Bitter gourd or bitter melon (momordecica charantia) is a flowering vine that is known for its intensely bitter fruits. It is also known as karela. Bitter gourd for diabetes is known for its hypolipidemic activity and is a significant antidiabetic as well(1). It is a natural remedy for treating diabetes and considered to be one of the most promising plants for diabetes. The fruits contain high amounts of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin B9 (folate, as well as vitamins B1, B2, and B3).
Bitter Melon For Diabetes:
Bitter gourd is a plant that is rich in nutrients and can help in the treatment of several diseases. It contains numerous minerals and is also rich in dietary fiber. Bitter gourd for diabetic patients helps to treat diabetes as well as to delay late complications of diabetes. The medical potency of diabetes is responsible for hypoglycemic activity. It can be used as an adjuvant for allopathic treatment to treat diabetes. Diabetes consists of type 1 diabetes where the pancreas is unable to produce insulin. In type 2 diabetes, the blood sugar level is high and the body is unable to convert it to energy.
Studies show that karela for sugar control is effective and can lower blood sugar and A1c level with type 2 diabetes. Bitter gourd has Polypeptide-p, which is an insulin-like compound that can control diabetes naturally. These substances work together or individually and help reduce blood sugar levels.
Karela juice is excellent for diabetics. As of now, studies show no evidence that bitter melon has significant effects on A1C levels or fasting plasma glucose levels. Bitter melon extracts can even kill some cancer cells. It has been used traditionally to treat hyperlipidemia, microbial infections, digestive disorders, and menstrual problems. (2)
How To Use Bitter Gourd For Diabetes:
1. Bitter Gourd as Juice:
- Bitter gourd juice can be consumed for diabetes.
2. Bitter Gourd as Powder:
- Add 1 teaspoon of powder in a cup of water and bring it to boil for 20 minutes.
- This is beneficial for diabetes: Bitter gourd has polypeptide P that mimics insulin.
- Karela powder for diabetes lowers the level of blood sugar in diabetic patients.
- It also rids of acne, skin infections, and blemishes.
3. Bitter Gourd as Supplement:
- Bitter gourd is widely used for the treatment of diabetes. They are available in the form of tablets.
- Bittergourd can be added to our regular diet, lunch, and dinner with bitter melon recipes for diabetes.
How Much Dosage?
- Ideally, one cup of bitter gourd juice would be ideal.
For a Diabetic:
The bitter melon for diabetes dosage:
- 50 – 100 mL once/day OR
- 900 mg three times daily.
See More: Papaya for Diabetes
Other Benefits Of Bitter Gourd:
- Bitter gourd purifies the blood and the antimicrobial and antioxidant properties present in the juice help to treat skin issues, blood disorders, remove toxins from the blood, and purify it. It also improves blood circulation.
- Indian bitter melon is rich in vitamin C, which is an important micronutrient in disease prevention, wound healing, and bone formation(3)
- Karela for weight loss: Eating or drinking the bitter gourd juice stimulates the liver to secrete bile acids that are essential for metabolising fat in the body(4).
- Cures hangovers and cleanses the liver. Bitter gourd tea, bitter melon herbal supplement, is made by infusing dried slices of bitter gourd in water.
- Boosts the immune system: Bitter gourd is an extremely rich source of vitamin C, which helps boost immunity, stimulates the immune system, and aids in digestion(5).
- Great for the eyes(6).
- May have cancer-fighting properties(7).
- Could decrease cholesterol levels(8).
- Bitter gourd for kidney stones: The extract of bitter gourd has a protective effect on the diabetic kidney. Bitter gourd naturally breaks down kidney stones.
- Bitter gourd for constipation helps to relieve constipation and settles the stomach.
- Bitter gourd for eczema is very efficient in treating skin diseases like eczema.
Side Effects Of Bitter Melon:
The following side effects may occur if the bitter gourd is consumed more than the recommended amount:
- Diarrhoea and abdominal pain (side effects of bitter gourd juice for diabetes)(9).
- Fever, headache, and coma (with excessive consumption of the seeds).
- Low blood sugar can get worse and lead to hypoglycemia.
- Bitter gourd should best be avoided by pregnant women as it could lead to vaginal bleeding, contractions, abortion.
- Bitter gourd is said to have moderate interactions with certain drugs, so it is safer to consult with a physician and avoid excess consumption.
Not many people like bitter food, and so is the case with bitter gourd. This healthiest of veggies in the food kingdom is clearly out shined by the other vegetables and is pushed down in the list of edible items. Awareness is needed among people that this vegetable is loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. There are several ways in which this veggie can be consumed for diabetes and overall health – in the form of pickle, vegetable, or as juice. Apart from bitter gourd benefits for diabetes, this unassuming vegetable has many benefits and cannot afford to be ignored!
- While diabetes can be treated with bitter gourd it is essential that you seek the assistance of a healthcare professional before embarking on your treatment. It is better to seek their advice before supplementing with bitter gourd, just in case you have any underlying health conditions.
See More: Karela Juice Benefits
Frequently Asked Questions And Answers:
1. Is Bitter Gourd Good For Pregnant Women?
Though bitter gourd is packed with nutrients and antioxidants, it is not advisable for pregnant women to consume this because of its influence on the blood sugar level. It may cause an adverse effect by leading to preterm labour, contractions, bleeding, stillbirth, and even miscarriage. It is better to consult a gynaecologist or a doctor before consuming bitter gourd during pregnancy.
2. Can Diabetic Patient Take Bitter Gourd While Taking Insulin?
In such cases, it is better to check with a doctor because to take them both together there may be a chance that the sugar level can down very low and this may create further complications. It can lead to hypoglycemia, so it safer to take the advice of the doctor.
3. How To Make Karela Juice?
- Peel the bitter gourd with a sharp knife and slice the bitter gourd.
- Once done, scoop out the flesh from within along with the seeds of the vegetable.
- Now, take the bitter gourd and chop them into tiny pieces.
- Soak the bitter gourd pieces in cold water for 30 minutes.
- Blend them all together in a juicer. Add a teaspoon of salt and lemon juice.
- Blend the ingredients well. In case the drink is too bitter, add some honey or jaggery to it.
- A pinch of black pepper and ginger will also help in decreasing the bitterness to make it more palatable.