Bitter melon is a plant. The fruit and seeds are used to make medicine.
Bitter melon is used for various stomach and intestinal disorders including gastrointestinal (GI) upset, ulcers, colitis, constipation, and intestinal worms. It is also used for diabetes, kidney stones, fever, a skin condition called psoriasis, and liver disease; to start menstruation; and as supportive treatment for people with HIV/AIDS.
In addition to being a food ingredient, bitter melon has also long been used as a herbal remedy for a range of ailments, including type 2 diabetes.
The fruit contains at least three active substances with anti-diabetic properties, including charantin, which has been confirmed to have a blood glucose-lowering effect, vaccine and an insulin-like compound known as polypeptide-p.
A kidney stone is an extremely painful medical condition. Bitter melon can be helpful in ridding the body of kidney stones through naturally breaking them down. Bitter melon reduces high acid that help produce painful kidney stones. Infuse bitter melon powder with water to create a healthful tea. This tea has a nutty flavor and, surprisingly, does not require sweetening.
According to the article, published in March 2008 in the journal Chemistry & Biology, AMPK moves glucose transporter molecules to the surface of cells. There they help bring glucose from the blood into the cells. Science Daily reported, “This is a major reason that exercise is recommended as part of the normal treatment program for someone with Type 2 diabetes.”
Studies show that a substance in bitter melon extract kills breast cancer tumors. A significant development in regards to bitter melon and breast cancer came in 2010 through a joint study published in the journal Cancer Research. Using human mammary cells, the study found that bitter melon extract “significantly decreased proliferation” of cancer cells, inhibited cell growth and even induced apoptosis (programmed cell death) in breast cancer cells.
This beneficial fruit may be consumed raw, added to your favorite smoothies, or drank as a drink. You can also take the bitter melon extract, which can be purchased as a herbal supplement in healthy food stores.
Bitter melon is commonly found in Asia, the Caribbean, East Africa, and South America.It has a green, bumpy outer skin and looks like a type of squash. A bitter melon that isn’t fully ripe can produce an unpleasant taste. But what the fruit lacks in looks and flavor it makes up in its healing powers.
Based on the study documented in the journal, Cancer Research, they suggested that ingredients of bitter melon affect several proteins involved in controlling cell division and cell death, and that these signaling pathways may have a combined effect to induce breast cancer cell death.
If this could be translated to what happens in human beings, they were of the opinion that bitter melon extract “can be used as a dietary supplement for prevention of breast cancer”.