Pharm Biotechnol. 2009 Nov; 10(7):667-82. Review.