BITTER APPLE (COLOCYNTH)

INTRODUCTION-

Colocynth is a great herbal plant with many useful properties. It is also known as citrullus colocynthis. Bitter apple belongs to the family of gourds and closely related to watermelon.

Indravaruni is the native of india and Africa. This plant can grow perennial or annual. Bitter apple is highly drought, tolerant, hard, herbaceous vine.

The flowers are of yellow color,solitary, peduncle, axillary, monoecious and corollas are five lobed. The fruit is smooth, spheric with a five to ten cm-diameter and extremely bitter taste. The calyx englobe the yellow-green fruit which becomes marble (yellow stripes) at maturity. The mesocarp is filled with a soft, dry, and spongy white pulp, in which the seeds are embedded.

  • Latin Name– Citrullus colocynthis
  • Kingdom– Plantae
  • Order- Cucurbitales
  • Family- Cucrbitaceae
  • Genus- Citrullus
  • Species- Citrullus Colocynthis

NAMES-

  • Sanskrit name– indravaruni
  • Hindi name-indrayan
  • English name– bitter apple, colocynth, desert gourd and vine of Sodom.
  • Marathi name– kadu, indravani
  • Gujarati name-indrayan
  • Telugu name- paparabudam, kuturubudama, cinna papara
  • Punjabi name– ghurunba, kaudatumma
  • Arabic name-hanthal, hanzal
  • Malyalam name-paikummatti
  • Spanish name– manzana amarga

PROPERTIES-

  • Rasa (taste)- Tikta (Bitter)
  • Guna (property)- Laghu (Light), Rooksha (Dry), Teekshna (Sharp)
  • Veerya (potency)-Ushna (Hot)
  • Vipaka (metabolic property/ after digestion)-Katu (Pungent)

EFFECTS ON DOSHAS-

It is pacifies kapha and pitta doshas.

PARTS USED– Root and fruits

CLASSICAL CATEGORIZATION-

CHARAK SAMHINTA-

  • Moolini dravya– group of herbs, where root is the part used.
  • Virechana dravya– group of herbs used for the purpose of purgation.
  • Panchakarma therapy– this herb is the main ingredient and part of panchakarma.

SUSHRUTA SAMHITA-

  • Shyamadi gana
  • Adhobhagahara

VAGABHATA-

  • Shyamadi gana

MEDICINAL USES OF BITTER APPLE –

HYPOGLYCEMIC-

Extract of bitter apple roots show great effect in reduction of blood sugar level.

Several active components present in this herb influence the insulin metabolism and this way show great positive activity in type 2 diabetes.

PIMPLES AND ACNE-

Wash to clean roots of the herb. Then extract its juice by crushing and adding water. Apply externally at affected areas.  External use of fruit pulp and root help to cure pimples, acne and boils.

CONSTIPATION-

Fruit extract of this herb possesses strong laxative properties as it strengthens the intestional muscles and brings about defecation naturally therefore it is very useful to treat constipation.

Tips: 

  • Take 150 ml cococynths fruit juice, add hing, ajwain, elaichi and rock salt (1/4 teaspoon each).
  • Mix its 1/4 teaspoon fruit juice in lukewarm water and drink.

ANTIBACTERIAL AND ANTIFUNGAL-

Root extract of indravaruni plant, helpful in management of Gram negative and Gram positive bacteria such as Escherichia coli, staphylococcus aureus and more. All extracts mean extracts of leaves, fruits and seeds showed showed activity against all strains.

ANTIOXIDANT-

Indrayan plant acts as very effective antioxidant. This plant has ability to scavenge free radicals like hydroxyl radical, superoxide anions and singlet oxygen.

RHEUMATISM-

Take Piper longum and Roots of citrullus colocynthis in eqaul quantities and grind them. Prepare pills by grinded powder,dry in sun.

Tips: take 1 pill with normal water

COLD AND COUGH – 

Wash and dry roots of the herb then grind it to make powder. Add thus one pinch prepared churna in hot water and drink.

PILES-

Prepare pills by grinding Piper longum and Roots of citrullus colocynthis in eqaul quantities. Dry in sun. Take one pill with water.

INTESTINAL WORM-

If you are suffering from intestional worms you should take colocynth root powder.

Tips: mix bitter apple root powder (one pinch) in hot water and drink it.

Colocynths root paste is also useful in Breast inflammation and joint pain.

The Safe Dosage of Bitter Apple-

  • Dried fruit powder: 13 -50 gm
  • Root powder: 1-3 gm

Side Effects of Bitter Apple-

  • In large doses it can cause stomach problems like vomiting, acidity, hiccup and bleching etc.
  • It is emetic and gastro-intestinal irritant.