ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Health Benefits Of Karela | Bitter Gourd | Bitter Melon

Updated on December 29, 2015
rajan jolly profile image

Rajan is a botany and chemistry major. He has worked as a poultry breeder for 23 years, breeding layer and broiler parents.


The Over Ripe Fruit


About Karela/Bitter Melon

Latin Name ; Momordica charantia.

In India, bitter melon is called Karela.

Bitter melon is also known as bitter gourd, or biiter squash and belongs to the family Cucurbitaceae in which the plants are vines.

Bitter melon originated in India, then spread to China and is now grown all over Asia, Africa, the Caribbean and South America. It grows well in the tropical and sub tropical areas.

The fruit is used as a vegetable and is extremely bitter. It has an extremely bumpy and uneven skin and is almost ugly looking. The fruit is eaten when green and mature. It turns yellow to orange when fully ripe with bright red seeds.

Traditionally bitter melon has been used as a folk remedy for a variety of ailments particularly stomach ailments. It also has been used in herbal medicine by the people of Amazon, Mexico, Brazil, Peru and Nicaragua.

The bitterness of karela/bitter melons can be reduced to some extent by parboiling or soaking it in salt water for about 10 minutes.

Bitter melon is available in capsules and tincture forms. Fruit and seed extracts are also available in tablet and capsule forms. Whole vine powders and extracts in capsule and tincture form are available too.

Bitter Melon Nutritional Information

  • Low in calories, just 17 calories/100 gms.
  • Rich in phytonutrients and dietary fiber.
  • The plant insulin, polypeptide-P is a notable phytonutrient. It also contains Charatin - an hypoglycemic agent.
  • Excellent source of folates with 100 gms providing 18% of the daily requirement.
  • 100 gms provides 16% of daily Vitamin A and 140% of daily Vitamin C requirement.
  • Contains flavonoids like alpha carotene, beta carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin.
  • Has good amounts of the Bcompex vitamins - niacin, pantothenic acis and pyridoxine and the minerals, iron, zinc, potassium, manganese and magnesium.

Active Compounds In Bitter Melon

Over 30 biologically active chemicals have been found in bitter melon including a variety of plant steroids, triterpenes and proteins.

Bitter Melon Nutrition Information

(click column header to sort results)
Bitter gourd or Bitter melon (Momordica charantia)  
fresh, raw, Nutritive value per 100 gms
(Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)
Nutrient Value
Percentage of RDA
17 Kcal
3.70 g
1.00 g
Total Fat
0.17 g
0 mg
Dietary Fiber
2.80 g
72 micro gm
0.400 mg
Pantothenic acid
0.212 mg
0.043 mg
0.040 mg
0.040 mg
Vitamin A
471 IU
Vitamin C
84 mg
5 mg
296 mg
19 mg
0.034 mg
0.43 mg
17 mg
0.089 mg
0.80 mg
190 micro gm
185 micro gm
170 micro gm

Health Benefits Of Karela

  1. It has anti bacterial and anti viral, anti cancer properties.
  2. It reduces inflammation, cholesterol and blood sugar..
  3. The anti oxidant vitamins A & C fight free radicals.
  4. The flavonoids delay aging and have anti cancer action.
  5. Stimulates and improves digestion, relieves indigestion and constipation.
  6. Detoxifies the liver and the body and builds immunity.
  7. Relieves skin and blood disorders.
  8. Alleviates respiratory problems like asthma and bronchitis.
  9. Removes intestinal parasites.

Health Benefits Of Karela - Some Natural Remedies

  • For Kidney And Bladder Stones

Karela can break these stones and remove them via urine.

Drink juice of 2 karela/bitter melons daily. Also eat a vegetable made of bitter melons.

  • For Asthma

Eat bitter melons daily.

  • For Gas & Weak Digestion

Eating bitter melons makes the digestive system stronger. You can also drink bitter melon juice.

  • In Cholera

Drink 1/4 cup of bitter melon juice mixed with equal quantity of water. Add salt to taste.Drink this often. It stops vomiting and diarrhea too.

