Melon-melonan is a climbing, herbaceous vine,
5 to 6 meters high. Stems are green, 4-angled, slightly hairy, and faintly disagreeable
in odor. Roots are somewhat tuberous and whitish. Leaves are somewhat hairy on both surfaces,
rounded, 7 to 14 centimeters long and broad, 3- to 5-lobed, the lobes being broad, rounded
or obtuse, the sinuses broad or narrow and rounded; and the base broadly heart-shaped.
Staminate inflorescences are long-peduncled and axillary with 6 to 15
flowers. Calyx-tube is dilated above, about 1 centimeter long, green, and hairy. Petals are white, fimbriate, oblong, about 1.3 centimeters long. Pistillate flowers occur singly in the axils of the leaves. Fruits
is ellipsoid, 3 to 4.5 centimeters long, 2.5 to 3 centimeters in diameter, green and mottled with longitudinal gray
stripes when young, and orange-red when mature. Seeds are half-ellipsoid,
somewhat compressed, undulate, hard, rugose, nearly 1 centimeter long, and imbedded in a soft, foetid, bitter and red pulp.
- Only in Ilocos Sur, Benguet, La Union, Pangasinan, Bataan, Rizal and Laguna Provinces in Luzon, in thickets at
low and medium altitudes, ascending to 1,200 meters.
- Also occurs in India, through Malaya to tropical Australia.
• Leaves, roots, and fruit are all bitter.
• Considered ifacient,
anthelmintic, emetic and purgative.
• Fruit is purgative and emetic.
• Root is cathartic, aperient.
• Used as antidiabetic, hepatoprotective, cytotoxic, antibacterial.
• Root extract study isolated bryonolic acid, chondrillasteryl glucoside, bryononic acid, cucurbitacin B, dihydrocucurbitacin B.
- Two ounces of root
juice is a drastic purgative.
- Bulbous part of the roots acts as hydragogue cathartic.
- Roots used for expelling worms.
- Plant reported to cure quotidian and quartan fevers chiefly by inducing vomiting.
- In Konkan, leaf-juice is rubbed over the liver to relieve congestion, or all over the body in remittent fevers.
- Infusion of tender shoots and dried capsules used as aperient.
- Expressed juice of leaves used as emetic.
- Leaves and stems used for bilious disorders and skin diseases; also used as emmenagogue.
- Bitter, unripe fruit
capsule are dried, and as sugared decoction or infusion used to assist digestion.
- Fruit is considered a violent purgative and efficient emetic.
- Seeds are anthelmintic and antiperiodic.
- In China, widely used
it traditional medicine, where it is also used as an abortifacient.
- Roots used for diabetes, skin swellings likes boils and furuncles.
- Stalks and leaves for fevers.
- In Ayurvedic medicine,
a constituent in many formulations; used for treatment of liver disorders.
- In India, seeds have been sued for dysentery, coughs and as an emetic.
- Used as a purgative; for fever and bronchitis.
Trichosanthes cucurmerina improves glucose
tolerance and tissue glycogen in non insulin dependent diabetes mellitus
induced rats: Study showed T cucurmerina possess antidiabetic activity
with improvement in oral glucose tolerance and glucose uptake in peripheral
• Anti-inflammatory / Root Tubers:
Study showed anti-inflammatory activity of root tubers of trichosanthes cucumerina
(LINN) in mouse's hind paw oedema induced by carrageenin.
A study of the methanolic extract of the whole plant of Tricosanthes
cucumerina, evaluated for hepatoprotective activity against carbon tetrachloride
induced hepatotoxicity, showed histopathologic changes that support the protective
effect of the extract and scientifically supports its use in various
Ayurvedic preparations and traditional medicine for treatment of hepatic
The ethanol extract of TC was evaluated for antiovulatory activity in
adult rats. The extract affected normal estrous cycle, reduced the number
of healthy follicles and increased the number of regressing follicles.
The study observed antiovulatory activity of the EE of the whole plant
Results show the hot water extract of Tricosanthes cucumerina possesses significant and dose-dependent gastroprotective effects in the alcohol model. The same dose also mediated a significant gastroprotective activity in the indomethacin model. In both, the effect was comparable with that produced by cimetidine.
• Bioactive Constituents of Root and Fruit Juice:
Study of root and fruit juice isolated bryonolic acid, chondrillasteryl glucoside, bryononic acid, cucurbitacin B and dihydrocucurbitacin B. The isolated compounds showed antimalarial and antiviral activity.
Studies on extracts of the leaves of Trichosanthes cucumerina screened for antibacterial activity against various pathogenic bacteria (B cerus, E faecalis, S paratyphi, S aureus, E coli, Strep faecalis, P vulgaris, K pneumonia, P aeruginosa and S marcescens) showed the ethyl acetate, chloroform and methanol extracts of T cucumerina leaves showed pronounced activity on all organisms tested with activity comparable to standard antibiotics. Results suggest the extracts can be used as a potential external antiseptic and incorporated into drug formulations.
• Antioxidant / Seeds:
Using the hydrogen peroxide free scavenging method, study of seed extract showed significant antioxidant potential.
• Diabetic Renoprotective:
Study of aqueous extract of T. cucumerina in alloxan-induced diabetic rabbits showed prevention of some and significant reduction of diabetic adverse renal effects. The results were attributed to cytoprotective and antioxidant properties of the extract.
• Bladder Toxicity Effects:
Study of both low and high doses of a methanolic extract of Tc seeds used for the treatment of inflammation did not cause any significant effect on bladder weights and no histological aberration in the urinary bladder.
Study of pretreatment of methanol extract of T. cucumerina fruit in Wistar rats showed reduction of doxorubicin-induced cardiotoxicity.
Study of a hot-water extract in a carrageenan-induced paw edema model in Wistar rats showed significant inhibition of inflammation. Probable mechanisms were inhibition of nitric oxide (NO) production and membrane stabilization activities. Effect was comparable to indomethacin.
Study of a hot-water extract of aerial parts showed a mediation of a dose-dependent reduction in fasting blood glucose levels.