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Bitter Melon – Benefits & Medicinal Properties

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Bitter Melon is a tropical vine that belongs to the gourd family and is closely related to zucchini, squash, pumpkin, and cucumber.

It is cultivated all around the world for its edible fruit, which is considered a staple in many types of Asian cuisine.

Bitter Melon is reported to help in the treatment of diabetes and psoriasis. It has also been reported that Bitter Melon may help in the treatment of HIV. Bitter Melon is the English name of Momordica charantia. Bitter Melon is also known by the names Karela and Balsam Pear. Bitter Melon grows in tropical areas, including parts of East Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, and South America, where it is used as a food as well as a medicine.

It is a green cucumber shaped fruit with gourd-like bumps all over it. It looks like an ugly, light green cucumber. The fruit should be firm, like a cucumber. And it tastes very bitter. Although the seeds, leaves, and vines of Bitter Melon have all been used, the fruit is the safest and most prevalent part of the plant used medicinally. The leaves and fruit have both been used occasionally to make teas and beer, or to season soups in the Western world.

Bitter Melon was traditionally used for a dazzling array of conditions by people in tropical regions. Numerous infections, cancer, leukemia, and diabetes are among the most common conditions it was believed to improve. Bitter Melon is reported to help in the treatment of diabetes and psoriasis.

The blood lowering action of the fresh juice of the unripe Bitter Melon has been confirmed in scientific studies in animals and humans. At least three different groups of constituents in Bitter Melon have been reported to have hypoglycemic (blood sugar lowering) or other actions of potential benefit in diabetes mellitus. These include a mixture of steroidal saponins known as charantin, insulin-like peptides, and alkaloids. It is still unclear which of these is most effective or if all three work together. Nonetheless, Bitter Melon preparations have been shown to significantly improve glucose tolerance without increasing blood insulin levels, and to improve fasting blood glucose levels.

Some benefits of this unique food are:

Packs Several Important Nutrients

Bitter melon is a great source of several key nutrients.
Bitter melon is a good source of nutrients like fiber, vitamin C, folate and vitamin A.

Can Help Reduce Blood Sugar

Bitter melon is thought to improve the way that sugar is used in your tissues and promote the secretion of insulin, the hormone responsible for regulating blood sugar levels

May Have Cancer-Fighting Properties

Test-tube studies show that bitter melon may have cancer-fighting properties and could be effective against stomach, colon, lung, nasopharynx, and breast cancer cells.

Could Decrease Cholesterol Levels

Animal studies have shown that bitter melon extract may decrease cholesterol levels, which could help support heart health. However, human research to confirm these effects is lacking.

May Aid In Weight Loss

Bitter melon is low in calories but high in fiber.  Human and animal studies have found that bitter melon extract may also help decrease belly fat and body weight.

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