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Karawila - The Wonder cure for Diabetes

Updated on October 17, 2011

Karawila (Karela), The Wonder Cure for Diabetes

Karawila (Karela) has been used as a medicine for many millennia especially in South Asia and South East Asia. Biological name for Karawila (Karela) is Momordica Charantia. Known as bitter gourd or bitter melon in English and as Karela in Hindi, Karawila is used to cure many illnesses in Ayurvedic system of medicine. The main use of Karawila (Karela) is lowering of blood sugar levels in diabetic patients. Some other ailments cured with Karawila or Karela are dysmenorrhea, eczema, gout, jaundice, pneumonia, leprosy, piles, kidney stones, psoriasis and rheumatism. Its abortifacient, contraceptive, anthelmintic , anti-malarial, anti bacterial and antiviral properties have been known from ancient times and have been the focus of research in recent times. Modern scientific investigations have proved the beneficial medicinal uses beyond any doubt. Grant of a U.S. patent for the use of Karela as a treatment for diabetes to a Company based in New Jersey started an interesting debate on Bio Piracy too.

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Karawila (Karela)

Day to Day use of Karawila by local population (Srilanka)

In Srilanka Karawila has been a favorite vegetable despite its bitterness. Karawila was the most favorite dish of Sri Wickrama Rajasinhe, the last King of Srilanka, according to a mention by Robert Knox in his book “An Historical Relation of Ceylon”. Even today Karawila is a vegetable that takes a prominent place in Srilankan menus.

Juice of Karawila leaves is massaged into the scalp to prevent hair loss and for the growth of hair.

Nursing mothers eat lot of Karawila in their daily meals to increase the flow of milk.

Diabetic patients drink the juice of unripe Karawila fruits to lower the blood sugar levels.

Srilankan Karawila (Karela) Recipes:

Karawila (Karela) Curry

Two fruits of karawila
1 tsp Cummin
1/2 tspTurmeric
1 tsp Chillie powder
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
Salt to taste
Half cup coconut milk (use milk if Coconut milk is not available)
Juice of half a lime or lemon
1/2 onion
1/2 tomato

Cut the Karawila into thin slices. Immerse them in salt and turmeric for a few minutes. Drain the water and squeeze the remaining water and keep the Karavila aside.
Sautee Onion, mustard seeds till they start splattering. Add the cummin, turmeric and chillie powder, stirring it for a few seconds. Quickly add the Karawila and stir it a bit. Add the tomato, salt, about 1/4 cup water and the coconut milk.
Stir occasionally till it gets cooked completely.
Add lime/lemon juice. Check for taste. The lime/lemon minimizes the bitterness of Karela.

Karawila Fry

200g Karawila (Bitter gourd/ bitter melon)
1 red onion
1 green chillie (optional)
1 tomato
1/2-1 lime
1/2 tsp sugar

Cut the Karawila into 1/8" thick slices and deep fry till golden brown.
Slice the onion and the tomato and add to a bowl. Next chop the green chillie in to very small pieces add to the bowl. Squeeze the lime juice and add salt and pepper to taste. Mix and serve immediately.
This goes well with rice and curry.

For more information on Karawila (Karavila, Karela, bitter gourd, bitter melon , Momordica Charantia) Follow the links:


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    • profile image

      Chandrasena 16 months ago

      Thank you very much. I am using karavila fore my diabetic from tomorrow. But I don't know how much grams to use per a day. How ever I am starting from 100 grams per day and checking the glucose level. Thank you very much again.

    • profile image

      Ravana 18 months ago

      In Srilanka, some periods of the year, there is a glut of Karawila. It is sliced, dried in the sun and is for sale in small kiosks by the side. Almost as same as baked. People deep fry the dried slices (crispy and no bitterness) serve with chopped onions, flavored with lime, salt and pepper.

    • profile image

      Sam 18 months ago

      You can also bake sliced Karawila. Add olive oi, salt and pepper.

    • profile image

      StephenLoweFinland 5 years ago

      Karawila is a common dish, usually fried and then mixed with onion & chillie. Sprinkle salt, squeeze lime, mix.

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 5 years ago from Peru, South America

      I've never seen bitter melon here in Peru, but it sounds like a wonderful vegetable! It cures so many sicknesses. Thank you for this useful information and delicious recipes.

    • Sun Pen 50 profile image

      Sun Pen 50 6 years ago from Srilanka

      Here too, Karela is quite popular as a vegetable despite its bitter taste. Thank for your comment.

    • Ruchi Urvashi profile image

      Ruchi Urvashi 6 years ago from Singapore

      Karela is a good cure for diabetes. I don't have diabetes but it is my favorite vegetable.

    • Sun Pen 50 profile image

      Sun Pen 50 6 years ago from Srilanka


      I have first hand knowledge on this as my wife has ben controlling her Type 2 diabetes with Ayurveda remedies. Karawila in the meals help a lot. Thanks for the visit and the comment.

    • Sun Pen 50 profile image

      Sun Pen 50 6 years ago from Srilanka


      Thank you very much for the visit and the comment.

    • FloraBreenRobison profile image

      FloraBreenRobison 6 years ago

      I've never heard of this before. One of my uncles has type 2 Diabetes, so I was intrigued by your title. I see it has lots of other benefits as well. I wonder why I've never heard of it before?

    • Sun Pen 50 profile image

      Sun Pen 50 6 years ago from Srilanka

      Brina, Karl, Thank you for the visits and comments.

    • albertacowpoke profile image

      albertacowpoke 6 years ago from Redwater, Alberta

      Thank you for this. A well written hub and very useful.

    • Brinafr3sh profile image

      Brinafr3sh 6 years ago from West Coast, United States

      Thanks Sun Pen 50. This karawila plant seems to be a blessing for assistance with healing the human body from certain illnesses. Very useful and voted up.

    • Sun Pen 50 profile image

      Sun Pen 50 6 years ago from Srilanka

      Thank you for the visit and the encouraging comment. I'll try to write on local remedies as response to your advice.

    • goprisca profile image

      goprisca 6 years ago from Bangalore

      Hai good article about bitter gourd. Keep writing health based articles.