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23 Reasons Bitter Gourd Is Sweet Medicine For Your Health.

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Bitter gourd or Momordica charantia (also known as bitter melon) belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family, of the genus Momordica, home to squash, watermelon, cantaloupes, cucumber, etc. As is the trait within members in the Cucurbitaceae family, bitter gourds are vines with thin stems and tendrils that require trellis to support the climbing vine.

They come in many varieties ranging from dark greens to whites and common varieties are balsam pear, cundeamor, la-kwa, etc. The pods are characterized by smooth lengthwise ridges and uneven warty surface. Depending upon the cultivar type, immature pods are light to dark green and have oblong or oval shapes with a pointed tip at the blossom end. Internally, the flesh is white with rough edged seeds, and gradually turns yellow or orange as they mature, with the seeds turning red.

Bitter gourd contains a unique phyto-constituent that has been confirmed to have a hypoglycemic effect (lowering blood sugar) called Charantin. There is also another insulin-like compound known as Polypeptide P which has been tested as an insulin replacement in some diabetic patients.

Bitter gourd originated on the Indian subcontinent, and was introduced into China in the 14th century. It thrives in hot and humid climates, so are commonly found in Asian countries and South America.

 

23 HEALTH SECRETS OF BITTER GOURD:

  1. Heart Care: Reduces bad cholesterol levels, by burning unnecessary fats which clog the arterial walls and thereby reduce the chances of heart attacks.
  2. Weight Loss: Rich in iron, beta-carotene, and potassium. It can relieve constipation and improve circulation, thereby producing slimming effects on the body.
  3. Type II Diabetes Cure: Reverses insulin resistance and activates the protein kinase, activating the absorption of sugar in body cells. Significantly improves glucose tolerance without increasing blood insulin levels.
  4. Lowers blood glucose levels: Contains phyto-nutrient, polypeptide-P, a plant insulin, known to lower blood sugar levels. The hypoglycemic agent, Charantin, increases glucose uptake and glycogen synthesis in the cells of liver, muscle and adipose tissue.
  5. Hypertension Reliever: Actively inhibits hypertension, high plasma cholesterol, or high plasma lipids, which affect patients with Type II diabetes, decreasing the risk of stroke or heart attack.
  6. Anti-parasitic: Antihelminthic or anthelmintic compounds are used in the treatment of gastrointestinal diseases and can kill parasitic intestinal worms. It also stimulates peristalsis of food, relieving indigestion and constipation problems.
  7. Liver tonic: Helps to maintain healthy liver and bladder. It is also useful in removing kidney stones and relieving gout pain.
  8. Blood Cell Booster: The compounds a-eleostearic acid and the 15, 16-dihydroxy-a-eleostearic acid, are a good remedy for leukemia and blood irregularities such as anemia. It helps in producing healthy red blood cells and balances the amount of white blood cells in your body.
  9. Blood Cleanser:  Its juice cleanses the liver and blood off toxins and is highly beneficial for treating blood disorders like blood boils and itching due to toxemia.
  10. Folates Source: Has high amount of Folates that helps in treating defective neural tubes which usually occurs during early pregnancy.
  11. Anti Ageing:  Vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant, fights and eliminates free radicals, reducing wrinkles and slowing down the ageing process. It also protects the skin from damage by sun’s UV rays.
  12. For Respiratory disorders:  Fresh pods are an excellent remedy for curing respiratory problems like asthma, cold, cough, bronchitis and pharyngitis.
  13. Nutrients/Vitamin SuperStore: Contains flavonoids such as ß-carotene, α-carotene, lutein, and zea-xanthin. Low in calories, rich in phytonutrients like dietary fiber, minerals, vitamins and anti-oxidants and a good source of niacin (vitamin B-3), pantothenic acid (vitamin B-5), pyridoxine (vitamin B-6) and minerals such as iron, zinc, potassium, manganese and magnesium.
  14. Disease Buster: Not only effective in killing malaria bacteria, but it can also weaken some viruses such as Cholera, Chickenpox, Measles, Herpes and Jaundice.
  15. Immunity Booster: This bitter juice can also help to strengthen your immune system and increase your body’s resistance against a variety of infections.
  16. Psoriasis Cure:  Regular consumption of this bitter juice has curative benefits in treatment of psoriasis, fungal infections like ring-worm and athletes feet, and skin infections like eczema.
  17. Acne Cure: Helps prevent acne, thanks to its blood purifying properties. Keeps your skin glowing and free from blemishes and infections.
  18. Eye Care:  High beta-carotene and other properties, help alleviate eye problems and in improving eyesight.
  19. For Hangover:  Its anti-intoxication properties are beneficial in the treatment of hangover and eliminating liver problems, due to alcohol consumption.
  20. Piles Cure:  Three teaspoons of the juice, extracted from its leaves, added to a glassful of buttermilk and consumed on an empty stomach every morning, has shown promising curative results in the treatment of piles.
  21. Hair Care: Super hair tonic which imparts shine, wards off dandruff, treats split ends, combats dryness and itchiness of scalp, reduces hair loss, treats rough and tangled hair, prevents premature graying and removes excess oiliness in hair.
  22. Regulates blood flow and clotting: Aids in the healing process preventing further infections.
  23. Energy Source:  Regular consumption of this bitter juice has been proven to improve energy and stamina levels. Even sleeping patterns have been shown to be improved/stabilized.

