A tropical vegetable, the Bitter Melon is found in parts of South Africa, Asia, South America and the Caribbean. Used both for its culinary and therapeutic properties, Bitter Melon is very popular in India and China both as a medicine and as a vegetable. It is taken as herbal tea as well and is advocated for a wide range of health concerns.
Bitter Melon is widely recommended in Ayurveda for its multiple medicinal properties and is known to contain flavanoids and alkaloids which make the Pancreas produce more insulin and consequently assist in regulating blood sugar levels. In traditional Indian medicine, Bitter Melon was known as a blood purifier and used for various skin disorders. The bitter vegetable is also effective in treating worm infestations and help in evading parasitic attack. Prolonged usage of Bitter Melon enhances the functioning of the pancreas, spleen and liver. It is helpful as an emetic and purgative.
The leaves of the Bitter Melon plant are believed to be efficacious in countering fever and cough. As a common home remedy in India, the root of the plant is used as a paste along with equal amount of honey and taken once before bedtime. Taken for a month, this concoction can give relief against respiratory disorders. The juice of the bitter gourd leaves also helps to prevent damage of the liver due to alcoholism. The juice of bitter gourd leaves is used in the treatment of cholera. It can also provide relief from various stomach disorders during in summer seasons.