Benefits of Bitter Gourd – Where to Get Healthy Products of This Natural Medicine
A bitter taste deters most consumers, especially children. The taste is one of nature's warning signs that food is poisonous or spoiled. At the same time, a hint of bitterness can add interest to otherwise bland dishes, and some bitter foods have surprisingly valuable medicinal qualities.
When it comes to medicines, bitterness is considered part of medicines in general. However, in modern medicines, various flavours and tasty substances are added to make the medicine palatable. As per age-old tradition, grandma says, “do not taste the medicine, just have it, to improve your health”. Bitter melon or the bitter gourd fall into this category of medicine. So, just have it, to be healthy, and of course consult your doctor first.
Bitter Gourd or Bitter Melon
Momordica or the bitter gourd is such a wonderful plant with health benefits. The plant is a cucurbitaceous creeper with invaginated circular complex leaf, tendrils on nodes and bearing unisexual flowers are unique ones. Indian Momordica, Momordica charantia is grown as a vegetable. It is sold in markets, just like any other cucurbitaceous vegetables.
Organically Grown Bitter Melon
Vegetables are grown nowadays by spraying with pesticides like malathion, lambda-cyhalothrin, imidacloprid, chlorpyrifos, dimethoate, etc. which are not at all safe for consumption within two weeks of spraying. Pesticide pollution makes vegetables unhealthy for consumption. Search for organically grown bitter melon in the market. There may be organic growers associations in the cities or regions. Visiting the places where they sell their products will be the best suitable buying place of healthy vegetables.
Bitter gourd has important phytochemical principles known as momordicin I and momordicin II as well as cucurbitacin B. Because of momordicin II, it is a well known anti-diabetic plant-based product well admired for generations. Its hypoglycemic action is attributed to a few things such as insulin production promotion, reduction of intestinal absorption of sugars. A high amount of minute phytochemicals ranging above 220 numbers have been studied worldwide and appreciated.
A lot of products of Momordica, such as dried fruit slices, fruit powders, fruit juice extracts are nowadays popular among patients suffering from Diabetes mellitus.
It is a biochemical principle extracted from bitter melon leaves.
Momordicin II and Momordicin IV are extracted from the bitter gourd and bitter gourd leaves by solvent extraction using methanol.
Cucurbitacin is the biochemical principle from bitter gourd and cucurbitaceous creepers, extracted by the solvent extraction process. These are anti-cancer principles in these plants. Extracted cucurbitacin in high doses is poisonous and very bitter in taste.
Charantin is another potential anti-diabetic principle, which is acting in the intestine, which reduces glycemic levels in the human blood. Charatin tablets for control of hyperglycemia are now available in the medicine shops.
Ripe fruits are sweet and are used as condiments.
Tender leaves and fruits contain a good amount of carotin, riboflavin and ascorbic acid. It also has a good amount of calcium mineral in it.
The fruits are very good tonic. These also are useful in curing stomach ache and joint pain due to rheumatism. The fruits are also good for curing liver and spleen disorders. Roots of the plant are used for curing bleeding due to haemorrhoids.
Bitterness and medical principles when come together, naturally as a vegetable, it is a very useful idea to cook it once in a while for maintaining good health.
Vegetable for Spicy Recipes
Cooking Momordica with a good amount of salt, pepper, tamarind and jaggery or buttermilk makes it tasty.
Different types of fries, dishes and combo preparations are made from the bitter gourd in India.
Bitter Melon Soup
The easiest preparation from the bitter melon dry powder is to prepare the soup. Prepare some tamarind, salt and pepper solution. By adding a teaspoonful of bitter melon powder, it can be prepared in a few minutes. Sprinkle some pepper powder and then serve hot.
Those who do not have any diabetes problem can also enjoy bitter melon soup by adding a tablespoon of jaggery powder to the soup while boiling. Try this healthy soup and share your opinion with others.
Bitter Melon Fried Recipe
The bitter melon fried recipe is the one good preparation among a dozen of good bitter melon recipes.
- 1 number bitter melon, seeds removed
- 2 cups coconut, gratings
- 2 teaspoons gingelly
- 10 numbers red chilly, dried
- 2 teaspoons ghee
- 50 grams jaggery, powder
- 25 grams tamarind
- 15 grams salt
Method of preparation
- Chop the bitter melon and remove the seeds, make the choppings very fine and small.
- Then it may be fried with ghee on a pan on low heat. Remove and keep it aside.
- Then separately take the gingelly in a pan and fry it with ghee.
- Then separately take the coconut gratings and fry it and keep it aside.
- Now, separately fry the red chillies with ghee and keep it aside.
- There should not be any moisture content in any of the pans.
- Now, put the tamarind, jaggery powder and salt as well as all these fried items in a mixer grinder jar and grind it.
- Approximately one-minute grinding will give you a paste-like chutney.
- This can be filled in a jar can be used for more than a week.
This is your medicinal chutney which can be a good dish for rice or roti. This is good for cleaning the system and becoming healthy.
There is no equal option to growing one's own organic harvest at home garden, which warrants freshness and purity with unparalleled assertation and self-certification.
Cultivation of Bitter Melon
Bitter melon is also easy for cultivation in the home yard or on a terrace garden. The tropical humid climate is suitable for cultivation of bitter melon. Wherever you grow only thing which has to be arranged is a support for the creeper to climb up and get plenty of sunlight.
Organic farming will be good for bitter gourd. The seeds sometimes show dormancy conditions and seeds will not germinate. Apart from that, once germinated, the creeper grows profusely.
Pollination to produce more yield
Since the flowers are unisexual there must be some adaptation for cross-pollination. If there are insects which they will do it, otherwise, we have to do artificial pollination manually.
Organic pest management
Fruit fly problem is prevalent in cucurbitaceous crops. Either trapping the insects or spraying green pesticides regularly will keep the pests away to grow the crops successfully.
Words of caution
This is, of course, a miraculous natural medicine for many ailments. But it has to be consumed only in limited quantities and in the manner in which it is suitable for consumption. Those who are having an allergy to cucurbitaceous plant products may avoid this also. The bitter compound in extremely high doses will result in unwanted effects such as vomiting and uneasiness. In patients who are having other ailments such as renal failure or under medication for other surgery, old age ailment or related cases, this may be avoided. It is always the best to consult a dietician before consuming anything unusual.
By cultivating it holistically, adopting growing bitter gourd or bitter melon in the kitchen garden, through natural farming methods is having multiple benefits. Healthy air to breath, healthy harvest to cook and healthy time to spend with are the aspects which make you feel simply great. So let us try our hand on bitter melon natural farming and enjoy the crop for a better life.
Massimo Bortolotti, Daniele Mercatelli and Letizia Polito. 2019. Momordica charantia, a Nutraceutical Approach for Inflammatory Related Diseases. Frontiers in Pharmacology, 10: 486.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2020 Halemane Muralikrishna