Bitter Melon Health Benefits

bitter melon health benefits

What bitter melon health benefits can you expect? -There is growing interest in the health benefits that are contained in this vegetable.

In addition to being highly nutritious, it's packed full of substances that experts belief can help in preventing and treating cancer, diabetes and viral infections such as HIV/AIDS.

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Evidence of Benefits(Leaf Rating System)

leaf logo plant natural remedies herb herbal Diabetes (Type 2 Diabetes)
leaf logo plant natural remedies herb herbal Cancer Treatment and Prevention
leaf logo plant natural remedies herb herbal HIV / AIDS Treatment
leaf logo plant natural remedies herb herbal Antioxidant Benefits
leaf logo plant natural remedies herb herbal Breast Cancer

Suggested Benefits and Traditional Uses

  • Anti-bacterial and anti-viral effects
  • Anti-inflammatory benefits
  • Blood disorders
  • Cholera treatment
  • Colds
  • Flu
  • Colitis
  • Constipation
  • Detoxification
  • Diabetes (Type 1)
  • Enhances energy and the immune system
  • Fungal/yeast infections
  • Hangover (excessive alcohol consumption)
  • Hemorrhoids
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Immune system enhancer
  • Induce menstruation
  • Intestinal worms
  • Liver disease (hepatitis)
  • Kidney stones
  • Stimulates digestion
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Psoriasis
  • Vision improvement
  • Weight loss
  • Wound healing (topically)
  • Facts on Bitter Melon

    Bitter melon is a common vegetable that is eaten in India and many Asian countries. As the name implies, it taste bitter and many westerners may not like eating it.

    This vegetable is packed with nutrition and vitamins. It is a rich source of many essential nutrients:

    • high in iron
    • high in dietary fiber
    • twice the beta carotene of broccoli
    • twice the calcium of spinach
    • twice the potassium of bananas
    • magnesium, folic acid, zinc, phosphorus and manganese
    • vitamin A, C, B1, B2 and B3

    Research studies to support the bitter melon health benefits

    Diabetes (Type 1 and Type 2)

    Bitter melon is found to contain an insulin-like protein (polypeptide P) that is shown to lower blood sugar levels. This is verified in both animal and human studies.

    HIV/AIDS

    Researchers found that bitter melon contains a protein (MAP30) that shows antiviral and anti-cancer effects in lab studies. This protein stops the HIV and herpes virus from multiplying and infecting other healthy cells.

    Cancer prevention and cure

    There is also growing interest in using bitter melon in cancer therapy. Studies done in lab suggest that the MAP30 protein is able to stop cancer by reducing the number of growth factor receptors in cancerous cells.

    Bitter Melon Side Effects and Precautions

    Generally, most people taking up to 1 gram of bitter melon three times daily do not experience any side effects. However, higher doses seem to cause upset stomach and diarrhea in some people.

    Eating the bitter melon fruit, taking the extract or drinking bitter melon tea is known to lower blood sugar levels. Monitor your blood sugar levels more frequently, especially when you start or stop taking this vegetable.

    Do not take during pregnancy as it may have abortative properties.

    Dosage to Use

    The effective dosage to use to treat diabetes is currently unknown. Adjust the amount you take and see its effects on your blood sugar levels.

    Juice - Drink up to 50 mL (about 2 oz) of bitter melon juice daily.

    Tincture - Take 5 mL two or three times daily.

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    Created: April 14, 2010