Citrullus colocynthis, also known as bitter cucumber, is a fruit-bearing plant sometimes used medicinally.
Citrullus colocynthis is used to treat diabetes, since it may be able to induce insulin secretion from the pancreas after supplementation, while reducing blood glucose and improving lipid levels.
Preliminary evidence suggests a topical application of Citrullus colocynthis may stimulate hair growth, with an effect comparable to finasteride, a male pattern baldness drug. More evidence is needed to confirm this effect.
Even low doses (100mg, taken three times) of Citrullus colocynthis can cause diarrhea, while higher doses (1,500 mg) can cause colonic inflammation and rectal bleeding. These side-effects stop once supplementation is ceased.
Since the bioactive compounds in Citrullus colocynthis are still unknown, and even low-dose supplementation is associated with intestinal side-effects, Citrullus colocynthis is not recommended for oral supplementation.