Latin Name : Momordica Charantia
Origin Country: India
Momordica charantia is a warty green vegetable resembling a cross between a cucumber and a gourd. It is commonly used as a food source in its native tropical regions of Asia and Africa. Other common names for bitter melon include African cucumber, balsam pear, bitter gourd, and karavellaka.
Bitter melon tea is popularly consumed to control blood sugar levels (glycaemia or diabetes). This action is because the melon contains active ingredients and natural substances that stimulate the pancreas to produce insulin and the liver to store it. At the same it stimulates time the reduction of glucose absorption at the intestinal level through its purifying effect.
Another popular use of bitter melon is supporting weight management. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, this astringent fruit is often recommended as a treatment for obesity, and it has increasingly gained attention as a weight-loss supplement in the Western world too.
Bitter melon is low in calories and high in fibre and other nutrients, which makes it a diet-friendly food. However, its benefits go beyond this – research shows that taking bitter melon can help with fat burning. It also contains compounds which help to suppress appetite.
If you’re thinking of adding bitter melon to your diet, make sure you limit yourself to no more than two ounces of bitter melon (or more than two melons) a day, as excessive consumption can cause mild abdominal pain or diarrhoea.
How to Use:
Boil in hot water or broth for 10-15 minutes. Ideal for use in omelets, fruit, salads, soups, sauces and stir-fries.
For tea just boil a few slices of bitter melon in water and allow it boil over medium flame. Once the water starts boiling, turn off the flame. Pour in the tea and add some honey or sweetener as per your palate preference. You can also add some fresh lime juice to cut the bitter taste and turn it into a delightful blend.