Botanical name: Herpetospermum pedunculosum Family: Cucurbitaceae (Pumpkin family)
Synonyms: Herpetospermum grandiflorum, Herpetospermum caudigerum
Himalayan Bitter Gourd is a large herbaceous climber on shrubs and banks, with long branched tendrils. Leaves ovate-heart-shaped, acute or long-pointed, often coarsely and shallowly lobed, rough-hairy, long-stalked. Flowers are large, bright yellow, unisexual. Male flowers clustered; female flowers solitary. The flowers are 4-5 cm across, and consists of a slender funnel-shaped tube and spreading elliptic petals. The fruit is ellipsoid, 7-8 × 3-4 cm, fibrous, finely hairy. Himalayan Bitter Gourd is found in the Himalayas from Uttarakhand to Bhutan, S. Tibet, Assam, SW China, at altitudes of 1500-3600 m.
Medicinal uses: The seeds are used in Tibetan medicine, where they are considered to have a bitter taste and a cooling potency. Anti-inflammatory, cholagogue, choleretic and febrifuge, they are used in the treatment of piles, inflammation of the stomach and the intestines. The pounded root is used to treat problems of the bile ducts.
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The flower labeled Himalayan Bitter Gourd is ...