Bitter melon is a bitter variation of squash that is packed with a host of nutritious minerals and vitamins along with many exceptional chemicals that make it an expectorant, anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, anti fungal, antiviral, and anti parasitic. Sometimes referred to the as bitter gourd or bitter squash, it is commonly found in Africa and Asia. The squash tends to be dark or light green based on their regional location and can be eaten raw or cooked, although the bitter taste will be present either way. The long list of health benefits makes it worth cultivating a taste for this sour squash.
Can Help Control Diabetes
Bitter melon is best known for its hypoglycemic benefits. This means that it can help lower blood glucose levels in the body and in doing so help the body learn to regulate its hormone levels better. In fact, bitter melon extract contains chemicals that mimic the way natural hormones works in the body. There are hundreds of studies that prove that bitter melon can help reduce hormone resistance, reverse or prevent nephropathy, treat associated eye disorders like glaucoma or cataracts, and help prevent heart complications from diabetes.
Whether you are a teen or adult facing acne, no one likes waking up with a pimple. The good news is that consuming bitter melon is a great way to remove blemishes and acne from your face. It also can help treat some deep skin infections like psoriasis, fungal diseases, and more. Some people even consume bitter melon simply because of its high concentration of free radicals which help prevent signs of aging from showing on the skin. Bitter melon juice is the best way to consume the squash for facial purposes.
Relief of Hemorrhoids
No one enjoys dealing with hemorrhoids, but unfortunately, there are many reasons that you can develop the condition regardless of how well you take care of yourself. The good news is that bitter melon is packed with anti-inflammatory qualities that can help treat hemorrhoids quickly. A paste made out of the root of the plant can be placed on the affected skin to prompt the area to heal. It will also help reduce inflammation and bleeding in the area where it is applied. You can also drink the juice of bitter melon for the same results, but the paste may bring you immediate results.
Ward off Bacterial Infections and Viruses
There has been extensive research that proves that bitter melon is composed of multiple antiviral and antibacterial agents. This means that regular consumption of bitter melon can help prevent some infections and treat others when they occur. H. Pylori, a very common bacteria that can cause stomach ulcers, can be prevented by the regular consumption of bitter melon along with several viruses. More recent studies have even proven that there are anthelmintic agents in bitter melon, which means that the bitter juice of the squash can kill internal parasites without causing any damage to the person infected.
No one likes to deal with occasional or chronic constipation. The feeling of being unable to empty stool is one of the most uncomfortable and common GI issues in the world. However, bitter melon is a simple solution that can help keep bowels regular. Bitter melon is high in fiber which helps food digest more efficiently. Also, it helps remove waste from the body leading to better digestion and fewer bouts of constipation.
May Prevent/Treat Cancer
There has been some debate about whether bitter melon should be listed as an anti-cancerous food or not, but regardless of its label, many studies have proven that regular consumption of bitter melon can help manage or even prevent certain cancers including lymphoma, prostate cancer, skin tumors, breast cancer, and melanomas. These studies showed that extracts of bitter melon could detoxify the body, increase metal chelating, and help to prevent free radical damage that is often responsible for cell mutations.
Increase Weight Loss
If you are attempting to lose weight, it may be a good idea to kick off your diet with bitter melon juice. Bitter melon contains a powerful mix of antioxidants that help to flush your system out of harmful radicals and more. Cleansing your system helps to improve the health of your digestive system and increase your metabolism. Therefore, you will see the effects of weight loss efforts in a much quicker fashion. Plus, bitter melon is low in calories and high in fiber so it will help keep you full while maintaining your diet.
Improves Your Immune System
The many antioxidants found in bitter melon can also help improve your immune system. The antioxidants help forms a larger defense against many different types of illnesses. Regular consumption of these antioxidants will keep your body free from free radicals and other compounds that can be released during cell metabolism. The result is you end up with a robust immune system. And you decrease your chances of developing a late onset allergy to something in your diet or the environment.
Strengthens the Respiratory System
The detoxification benefits of bitter melon extend into the respiratory system. They help to lower inflammation and decrease free radicals. The result is that many common respiratory illnesses like the flu or cold can be avoided. Additionally, the stronger a digestive and immune system are, the less chance of developing the presence of asthma or seasonal allergies. The result is a stronger respiratory system that is less prone to contracting serious diseases like pneumonia or bronchitis.
While most of the bodily effects are internal, there are some external benefits as well. In the same way that bitter melon can help rejuvenate your skin, it can also help rejuvenate your hair. Applying it to your hair in a paste along with yogurt will result in shinier and healthier hair. It can also help prevent or treat dandruff in your hair. You can rid your hair of split ends by applying bitter melon juice to your split ends twice a week.