HOME      •      SEARCH      •      EMAIL    •     ABOUT


Family Curcubitaceae
Pipinong-gubat
Melothria pendula Linn.
CREEPING CUCUMBER

Scientific names Common names
Apodanthera gracilis Benth. Pipinong-gubat (Tag.)
Bryonia convolvulifolia Schltdl. Creeping cucumber (Engl.)
Bryonia filiformis Roxb. Drooping melonette (Engl.)
Bryonia guadalupensis Spreng. Guadeloupe cucumber (Engl.)
Cucumis glaber Walter Little cucumber (Engl.)
Melothria costensis C. Jeffrey Meloncito (Engl.)
Melothria fluminensis Gardn. Wild cucumber (Engl.)
Melothria guadalupensis (Spreng.) Cogn.  
Melothria pendula Linn.  
Melothria pendula L. is an accepted name The Plant List

Other vernacular names
BRAZIL: Cereja de purga, Pepininho-do-mato, Pepiniculo.
FRENCH: Melonettes.
MEXICO: Sandiita, Pepinito, Tomatito, Esponjuela.
SPANISH: Meloncito, Pepinillo silvestre, Pepinito.
SURINAME Sneki komkomro, Sneki-komkoro.



Botany
Pipinong-gubat is a perennial prostrate or climbing vine with thin and smooth stems and coiled tendrils, growing to a length of six feet or more. Leaves are alternate, toothed, shallowly or deeply five-lobed, reaching a length of 5 to 7 centimeters. Flowers are tiny, yellow, with five petals, about 0.8 centimeter wide. Fruit is a tiny, green to black, smooth, and watermelon-like berry, oblong-elliptic, 10 to 19 millimeters long, about 12 millimeters in diameter, with white spots when young, dangling at the end of the pedicel.

Distribution
- Abundant in the Tagalog areas.
- Common vine in forest areas.

Properties
- Leaves smell like cucumber; fruit tastes like cucumber.
- The black fruit considered a drastic purgative.

Parts used
Leaves, tendrils, fruit.

Uses

Edibility
- Young fruits are edible; eaten fresh or pickled, boiled, steam or stir-fried.
- Green fruits are crispy and juicy; also used as salad ingredient.
- Avoid the dark green or black fruits as they may cause rapid and drastic diarrhea.
- In Thailand and Mexico, leaves, young shoots, tops of stems reportedly eaten, raw or cooked.

Folkloric
- In Surinam, infusion of tendrils taken as a drink to remedy acidity or sour stomach in children. Fruit is considered a very drastic purgative. (Purgative used probably associated with black ripened fruits.) (2)
- In Brazil, used as a purgative.

- In Mexico, infusion of plant used for diabetes. (8) Used as tonic for anemia. Boiled fruits used for heart disease. Crushed fresh plant used for snake bites and applied to rashes and hemorrhoids. (7)

Studies
Hypoglycemic Effect / Fruit and Leaves:
Study investigated the hypoglycemic effect of homogenized fruit and ethanolic leaf extract in 75% and 100% concentration of M. pendula in alloxan-induced diabetic mice. Two weeks administration of fruit and leaf extract to diabetic mice showed significant hypoglycemic effect (p<0.0001). (9)

Availability
- Wild-crafted.
- Seeds in the cybermarket.

© Godofredo U. Stuart Jr., M.D. / StuartXchange

Updated July 2018 / January 2016
November 2014

Photos © Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
(1)
Creeping Cucumber: Melothria Pendula / Green Deane / Eat The Weeds
(2)
Melothria pendula / Medicinal Plants of the Guianas (Guyana, Surinam, French Guiana)
/ Wilderness Explorers
(3)
Amazonian Brazilian medicinal plants described by C.F.P. von Martius in the 19th century / Ulrike B. Breitbach, Michael Niehues, Norberto P. Lopes, Jair E.Q. Fariab, Maria G.L. Brandão /
Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Volume 147, Issue 1, 2 May 2013, Pp 180–189 / doi:10.1016/j.jep.2013.02.030
(4)
Sorting Melothria names / /Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE / Copyright © 1995 - 2020 / A Work in Progress. School of Agriculture and Food Systems. Faculty of Land & Food Resources. The University of Melbourne. Australia
(5)
Melothria pendula / Synonyms / The Plant List
(6)
Phytochemical Screening and Determination of Antacid Property of Ethanolic Extract of Melothria pendula L. (pipinong gubat) on Sprague-Dawley rats / Jessica Chua
(7)
Melothria pendula-Melonette / Adam Arseniuk / Herbs from Distant Lands
(8)
Mexican plants with hypoglycaemic effect used in the treatment of diabetes / Adolfo Andrade-Cetto, Michael Heinrich / Journal of Ethnopharmacology 99 (2005) 325–348
(9)
HYPOGLYCEMIC ACTIVITY OF Melothria pendula L. (CREEPING CUCUMBER) FRUIT AND LEAF EXTRACT IN ALLOXAN - INDUCED DIABETIC Mus musculus domesticus (ALBINO MICE)
/ Ma. Regina V. Acupanda / Thesis: May 2016 / De La Salle University-Dasmariñas: Biological Sciences Department

It is not uncommon for links on studies/sources to change. Copying and pasting the information on the search window or using the DOI (if available) will often redirect to the new link page.

HOME      •      SEARCH      •      EMAIL    •     ABOUT