 

Side Effects and Precautions:

  • Diarrhea: Excessive consumption (more than two melons a day) may cause mild abdominal pain or diarrhea. Avoid taking on an empty stomach.
  • Hypoglycemia: Diabetics taking hypoglycemic drugs will need to alter the dosage of their drugs if they consume bitter gourd on a regular basis.
  • Pregnancy: Pregnant women should avoid taking too much bitter gourd or its juice as it may stimulate the uterus that may lead to preterm labor.
  • Alkaloids and Toxicity: Bitter gourd may contain alkaloid substances like quinine and morodicine, resins and saponic glycosides, which may be intolerable by some people causing symptoms like excessive salivation, facial redness, dimness of vision, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and muscular weakness.

 

 

Dr Janardhana Hebbar

Senior Ayurvedic Consultant at CureJoy, Dr. Hebbar has authored 4 books on Ayurveda. Special interests are Kayachikitsa (Internal Medicine) and Shalya chikitsa (Surgery).

Dr Janardhana Hebbar

Senior Ayurvedic Consultant at CureJoy, Dr. Hebbar has authored 4 books on Ayurveda. Special interests are Kayachikitsa (Internal Medicine) and Shalya chikitsa (Surgery).

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391 comments
Skip Watkins
Skip Watkins 5pts

I've had this, has great healing properties

Benjamin Umba
Benjamin Umba 5pts

Welcome back to FB from your sabatical...hehehe

Benjamin Umba
Benjamin Umba 5pts

Vinaka levu Royleen. I will look for it at the msrket

Jayalakshmi Gopal
Jayalakshmi Gopal 5pts

Beautiful description covering all the points. After reading this everyone will start eating it.We expect more like this. From Dr jayalakshmi

Mary Domingo
Mary Domingo 5pts

One of my favorite veg's. Some people put bitter melon in saimin. Its actually pretty good w/some ginger:)

SarGun Bedi
SarGun Bedi 5pts

U mean we eat it raw as a part of salad ?

Nirali Patel
Nirali Patel 5pts

Wow hangover problem people who drinks a lot should aware of this \U0001f61c

Cheryl Meyerhoff
Cheryl Meyerhoff 5pts

Just what I need, but where do you find them? I would eat it if I had it!

Angel Lorenzo
Angel Lorenzo 5pts

Best if you eat this as a salad. You can add any stuff you want like tomatoes, onion and tuna, add salt for taste.

Shahid Naqvi
Shahid Naqvi 5pts

But draining their bitter water is draining their benefits too.

Tess Nikolopoulos
Tess Nikolopoulos 5pts

Andromeda Stevens this is the food I was telling you about that can reduce blood sugar. Don't know if it's safe for dogs. Google this.

Ayurveda
Ayurveda 5pts

Tanks for the tip! Kaycee Retuerma :)

Ayurveda
Ayurveda 5pts

Maria Alhabshee Agreed! :)

Ayurveda
Ayurveda 5pts

Agreed! Farhana Shimul :)

Ayurveda
Ayurveda 5pts

Adnan Yaakop Thank you! :)

Neelam Mian
Neelam Mian 5pts

My mum stuffs them and fries them ... V yummy!

Kim Lan
Kim Lan 5pts

You can get them in Asian market

Josephine C Chua
Josephine C Chua 5pts

Wow! We have this for lunch today.\U0001f618\U0001f44d\U0001f60a

Luna Ku
Luna Ku 5pts

Nicholas Aitken Lucia Ku your favourite food of all time

Bella Bernardino
Bella Bernardino 5pts

Just so happens that I'm eating it now \U0001f64c\U0001f3fc

Shana Pereira
Shana Pereira 5pts

Bella Should have eaten more of this when the Granny was forcing it on me. lol

Sha Hussain
Sha Hussain 5pts

Nur Nisha maa karela aapke fav hahaha

Hamidah Hamzah
Hamidah Hamzah 5pts

Agreed i always blend bittergourd with green apple and cherry tomato for my everyday juice in the morning....its good for our blood sugar level...

Kaycee Retuerma
Kaycee Retuerma 5pts

I hated this when I was growing up.. and for the past few years... I'm lovin' it... stir-fried with garlic, onions, egg and tomatoes.. yumm!!

Kim Lan
Kim Lan 5pts

I was raised eating this. My father would soak them in salty water to help the bitter taste.

Cody Lee
Cody Lee 5pts

Until they fryb it in all that who knows what oil atleast use coconut olive or some other natural oil

Ayurveda
Ayurveda 5pts

Thank you! :) Pavlina Hristova