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Title: Colocynth
Additional Names: Bitter apple; bitter cucumber; bitter gourd
Literature References: Perennial trailing vine, Citrullus colocynthis Schrad., Cucurbitaceae, bearing round, yellow, bitter, poisonous fruit with numerous white or brownish seeds. The dried fruit pulp has been used in traditional medicine as a purgative. Habit. Semi-arid, tropical and subtropical regions of Asia and N. Africa. Constit. Colocynthin, q.v., colocynthidin, cucurbitacins, citrullol, pectin, albuminoids, 1-3% fixed oil. Seeds contain fixed oil, protein, crude fiber. Constituents of seeds: W. N. Sawaya et al., J. Agric. Food Chem. 34, 285 (1986). Review of constituents and medicinal uses: C. P. Khare, Indian Herbal Remedies (Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 2004) pp 148-149; J. Gruenwald et al., PDR for Herbal Medicines (Medical Economics, Montvale, 3rd Ed., 2004) pp 85-86.
CAUTION: Potential symptoms of overexposure by ingestion are vomiting, bloody diarrhea, colic and kidney irritation, convulsions, paralysis, death (Gruenwald).

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