Korean melon or chamoe is a type of melon primarily grown in Korea, Japan, and North China. The fruit is approximately 10 cm long and typically weighs slightly over 1 pound (0.45 kg). It is smooth, yellow, and oblong with white stripes that run the length of the fruit. It has white flesh that is juicy and sweet and the seed cavity is filled with small white seeds. The flavor has been described as a cross between a honeydew melon and a cucumber. The fruits are usually eaten fresh; with its thin rind and small seeds, the melon can be eaten whole. The Korean melon can also be fermented, called chamoe jangajji.
Regarding etymology, the word chamoe comes from two words: cham meaning "high quality" and oe meaning "cucumber".
Phylogenetic studies that trace back the genetic lineage of the plant suggest that the Korean melon may have originated in East India. They were then thought to have been introduced to China from the west via the Silk Road.
There are two major landraces of Korean melon, Sunghwan and Gotgam. The Gotgam Korean melon has the aroma of a dried persimmon as reflected by its name. These two landraces contain more nutrients and has greater disease resistance than other varieties.
1. The Korean melon has also been used as cattle feed.
2. In Korean folk medicine, the fruit has been used for acute gastritis, fever, mental disorders, dysuria, jaundice, alcoholism, and hyperesthesia/paralysis. The apex has been used as an emetic and for hepatitis, constipation, syphilis, jaundice, and edema. The leaves have been used for blisters and alopecia. The seeds have been used for indigestion and cough.
3. Research suggests that the hexane extract of the seeds could be used as a way to control type 2 diabetes. When hexane was used to extract fatty acids, it was found to contain linoleic acid, oleic acid, and palmitic acid. The hexane extract was found to inhibit the enzymes alpha-glucosidase and alpha-amylase. Theoretically, this could decrease the levels of blood sugars for patients with type 2 diabetes.