GOYA CUCUMBER, CHINESE GORK PUMPKIN, BUBBLE Cucumber, INDIAN GRANATE, MOMORDICA
This plant is all unusual: leaves, fruits, seeds, lashes, extending to 3 m ... Goya cucumber, Chinese bitter gourd, bubble cucumber, Indian pomegranate, momordica - this is not a complete list of names of overseas creepers with unique healing properties.
It grows in Southeast Asia (China, India, Japan, Indonesia, etc.). We also have lovers of this amazing plant, who grow it in their own plots and cottages.
MOMORDICA IS ...
I am not a passionate fan of exotic plants, so when I first heard about momordica (that is the name of the plant in our country), I did not show much interest in it. But one day an article came to my attention on the long-livers of Okinawa Island (Japan), and my attitude towards this plant changed dramatically. Judge for yourself. The island has the highest life expectancy in the world, with an average of 90 years living there.
Moreover, the islanders who have reached such a venerable age, unlike many of their peers in other countries, are not helpless old people, but socially active people. Alzheimer's disease, heart attack, stroke, cancer and other familiar old age companions hardly annoy local old-timers.
One 100-year-old resident of the island was asked how she managed to reach a hundred years old and at the same time remain practically healthy, while maintaining a clear mind and memory. Listing the well-known rules of long life to everyone, she unexpectedly added: “Eat more often a goya cucumber.”
Momordica is a favorite treat of Okinawans. Not a single feast on the island is complete without this vegetable. It is used even in the manufacture of ice cream.
USEFUL PROPERTIES OF MOMORDICA
Modern science has appreciated the healing properties of momordic. They found a lot of iron and beta-carotene in the fruits of the cucumber (twice as much as in broccoli), it surpasses spinach in calcium. Vitamin K present in momordica provides a normal level of blood coagulation, vitamin E stimulates the production of antibodies, protects against premature aging, and folic acid nourishes the bone marrow.
Employees of the Cancer Institute in the United States experimentally found that the juice of cucumber goya is able to destroy cancer cells of the pancreas. Momordica can nullify the pathogenic effect of bacteria and viruses, it treats hypertension, hemorrhoids, stomach ulcers, diabetes mellitus, reduces blood sugar, and is used as a prophylactic against cancer.
MOMORDIC: APPLICATION, INDICATIONS, RECIPE OF ALCOHOL TINCTURE - VIDEO
Momordica is a genus of herbaceous climbing plants of the pumpkin family, which includes about 40 species of annual and perennial vines. As cultivated plants are usually grown momordic harana. The flowers of the plant are heterosexual with a delicate aroma of jasmine. Male flowers appear first, then female. Momordica is an entomophyte, that is, it is pollinated only by insects; after pollination, the ovaries begin to develop rapidly. Fruits up to 30 cm long and up to 8 cm in diameter, have an elongated oval shape with a pointed tip, externally covered with nipple outgrowths (like crocodile skin). The seeds are reddish brown in size and shape resembling watermelon seeds. Each seed has its own unique pattern. By the way, in the Indian national ornament, many drawings are taken from the seeds of a goya cucumber.
See also: Cultivation of Momordica
MOMORDIC - LANDING AND CARE
Agrotechnics of momordiki is much like the cultivation of ordinary cucumbers. But there are differences that must be considered if you want to see this overseas vegetable in your garden.
Seeds must be carefully prepared for sowing. Given the fact that the seed coat is thin but very strong, it is necessary to help the sprout break it. There are several ways to solve this problem, for example, biting the tip of the seed or sanding the seed with sandpaper.
But I do it differently. I put the seed on the edge between the legs of the pliers or the pliers with the tip inward and press until a light crunch appears, then soak in a solution of potassium permanganate for an hour and wrap it in a damp cloth or gauze. After 10-12 days, the seeds are ready for sowing.
I sow seeds for seedlings in late March - early April. For sowing, I use peat-humus pots or cups filled with soil mix (1 part of turf soil, 1 part of humus and 15-20% of sand). I lower the seeds into the soil with an edge to a depth of 1, 5-2, 0 cm. After a week, shoots appear. Usual seedlings care: watering, top dressing.
For growing momordiki, I choose the sunny side of the plot. I plant seedlings in open ground after May 20, when the threat of frost passes, the distance between plants is 80-100 cm. I bring 200-300 g to each hole.
During the ripening period, the fruit of momordiki throws out the seeds of humus or rotted chicken droppings and 50-70 g of wood ash, I water it abundantly. You can sow the seeds of bitter cucumber directly in the open ground, having previously processed them as before sowing seedlings.
For normal development, bubble cucumber needs vertical support. The plant throws a lot of lashes, in the absence of support, the lashes spread on the ground and begin to hurt. To get a high crop, I leave three main shoots, pinch all the others at a height of 30-50 cm. If small cucumbers are tied up on the lashes, remove the lash above the ovary. Twice I feed the plants with chicken droppings at the rate of 1 kg of droppings per 10 liters of water (1 liter of fermented solution for each plant).
I also feed with sodium humate - 1 tbsp. I dissolve a spoonful of the drug in 1 liter of hot water and pour it into a bucket (1 liter of solution under the plant). After top dressing, I must water the plants. Goya cucumber is a hygrophilous plant. In a dry summer, you have to water it 3-4 times a week and preferably with warm water.
When ripening, the fruits of momordica begin to turn yellow and subsequently acquire a bright orange color. In the lower part, the fruits crack, forming three fleshy pericarp. If the fruit is not picked, the seeds will fall to the ground. Pericarp is juicy and very pleasant in taste, somewhat reminiscent of pomegranate.
WHAT TO PREPARE FROM MOMORDICA
There are a lot of recipes for cooking dishes from momordiki. It is salted, pickled, added as a seasoning for meat, used to prepare various drinks: liquors, wines, tinctures. Here is the simplest recipe. Cut the fruits of the cucumber into slices, remove the core and lower it for two hours in salt water (2 tbsp.spoons of salt per 1 liter of water) to neutralize the bitterness.
Then we dry, roll in flour with ground paprika and turmeric and fry in sunflower oil. Before use, dip in soy sauce with honey. The unusual, piquant taste of the dish will surprise you and your guests.
MOMORDIKA FROM SEEDS, GROWING BY SEEDLING - VIDEO
© Author: Valentina TKACHENKO, Starobelsk, Lugansk region
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