Botanical Name: Momordica charantia.
Other Common Names: Bitter gourd, karela, caraili, cerasee, papailla, ampalaya, balsam apple, balsam pear, pare.
Taste: bitter– Nature: cold
Bitter melon help manage diabetes, prevent cancer, reduce hemorrhoid, boost the immune system, improve respiratory health & skin health
Therapeutic Benefits, Claims and Uses of Bitter Melon
In Vietnam, bitter melon is used in cooking and also as a medicine. The young fruit are used in cooking as they are rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, carbohydrates, and iron. Often stuffed with pork and spices or sliced and cooked with scramble eggs.
Bitter melon has been used for a long time as a treatment of diabetes; to prevent measles, hepatitis, malaria; to get rid of worms and parasites and the topical applications are used for healing wounds.
It is also used as an aphrodisiac and it is known for its anti-inflammatory effects.
Its effectiveness in this regard has been supported by clinical research and it is deemed a natural alternative to conventional drugs for treating diabetes.
Bitter melon can also be used in the treatment of other conditions such as piles, blood disorders, respiratory disorders, cholera, and alcoholism.
Dosage and Administration
A small fruit or alternatively, 150 ml of tea can be consumed per day.
Though considered fairly safe to use, bitter melon should be used as prescribed by a health care physician. If consumed as per the recommended dosage, bitter melon is unlikely to cause any harmful side effects.
However, excessive intake can result in abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea or a headache. The seeds are known to be particularly toxic.
People suffering from hypoglycemia should not consume bitter melon as it might make their condition worse.
Those on anti-diabetic medication should be aware of the fact that consumption of bitter melon may cause the blood sugar levels from dropping below normal.
Also, it can adversely impact fertility in both men and women. Pregnant women should avoid bitter melon.