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The bitter gourd or bitter melon, may not be one of the most popular vegetables in the Europe and America. Tags: art pumpkin, balsam apple, balsam pear, bitter cucumber, bitter gourd, bitter melon, carilla cundeamor, cerasee, health benefits, health benefits of bitter gourds, health benefits of bitter melon, karela, nutrients.
In some Asian countries, bitter gourd is highly recommended for people suffering from high blood sugar or diabetes.
A study by researchers in Australia, China, and Germany found that four compounds in bitter melon that “activate an enzyme that is responsible for… transporting glucose from the blood into the cells.” The enzyme is called AMPK, the same one activated by exercise. Studies all across the world have started to show the potential health benefits of bitter gourd juice and bitter gourd tea. Other older studies have also suggested an association between bitter melon intake and improved glycemic control, while a report published in the March 2008 issue of Chemistry and Biology found that bitter melon increased cellular uptake of glucose and improved glucose tolerance.
Due to this possible health benefit of bitter gourd in Diabetes and High Blood sugar, there are many ways in which this vegetable is being consumed in the Western world.
Apart from helping in controlling blood sugar levels, there are many more health benefits of bitter gourd. Storage: Place the bitter melons in a zip-type storage bag and place in the crisper of your refrigerator as soon as they are dry. Special Steps: Use the raw melon within four days of purchase or mix with two cloves of garlic, one chili pepper and stir fry in peanut oil with a little soy sauce in a wok until tender. Bitter Ground Contains Vitamin-C which is one of the powerful natural antioxidants which helps scavenge deleterious free radicals from the human body.
Blood disorders: Bitter gourd juice is highly beneficial for treating blood disorders like blood boils and itching due to toxemia. Cholera: In early stages of cholera, take two teaspoonfuls juice of bitter gourd leaves, mix with two teaspoonfuls white onion juice and one teaspoonful lime juice.
Diabetic Health: Bitter melon contains a hypoglycemic compound (a plant insulin) that is highly beneficial in lowering sugar levels in blood and urine. Energy: Regular consumption of bitter gourd juice has been proven to improve energy and stamina level. Eye problems: The high beta-carotene and other properties in bitter gourd makes it one of the finest vegetable-fruit that help alleviate eye problems and improving eyesight. Hangover: Bitter melon juice may be beneficial in the treatment of a hangover for its alcohol intoxication properties. Immune booster: This bitter juice can also help to build your immune system and increase your body’s resistance against infection. Piles: Mix three teaspoonfuls of juice from bitter melon leaves with a glassful of buttermilk.
Psoriasis: Regular consumption of this bitter juice has also been known to improve psoriasis condition and other fungal infections like ring-worm and athletes feet. Respiratory disorders: Fresh pods are an excellent remedy for curing respiratory problems like asthma, cold, cough, etc. Acne: Consuming Bitter Melon can help to get rid of acne, blemishes and deep skin infections. Prevents Skin Problems: Regular consumption of bitter gourd helps in keeping your skin glowing and free from blemishes. Can Stimulate Miscarriage: Bitter gourds, if taken in excessive quantities can turn out to be a nightmare for pregnant women. Drug Interactions: It is actually shocking to know vegetables like bitter gourd which are known for their healing properties, might even come in the way of drugs. Hypoglycaemic Coma: Hypoglycaemic coma is a condition of coma which is caused due to excessive doses of injected insulin.
Might Affect The Liver: Intake of bitter gourds for extended periods of time to control diabetes might actually induce liver inflammation. One of the major reasons why bitter gourd is not popular as a vegetable, is the bitter taste of the vegetable itself.
1) Bitter Gourd and Capsicum: A delicious combination of bitter gourd and capsicum, can be eaten with bread or rice.
2) Masala Bharwa Karela (Bitter Gourd Filled with Spices): This is a great snack with the bitterness of the bitter gourd almost gone.
About UsNature and Nutrients is an effort to provide information to general users about the nutrients in our everyday food articles and how we can maximize the benefits out of them. Our group comprises of enthusiastic writers, who gather and structure information so that we present it in a form that can be easily used by our readers. Latest Tweet Wrong Twitter API Settings.Please check Themeum Tweet Settings under Plugins menu. Bitter melon (Momordica charantia), also known as bitter gourd or balsam pear, is a popular pod vegetable with a high nutritional value.
Color and appearance: The young pods are light to dark green, having an oblong shape with pointed tips while the matured ones turn yellow.
It is rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene that acts against the free radicals in the body, helping in lowering the risk of cancer. The beta-carotenes may also help in improving vision and preventing eye disorders. According to some clinical studies, polypeptide-p, charantin, and vicine present in it are believed to help in maintaining normal blood glucose levels. Another study has shown that the effects of lectin in bitter melon on the peripheral tissues might play a role in suppressing appetite, helping in lowering the concentration of glucose in the blood. As bitter gourd contains low amounts of fats and carbohydrates, it could be a part of various weight loss diet to help fight obesity. The dietary fibers in bitter gourd can be beneficial for digestion as they boost the release of gastric juices, thus helping in preventing several abdominal conditions, including constipation.
