Momordica Balsamina. (Balsam Apple.)
The Balsam Apple is an annual climbing plant, grown in our gardens for its fruit, which is employed in domestic practice as a vulnerary, and an application to old sores, chapped hands, piles, etc. It is commonly prepared for use with alcohol or whisky. It evidently possesses medicinal properties, and I have seen good effects from its local use.
It is claimed to be poisonous when taken internally, yet I have known it taken with safety in doses of ten to thirty drops. Cures of dropsy are reported from its use. The limited use I have known made of it internally, was to relieve muscular pains, lame back, and stiffness of joints; in some cases it seemed to do good. As the agent is very common, and easily cultivated, it would be well to prepare a tincture from the fresh fruit ℥viij. to Alcohol 76° Oj., and test it thoroughly, both as a local remedy, and used internally. Of such a preparation the dose would be quite small, say commencing with one drop.
Specific Medication and Specific Medicines, 1870, was written by John M. Scudder, M.D.