Thursday, 11 March 2010

A bitter gourd a day keeps diabetes away

By Syed Akbar

No doubt, bitter gourd or bitter melon is the most unsavoury of all vegetables. And yet its medicinal properties far exceeds those of many herbs.
Though bitter gourd or karela is a universal plant, it is mostly cultivated in Indian sub-continent and parts of Asia.
Scientists are now exploring the possibility of developing injectible insulin from bitter gourd to keep the blood sugar levels under check in diabetic patients. Laboratory results have been successful. Like any other vegetable, karela does not have much calories.
It contains a variety of vitamins, trace elements and minerals, besides dietary fibre that keeps the body slim. Elements present in bitter gourd include iron, phosphorus, zinc, magnesium, calcium, potassium and manganese. Unani and Ayurvedic physicians prescribe bitter gourd juice for people suffering from skin problems like psoriasis.
The uniqueness of karela lies in the presence of a chemical called charantin, which reduces high blood glucose levels. Ayurvedic doctors recommend bitter gourd for treatment of diabetes, blood disorders, digestive problems and as an immune booster. It is often recommended for the treatment of piles.
Quick remedies
Prepare a very small glass of bitter gourd juice in a mixer. For taste, add some lemon juice. Drink it on empty stomach daily. This will improve your general health and skin tone and texture.
For people living with diabetes, bitter gourd is the best home remedy. You may consume bitter gourd pickle or curry with not much oil, karela chutney or simply drink bitter gourd juice. The juice should be taken in a little quantity every day. Excessive intake is not good. Pregnant women better avoid bitter gourd juice as it may lead to miscarriage.
Bitter gourd juice has been found to improve eyesight thanks to the presence of vitamin A in sufficiently large quantities.

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