Bitter gourd: Tastes bitter, but a super food for health, says Ayurveda

With the scientific name Momordica charantia, bitter gourd also known as bitter melon is a tropical and subtropical vegetable widely used in Asia. As the name suggests, it is bitter in taste but people are very fond of it as it is rich in nutrients. It is one of the vegetables which has been subjected to intense research and study by Ayurveda experts and according to them, it is soft in nature and beneficial in treating many ailments as it regularises  Kabha and Pitta doshas (The three doshas: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. are biological energies found throughout the body and mind).

Health benefits:

  1. Ayurveda says bitter gourd is best in reducing possible diabetes complications as it contains plant- based Insulin components. It reduces sugar level in the blood.
  2. It is very common in India that people consume bitter gourd juice regularly to avoid complications of diabetes and the recommended quantity is 30 ml per day.
  3. Bitter gourd can help detoxify the body and can reduce the temperature of the body. So having it while suffering from cold and fever is highly useful.
  4. Ayurveda suggests bitter gourd for maintaining liver health. It is featured as ‘Yakruth’ in Ayurveda which means one of the best liver-friendly nutriments and would be the best option for reducing fatty liver, hepatitis complications and it may be useful even at an advanced condition of liver cirrhosis.
  5. Having a cup of bitter gourd juice daily may be useful in reducing LDL cholesterol and subsequently reducing the chances of heart attack and stroke.
  6. As rich in potassium, bitter gourd can be used to abate hypertension and its complications.
  7. Ayurveda refers bitter gourd as “ Kushta Udardha Nashanam”  means very useful in treating skin conditions and being rich in zinc and biotin it can be included in the diet while going through the conditions like Eczema and Psoriasis.
  8. As low in calories and carbohydrate it can be fearlessly consumed while dieting and there have been many studies which found that bitter gourd is useful in lowering weight and reducing fat cells in the stomach.
  9. Bitter gourd can be considered as a best food when it comes to the health of women as it regularize the menstrual cycle.
  10. The fluid extracted from bitter gourd dispels dandruff. Smear it on the head and is very helpful in maintaining hair health.
  11. Bitter gourd boosts immunity and can help defend viral infections and allergies.
  12. There are many studies which support  bitter gourd’s anticancer traits, especially in helping warding off the symptoms of prostrate, ovarian and breast cancers.
  13. Being rich in beta carotene and Vitamin A bitter gourd helps reducing eye ailments.
  14. It also helps abate helminthiasis and smearing the paste of bitter gourd leaves help relieve the symptoms of haemorrhoids.
  15. Consuming bitter gourd help heal the external and internal wounds.
  16. As it is rich in iron and folic acid, it helps reduce symptoms of anaemia.
  17. Bitter gourd also helps gouty arthritis. Courtesy:Dr.Shabu Pattambi