Herb: Wild Melon


Latin name: Cucumis melo agrestis


Family: Cucurbitaceae (Cucumber Family, Gourd Family)



Medicinal use of Wild Melon:

The fruits can be used as a cooling light cleanser or moisturiser for the skin. They are also used as a first aid treatment for burns and abrasions. The flowers are expectorant and emetic. The fruit is stomachic. The seed is antitussive, digestive, febrifuge and vermifuge. When used as a vermifuge, the whole seed complete with the seed coat is ground into a fine flour, then made into an emulsion with water and eaten. It is then necessary to take a purge in order to expel the tapeworms or other parasites from the body. The root is diuretic and emetic. A paste of the plant is applied as a poultice around the naval when there is difficulty in urinating.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Annual Climber


Height:
150 cm
(5 feet)

Flovering:
July to
September

Habitat of the herb:

Naturalized in many areas of the world, though it is not known in a truly wild location. It is a weed of cultivated fields in Turkey, probably as an escape from gardens.

Edible parts of Wild Melon:

Fruit - raw. A bitter flavour. The ripe fruit can be eaten raw, whilst the immature fruits are cooked as a vegetable. Seed - raw. Rich in oil with a nutty flavour but very fiddly to use because the seed is small and covered with a fibrous coat. The seed contains between 12.5 - 39.1% oil. An edible oil is obtained from the seed.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - sow early to mid spring in a greenhouse in a rich soil. Germination should take place within 2 weeks. Sow 2 or 3 seeds per pot and thin out to the best plant. Grow them on fast and plant out after the last expected frosts, giving them cloche or frame protection for at least their first few weeks if you are trying them outdoors.

Cultivation of Wild Melon:

Naturalized in many areas of the world, though it is not known in a truly wild location. It is a weed of cultivated fields in Turkey, probably as an escape from gardens.

Known hazards of Cucumis melo agrestis:

The sprouting seed produces a toxic substance in its embryo.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.