Ampalaya (Bitter Gourd) a wonderful vegetable :: Health benefits of Ampalaya

The bitter gourd or the bitter melon which is also dubbed as “ampalaya” in the Philippines is a climbing vine with tendrils that can grow up to 20 cms. It has leaves that resembles like heart and its fruit is wrinkled, soft when cooked and oblong in shape.

The bitter gourd is part of the gourd family and its relative includes squash, muskmelon and cucumber. The reason why the "ampalaya" is bitter is because of its momordicin content.

This wonderful vegetable is one of the most versatile and recommended herbal medicine that can help people with liver problems, diabetes and HIV.

The bitter gourd’s leaves and fruit are loaded with nutrients such as vitamin B1, iron, calcium and phosphorous. It has twice the amount of beta-carotene when compared with broccoli. It has also twice the amount of calcium compared to spinach.


The "ampalaya" is also known for its beneficial, nutritional and useful medicinal properties. In the Philippines the bitter gourd can be used as a parasiticide, antiseptic and purgative. The bitter gourd is also cooked in an assortment of dishes. It can also be made into a delectable salad.

In Bengal, India, people mash or stir-fry the bitter gourd with potatoes, eat it with rice or add it in curry.

Keep in mind, eating bitter foods at the start of a meal aids makes the digestive juices flowing for the rest of the meal.

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