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Curative Properties Of Bitter Gourd

Submitted by Loring A. Windblad on February 3, 2010

Medicinal Properties Of Bitter Gourd

Bitter gourd, also known as bitter melon, karela, and goya in different parts of the world, is among the most bitter of vegetables. The adage that bitter gourd is great for health is something all of us are familiar with since childhood. Many of us tend to brush it aside, under the impression that it originates in the old-fashioned idea that something that tastes so bitter must be good for you. However, the fact is that bitter gourd is in fact an extremely healthy food, packed with nutrients and numerous medical uses, many of which are still being discovered.

Health Benefits Of Bitter Gourd

First of all, as far as nutrition goes, the list of vitamins and minerals contained in bitter gourd is impressive.

This vegetable contains vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, vitamin B9, vitamin B12, vitamin C, vitamin E, and vitamin K. The list of minerals is equally long – calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sodium are all present in bitter gourd, in addition to small amounts of zinc and iron. Of course, this is all in addition to the fact that, like any other vegetable, bitter gourd is low in fat and high in carbohydrates and fiber.

In addition to all this, bitter gourd has numerous curative properties. The fiber content in vegetables is of course always good for digestion, but in addition, bitter gourd seems to contain elements that further improve digestion. In cultures all over the world, bitter gourd has long been used to treat various other diseases too.

These include malaria and diabetes. Recent research is showing measurable benefits from the consumption of bitter gourd by diabetic patients. If made a regular part of one’s diet, it seems that bitter gourd can actually help to lower and stabilize blood sugar levels.

A tea made from the leaves of the bitter gourd plant also seems to help in the management and treatment of malaria. The vegetable also has anti inflammatory and soothing properties, and is particularly useful for any conditions involving irritation and inflammation of the mucus membranes.

One more recent and interesting discovery is that bitter gourd may actually help in the treatment of HIV infected people. There are indications that bitter gourd may improve the functioning of the immune system and reduce the severity of the side effects of anti HIV medication. Of course, this research is still in its early stages, and it will take a while before the effects are known for sure.
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