Bitter Melon, with scientific name Momordica charantia, is one of the most wonderful natures gifts in the world because of its usage and its properties. It can be use in culinary and in medical use — which has great health benefits that helps lessen our burden in our ailments, like diabetes, dyspepsia, constipation and other minor diseases. It comes in different names depends on which they came from, in China is known as bitter gourd, goya in Japan, karela/karalla in India, cerasee or cerasse in Caribbean and South America, ampalaya in the Philippines, and other common names bitter apple, bitter cucumber. It’s commonly found in Southeast Asian Countries, Africa, and the Caribbean. The origin place of the bitter melon is not yet known, though it can be found in some countries but the original home has not yet been identified.
Bitter Melon belongs to Cucurbitaceae family, a tropical and subtropical vine which has a heart shaped leaves. The fruit has an oblong shape, rough, shinny, freshly green and pointed ends appearance. The sizes, varies on how they are taken care of. It's good source of vitamins A, B, C, E and K iron, folic acid, phosphorous and calcium. It has a doubled amount of beta carotene in broccoli and doubled calcium content compared to spinach. It has a bitter taste, a distinguishing factor from the rest of the fruits with medicinal value, and this is due to the presence of a substance known as momorcidin.
Here are some natural health benefits and health wellness tips about bitter melon:
· It is antipyretic tonic, appetite stimulant, laxative, and has antibacterial properties. It also enhances our immune system that helps our body fight's from bacteria and viruses that causes diseases, especially in cancer. Also, bitter melon is a good source of antioxidant, which contains a high amount of antioxidant.
· Blood disorder – Bitter melon has tonic properties that can purify blood. It can help in boils, itching and other related problems that occur in the skins. For a recipe remedy, one glass of bitter melon pure juice with a teaspoon of lemon juice. Drink it twice a day morning and evening, after meals.
· Metabolic disorder– diabetes is one of the metabolic disorders characterized by abnormal amount of high blood sugar (glucose) levels, which resulted from inadequate insulin action and secretion. There are three types of diabetes, Type one—Juvenile Diabetes, an insulin dependent. Type two—Diabetes Mellitus, non insulin dependent which is the most common and more controllable type of diabetes. Type three—Gestational diabetes which usually happens during pregnancy.
Bitter melon is an excellent remedy for diabetes, it has a mixture of flavonoids and alkaloids make the pancreas produce more insulin that lowers blood sugar effect. It has an adaptogenic property also, which also helps in the delaying the occurrence of cataracts, the one of the complications of diabetes and relief in neurological, and other common symptoms of diabetes.
Bitter melon should be included in diabetic diet—High protein, High fiber, Low carbohydrate, Low salt diet. Seeds can be also, added into foods in a powdered form.
· Respiratory Disorder – in ancient times, bitter melon plant roots are used in remedy of common respiratory ailments like colds, cough, asthma, bronchitis, pharyngitis, and rhinitis related to sudden change of weather, allergies, lifestyle, and environment. A teaspoonful of root paste mixed with a teaspoonful of basil juice or honey. It should be taken every night after meal.
· Before you engaged using any herbal remedies always consult a doctor. Herbal remedies have different properties to over-the-counter drugs or prescribe drugs which are can altered the effects of the drugs that you’ve taking with which can lead to fatal complications.
· Diabetics should not use together with bitter melon and prescribe hypoglycemic drugs or insulin. Also, for people who are suffering of hypoglycaemic condition, avoid using it. Thus, this can lead to coma and even death. Always ask your doctor before using.
· For people who have history in ulcers, hyperacidity and sensitive stomach. It can aggravate the disease. It is discourage for people who have these type kind of condition.
· For pregnant women, it should be avoided using bitter melon. It can cause uterine contraction that leads to abortion.
Photo by: Atlanta-Acupuncture
Photo by: Atlanta-Acupuncture