This is a plant in which both the leaves and the fruit are used for medicinal purposes. And yes, it is bitter. However, the sweet benefits you will gain from using this plant will suffice for the bitter taste. Some Asian countries use the plant as a vegetable. It is popularly used in stir fry.
Other Names for Bitter Melon
- African Cucumber
- Balsam Pear
- Bitter Cucumber
- Bitter Gourd
The two (2), diabetes and bitter melon are not “friends.” As soon as bitter melon enters the body, diabetes gets “uncomfortable.”
The Benefits of Bitter Melon
There is an “insulin-like chemical” in bitter melon. Hence, when you eat bitter melon, it reduces your blood sugar. Some people do exceptionally well with bitter melon and so it is important to check your readings regularly, so that if needs be, you can reduce your medication because it is possible that you could see a big drop in your numbers.
Remember to speak with your doctor before changing your medication.
Some of the other uses for Bitter Melon are:
- Ulcer (stomach)
- Kidney Stones
- Menstrual Cramps
Dose, How much should I take?
Diabetes dictates moderation. As diabetics, we are better off having small portions, and I would strongly suggest the same with bitter melon. It can be very effective and therefore I would suggest eating just a small piece and check your readings within the hour.
I remember the first time I tried the leaves in a tea. My readings fell from 14 (252) to 9 (162) within an hour. Let me reinforce, it will work for some people, but you must invest in strips and do your readings on a regular basis.
Permit me to be very honest with you. I take this fruit and or tea from the leaves 3-4 times per year. I find it that effective, but I do not want to rely on this to better my readings. I love the idea of also changing the other wrong choices I was making. I don’t want to eat whatever I feel like and then drink a “miracle tea, or eat a miracle fruit.”
Lifestyle Change? A Must on your Things to do List
I told you before, diabetes and bitter melon are not friends. They do not stay together for long, so ago ahead and use bitter melon to lower your readings, but be sure to then make the necessary lifestyle changes through food choices and exercise.
I am interested in changing my lifestyle because I know that I will get more benefits in the long run.
The Asian Success Story
Research has shown that much success is seen in Asia as it relates to diabetes and bitter melon. There were reported cases where persons had the tea twice and diabetes disappeared. It would need further research and studies to see the diet these people followed after their reading became normal.
The fact, however, is that this fruit is very popular amongst persons with diabetes in this part of the world and the success stories are many and worthy of attention. I am sure there are lessons for us to learn.
Bitter Melon Tea, More Pleasant
Surprisingly, the tea has a nutty taste and the flavor is also mild. The taste is really pleasant, especially if you stop using sugar. Please do not add sugar. Remember the promise to stay away from sugar and sugary drinks.
Drying Melon Fruit to use for tea: Wash fruit and cut in slices. Leave in the house to dry. Turn the slices and shift them from any residual water to ensure they dry without spoiling.
Instructions to Make Tea
- For a cup of tea, you will need 4 slices of dried bitter melon
- Boil water to make 1 cup of tea
- Place the bitter melon slices in 1 cup of boiled water
- Cover and let it rest for approximately 4 minutes
- Drink warm
Remember to check your glucose within 2 hours of consuming the tea and make the necessary adjustments to your medication intake, after you consult with your doctor.
It is clear that bitter melon can be used to control blood glucose, but diabetics should be cautious. It is effective and so it is important to keep testing to ensure that blood glucose does not drop below what is considered the norm. A reading below 4 could prove harmful and so moderation is important. The leaves are used to make a tea and the fruit can be used in your smoothies.
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If you have any questions about bitter melon and diabetes, please feel free to leave a comment below. I would also like you to share your experiences below. It would be my pleasure to have your input/experiences.