Better melon or gourd can naturally increase the body’s ability to utilize glucose, so it is best suitable for type 2 diabetes with insulin resistance.
What is Better Melon (Momordica charantia)?
Better melon (Momordica charantia) is a tropical and subtropical vine, widely grown in Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean for its edible fruit, which is the most bitter of all fruits. The plant bears yellow flowers; fruits have a distinct warty exterior of oblong shape; a thin fleshy layer is surrounding a central seed cavity having large flat seeds and pith.
Bitter melon has been in use in traditional medicine systems for a long time for a variety of ailments, particularly stomach complaints.
Bitter melon lower blood sugar level
Vicine, charantin, and polypeptide-P are present in bitter melon are responsible for its anti-diabetic properties. Together they increase insulin secretion, increase glucose uptake, glycogen synthesis in the liver, muscle & adipose tissue, improve glucose tolerance and decrease hepatic gluconeogenesis.
Bitter melon lower heart diseases and strokes risk
Many experimental findings conclude that bitter gourd exhibits promising anti-diabetic activity. Its anti-hyperlipidemic effect could represent a protective mechanism against the development of atherosclerosis, especially in diabetic condition. Therefore, it is very much useful in the management of diabetes mellitus and other associated complications.
Medicinal uses of Bitter melon
- The bitter gourd is specifically in use as a folk medicine for diabetes treatment. It contains a hypoglycemic or insulin-like principle, consider as 'plant-insulin', which is highly beneficial in lowering the blood sugar levels.
- Being rich in essential vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin A, B1, B2, C and Iron, it prevents many complications such as hypertension, eye complications and neuritis.
- It possesses digestive, carminative, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, detoxification and blood purification properties.
- Effective for improve immunity, obesity, lipids, blood sugar and psoriasis. It protects heart, brain, liver, kidney and other vital organs of your body.
- Better melon can alleviate liver problems; antimicrobial activities help heal wounds, improves energy and stamina, alleviate eye problems, nourish the liver, increase immunity and improve asthmatic condition.
Bitter melon dosage
The typical dosage of bitter-melon is one small, unripe, raw melon or about 50 to 100 ml of fresh juice, divided into two or three doses over the course of the day. The only problem is that it tastes extremely bitter. Noted naturopath Michael Murray suggests that you should simply plug your nose and take a 2-ounce shot.
Bitter melon availability
Bitter melon is commercially available as fresh fruits, dehydrated fruits, leaf powder or exacts. In addition, it is available as capsules for you to take easily.
Bioactive constituents of Bitter melon
Bitter melon has charantin on hydrolysis gives glucose and a sterol; the fruit pulp has Galactouronic. Fruits contain glycosides, saponins, alkaloids, reducing sugars, resins, phenolic constituents, fixed oil, and free acids. The leaves of the better gourd have hypoglycemic activity comparable to tolbutamide. The protein termed as P-insulin extracted from the fruits in a crystalline form.
Bitter melon has twice the calcium of spinach and Potassium of bananas. The plant is rich in Iron and Zinc. The other minerals are Phosphorus, Sodium and Magnesium. Vitamin C makes up 55% of total vitamins. The other vitamins are B9, B1, B2, B6, B3, B12, A, E, and K. There are Carbohydrates, Sugars, Dietary fiber and protein as well.
Possible side effects of Bitter melon
As a widely eaten food in Asia, bitter melon is regard as safe. Other very-rare risk may include impaired fertility, liver inflammation, and spontaneous abortion.
Bitter melon scientific evidence in diabetes control
A clinical study titled “Antidiabetic and adaptogenic properties of Momordica charantia extract” by Srivastava Y, Venkatakrishna-Bhatt H, Verma Y, Venkaiah K, published in Phytother Res 7:285–289, 1993.
Another clinical study titled “Improvement in glucose tolerance due to Momordica charantia (karela)” by Leatherdale BA, Panesar RK, Singh G, Atkins TW, Bailey CJ, Bignell AH published in Br Med J 282:1823–1824, 1981.
This two-controlled short-term metabolic trial in patients with type 2 diabetes has reported acute effects on blood glucose with Momordica charantia fruit juice, as well as subcutaneous vegetable insulin extracts.