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Medicinal Foods

Bitter Melon

Bitter Melon

Recommended for the following patterns:
Liver Heat Liver/Gall Bladder - Damp/Heat Stomach Heat Damp Heat in the Bladder

Related recipes:
Weight Loss Elixir

Chinese bitter melon has amazing abilities to nourish, regulate and heal the body. It regulates the blood sugar levels, aids in digestion, detoxifies the body, kills bacteria and viruses, and is rich in calcium, potassium, iron, fiber, beta-carotene, phosphorus, vitamin C, and vitamins B1-3.

Eastern Health Description

Main Actions kills bacteria, kills viruses , kills cancer cells, kills leukemia cells, prevents tumors, treats diabetes, reduces blood sugar, reduces blood pressure, lowers body temperature Other Actions reduces inflammation, fights free radicals, enhances libido, cleanses blood, detoxifies, expels worms, balances hormones, enhances immunity, mildly laxative, promotes milk flow Bitter Melon has a Cooling thermal nature and a pungent, bitter, sweet flavor. Bitter Melon is a diuretic and influences the lungs, stomach, bladder, and kidneys. Medicinally it regulates and strengthens the qi energy; purifies and builds the blood; removes stagnant blood; moistens the lungs and throat; helps reduce cancerous growths; benefits night vision; clears facial blemishes;stimulates bile formation and other glandular secretions. Bitter Melon is a rich source of vitamin A, chlorophyll , sulfur, and calcium. Used as a remedy in treating jaundice, urinary difficulty, "hot" lung phlegm (yellow in color), sore or dry throat, mumps, intestinal gas, and bad breath.

Western Health Description

The most impressive properties in Bitter Melon are a group of 3 compounds that help to lower blood sugar: Charantin, Polypeptide P, and Oleanolic Acid Glycosides

Charantin: a compound of mixed steroids that has been found to be more effective than some hypoglycemic drugs

Polypeptide P: An insulin-like polypeptide which lowers blood sugar levels in type I diabetics.

Oleanolic Acid Glycosides: These compounds improve glucose tolerance in Type II diabetes by preventing the absorption of sugar from the intestines. Bitter Melon has also been linked to increase the number of beta cells in the pancreas, and as a result improves the bodys capability to produce insulin.

The fruits and leaves of bitter melon are a rich source of minerals and vitamins. Bitter Melons are rich in iron. They have twice the beta carotene of broccoli, twice the calcium of spinach, twice the potassium of bananas, and contain Vitamins A, C, B1 to B3, Phosphorus and good dietary fiber.

Perhaps the most common medicinal property of bitter melon is its ability to aid in digestion. On the tongue, bitter food immediately stimulates the production of amylase, an enzyme that turns starch into sugar. This is also evidenced with foods like celery, kale, artichokes, and parsley.

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