Feb. 22, 2022
balsam pear, Momordica charantia
Balsam pear is an African vine that may be the best known herbal treatment for diabetes. These small orange melons are widely consumed in tropical countries despite their bitter flavor. The species had already been carried to southeast Asia in ancient times. And now I'm sitting here next to what is left of my birthday cake, and thinking about plants with antidiabetic properties? If only! Scholarly papers on the subject seem to have concluded that balsam pear needs more study. Most likely they should have just said it doesn't work. But ever hopeful! Here balsam pear or bitter gourd has been found in AL, CT, FL, HI, PA, and TX. Beal Gardens, MSU, 7/26/14. Gourd family, Cucurbitaceae.