Bitter melon or Karela is very good for our health despite its bitter taste. In Ayurveda, it has been used for several years for the treatment of a various disorder in the body, such as diabetes, obesity, and detoxifying agent. It is an excellent source of vitamin B1, B2 and B3, and micronutrients such as magnesium, zinc, manganese, and phosphorus etc.
Plant description: Bitter melon belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family. The botanical name of bitter melon is Momordica charantia. The plant is herbaceous, tendril-bearing vines grow up to the length of 5m. The leaves are alternative and 3-7 deeply separated lobes. The plant bears separate male and female flower.
Mainly the fruit of this plant has very good medicinal property. It is very bitter in taste. The stems of bitter melon are prostate and dark green in color. The fruits of bitter melon have irregular surfaced and color become yellow when ripped. Seeds are large, flat shape, and each fruit contains 20 to 30 seeds in it.
Habitat: Bitter melon is distributed in both tropical and subtropical regions of all countries. It is native of the tropical and subtropical region of Africa and Asia.
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Phylum: Magnoliophyta
- Class: Magnoliopsida
- Order: Cucurbitaceae
- Family: Cucurbitaceae
- Genus: Momordica
- Species: M.charantia
Nutritional value of bitter melon per 100g:
- Energy: 79kJ
- Carbohydrates: 4.32Kj
- Sugar: 1.95g
- Fiber: 2g
- Fats: 0.18g
- Proteins: 0.84g
- Beta carotene: 68 microgram
- Vitamin B1: 0.051mg
- Vitamin B2: 0.053mg
- Vitamin B3 (Niacin): 0.28mg
- Vitamin B6: 0.041mg
- Vitamin C: 33mg
- Vitamin E: 0.14 mg
- Vitamin K: 4.8 mg
- Iron: 0.38
- Magnesium: 16mg
- Manganese: 0.086mg
- Calcium: 9mg
- Potassium: 319mg
- Sodium: 6mg
- English name: Bitter gourd or Bitter melon
- Hindi: Karela
- Nepali: tite Karela
- Telugu: kakar
- Bengali: Karla, Uchhe
- Marathi: Karle
- Tamil name: Pavaikkari
- Gujarati: Kareli
- Malayalam: Kaippakka
- Kannada: Hagalakai
In Ayurveda, bitter melon is very beneficial herb which is used for the treatment of various health problems.
- Rasa (Taste): Tikta (bitter), Katu (Pungent)
- Guna (Qualities): Laghu (Light), Ruksha (Dry)
- Vipaka: katu (Pungent taste after digestion)
- Veerya (potency): Ushna (Hot)
- Karma (Action): Kapha pitta hara (reduces vitiated kapha and pitta dosha), Deepana (induce appetite).
The bitter gourd contains 5-hydroxytryptamine, diosgenin, beta-sitosterol, lanosterol. It also contains cucurbitacin glycosides, alpha and beta glycosides, and p-insulin. The fruit of bitter melon also contains hypoglycemic constituent vicine.
Karela juice is an excellent beverage for the diabetic patient and controls the blood glucose level in the body. The diabetes is of three type i.e. type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes.
- Type 1 diabetes: it is the condition when your body does not produce the insulin at all and which cause the increase in blood glucose level in your body.
- Type 2 diabetes: It is the condition when your body does not respond enough to insulin. It is the most common form of diabetes. Almost 90% people are affected with this type of diabetes.
- Gestational diabetes: This occurs in pregnant women’s due to drastic hormonal changes in their body.
Bitter Melon Benefits for Diabetes
- Anti-diabetic property of bitter melon is one of the best qualities of bitter melons. It lowers the blood glucose level by activating the insulin in your body. Vicine and polypeptide-p, these two compounds help to reduce the blood sugar level in the diabetic patient.
- Charatin along with vicine and polypeptide-p also present in the bitter lemon juice, which also helps to reduce the blood sugar in the body by increased secretion of insulin in the pancreas. It ultimately decreases the glucose absorption in the body.
- Control type 1 diabetes: Along with type 2 diabetes, bitter melon juice is very good for the type one diabetes. The plant-based insulin is effective to control the blood glucose level in the human body.
- Bitter melon juice increases the consumption of glucose and improves the body glycemic control.
- Lectin which develops after eating and drinking bitter melon is the major factor for hypoglycemic effect. Lectin basically acts on peripheral tissues and suppressing appetite.
- Bitter melon has the very good property of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory which protect your body from several problems during diabetes.
- It also helps to prevent obesity during diabetes and helps in losing weight.
How to make bitter melon juice?
- Firstly, you cut the skin of bitter melon properly and wash them with tap water.
- After that, cut the bitter melon from the middle with a knife and scoop out the seeds and white flesh of the bitter lemon.
- Then after that, you can cut the bitter lemon in small pieces.
- Add all the small pieces of bitter melon into juicer or blender. You can also put water, apple juice or lemon juice to overcome the extra bitterness.
- You can also add some honey, black pepper and ginger. This will help you to make the juice tastier and smooth.
- Now your juice is ready. You should remove the pieces of bitter, guard by pouring the juice through a strainer.
- Add or pour the bitter melon juice in glass and put it in the refrigerator for some time.
- It is recommended that you should drink the Karela juice in the morning with an empty stomach.