Citrullus colocynthis

Synonyms: Cucumis colocynthis L., Colocynthis vulgaris Schrader

Originally from tropical Asia and Africa, Citrullus colocynthis is now widely distributed in the Saharo-Arabian phytogeographic region in Africa and the Mediteranean region. The pulp, because of its content of glucosides such as colocynthin, is an effective hydragogue, cathartic and laxative. The seeds are edible and seeds have a high oil content; in ancient times it was among the oils permitted to be used for candle light. Most parts of Citrullus colocynthis, especially the fruits, are used to treat numerous diseases: cancer, breast inflammation, adenopathy, anemia, fever, ulcers, bronchitis, diabetes and to treat the hemorrhoids.