Bitter Gourd-Nutrition And Cures

Nutrients Of Bitter Gourd And Its Remedies

The bitter gourd is a common vegetable native to tropical countries such as India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, the Philippines and China. It is 10 cm to 20 cm long, tapering at the end and covered with blunt tubercles and is bitter in taste.


The bitter gourd is cooked and eaten mainly as a vegetable in countries in India and South East Asia. However it is specifically used as a folk medicine because of its medicinal and curative properties. Researchers have established that it contains a hypoglycemic or insulin like compound which is highly beneficial in lowering blood and urine sugar levels. Eating bitter gourd liberally is highly recommended for those suffering from diabetes. For better results diabetics should take the juice of four or five fruits on an empty stomach.


Bitter gourd is also rich in essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, B1, B2, c and Iron. Its regular consumption could prevent hypertension, eye complication and neuritis. It also increases the body's resistance to infection.


Bitter gourd is highly beneficial in the treatment of blood disorders such as boils, scabies, itching, ring worm and fungal diseases. A cupful of fresh juice of bitter gourd mixed with a teaspoon of lime juice should be taken on an empty stomach for a few months.


The juice of the fresh leaves of bitter gourd is also beneficial for piles. Three teaspoonfuls of leaf juice mixed with a glass of butter-milk taken every morning for about a month is valuable for those with piles. A paste of the roots of the plant can also be applied over the piles with beneficial results.


Since olden days the roots of bitter gourd plants have been used in folk medicine for respiratory disorders. A teaspoonful of the root paste mixed with honey taken once nightly is good medicine for asthma, bronchitis, and colds. Fresh juice of leaves is also beneficial in the treatment of alcoholism and in early stages of cholera and diarrhea.


The bitterness of the gourd can be reduced by steeping of the peeled fruit in salt water before cooking. It is also used in pickles and curries. Indeed the bitter gourd is a vegetable with excellent medicinal values.     

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