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  Bitter Gourd
Bitter melon improves the body's ability to use blood sugar and improves glucose tolerances. Bitter melon fruit juice may cause a renewal and recovery of the insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas.

Other uses for bitter melon include treating colds, flu and fever, parasites, digestive and skin diseases.

Its actions were described as "expelling evil heat, relieving fatigue and illuminating".
Botanical Name
Common Name
Family Name
Parts Used
: Momordica charantia
: Bitter Melon, balsam pear, bitter gourd
: Cucurbitaceae
: Gourd Fruit
: Momordin, Gurmarin, Charantin
Numerous infections, cancer, and diabetes are among the most common conditions it was purported to improve.
  • Is thought to stimulate digestive function and improve appetite.
  • It also has antioxidant effects.
    The beta carotene present in bitter gourd is anti oxidant and they will prevent the free radical formation and their binding in to the normal healthy cells of the body. Free radicals are responsible for deforming the healthy cells and thereby causing tumors. Thus bitter gourd can help you to prevent the development of tumors.
  • Bitter Melon is considered a "cooling" tonic that is used to generally cool the body and reduce fever. It is also said to soothe irritated tissues.
  • A herbal laxative and a diuretic, Bitter Melon is reputed to cleanse toxins from the system.
    Bitter Melon is said to be an effective anthelmintic that destroys parasites and expels worms from the intestinal tract, and it is also considered a laxative herb that soothes irritated tissues of the intestinal tract.
  • There is growing evidence that Bitter Melon may be helpful in the treatment of Type-2, adult-onset diabetes.
  • Constituents, charantin and polypeptide-b, help reduce blood sugar and urine glucose levels; by improving utilization of carbohydrates, there was also a decrease in the frequency of urination.
  • The charantin and polypeptide P present in bitter gourd have insulin like property and they are responsible for lowering the blood sugar.
  • Karela has been tested to report increase in number of the beta cells, these cells then improve the production of insulin in body, and then insulin promote uptake of sugar by tissues and cells.
  • Gurmarin (polypeptide), which is known for its inhibitive action on neural response towards sweet taste stimulus produced when we eat sweet food or fruits high in sugar content
  • Bitter Melon is said to be a useful agent for treating infections associated with retroviruses, including HIV. Extracts of Balsam Pear are also thought to be more effective than popular prescription drugs for destroying strains of herpes viruses (it is believed to kill acyclovir-resistant herpes viruses), including Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
  • Extracts from Bitter Melon may interfere with chemical pathways involved in cancer growth.
    The extracts turned off signals telling the malignant breast cells to divide and switched on signals encouraging them to commit suicide.
  • Karela is found to have at least 32 kinds of active constituents including lutein, Gaba, zeaxanthin and lycopene. Karela is also rich source of iron and contains twice the amount of calcium found in spinach, twice beta carotene found in broccoli, twice amount of potassium compared to bananas. Karela is also a good source of phosphorus, dietary fiber, vitamin B1, B2, B3 and vitamin C.
  • Eye Sight - Bitter gourd has good amount of beta carotene and hence it can be used for curing eye problems and also to improve the eye sight.
  • Karela also helps to normalize digestive track & helps to improve the peristaltic movement in body
For external use, Balsam Pear has been known to soothe skin irritations, burns, chapped skin, as well as relieve hemorrhoids, psoriasis and skin eruptions.