Bitter Melon

The elliptical fruit with a body full of bumps tastes bitter. Certainly, it's not favorite foods although it doesn't have no fans. Bitter melon enthusiasts said though bitter, it had savory flavor that made no miss. No wonder, fruit that has the Latin name Momordica charantia of the Cucurbitaceae family is always sold in the vegetable vendors or in the market.

Bitter melon is boiled (as a salad), pan-fried, or as part of a hodgepodge.

It's been a long time leaves and fruit of bitter melon have health benefits. It's probably because of its phytochemical contents such as saponins, flavonoids, polyphenols, cucurbitacin glycosides, momordicins, etc. In addition, bitter melon contains fiber, vitamins A and C, calcium, phosphorus, and iron.

Momordicin is efficacious in improving the digestive function of the stomach so the consumer can eat voraciously.

Research of Oentoeng Soeradi and Asmarinah from the University of Indonesia in experimental animals showed that animals fed bitter melon, the spermatozoid was killed. For this reason, people assume that bitter melon can prevent pregnancy.

Doctors in India have long used bitter melon to overcome diabetes mellitus because it has a strong hypoglycemic properties. This capability was proved by Suwijiyo from the Traditional Medicine Research Center of the Gajah Mada University. When the fruit extract was administered to a diabetic for two weeks, the result was the blood glucose level dropped significantly. It's expected because of sulfonylurea compound normally presents on diabetic medications, also because of the sterol glycoside.

Bitter melon was mentioned can be used to help fight AIDS. Research in the U.S. found a protein compound, MAP-30, which could inhibit the propagation of HIV causing AIDS. This research was applied in AIDS patients. They were given bitter melon extract for three months. Their immune levels were increasing.

Bitter melon which has been used since the days of our ancestors is believed to reduce fever, to overcome liver disorders, and as an anthelmintic.

Bitter melon shouldn't be given to children because it can lower their sugar levels. Those who tend to lower blood sugar levels are also forbidden to eat them. Likewise pregnant women, it's feared they will experience miscarriage.

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