Synonyms: Cucumis colocynthis L.
English Name: Colocynth
Colocynth is the fruit of a perennial plant that spreads on the ground in the form of a low and creeping bush.
The stems of this plant are relatively thick and fluffy and can wrap around objects. The cross section of the stems of this plant is usually polygonal and sometimes circular.
The leaves of this plant have cuts and curves that divide the leaves into smaller parts. The overall shape of the leaves is almost triangular and elongated. These leaves are hairy and grow alternately.
The flowers are yellow, small, and slightly fluffy, and each flower has five oval petals.
The fruit of this plant is spherical in shape and the size of an orange. The thin and smooth skin of this fruit is dark green at first, and pale spots and stripes can be seen on it. But after fully ripening, it turns yellow or orange. The appearance of Colocynth is similar to watermelon. But it is much smaller.
The flesh of the fruit is greenish-white at first and has a very bitter taste. But after it is fully ripe, it dries up. Inside the fruit there are many brown, shiny, point-shaped and pointed seeds that are almost similar to apple seeds.
The fruit contains a number of bitter principles generally known as cucurbitacins consisting of a-elaterin (cucurbitacin E), elatericin B (cucurbitacin I), dihydroelatericin B (cucurbitacin L), citrullin, citrullene, citrullic acid and citrullol.
Also present are sugars (glucose), pectin, hydrocarbons such as hentriacontane, a volatile oil consisting of citronellal, methyl eugenol and methyl heptenone, choline, alkaloids, lanosterol and bsitosterol. Seeds yield a bitter oil consisting of linoleic (60%), oleic (20%) and palmitic (10%) acids and a triterpene, citrullonol.
Temperament: Fourth degree of hot and second degree of dry
1- Pour one or two grams of dried Bitter Cucumber flesh in empty capsules every day and eat it. It is a diuretic and a very strong laxative for phlegm and absorbs phlegm humors from the depths of the body and causes their expulsion, so it is used for hard polydipsia.
Dried Colocynth is useful for cold diseases such as headache, migraine, paralysis, Parkinson, epilepsy and forgetfulness, it is a powerful antibiotic against some microbe, it is useful for diseases of the stomach and intestines, liver, kidneys, bladder, uterus and joint pain, it is an emmenagogue.
2- Drinking two grams of dried Bitter Cucumber decoction or (pulverize it softly and fill it in empty capsules and eat it) kills parasites and if you wash and enema the intestine with its decoction, it will destroy small anal worms. And for infants with parasites, you can poultice colocynth decoction on their navel.
3- Cook dried Colocynth flesh in water and honey and eat it. It is concentrated chyme laxative.
4- Mix seven grams of dried Bitter Cucumber flesh with triple amount of fennel and boil it and drink its decoction. It is effective in treating melancholia, lamellar ichthyosis (a type of body hair loss) and leprosy.
5- Pierce the intact fruit and remove the seeds inside it, but the flesh should remains, then fill it with lily oil and close the lid with a piece of colocynth peel and knead the dough around it. And cook in the oven to boil a few times and eat a little of that oil every day and rub it on your head at night.
It darkens the hair and prevents the hair from turning white.
6- Boil its juice or flesh in vinegar, then taste that vinegar in your mouth. Relieves toothache and strengthens the gums.
7- If you poultice its fresh juice or its dried decoction on the gum of the tooth, tooth extraction will be easier.
8- Drop dried Bitter Cucumber decoction in the ear. It will kill the worm inside the ear and disinfects the ear.
9- Chop Bitter Cucumber with its peel and boil it in water, then strain it and enema with its decoction. Dried Colocynth is useful for treating paralysis, sciatica, gluteal muscles pain and back and lower back pain.
10- Dried Bitter Cucumber suppository in the anus is strong laxative and placing it in the vagina aborts the fetus.
Harms: Colocynth is semi-toxic and you should be careful in using it, its use must be done under the supervision of a doctor or an experienced specialist. Hot-temperament people should avoid eating it, especially in the hot season, because it is harmful to them and causes stomach cramps and does not work, and causes discomfort such as confusion, headache, dizziness and stomach and anal discomfort. Citrullus colocynthis fruit should not be eaten alone, but should be consumed with Gum Arabic or Tragacanth or Pound Starch.
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