  • For Improving Liver Function

To keep liver in top condition, children from 3-8 years can be given 1/2 tsp bitter melon juice daily. It also tones up the stomach.

  • For Enlarged Liver And Ascites

Consume 50 ml bitter melon juice mixed in water daily.

  • For Diabetes

Take 15 ml bitter melon juice mixed in water 3 times a day for 3 months. Also, eat bitter melon vegetable.

  • For Intestinal Worms

Drink 1/4 cup bitter melon juice.

  • As A Blood Purifier

Drink 60 ml bitter melon juice for a few days.

  • For Burning Sensation In Feet

Massage feet with juice of bitter melon leaves. Bitter lemon juice can also be used to massage with.

  • For Bleeding Piles

Drink 1 tsp bitter melon juice mixed with sugar.

  • For Non Bleeding Piles

Drink 2 tbsp of bitter melon juice with a glass of butter milk daily 3 times a day.

  • For Jaundice

Grind 1 bitter melon with water and drink this water in the morning and evening.

  • For Arthritis

Apply bitter melon juice on the affected joints. Also, eat bitter melon vegetable.
For joint pain, massage with the juice of bitter melon leaves.

  • For Constipation

Take 5-10 drops of the homeopathic medicine, Momordica charanti Q ( mother tincture) four times a day.

Regular consumption of bitter melon supplies sufficient phosphorus to the body to keep energy levels up.

  • For Skin Ailments Like Psoriasis/Athlete's Foot

Eat bitter melon daily.


It reduces fertility in both males and females. Hence, those undergoing treatment for fertility should avoid its consumption.

Breastfeeding women should avoid consuming bitter melon as the active chemicals are transferred in the milk.

Excess consumption can cause abdominal pain or diarrhea.

Pregnant women should not consume bitter melon as it induces abortion by stimulating the uterine contractions.

Diabetics should be cautious about taking hypoglycemic drugs as bitter melon lowers blood sugar levels.



The information provided in this hub is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your physician, or health care provider before taking any home remedies, supplements or starting a new health regime.

Dahi Wala Karela

Karela, Aloo & Pyaz Ki Sabzi

© 2013 Rajan Singh Jolly


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Hi Rajan, my friend fasting blood sugar level was 5.8. Actually I have past knowledge of the many wonders Kerala/bitter melon has. So when the results came to be .3 higher, I decided to try this method out. I can only say WOW WOW WOW!! After taking only 4 days her blood sugar went down to 5.2. I think we will try this out for another 3 days and stop for awhile to try this again since I read on other websites that bitter melon cannot be on long term. Yes/No?? Any feedback from you or bloggers will be very much appreciated. By the way, does it also lower cholesterol? Any experience shared here will be great!

    • rajan jolly profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      6 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      @Paul-I've never tried eating vegetables with meat. I've no idea what it would taste like. I appreciate your visit, comments and sharing.

      @Rick-I know not many people like it. Thanks for stopping by.

      @Kathryn-glad you like the info. I appreciate your visit and comments.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image


      6 years ago from Windsor, Connecticut

      Very interesting. This is another plant I have never heard of. It's nice to hear all of the warnings about it, as well as the benefits and nutrition. Thanks for sharing this with us, Rajan.

    • chinared profile image

      Just call me, Rick 

      6 years ago from Asia, and all over

      rajan jolly. I'm very familiar with bitter melon, and hate it... haha. My wife tries to hid it in food, but I always know it's there. She echoes exactly what you say, it's very healthy for you, but like you said, it does take LOTS of time to adjust your tasted buds to. Voted up and useful.

    • Paul Kuehn profile image

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      6 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand


      This is an another very interesting and useful hub. I first started eating bitter melon when I lived in Taiwan in the 1970s. It tasted delicious when it was stuffed with pork. I occasionally still eat it in Thailand. Little did I know that it has so many good health benefits. Voted up and sharing with followers and on Facebook. Also Pinning and Tweeting.

