10 Health Benefits of Bitter Gourd (Karela: Bitter Melon)

The health benefits and uses of bitter melon, also known as karela or bitter gourd.

1. Karela also is known as bitter melon is a fruit which grows in warm climates around the world. It is often used in Asian cuisine and has some excellent health benefits for the body.

2. Bitter Melon benefits are many, It has been used as a natural medicine for many years especially in India for treating diabetes. The fruit contains Momordicin, a compound which lowers blood sugar levels.

3. These are called bitter melon due to their sour taste. This works well in stir-fries which contain pork or delicious soup. It is also used as an ingredient for beer, curries and served alongside yoghurt.

4. Bitter gourd juice is made from both the fruit and the leaves of this wonderful plant. This can be drunk regularly and works to treat fever, aches, pains and headaches.

5. The nutrients within the juice of the fruit promote healthy hair growth. Many people drink this to strengthen their hair and add a wonderful shine and lustre to the follicles. The juice can be massaged into the scalp and hair directly. Allow this to sit for 30 minutes before rinsing.

6. This also works to destroy head lice, dry itchy skin on the scalp and pimples.

7. Bitter melon juice is also commonly used to purify the liver and get rid of a hangover. A compound called Momordica Charantia protects the liver from failure for recovering alcoholics and also cleanses the bowels.

8. You can purchase bitter melon tea bags which contained dried slices of bitter melon. This is often used as a natural medicine to lower high cholesterol and to reduce obesity.

9. This superfood also boosts the immune system to protect you against diseases and infections. This is perfect when suffering from a winter cold or flu.

10. Studies have shown that the antioxidants within bitter melon can prevent cancerous cells and tumours. It has been linked to reducing the risk of breast, cervical and prostate cancer.

11. The fruit contains some excellent nutrients including Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B9, C and E. It also has an impressive array of minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron and phosphorus.

12. It is also available in the form of bitter melon extract (capsules) or bitter melon powder. These are easy to find in health food stores or online.

13. We recommend blending a tablespoon of bitter melon powder into healthy smoothies containing berries, fresh orange juice and banana.

14. The beta carotene (vitamin A) within the fruit helps to improve eyesight and protect the eyes from macular degeneration.

15. Early studies suggest that bitter melon may have the potential to treat viral diseases such as HIV, chickenpox, measles and malaria.

16. The fruit contains properties which help to balance hormones in both men and women. This is excellent to reduce pain and symptoms of menopause.

17. We recommend using herbal medicines which use bitter plants to treat arthritis, such as gout and rheumatism. Bitter leaf extract is the perfect supplement for these issues.

18. Pregnant women should avoid using this fruit or juice as it could lead to premature labour.