As studies have shown, certain substances giving some vegetables their bitter taste can relax the airways.
It is also believed to help in lowering blood cholesterol levels that cause blockage of the arterial walls, thus reducing the risk of heart attacks. Multiple studies have claimed bitter gourd to contain certain substances that may be capable of suppressing the growth of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) as well as inhibiting the development of breast cancer cells.
Prior to cooking, add salt to the chopped pieces and place them in a sieve for 15 to 30 minutes to squeeze out some amount of the bitter juice. It is used for preparing various vegetable dishes, curries, stir-fries, soups, pickles and even smoothies. Although there are no vegetables that have the typical flavor of bitter gourd, winter melon can be used in place of it for some recipes.

Store the fresh melons in the vegetable and fruit compartment of the refrigerator wrapped in clean paper or plastic bags for 3 to 7 days. DescriptionFinely curled green leaves & yellow hearts have gourmet, slightly bitter flavor.
Cold-tolerant plants that stand in the field for harvest as needed in late fall and early winter.
Botanically, the herb belongs to the mint (Lamiaceae) family, of the genus; Origanum and is known scientifically as Origanum vulgare.
The plant is a small shrub, growing up to 75 cm in height with multi-branched stems covered with small grayish-green oval leaves and small white or pink flowers.
There are many varieties of oregano cultivated across Europe but the influence of climate, season, and soil on the composition of the essential oils is greater than the difference between various species.
Mexican oregano (Lippia graveolens) is a different from origanum species but related to the verbena family of herbs. 1.  Ancient Greeks believed that cows that grazed in fields full of oregano had tastier meat. 3.  The Ancient Greeks also believed that if you anoint yourself with oregano you will dream about your future spouse. 4.  It became popular in America after soldiers returned from Service in World War Two in the Mediterranean and were craving pizza its this reason it is often called the pizza herb.
However, it was considered to be harmful and poisonous during ancient times in some countries. Thai Basil – These plants usually grow up to 24 inches in height and are 2 feet wide.
Lemon Basil – The plants of this variety have flat and narrow leaves with a citric aroma. African blue Basil – This beautiful variety is one of the few perennial members of this species. These plants can be easily cultivated from seeds which take less than two weeks to germinate. Climate: The Basil plants grow well in tropical climates but they are unable to survive in cold weathers. It is important to know about the right time for harvesting the leaves, while retaining their finest aroma. The seeds of the plant are often used in Asian desserts and drinks like falooda and Sherbet. It is used as an expectorant for the treatments of diseases like asthma, flu, cold and bronchitis.
The leaves of these plants are used to prepare “Basil Tea” which helps to prevent diseases like Dengue and Malaria. The tea also treats several health disorders including constipation, diarrhea and indignation.
Some beautiful varieties of these plants like the African Blue Basil are used for decorative purposes.
Oil is extracted from the leaves and flowers of these plants using the steam distillation process.
Anti-Bacterial properties: The volatile oil of this plant contains fatty acids including Estragole, Eugenol, Cineole and Linalool. Anti-Inflammatory: It also possesses anti-inflammatory properties which make it very healthy for people with migraine and arthritis. Good for the Heart: It helps the heart by increasing the circulation of blood and relaxing the blood vessels. Respiratory Problems: It relieves problems like cold, flu, asthma, whooping cough and bronchitis. One should avoid consuming this herb in any form during pregnancy as it may cause contractions. It is used as herb and the fresh or dried leaves are added to a dish to improve its flavor and taste. Freezing – The leaves are frozen inside an ice cube or in a blended form in a freezer bag. Despite having a very long history, there are still many things about this plant that one may not know.
In ancient times, some people believed that smelling these leaves will grow scorpions in one’s brain. It has been proven that etheric oil destroys bacteria Eshericia colli, Schigela sonei, Salmonela, and has a slightly weaker activity against bacteria of a group of staphylococci and streptococci.
It is effective in destroying certain types of fungi as: cadida albicas, cadida krusei, cadida pseudotropicalis, torulopsis glabrata and cyptococcus eoformas. Because of this effect, sage is a useful herb for treating inflammation and infections of the mucous membranes in the mouth, gums and throat. You should avoid long term drinking tea because etheric oil from sage contains toxic substance thujone. Dry leaves are used as a spice because it improves the taste and scent of food, and helps the digestion too. Tea can be used for improving the functions of bile and liver, because bitter substances and etheric oil increase the secretion of digestive juices in the body. Sage tea has a diuretic effect, which is poorly expressed and due to the presence of flavonoids .
Commonly is recommended against perspiration of neuromuscular origin or the heat waves that occur during menopause. Sage is a remarkable tool for whitening teeth, strengthening gums and aid in periodontitis.
