What is Ampalaya? Commonly known in the USA as the Bitter Melon (Momordica charantia Linn.), the Ampalaya is both a nutritious vegetable and a traditionally trusted medicinal herb that grows abundant in many regions in Asia. Unlike most herbs, Ampalaya is commonly eaten as a dish, proof positive of its safety. With its quick growth and little need for attention, the Ampalaya plant has become ubiquitous in many rural backyards. The Ampalaya plant is a sturdy, creeping vine that loves the sun and welcomes the rain. For this reason, it is often used to adorn trellises for shade and foliage or to dress up a fence. During season, large yellow flowers add accent to this common vine, accompanying its much-cherished fruit.