Muskmelon (Kharbuja) – Qualities, Uses, Remedies, Research, Side Effects

By Dr Renita D’Souza
Muskmelon is a tasty, nutritive medicinal fruit. As a well known coolant fruit, it is used in burns, abrasions, eczema etc. It cleanses and moisturizes the skin, removes tan and freckles. Dried fruit pulp is powdered and used along with cereals in making bread and biscuits. Muskmelon is called as Kharbuja in Ayurveda medicine and Kharbuzah in Unani medicine.

Introduction

Botanical Name – Cucumis melo
Synonyms: Cucumis trigonus, Cucumis callosus
Family – Cucurbitaceae

Sanskrit synonyms
Dashangula, Kharbuja

Medicinal qualities of Muskmelon (Kharbuja)


Taste – sweet
Virya (potency) – cold (shita)
Mutrala – diuretic
Balya – improves strengths
Kostashudikaram – cleanses the alimentary tract
Guru – heavy for digestion
Snigdha – unctuous
Vrshya – aphrodisiac

Effect on Tridoshas
Balances Pitta and Vata dosha

Sour, Sweet, Alkaline Muskmelon


Muskmelon which is sour, sweet and alkaline (kshara) in taste causes bleeding disorders (raktapitta) and difficulty in passing urine (mutrakrchra).

Sanskrit Shloka

Traditional Uses of Kharbuja

  • Muskmelons are used as purgative
  • Normalises kidney functions.
  • Prevents cardiac dysfunction.
  • Reduces blood pressure
  • Used in heavy menstrual bleeding
  • Useful in rheumatism and gout.
  • Peduncles are used in generalised body oedema and indigestion.
  • Kernels are used in stomach cancer
    (read)

As per Bhojana Kutuhalam, Kharbuja is diuretic and strengthening in nature, it cleanses the koshta and is heavy for digestion. It is unctuous, very sweet in taste, cold in potency, aphrodisiac and alleviates pitta and vata dosha.

Culinary uses of Muskmelon

  • Fruit is eaten fresh or made salads or as a dessert.
  • Seed kernels are used in soups and stews as a thickening, emulsifying, fat binding and flavouring agent.
  • Seed kernels are used as dressing for breads, cakes, confectionery and snack foods.
  • Seeds substituted as a alternative to soyabean for milk preparation

Muskmelon Seeds

  • Seeds of muskmelon are cold in potency, diuretic and strengthening.
  • It is used as a remedy in painful and difficulty in urination.
  • Seeds yield edible oil.
  • Seeds possess antitussive, antipyretic, antihelminthic and digestive properties.

Muskmelon Flowers

  • Flowers are cold in potency and used in chronic eczema.
  • They are also considered as expectorant and induces vomiting.

Muskmelon Roots

  • Roots are diuretic and induces vomiting.

Pharmacology of Muskmelon
Muskmelon possess antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-hyperlipidemic, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, diuretic, thyroid stimulatory, anthelmintic¸ nephroprotective and cytotoxic activity.

Traditional Remedies of kharbuz

  • Muskmelon seed powder mixed with water is used as a remedy in intestinal worms. (a)
  • Its leaves are used to treat scrotal hernia (b).
  • Fruit pulp is used for application in acute and chronic eczema.

Interaction with medicines, supplements

Can this be used while taking Homeopathic medicine?
Yes. This product does not react with homeopathic medicine.

Can this medicine be continued while taking supplements like multivitamin tablets, Omega 3 fatty acids etc?
Yes. Generally, this product goes well with most of the dietary supplements. However, if you are taking more than one product per day, please consult your doctor for an opinion.

With western medicines
Seek your doctor’s advice if you are taking this product along with other western (allopathic / modern) medicines. Some Ayurvedic herbs can interact with modern medicine.
If both Ayurvedic and allopathic medicines are advised together, then it is best to take Allopathic medicine first, wait for 30 minutes and then take the Ayurvedic medicine.

Side effects, Morphology, distribution, nutrition

Side Effects of Muskmelon


There are no recorded side effects. Muskmelon are considered as safe, tasty fruit medicine.

Morphology of Cucumis melo
Cucumis melon is an annual climber. Stem grow up to 1.5 meters. Leaves simple, alternate, covered with small hairs, oval with shallow lobes and cordate bases. Flowers are yellow, unisexual or bisexual. Fruit is large, round. There are many varieties with varied skin colour and texture.

Distribution
Muskmelon is found in Iran, Anatolia, Caucasus, Northwest India and Afghanistan.

Nutritional Value of Muskmelon
It is a rich source of Vitamin A and Vitamin C. Melon contains 90% water, 9% carbohydrates, with less than 1% each of protein and fat. (A)

Constituents of Muskmelon
Phytoconstituents from various parts of the plant include β-carotenes, apocaretenoids, ascorbic acid, flavonoids, terpenoids, chromone derivatives, carbohydrates, amino acids, fatty acids, phospholipids, glycolipids, volatile components and minerals.
Seed oil contains linoleic acid, lecithin, cephalin and cerebroside.

Research, classification, names in different languages

Research
A research article on therapeutic effect of Cucumis melo L. Extract on insulin resistance and the gut microbiome in Lepob/Lepob Mice concluded that cucumis have significant therapeutic effect on obesity-induced insulin resistance and the inflammatory state.(read here)

Names in different Languages
English Name – Melon, Muskmelon, Cantaloupe, Honeydew, Sugar melon
Hindi Name – Kharbooja, kharbuja, Kharbooza
Marathi Name – Chibunda, Tarkaddi, kharbuz
Tamil Name – Thumattikai
Bengali Name – Kharmuj
Gujarati Name – Tarbucha, Taliyabhimada, Kharbuja, Teti, Chibdu, Shakarateli
Telugu Name – Kharbooj
Kannada Name – Budame Kayi
Konkanni Name – Chibdin, Chibdud
Urdu Name – Kharbooza
French Name – melon
Chinese Name – Kankua, Then kwa, Hiang-kwa,Tien Kua;

Ayurvedic medicines with Kharbuja Ingredient
Rajashodhani Vati – It is used in Dysfunctional uterine bleeding, heavy menstrual bleeding, inter-menstrual bleeding, loss of appetite, nausea, giddiness.

Classical Categorisation
Bhavaprakasha Nighantu – Aamraadiphala Varga

Scientific Classification
Domain – Eukaryota
Kingdom – Plantae
Phylum – Spermatophyta
Subphylum – Angiospermae
Class – Dicotyledonae
Order – Violales
Family – Cucurbitaceae
Genus – Cucumis
Species – Cucumis melo
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