    • rajan jolly profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      6 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      Au fait, well I do hope you give this vegetable a try though the bitterness takes a while to get used to.

      Thanks for the visit and comments.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 

      6 years ago from North Texas

      Just finished reading about bitter melon in a hub by Peggy W, I think. So when I saw this one I decided I must see if I can learn more. Definitely sounds like something I should be eating! Between the 2 of you, I have indeed learned a lot about bitter melon and now I am as curious as one can be to try it. Have given you lots of up votes. Excellent hub!

    • rajan jolly profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      6 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      Thanks Eddy, Always a pleasure to see you. Have a nice day.

    • Eiddwen profile image


      6 years ago from Wales

      Another great hub from you rajan;you really do have a great selection here. Enjoy your day.


    • rajan jolly profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      6 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      Sangeeta, to a certain excess yes it does affect the water soluble vitamins. But if you like the slight bitterness you need not do this.

      Thanks for reading and sharing.

    • geetbhim profile image

      sangeeta verma 

      6 years ago from Ludhiana India

      Voted up and sharing.

      What I feel is soaking it in salt for sometime then wash with plenty of water to remove the bitter taste some nutrionale value too get washed away as most of the vitamins are water soluble , plz clarify my doubt.

    • rajan jolly profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      6 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      @ Eiddwen - thanks for the vote up and sharing.

      @ KerryAnita - thanks for stopping by.

    • KerryAnita profile image


      6 years ago from Satellite Beach, Florida

      This sounds like a very interesting fruit. It's amazing how it turns such a bright color when ripe. I'd love to try it sometime!

    • Eiddwen profile image


      6 years ago from Wales

      Interesting and useful .

      I vote up,across and share all around.


    • rajan jolly profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      6 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      Debbie, bitter melons/karela are available in the Asian produce section, if you'd like to try. Thanks for reading and sharing.

    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 

      6 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      I don't think I have ever seen this fruit or vegetable.. but this is awesome information here...

      thank you rajan




    • rajan jolly profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      6 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      @ Devika - thanks for reading.

      @ Nithya - Absolutely and thanks for visiting.

      @ Rasma - I do hope you do try it healthy vegetable. Thanks for the regular support.

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 

      6 years ago from Daytona Beach, Florida

      Thanks for this interesting and informative hub. I believe we've got some products from India at the market here now so I'll look for it. Passing this on.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 

      6 years ago from Dubai

      Karela can be really tasty if cooked properly and is very good for health. Great hub and thanks for sharing this information. Voted up.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      6 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Awesome! Bitter lemon is such a different kind of fruit, I heard fo this fruit but not as much as you written thanks for this information.

    • rajan jolly profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      6 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      Peachpurple, bitter gourd is the same as karela. There are slight differences like color, size ans it may be somewhat less rough in different regions of the world but it has a rough uneven skin, just like a house lizard.

      Thanks for reading.

    • peachpurple profile image


      6 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      In Malaysia, we have bitter gourd. Is it the same as karela? The picture looks different though. So many benefits in this not so nice looking melon. Great hub!!

    • rajan jolly profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      6 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      @ Ruchira - Here in India, we have been used to eating this healthy vegetable regularly. Thanks for the votes and visit.

      @ Carol - This vegetable should be available in the produce section. Thanks for the visit and appreciate the sharing.

      @ Bill - thanks for the support and compliments, as always.

      @ sid - Thank for reading and commenting.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Very informative hub rajan! Share & voted up!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      6 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I've never seen it or heard of it. Where do you get all of this interesting information? Well done once again; you are doing a great job in this niche.

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 

      6 years ago from Arizona

      I have never heard of this...I will check it out at the health food store. Thanks again for another healthy solutions ideas.. I am voting up and going to share this around.

    • Ruchira profile image


      6 years ago from United States

      Great review on this product. I love karela and after reading your benefits, I feel I should go and get it...since it has been a while since I made any.

      Thanks for such interesting/useful hub.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)