Momordica charantia often called bitter melon, bitter gourd or bitter squash in English, has many other local names. Goya from the indigenous language of Okinawa where there is a large US military presence and karavella from Sanskrit are also used by English-language speakers. It is a tropical and subtropical vine of the family Cucurbitaceae, widely grown in Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean for its edible fruit, which is among the most bitter of all fruits. Its many varieties differ substantially in the shape and bitterness of the fruit. This is a plant of the tropics. Bitter melon originated in India, and it was carried to China in the 14th century.