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Health Benefits of Bitter Melon

Updated on September 27, 2015

Bitter Gourd

Bitter Gourd / Bitter Melon / Balsam Pear
Bitter Gourd / Bitter Melon / Balsam Pear

Know about your Beneficiary

Bitter Gourd also known as Bitter Melon / Balsam pear / Goya is a tropical fruit loaded with minerals and vitamins. As the name implies, this veggie is melon that is bitter. Due to its bitter taste, most of them hate to eat. But the valuable benefits makes it even worth eating.

The Plant do well in tropical and sub tropical regions including Asia, South America, Parts of Africa and Caribbean.

Regardless of what it is called and bitter the taste it is, something that is agreed upon is the fact that there are several benefits of eating bitter gourd in our day to day life.

Respiratory system
Respiratory system

Respiratory Disorders:

  • The Fresh pods of the bitter melon are an excellent remedy for curing asthma , cough , cold and other respiratory problems.
  • Take 2 ounces of bitter melon juice and mix with a cup of honey diluted in water. Drink daily which helps in improving asthma and other respiratory disorders like bronchitis and pharyngitis.
  • Bitter Gourd plant roots are used in folk medicine for respiratory disorders from ancient times.

Blood Disorders:

  • Bitter melon juice is highly beneficial in treating blood disorders like blood boils, scabies, itching, ringworm and other fungal diseases.
  • Mix 2 ounces of fresh bitter gourd juice in 1/4 cup of lime juice and stir well. Drink on empty stomach for 6 months daily or until you get the desired result.

Scientific Evidence

A number of clinical studies have been conducted to evaluate the efficiency of bitter gourd in the treatment of diabetes.

  • In January 2011, the results of a four-week clinical trial were published in the Journal of Ethno pharmacology, which showed that a 2,000 mg daily dose of bitter melon significantly reduced blood glucose levels among patients with type 2 diabetes, although the hypoglycaemic effect was less than a 1,000 mg/day dose of metformin.
  • Other older studies have also suggested an association between bitter melon intake and improved glycaemic control, while a report published in the March 2008 issue of Chemistry and Biology found that bitter melon increased cellular uptake of glucose and improved glucose tolerance.

Diabetes mellitus:

  • Type 2 diabetes is caused partially due to the inability of a cell to absorb the sugar in the blood due to insufficient insulin or due to development of resistance to insulin.
  • In addition to food ingredients, bitter melon plays a vital role to bring diabetes under control.
  • The bitter melon pod contains three active anti-diabetic properties including Charantin, has blood glucose lowering effect which is conformed through scientific research. Vicine and insulin like compound known as polypeptide-p. These substances either worked in group or individually to reduce blood sugar levels.
  • It is known fact that bitter melon also contains a lectin that reduces blood glucose concentrations by acting upon peripheral tissues. This lectin is thought to be a major factor behind the hypoglycaemic effect that develops after eating bitter melon.

Immune booster:

  • Bitter juice of bitter gourd also helps in building your immune system and increase your body’s resistance against infection.

Heart Diseases:

  • Bitter melon is very good for heart in many ways.
  • It helps reduce the bad cholesterol levels which clog the arterial walls and thereby reduces the chances of heart attacks.
  • Also, it is known to lower the blood sugar levels that help in maintaining a good heart health

Skin Benefits of Bitter Melon
Skin Benefits of Bitter Melon

Skin benefits of Bitter Gourd :

The appearance of your skin is largely determined by what you consume. In other words, maintain proper nutrition is the prerequisite for healthy and damage-free skin. Being a natural blood purifier, bitter melon helps to maintain healthy skin and improves its appearance. It provides the following benefits for your skin:

  • Prevents Skin Problems - The regular consumption of bitter gourd helps in keeping your skin glowing and free from blemishes. It also helps prevent acne thanks to its blood purifying properties.
  • Skin Infections - Bitter melon benefits in treating skin diseases or skin infections, eczema and psoriasis. The regular consumption of bitter gourd juice helps in improving psoriasis as well as other fungal infections like ringworm and athlete’s foot.
  • Anti-Ageing - Bitter gourd contains vitamin C, which is a powerful antioxidant. By fighting and eliminating the harmful free radicals, it helps to prevent wrinkles by slowing down the ageing process. It also protects the skin from damage by the sun’s ultraviolet rays.
  • Healing Qualities - Bitter gourd helps in controlling the blood flow and clotting, causing wounds to heal faster, preventing further infections.

Weight Loss Secrets

Hair Benefits of Bitter Gourd:

Bitter gourd is a great home remedy for your hair. Besides being beneficial for your skin and health, bitter gourd juice is also effective in treating hair problems and promoting longevity.

  • Shiny Hair - To impart a natural shine to your hair, you can mix a cup of fresh bitter gourd juice with yoghurt and apply on your hair. Wash off after sometime. This will make your hair shiny and beautiful.
  • Dandruff - Dandruff is a common problem and is mostly caused due to the consumption of unhealthy food and exposure to pollution. To ward off dandruff, you can prepare a hair pack by mixing bitter gourd juice and cumin seeds. Regular usage of this pack will rid you of dandruff within a month.
  • Hair Loss - Bitter gourd juice helps in reducing hair fall naturally. All you need to do is mix bitter gourd juice with a dash of sugar and use this paste on your hair to get good results.
  • Grey Hair - Bitter gourd can also treat premature greying of hair. You can apply freshly squeezed bitter gourd juice on your grey strands. Doing this once in every ten days will reduce the grey hair growth.

The Nutritional value of Bitter Gourd

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 100grams
Calories 17
Calories from Fat9
% Daily Value *
Fat 1 g2%
Carbohydrates 4 g1%
Fiber 3 g12%
Protein 1 g2%
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 5 mg
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Important Tips:

  • Use fresh bitter melon for best results and wash thoroughly under running water before use.
  • Don’t consume more than 2 bitter melons in a day.
  • Always choose bitter gourds that are fresh, bright, and deep green in colour.
  • Pregnant women should be careful while consuming this vegetable. The laxative component of the vegetable may lead to premature contraction, vaginal bleeding and miscarriages. Do consult your doctor once.


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    • SmartRunner profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from Salem

      Most welcome Charito1962, I love bitter gourd.

    • Charito1962 profile image

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 

      4 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      Thank you so much for informing us about the benefits of bitter melon, Nivas. I didn't realize that it can also reduce respiratory and blood ailments, as well as Type 2 diabetes.

      I hate the taste of bitter melon, but it's part of my diet as I am iron-deficient. Now, I am more aware of its other benefits.

      Thank you again, Nivas!

    • Happy Moment profile image


      4 years ago from The Eastern Bypass

      It is a very informative hub. I only knew the health benefits of water melons. This bitter melon sounds somehow unfamiliar

    • SmartRunner profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from Salem

      Hello Lipnancy,

      Bitter Gourds are god's gift loaded with lots of health benefits.

    • Lipnancy profile image

      Nancy Yager 

      4 years ago from Hamburg, New York

      This article taught me something new. I thought gourds were only for decoration. Who Knew?


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