Bitter Melon – Health Benefits & Side effects

Bitter melon benefits in diabetes, especially in insulin resistance, Cholera, blood disorders, skin diseases, body toxins, liver diseases, Psoriasis, immunity disorders and digestive ailments.

Bitter Melon is generally a vegetable, but it also has medicinal importance. It widely used for diabetes and bitter melon works in diabetes mellitus by acting on insulin resistance and increasing insulin update into the cells.


  1. Bitter gourd
  2. Momordica Charantia
  3. Karavella
  4. Goya
  5. Bitter squash
  6. Karela

It is a subtropical and tropical vine from the family Cucurbitaceae, which are widely grown in Asia, Caribbean and Africa for its eatable fruits. It is quite bitter in taste and there are wide range of varieties, which are available in different size and shapes.

Similarity with cucumber

It looks similar to cucumber but it is has some ugly gourd-like bumps which are across over it and has pointed ends. There are two different varieties of vegetable, one grows at about 20 cm long with pale green and oblong in color while another vegetable is of smaller variety which is 10cm long, darker green in color and oval shaped. Due to its medicinal values, they are able to help in treatment of diseases mentioned below.

Health benefits of Bitter Melon

Handles Blood disorder

It helps in treatment of disorder of blood like itching, which occurs due to toxemia, and blood boils. You need to add around 2 ounces fresh juice of bitter gourd along with some juice of lime. You should sip it in slow manner with empty stomach regularly between six to four months and could see improvement in your condition.

How to take for Cholera

If your cholera is in the first stage, you should take about two tablespoons of juice of bitter gourd leaves; you should mix it with 2 tablespoon of white onion juice and 1 tea spoon of lime juice. You should take this concoction on daily basis until you get well properly. It does contain hypoglycemic compound, which is plant insulin. It is helpful in lowering sugar levels in urine and blood. It improves tolerance of glucose without increasing blood levels of insulin.

Enhances energy level and stamina

It is also used for improving stamina and energy level. Through this, you are also able to improve or stabilize the sleeping pattern. It helps in alleviation of improving eyesight and eye problems. The quality which it is has is mentioned as beta-carotene due to which it is considered as vegetable as well as fruit.

Marked as Liver cleanser

It is also known as a liver cleanser and it helps in keeping clean toxic blood and improves circulation of bloods and relieving pain of gout. It is also helpful in treatment of hangover due to its alcoholic properties of intoxication. It also helps in repair and cleansing problems of liver.

Building immune system

It also helps in building the immune system and does increases the body’s resistance from the infections. You should mix 3 tea spoonful of juice from leaves of bitter along with a glass of buttermilk. You should take it every morning without having anything, which means empty stomach at least for a month’s duration. For speeding the recovery, you should use the paste of the roots and should apply on the piles.

Psoriasis reduction

It is also known for improving condition of psoriasis. It also works in fungal infection such as athletes’ feet and ring –worm. You should take around 2 ounces of melon juice and then mix it with a cup of honey diluted in water. If you are taking it on regular basis, you could improve bronchitis, asthma and pharyngitis.

Relief from blood toxins

It contains properties, which cleanses the blood from toxins. You should sip 2 teaspoonful of juice on daily basis which would help in cleaning your liver. It is also helpful in disencumbering jaundice for the same condition.

Useful in Traditional medicines

They are also used in the traditional medicines such as fever, colic, chronic dough, skin conditions, burns, painful menstruation and so on. It is also used for healing wounds, assists in childbirth and preventing or treating viral diseases and malaria. They also help in diseases such as measles and chicken pox.

Low with calories

It is low in calories, which are providing around 17calories per 100gm. They are rich in phyto-nutrients like minerals, dietary fibers, anti-oxidants and vitamins. The pods, which are fresh in, foliates, help in reducing the incidence of tube of neural during the birth of child.

Vitamins and Flavonoids

It is also an excellent medium of Vitamin C, which is one of the natural antioxidants, it also helps in scavenge free of deleterious which is one of the main reasons for the development of cancer. It is an excellent means of health benefits of flavonoids such as alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, zea-xanthin and lutein. It is also containing ample amount of Vitamin A.  When all of these compounds are together, they help in protecting scavengers against derived oxygen free radicals and ROS (Reactive oxygen specs) which plays an aging role.

Stimulating digestion

It also helps in stimulating digestion and peristalsis of food via the bowel unit. It is excreted via the body. It helps in relieving constipation and indigestion problems. It is also a good source of niacin (Vitamin-B3), pyridoxine (Vitamin –B6), Pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5) and some kinds of minerals like Manganese, magnesium, potassium, zinc and iron. There are some researches with regards to HIV infection at an early stage which reveals that they could be best for treatment.

Side effects & Contradictions

It is useful and safe for every purpose for almost short- term. The safety with respect to long term is not at all known.

  1. It is mentioned that it is quite unsafe when taken in the mouth during pregnancy. There are certain chemicals in the bitter melon, which could start the bleeding. This occurs due to daily consumption, not if you are using it as vegetable once or twice a week.
  2. It could also result into additive effects when taken along with glucose-lowering agent that may cause hypoglycemia, but it is very beneficial if your blood sugar level does not come under control with conventional medicines.
  3. There is no specific range of doses with respect to bitter melon. It is a silent objector if you are planning for the pregnancy. However, ayurvedic science recommends using 1 to 3 grams of bitter melon powder twice a day.
  4. Bitter melon seeds are not quite easy to digest. Therefore, bitter melon with seeds should not be used in children with low digestive capacity.
  5. Interaction with anti-diabetic drugs is not yet fully known. There are some recent studies, which have revealed that adorable vegetable has some negative impact on your health if used along with modern anti-diabetic drugs. It may cause sudden hypoglycemia. But this applies to the bitter melon extract, not to the raw vegetable or its juice or crude powder.

Bitter melon can be used for various purposes like stomach ulcers, constipation, intestinal disorders and intestinal worms.  They are also used for deep skin infections along with wounds. They also contain a chemical, which acts like an insulin for helping reducing blood sugar levels.

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Dr. Jagdev Singh

Dr. Jagdev Singh is a qualified Ayurvedic Practitioner and Herbalist with B.A.M.S. and M. Sc. in Medicinal Plants. He has a wealth of experience in using Ayurveda to treat patients, including the use of herbal medicine and personalized Ayurvedic diets. His passion for spreading accurate and scientific information about Ayurveda and Medicinal Plants led him to create Ayur Times, a trusted resource for those seeking reliable information on the topic. Through his dedicated work, Dr. Singh has helped thousands of patients find relief and improve their health with Ayurveda and Herbal Medicine.

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  1. I take medication for blood pressure Mavik (Trandolapril) 4 mg, a water pill hydrochlorothiazide 50 mg, and thyroid levothyroxine sodium 0.1mg.
    How long should I wait between my meds and bitter melon juice? I waited an hour this morning between meds and bitter melon drink and my blood pressure is 144 over 84 and heart rate is 70 two hours later. This is higher than usual approximately 120 over 80 and heart rate of mid 70s.Thank you kindly for any information you can suggest.

    1. However, interactions between bitter melon and most of the allopathic medicines are unknown.

      If you are using bitter melon for medicinal purposes, then keeping a minimum 3 hours gap between bitter melon and allopathic medicines should be helpful to avoid unwanted effects.

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