The bitter melon (Momordica charantia), also called bitter gourd, bitter cucumber, balsam pear or bitter apple, belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family and grows in the tropical regions of Africa, Asia, South America, and the Caribbean. Bitter melon is a herbaceous, slender climber with 2-5 foot long shoot axes and vine-like foliage. The bitter melon owes its name to the distinctly bitter taste of its fruits, which occurs as a result of the compounds it contains.
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