Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution

, Volume 55, Issue 5, pp 713–721 | Cite as

Ethnobotanical investigations in the genus Momordica L. in the Southern Western Ghats of India

  • John K. JosephEmail author
  • V. T. Antony
Research Article


Western Ghats, one of the megadiversity hotspots, hold a rich treasure of diversity in Momordica L. comprising M. charantia var. muricata, M. charantia var. charantia, M. dioica and M. sahyadrica. Vernacular names of these species vary from place to place. Traditional uses of these species comprising food, medicinal and cosmetic, culinary preparations, vernacular names in local dialects and taboos and religious beliefs relating to their domestication and folk taxonomy are dealt with in this paper.


Domestication Ethnobotany Momordica L. Western Ghats 



The authors are grateful to the officials and field staff of the forest departments of Kerala and Karnataka as well as the various tribal/ethnic communities for their support and help in documentation of traditional knowledge. Financial support extended by Kerala State Council for Science, Technology and Environment is gratefully acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources (ICAR)Thrissur DtIndia
  2. 2.Department of BotanySt. Berchmans’ CollegeChanganacherryIndia

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