S. NAZIMUDDIN AND S. SHAHARYAR H. NAQVI
Coccinia indica Wight & Arn.
Perennial, climbing and widely spreading, sometimes prostrate, bright green. Stem much branched, cylindrical, glabrous or white scaly. Petiole slender, striate, 2-5 cm long. Leaves 5-10 cm long, equally broad, cordate, usually entire to 5-angular with few glistering glands on both sides of the midrib towards the base. Probract small. Flowers large, white, c. 4 cm long, pedicellate, solitary, male and female on different plants. Fruit cylindrical or fusiform, 2.5-5 x 1.2-2.5 cm, bright scarlet when ripe, slightly beaked, many seeded. Seeds asymmetrically pyriform in outline, c. 6 x 4 mm, compressed.
Type: Described from India, Herb. Linn. 1153/2 (LINN).
Distribution: India, Malaya, Pakistan, Tropical Africa.
Various preparations of roots, stems and leaves of Coccinia grandis have been mentioned in indigenous systems of medicine as being efficacious in the treatment of skin diseases, bronchial catarrh, bronchitis and diabetes.