Bitter Fruit , Ampalaya Momordica Charantia, Will Help Heal Your Stomach Problems
Ampalaya - Just What The Doctor Ordered
There was a time when chronic stomach problems plagued me for months. It all started when I was given an antibiotic for a tooth infection by my dentist. The antibiotic gave me an unforgiving case of "the runs" along with uncontrollable bleeding. I thought for sure I had cancer. But a colonoscopy proved that I was fine. Finally, everything began to look better
Fast forward 6 weeks later. My symptoms returned with a vengeance sans the bleeding. I worked with a nutritionist, internist and specialist. Nothing changed. I asked myself if my problem could be stress related. Isn't that the usual diagnosis when an answer can't be found?
Fast forward still another 6 weeks. Same symptoms and I am now getting more frustrated than ever. I've now tried fasting, a cleanse and increased Probiotics. When these methods brought no relief Immodium became my best friend.
Then while watching the television show, Dr. Oz, I was introduced to a plant I had never heard about before. It's name is Ampalaya, also known as bitter fruit, and It was just what I needed.
Bitter Lemon Cooking
Ampalaya is a Cure for Diarrhoea
If you take 1 tsp. of ground Ampalaya leaf 3 times a day, it will cure diarrhoea. Music to my ears. And in the event that you may have parasites, it takes care of that too. Ampalaya is among the bitterest of tropical fruits. And it can treat everything from the common cold to high blood pressure and infections.
However, you do have to be careful about some side effects. If you use the juice made from Ampalaya, you may experience nausea (ugh), some diarrhea (no thank you) or, God forbid. even convulsions.
According to Wikipedia,Bitter melon is a significant ingredient in Okinawan cuisine, and is increasingly used in mainland Japan. It is popularly credited with Okinawan life expectancies being higher than the already long Japanese ones.
Bitter Fruit Ripening (Ampalaya)
The bitterness and toxicity may be reduced somewhat by parboiling or soaking in salt water for up to 10 minutes.
Where Do I Find Ampalaya?
Ampalaya can be found on line and in most health food stores. I say most because of the following story:
I made a mad dash to the closest health food store and found a parking spot right in front. Well, I kind of cut someone else off to claim that spot. After all, I was desperate and worried that I may have another "attack". Then, after justifying my rudeness, I sprinted into the store and began an eager search for Ampalaya.
After spending what seemed like forever looking for my product (and starring at the section where it should be as if it would magically appear), I frantically begged the help of a salesgirl. That was a big mistake and total wast of my precious time.
She assured me that if they carried my product it should be right where I was looking. I told her it wasn't in that area and she ignored me proceeding to move the entire row of bottles as if the need to prove that she was right and I was wrong was her one and only goal.
Now I began shaking as my patience was about to come to an end. "It's okay" I tried to sound sweet. " I am in a hurry and need to go". She again ignored me and skipped to the back of the store where she once again knew it would be found. The young clerk appeared 10 minutes later telling me to "hold on just a minute" as she proudly pulled out an inventory list consisting of 6 pages.
"No such product was listed", she dryly said. Then she reached for the telephone. I started to stiffen. She made her call and was immediately put on hold. I felt my teeth clench. After what felt like an eternity she turned to me and I heard these words - " I'm sorry... we do not carry that product."
Ampalaya (Bitter Fruit)
Facts About Ampalaya
Facts About Ampalaya:
- Momordica Charantia often called bitter melon, bitter gourd or bitter squash in English has many other local names. Goya from the indigenous language of Okinawa and Karavella from Sanskrit are also used by English language speakers.
- Containing only 17 calories per 100g, Ampalaya is rich in phytonutrients like dietary fiber, minerals, vitamins and anti-oxidants.
Daily Nutritional Value
- Total fat 0.1 g0%
- Saturated fat 0 g0%
- Polyunsaturated fat 0 g
- Monounsaturated fat 0 g
- Cholesterol 0 mg0%
- Sodium 8 mg0%
- Potassium 349 mg9%
- Total Carbohydrate 3.9 g1%
- Dietary fiber 1.1 g4%
- Sugar 0.6 g
- Protein 2.1 g4%
- Vitamin A28%
- Vitamin C53%
Oh, so delicious
Ampalaya, also known as Bitter Melon, is primarily known for healing stomach problems. However, do be aware that side affects can occur. Bitter melon may not be safe for women who are pregnant, because ampalaya is used as an abortifacient when consumed in large doses. It also may not be safe for young children as well.
Fresh pods are available in the market year around. When you buy bitter melons look for the fresh, bright pods that feature dark-green color without any cuts or blemishes on their surfaces. Choose young, tender and immature pods. Immature fruits are least bitter and their bitterness rises as the pods mature.
At home, place fresh bitter gourd pods in a plastic zip bag. They will stay fresh stored in the vegetable compartment of the refrigerator for up to a week.
Resources and Articles
Abascal K, Yarnell E (2005). "Using bitter melon to treat diabetes"
H.K.Bakhru (1997). Foods that Heal: The Natural Way to Good Health. Orient Paperbacks
Do You Like Ampalaya (Bitter Fruit?)
© 2011 Audrey Hunt