Top 20 Health benefits of bitter gourd

Bitter gourd, famous in India as "Karela" is truly a gift to mankind from mother nature for benefits it provides to improve our health. Bitter gourd is packed with beneficial antioxidants and essential vitamins. Most people think that it is a vegetable but in fact it is a fruit, but unlike other fruits the bitter taste can turn you away, but it can really improve your health.

Botanically it belongs to the family of Cucurbitaceae, of the genus: Momordica and Its scientific name is Momordica Charantia. It actually originated in India and eventually carried to China during the 14th century. Karela received different names such as bitter melon and bitter gourd for its English name; Goya for its Japanese name; and ampalaya for its Filipino name.

Bitter gourd is a popular as vegetable in some Asian countries, where the health benefits of the plant are well-known—particularly, its ability to lower blood glucose in diabetics. Apart from being eaten mainly as vegetable, it is particularly reputed as a folk medicine due to its therapeutic properties. Only a few other fruits or vegetables offer medicinal properties for these ailments like bitter melon does.

Health Benefits

1) Overcome Diabetes
In recent years researchers worldwide have started to focus on the anti-diabetic effects of bitter gourd.
 Bitter melon juice is the most common remedy to overcome type 2 diabetes. It has been a part of the chinese and Indian ancient medicine for a long time. 

Type 2 diabetes is caused due to development of insulin resistance or insufficiency of insulin level in blood. In both cases, the cells are unable to absorb the sugar. Bitter gourd activates protein kinase in the cells due to which the absorption of sugar increases bringing diabetes in control.

Green juice recipe for diabetics:
Take small cut pieces of  4-5 bitter gourd and soak in water with little salt and half teaspoon turmeric powder for 15 minutes. After that blend in a mixer, filter the fibers, pass it through sieve. Add lemon juice or amla juice and stir well before drinking. For maximum impact drink it first thing in the morning.

2) Helps in Piles 
Fresh Karela juice is very good for piles. For patients suffering from piles taking a mixture of bitter melon juice and buttermilk every morning is very helpful, take for about a month and you will see considerable improvement. If the juice is too bitter for you a paste of the roots of bitter gourd plant can also be applied over piles to get a favorable result.

3) Blood disorders
Bitter gourd juice is highly beneficial for treating blood disorders like blood boils and itching due to toxemia. Mix 2 ounces of fresh bitter gourd juice with some lime juice. Sip it slowly on an empty stomach daily for between four and six months and see improvement in your condition.

4) Antibacterial and antiviral
Extracts of bitter melon leaf have been shown to be effective against many types of bacteria including E. coli, Staph, Strep and Salmonella, as well as Helicobacter pylori, the bacteria that cause stomach ulcers. Bitter melon also has anti-viral activity against HIV, herpes and Epstein-Barr viruses, and increases resistance of animals and humans to viral infections. Bitter melon contains many biochemical compounds that have antibacterial and antiviral activity.

5) Constipation
It is high in fiber thus preventing constipation and also cures many stomach disorders by helping in stimulating the secretion of gastric juices. This can be very helpful for people with dyspepsia. Do not take in case of heartburn and ulcers.

6) Antimalarial
Bitter melon is traditionally regarded in Asia as useful for preventing and treating malaria. It can prevent malaria bacteria from growing. Well, as you know, prevention is always better than cure. When you start to see the symptoms of malaria or if your doctor says that you have malaria, boil some Karela leaves and drink it like a tea. You can add garlic, salt, or small amount of sugar to even out the bitter taste of its leaves.

Tea is used for this purpose also in Panama and Colombia. In Guyana, onions and garlic are mixed with  bitter melons than boiled and stir-fried. This dish known as "corilla" is served to prevent malaria.

7) Cholera 
Juice of bitter gourd leaves can help to reduce symptoms if taken in early stages of cholera.
Take two teaspoonfuls juice of bitter gourd leaves, mix with two teaspoonfuls white onion juice and one teaspoonful lime juice. Sip this concoction daily till you get well.

8) Energy 
Regular consumption of bitter gourd juice has been proven to improve energy and stamina level. Even sleeping patterns have been shown to be stabilized.

9) Anti-cancer
Some clinical research  studies have shown that bitter melon has anti-cancer properties as it contains vitamin C which help in eliminating free radicals. Water extracts of the whole plant inhibit growth of prostate and mammary tumors in animals, and in vitro studies showed anti-cancer activity against several melanoma, sarcoma, leukemia and liver cancer cell lines.

10) Promotes heart health
Bitter melon is very good for the heart in many ways. Bitter melon decreases blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and it detoxifies, cleanses the blood, enhances the immune system and reduces inflammation. Karela help to reduce the bad cholesterol levels which clog the arterial walls and thereby reduce the chances of heart attacks. Also it is known to lower blood sugar levels that help in maintaining good heart health.

11) Helps in weight loss
The two major factors that help in weight loss is the calorie control and filling components of karela. It is low in calorie which allows you to consume more quantities and filling component in bitter gourd is water. We know that water is a universal suppressant of hunger it is 80-85% water. It contains just 17 calories per 100g. 

Nevertheless, its pods are rich in phytonutrients like dietary fiber, minerals, vitamins and anti-oxidants. which help to flush out your system. This improves your metabolism and digestive systems thus helping you lose weight quickly.

12) Helps in skin health
Bitter melon contains vitamin C, which can overcome the threat of ultraviolet rays. Vitamin C is known to prevent wrinkles on the face and slow down the aging process. Consuming Bitter Melon can help to get rid of acne, blemishes and deep skin infections. Bitter melon is useful in treating blood disorders like blood boils, scabies, itching, psoriasis, ring-worm and other fungal diseases.

13) Eye problems 
The high beta-carotene and other properties in bitter gourd makes it one of the finest vegetable-fruit that help alleviate eye problems and improving eyesight.

14) Good for liver, kidneys and bladder

Drink one glass of Bitter Melon juice daily to heal liver problems. Keep consuming this continuously for a week to see results. Bitter melon also helps to maintain healthy liver and bladder. It is also useful in curing kidney stones.

15) Hangover 
Bitter melon juice may be beneficial in the treatment of a hangover for its alcohol intoxication properties. It also help cleanse and repair and nourish liver problems due to alcohol consumption.

16) Immune booster 
This bitter juice can also help to build your immune system and increase your body’s resistance against infection.

17) Psoriasis
Regular consumption of this bitter juice has also been known to improve psoriasis condition and other fungal infections like ring-worm and athletes feet.

18) Respiratory disorders 
Take two ounces of fresh bitter melon juice and mix with a cup of honey diluted in water. Drink daily to improve asthma, bronchitis and pharyngitis.

19) Toxemia 
Bitter gourd contains beneficial properties that cleanses the blood from toxins. Sip two teaspoonfuls of the juice daily to help cleanse the liver. Also helpful in ridding jaundice for the same reasons.

20) Gout
Bitter gourd juice is liver cleansing. It helps clean up a toxic blood, improves blood circulation and relieves gout pain.

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