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Is the Bitter Melon Poisonous?

To some palates, the underripe bitter gourd is best prepared by tossing it into a fire, collecting the ashes, and dumping them unceremoniously into the deadest part of the ocean.

To other palates, the green bitter gourd is a relished food that brings back fond memories of childhood. 

By all accounts, the leaves and underripe fruits can be eaten by human beings that do not wish to become violently ill: this is an important consideration. When the fruit ripens and the juicy arils which encapsulate the seeds turn a vibrant lipstick-red color, well, that's where the consensus ends. 

By Kevin Healey