However, due to the know health benefits of bitter gourd, it has been one of the popular vegetables in the Indian Subcontinent. However, we at Nature and Nutrition would strongly advise using the advise of your doctor before consuming such products. It looks like a very bumpy long cucumber and grows in hot and humid climates such as South America.
Let drip dry until there is no more water on the skin. Slice the melons in half lengthwise on a cutting board using a very sharp knife. Serve diced in curries, stir-fries or pickles, or stuffed with meat, shrimp, spices, and onions.

Although, its bitter taste might turn some people away from it, in-fact, it can really sweeten your health by virtue of its disease preventing and health promoting phyto chemical compounds.
It is a moderate source of B-complex vitamins such as niacin (vitamin B-3), pantothenic acid (vitamin B-5), pyridoxine (vitamin B-6). Take this every morning on empty stomach for about a month and see an improvement to your condition. Bitter melon is useful in treating blood disorders like blood boils, scabies, itching, psoriasis, ring-worm and other fungal diseases. The food is digested and waste is thrown out of the body which helps in curing indigestion and constipation problems.
They help to reduce the bad cholesterol levels which clog the arterial walls and thereby reduce the chances of heart attacks.
It helps cure chronic cough and breathing problems by removing the sputum that accumulates within the lungs and the respiratory tract.
Bitter gourds are notorious for causing emmenagogue (increase of menstrual flow) and abortifacient effects. However, there are many recipes in the Indian subcontinent where the bitterness of the gourd can be removed and you can enjoy a delicious meal. Despite its bitter taste, it is used in various cuisines throughout the world, especially in countries like China, India, Pakistan, Philippines and Vietnam.
Apart from strengthening the immune system, the antioxidants are believed to have positive effects on the skin, with the juice and pulp of bitter melon being used as a folk remedy for issues like acne, boils, ringworm and psoriasis.
So, eating bitter gourd might be beneficial for people having chronic respiratory problems such as asthma and bronchitis. You can also fry them in peanut oil along with crushed garlic clove, red chili, soy sauce, and balsamic vinegar to have it with steamed rice.
Breastfeeding mothers are also advised to avoid its consumption as it may be harmful for the baby. While buying, choose fresh and bright green pods that are free of any cuts or discolored patches.
Origanum heracleoticum is another Greek variety that is having characteristic sharp scent and flavor. When using dried oregano crush it a little in your hand to release the essential oils and flavor.
Its a wonderful herb to add to pasta dishes especially tomato based, omelets, bread, roast potatoes, kebabs, chicken, lentils the list is endless.
They have a strong camphor-like smell. In addition to the above mentioned, there are numerous other varieties of Basil like Red Rubin, Boxwood and Lettuce Leaf. However, the plants are cultivated in different parts of the world including Italy, Egypt, France, Morocco, USA and Hungary. This herb is able to enhance the taste of any preparation – be it a chicken dish, a pizza or an ice cream. However, one may use Thyme or Oregano as a substitute for Basil in case it is absolutely unavailable.
This plant is known from parts of Europe, especially the Balkans, where is used for obtaining essential oils.
This power of sage it’s explained by its effect on the nervous center which regulates the glands that secrete sweat. A small spoon of sage leaves is mixed with 1 drop of peppermint etheric oil and abit of baking soda.
In order to post comments, please make sure JavaScript and Cookies are enabled, and reload the page. As you can make out from the name itself, the bitter melon or bitter gourd is a melon but has a bitter taste. Dust the halves with some table salt and let the melon bleed out some of the bitter juices. Charantin increases glucose uptake and glycogen synthesis inside the cells of liver, muscle and adipose tissue. Sip it slowly on an empty stomach daily for between four and six months and see improvement in your condition.
There are case reports which suggest the onset of hypoglycaemic coma and the start of atrial fibrillation (abnormal heart rhythm) with the intake of bitter gourds. It has also been traditionally used for managing the early symptoms of cholera and for getting rid of piles. Boiling the slices in salt water for a minute followed by soaking in ice water is another way of making them less bitter.
Since the seeds of bitter gourd contain vicine, it must be avoided by patients having glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) gene deficiency.
The intensity varies; however, good-quality oregano is so strong that it almost numbs the tongue. This plant is used as a herb and is one of the main ingredients in various cuisines all over the world.
Due to this reason it can be useful to fight certain bacterial diseases like Staphylococcus aureus, Listeria monocytogenes and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
Together, these compounds have been thought to be responsible for reduction of blood sugar levels in the treatment of type-2 diabetes. Please note that as the name suggests, bitter gourds are quite bitter in taste and may not be that palatable. However, in Asian countries, this vegetable is hugely popular due to the known health benefits  of bitter gourd. Hence diabetic patients who are under medication should consult their doctors before consuming bitter gourds. After cutting it in half, lengthwise, remove the seeds and pith, and chop into small pieces. However, the health benefits of bitter gourds are so many that sometimes people consume it as medicine. Please refer to the tab below on the Health Benefits to know about all the possible health benefits of bitter gourds.

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