Health On Life's Journey

Bitter foods are sometimes good for health and battling illnesses. An example is the bitter melon.

This melon has a long history of being used for medicinal purposes in India, South America, Japan, China and Philippines.

Amazonian healers and Ayurvedic physicians have been using this gourd-like vegetable for dealing with diabetes for thousands of years. The ability of the bitter melon in rectifying hypoglycemia has also been established via studies.

It seems that phytochemical, Charantin, found in bitter melons have extremely powerful blood sugar lowering properties (more powerful than some commonly prescribed pharmaceutical drugs!). In addition, the Polypeptide-p found in the melon also mimics the effects of insulin, and hence the melon has in fact been used as an alternative to insulin shots in some parts of the world.

Traditionally in the Amazon, bitter melon juice or tea has also been used for dealing with diarrhea, wounds, infections and parasites. The bitter melon contains antiviral proteins that have been shown to be useful for dealing with HIV and tumors. There is also some proof of the benefits of bitter melon in dealing with cancer.

[1] Collins, Elise Marie. An A-Z Guide to Healing Foods: A Shopper’s Companion. San Francisco, California: Conari Press, 2009. Print.

Cindy L. TJOL is trained in Psychology, Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine. She has several years of experience writing on natural health on the internet. Follow her on her blog and read her other articles at Insights On

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