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The bitter melon is also known as karela, ampalaya, or Momordica charanti. While many people consider it an herb or vegetable, bitter melons are technically fruits because they contain seeds (the name “melon” makes this easy to remember). Bitter melons have similar nutrients to dandelions and are beneficial for health. They are used in some continents like Asia, South America, and Africa to help control blood sugar levels and maintain a healthy system. Additionally, the Chinese used this fruit as part of their daily diet to “clean” their system.

Bitter melons are an excellent source of nutrients. They have:

  • Twice the calcium of spinach
  • Twice the potassium of banana
  • Twice the beta-carotene of broccoli

As well as more of the following vitamins and minerals than most vegetables or fruits:

  • Manganese
  • Zinc
  • Folic acid
  • Alkaloids
  • Peptides
  • Steroidal saponins
  • Fiber
  • Phosphorus
  • Vitamins C, B1, B2, and B3

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For generations, Chinese and Indian medical practitioners have known karela’s secret – it’s a medical miracle in a knobby package.

The incredible health benefits of karela are backed up by mainstream medical science. Researchers are excited enough about its potential to treat type II diabetes that some doctors recommend taking between 50 and 100 mL of karela juice daily as a natural remedy for diabetes. Around the globe, people use karela to treat asthma, high blood pressure, stomach problems, and skin infections every day.

Diabetes

Bitter melon juice benefits include helping to overcome type 2 diabetes. It has been a part of the Chinese and Indian ancient medicine for a long time but only recent research has proven that it is no folk lore. Type 2 diabetes is caused partially due to the inability of a cell to absorb the sugar in the blood due to insufficient insulin or due to development of resistance to insulin. In both cases, the cells are unable to absorb the sugar due to the ineffectiveness of the insulin produced. The absorption of sugar occurs due to the activation of AMP-activated protein kinase in the cells. Bitter gourd activates these kinases due to which the absorption of sugar increases and hence, aids in bringing diabetes under control.

Bitter melon contains certain chemicals that are like insulin which help to reduce the blood sugar levels.

Reduces the risk of cancer

Eating or drinking the juice from the melon can lower the risk of certain types of cancer. It is also known to decrease and kill leukemic cancer cells, according to the Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. It can stop cancer cells from spreading and increase chances of a full recovery. But the diet must be consistent for this to be in an effective way to treat this disease. Otherwise, it will not work.

Reduces the risk of AIDS/HIV

This disease is becoming a widespread issue. Bitter melon glycoprotein beta-momorcharin helps inhibit synthesis of macromolecules in splenocytes, embryos, and tumor cells. This protein also retards the effects of HIV by using the protein to deactivate the ribosome function in HIV-infected cells. It stops protein synthesis in those cells and eventually kills the cells which are infected.

 Liver Tonic

Drink one glass of bitter melon juice daily to heal liver problems. Keep consuming this continuously for a week to see results

Immune System

Boil bitter melon leaves or fruits in water and consume it every day to fight against infections. This also helps to build your immunity.

Skin infections

Consuming bitter melon can help you get rid of acne, blemishes and deep skin infections.  Bitter melon is useful in treating blood disorders like blood boils, scabies, itching, psoriasis, ringworm and other fungal diseases. The free radicals in it are also useful for anti-ageing. Consume the juice of a bitter melon mixed with lemon on an empty stomach daily for 6 months or till you get the desired results.

Constipation

Bitter melon helps in easy digestion as it contains fibre properties. The food is digested and the waste is thrown out of the body which helps in curing indigestion and constipation problems.

Heart Disease

Bitter melon is very good for the heart in many ways. It helps reduce the bad cholesterol levels which clog the arterial walls and thereby reduces the chances of heart attacks. Also, it is known to lower the blood sugar levels that help in maintaining a good heart health.

Weight Loss

Bitter melon contains antioxidants that help to flush out your system. This improves your metabolism and digestive systems, thus helping you lose weight quickly. The two other major factors that aid in weight loss are the calorie control and filling components. Calorie control happens as such because vegetables are low in calories that allows you to consume more quantities of them. The filling component in this vegetable is water. We know that water is a universal suppressant of hunger.  The pods of this vegetable contain on the whole 80-85% water.

Potential Side Effects

Bitter melons have many benefits, but they also come with a few side effects. For example:

When pregnant, it is important not to eat bitter melon nor its supplements. They can cause an unwanted abortion. The chances are low, but why risk something that can be avoided.

If you are hypoglycemic, do not use bitter melon supplements. Eating the fruit is fine in reasonable portions.

Too much bitter melon or bitter melon supplement can cause stomach pain and diarrhea.

It’s always important to know the potential side effects of any part of your diet. The main risk is with supplements because they are so concentrated, and it is possible to take a much larger dosage than when eating the fruit itself. Bitter melons are widely consumed fruit in some countries, especially in Asia, and do not carry much risk.

Source:

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The bitter melon is also known as karela, ampalaya, or Momordica charanti. While many people consider it an herb or vegetable, bitter melons are technically fruits because they contain seeds (the name 'melon' makes this easy to remember). Bitter melons have similar nutrients to dandelions and are beneficial for...