Gac Fruit (Momordica cochinchinensis)


Momordica cochinchinensis (Lour.) Spreng. 1826, commonly called Gac fruit, is a tropical fruit, native from South China, throughout South East Asia and as far as North Australia. The healthy Gac fruit is often considered as the fruit from heaven, a superfruit or superfood, because of its high phytonutrient content.

The strange looking, spiny Gac fruit, growing on a climbing vine, is full of antioxidants and treasured as a gift from mother nature to support longevity, vitality and health. The Gac Fruit, also known as Baby Jackfruit, Cochinchin Gourd, Sweet Gourd or Spiny Bitter Gourd, gets the size of a Cantaloupe melon, but unfortunatly it has a quite short harvest season (December – January).
“The fruit from heaven” contains 70 % more lycopene, an antioxidant , than tomatoes. Lycopene benefits the prostate and may help to prevent prostate cancer, cardiovascular diseases and macular degeneration. Recent studies showded, that men with high amounts of lycopene in their body fat fall prey to a heart attack less than 50 %, compared with men with a low lycopene level. Gac fruits contain 40 % more Vitamin C than oranges, 40 % more zeaxanthin than yellow corn and 20 % more beta carotene (provitamin A) than carrots. Furthermore the fruit is rich in long-chain fatty acids, especially linoleic and alpha linoleic acids, it contains free radical killers like xeoxanthins and alpha-tocopherol, a form of vitamin E, which prevents the skin from aging. So the Gac fruit is also an anti-aging medicine, it supports the immune system, may inhibit the proliferation of cancer cells and helps to lower the low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol level, which causes atherosclerosis
and cardiovascular diseases.

Gac Fruit (Momordica cochinchinensis)
Photography © The Herbalist
Image: Gac Fruit (Momordica cochinchinensis)

Beside its usage in South-East Asian natural medicine and the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the pulp, seeds and leaves are used as food. In Vietnam the red oily pulp and the seeds are cooked with glutinous rice. This sweet dish is called Xôi gấc and traditionally served at Vietnamese New Year (Tết) and weddings, as its bright red colour symbolizes good luck and joy.

Super Gac Juice
Photography © The Herbalist
Image: Super Gac Juice from Thailand, contains Gac Fruit, Pineapple and Passion Fruit

The skin of Momordica cochinchinensis is toxic, whilst seeds and oil have a nutty flavour, the pulp of raw Gac fruit tastes like a slightly sweet cucumber. As the taste didn`t knock somebody`s socks off, Gac fruit juice is mostly mixed with other superfruits, like Mangosteen, Goji berry, pineapple, passion fruit, pear or acerola. This healthy drinks are available in the Western world under the name G3 juice. As the Gac fruit isn`t shelf-stable and can`t be shipped easily, it`s nearly impossible to find a fresh Gac fruit outside of its native dispersal area, but at least Gac fruit powder and G3 Drinks are available in many countries. People who drank G3 juice for just about 1 week claimed they`ve got a firmer, healthier skin and already existing wrinkles has been smoothed or disappeared completely.

Buy G3 juice or Gac fruit powder online:

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

James Steele December 13, 2013 at 03:09

You say that “The skin of Momordica cochinchinensis is toxic”.
I have a scCO2 extract of just the skin and would like to know which compound(s) you think are toxic.
Since the extract is highly concentrated, it would be helpful to know just how toxic (dosage) these compounds are and what the symtoms are if exposed (air, skin, etc.). If you don’t know offhand, a reference would be appreciated.



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