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Citrullus Colocynthis

Updated on April 12, 2011

The Coloquintide (Citrullus colocynthis (L.) Schrad.) is a herbaceous perennial plant, belonging to the family of Cucurbitaceae.It is a herbal plant.

Distribution And Habitat


It resembles in all its parts to a miniature watermelon.




It has creeping stems, about two feet long, more or less branched, bearing cirri. The root is taproot, thick and fleshy. The whole plant is hairy and rough.




The leaves are palmatopartite, rough, deep divisions with 3-5 lobed. The lobes may be toothed or kale-based consortium or kidney.




The flowers are monoecious, axillary, solitary, led by short stalks with greenish-yellow corolla subcampanulata. The men have glass shorter than the corolla, wiry, has split up in the middle lobe lesiniformi curved apex, stamens are 5, 4 of which have welded couples and a single anther with only one lodge, sinuous. The female, have three staminoidi, and inferior ovary formed of three carpels.




The fruit is spherical, roughly 5 to 10 cm in diameter, usually 6-8 cm, covered by the immature calyx bristly permanent, then naked and hairless leathery skinned, smooth marmoreggiato slightly yellow at maturity. In cross section, you can see, full of pulp mesocarp dry, almost spongy-white. The division is evident every three carpels carpel has a series of 6 seeds.




The seeds are 5 mm long and 3 wide, less than 2 mm thick gray or yellowish-Grio not marginalized.




This plant known by the Egyptians, was mentioned as early as 1500 BC, its use was mainly as a drastic purgative. Its use has declined in the pharmacopoeia since the mid-nineteenth century because of the association in cases of intoxication and some suspicious deaths.




Which contains glucosylated bitter colocintina, colocintidina also a citrullolo the alcohol. The resin was found an alkaloid alpha-elaterina.



It was used in herbal medicine, with drastic purgative properties, such as abortion and emagogo. It is a poisonous plant with an outcome or death in susceptible individuals may be treated as the toxic principles, including by respitoria causing mild intoxication that can be transmitted from cow have their babies through breast milk. The poisoning causes nausea, vomiting, intense gastroenteritis with severe colic pain, shock, blood and pain, anuria, cramps, convulsions and then death. In Libya and the Sahara in the zone for obstinate constipation problems they used to dig a large part of the fruit pulp removal, fill it with milk and let stand overnight was drunk in the morning accompanied by olive oil, this remedy is safe action. In addition, the heated juice was used to treat scabies of camels.



 The ripe fruit was collected and was immediately released epicarp. Was then left to dry until its color did not become whiter, spongy and light. The dry form inside a large cavity in the shape of three-pointed star on the back of the carpels.


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    • Mentalist acer profile image

      Mentalist acer 6 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!

      This fruit reminds me of the poisened Apple in fairy tales,HHmmm.;)