Bitter gourd (Momordica Charantia) is also known as bitter melon, balsam pear, balsam apple, and melega saga. Chinese know it as bitter gourd. In India and Nepal it is famous as karela. It has many different names in different languages but everywhere it is used as food because of its medicinal values. It belongs to cucurbitaceae family and is a native of Asia, Africa and Caribbean area. Its color attracts everyone towards it but its taste is so bitter that very few like to eat it.
Nevertheless, it has many medicinal qualities that make it the first choice of herbalists. Bitter gourd is beneficial in treating the patients of diabetes, indigestion, heartburn, ulcer, constipation, cancer, measles, fever and many more. Bitter gourd is available in the market in many shapes and colors. It is an active blood-purifying agent that purifies blood tissues and improves digestion also.
It contains Vitamin A, B1, B2, and Vitamin C. Bitter gourd is also a good source of iron, copper, calcium, potassium and phosphorous. It contains momordin, momordicin, momorcharin and charantin ribosome in it. It is helpful in curing heartburn and stomach ulcer. It is a wonder fruit as it has been used by herbalists to treat patients of malaria from a long time. Leaves of bitter gourd are very effective for this purpose. The dish of boiled bitter gourd is also useful in preventing malaria. You can also fry boiled bitter gourd a little bit for taste.
This fruit is also effective in preventing many viral diseases like chickenpox, measles, cough and cold etc. According to a recent study bitter gourd is even effective in preventing HIV infection. Momordicin component of bitter gourd is helpful in fighting against these infections. Now, a soft drink of bitter gourd is also available in the market. If you can drink juice of bitter gourd, it will surely help you fight against all types of infections. It improves functioning of immune cells and is thus good for treating patients of cancer.
The most popular and guaranteed use of bitter gourd is in fighting against diabetes. Bitter gourd enhances insulin sensitivity. It contains lectin and due to this component, it is helpful in lowering down blood glucose concentration. It acts on peripheral tissues and mind also and by this action it suppresses desire for food. As it is helpful in suppressing appetite, bitter gourd is also effective for those who want to lower down their body weight. If you don’t like its taste, you can consume it in the shape of tablets and capsules.
Bitter gourd is also effective in treating fever, burns and cuts, menstruation problems and skin problems. It is advised to eat bitter gourd regularly to keep your body fit and to keep your immune system in action. It is not necessary that only patients of above-mentioned ailments should eat bitter gourd. It is good for all but pregnant ladies are advised not to eat it in excess.