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Ampalaya - Momordica Charantia or Bitter Fruit And Healing Effects

Updated on July 26, 2016
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Audrey Hunt's passion for nutrition began the day she was diagnosed with Diabetes. She's a vegetarian and advocate for healthy living.

Ampalaya Shoots/Leaves

Ampalaya for stomach problems
Ampalaya for stomach problems | Source

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 un-controllable 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 ususal 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, increased pro-biotics and searching the internet. Immodium became my best friend.

As I was watching the television show, Dr. Oz, I was introduced to a plant I had never heard about before. It's name - 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)

Ripe fruit.  The Texture is similar to cucumber and bell pepper.
Ripe fruit. The Texture is similar to cucumber and bell pepper.
Chinese vatiety - Ampalaya or Bitter Fruit
Chinese vatiety - Ampalaya or Bitter Fruit

Tip

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 ok" 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 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."

Order Ampalaya at Reduced Prices

Bitter Melon Extract 600mg, 120 Capsules by AmerMed
Bitter Melon Extract 600mg, 120 Capsules by AmerMed

Karela's principle constituents are lectins, charantin and momordicine. The fruits have long been used in India as a folk remedy for diabetes mellitus. Lectins from the bitter gourd have shown significant antilipolytic and lipogenic activities. To Support and Promote: Healthy Sugar Levels Proper Glucose Tolerance Natural Insulin

 

Ampalaya (Bitter Fruit)

So healthy for you.
So healthy for you. | Source

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. Wikipedia

Nutritional Facts

  • 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%
  • Calcium2

Oh, so delicious

Brief Summary

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.


Pancit Canton with Bitter fruit
Pancit Canton with Bitter fruit | Source

Resources and Articles

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Momordica_charantia

Abascal K, Yarnell E (2005). "Using bitter melon to treat diabetes"

http://www.fatsecret.com/Diary.aspx?pa=fjrd&rid=2749049

H.K.Bakhru (1997). Foods that Heal: The Natural Way to Good Health. Orient Paperbacks

http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/bitter-gourd.html

Do You Like Ampalaya (Bitter Fruit?)

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© 2011 Audrey Hunt

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    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 6 years ago from United States

      Dr. Oz is a great show to learn about new ways to improve your health. I'm sorry you had such a problem finding the product. I'm going to check it out at our store for my mother who suffers from this problem. Thanks for the information.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

      Interesting information. Thankyou.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 6 years ago from Wales

      Hi Audrey,

      Another great read which is interesting,useful and humororus.

      Another vote up here and thanks for sharing.

      Take care

      Eiddwen.

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 6 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Will, you sweet man...thank you for the link. So very thoughtful of you. I will check it out tonight. :)

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 6 years ago from south Florida

      Dear Audrey -

      Sorry about your travail, searching for this Holy Grail.

      Ampalaya might do the trick, but the results could make you sick.

      That driven salesgirl must have taken my course,

      With a potential customer, have no remorse!

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi Audrey, I hope you are feeling much better now.

      I had never heard of Ampalaya, sounds as though we are all going to 'pass' on that one!

      4/30 we have countdown!

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 6 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Cloverleaf - Oh, thank you so much for your support. I love hub pages and I love you!

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 6 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I know your problem is not funny, but the story about the sales clerk was so familiar, it made me laugh. It seems they know you have diarrhea and want to see how long you can hold out. Ampalaya is a new one to me. I sometimes wonder if Dr. Oz is paid a commission, just wondering? I hope you are feeling much better. You will make your 30 day goal. Applause....

    • Hyphenbird profile image

      Brenda Barnes 6 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

      hehe, I am a poor typist anyway and have been using the desktop in the den instead of my laptop. The different keyboard throws me off. I must slow down and proofread my comments. At least you got a good laugh from it. That makes me feel good.

    • Cloverleaf profile image

      Cloverleaf 6 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

      Yes I have read and commented on it - and what a lovely surprise! I'll be following you every step of the way on your challenge :-)

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Here's a source:

      http://www.charanteausa.com/faqs.htm

      Hope you are feeling better!

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 6 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      So - you have been the recipient of an antibiotic side affect too. How awful! It's like a "catch 22". Remember to read my hub on taking the hub challenge again, because you are a significant part of that hub:)

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 6 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Mentalist Acer - Knowing you have read my hub puts me in a good "mental" state:) You are always welcome on my turf. And so are your hubs...as I wait with baited breath for one following another!

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 6 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Hyphenbird - When your name pops up on my list of comments, I light up with anticipation. Your comments are priceless and this one is no exception.

      You gave me the biggest laugh of all when I read your "Dr. Ox" instead of "Dr. Oz"...I'm still giggling.

      You're one-in-a-million!!!!

    • profile image

      SusieQ42 6 years ago

      I'm not sure to hit "funny" or "interesting." Sorry, I just picture you running into that store...Have you tried Activia? You know what I mean, the new yogurt that's out. We've been buying but I think it takes a couple of weeks before you see any results. Its supposed to be good for the digestive system.

    • Mentalist acer profile image

      Mentalist acer 6 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!

      Thanks For The Ampalaya Tip Vocalcoach.;)

    • Cloverleaf profile image

      Cloverleaf 6 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

      Hi Audrey, it sounds as though you have been going through quite the ordeal. I think that antibiotics can be more trouble than enough sometimes - I was recently put on antibiotics for a sinus infection and had a whole heap of trouble with headaches and diarrhea that it was almost worth stopping taking the pills and suffering with the sinus infection itself, I wouldn't be surprised if that was the route of your problem.

      As for Ampalaya - it sounds great on the surface but as for the side effects - no thank you!!!!

      I do hope you get to the bottom of this - soon.

      Cloverleaf.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 6 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Glad you are feeling better! 4/30 yeah!

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Hi VC - I have heard a few doctors speak very highly of Dr. Oz - my dermatoligist swears by him;). I did not know about Ampalaya and this is great info that I can use!

    • Hyphenbird profile image

      Brenda Barnes 6 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

      I laughed while reading your story. Ampalaya-is it worth the hunt? Sounds like a movie. I know, send this to Dr. Ox. He might feature it on his show. What a great Hub. I am glad you are feeling better now.

    • Charlotte B Plum profile image

      Charlotte B Plum 6 years ago

      Hey Vocalcoach!

      What a story! Sorry you had to go through all that, but you passed the patience test!

      All the best to your health, and keep the hubs coming!