|BITTER MELON TEA|
(infusio MOMORDICA CHARANTIA)
from AMAZON HERBS®
Diabetes and herbal dietary supplements.
Bitter melon also called Ampalaya or Karila, is a climbing tropical vine. The green fruit is widely used as vegetable in many countries. The nutritional value is due to high mineral and vitamin content; its bitterness is attributed to the presence of alkaloids, momordicosides, and momordicines.
It has a hypoglycemic effect (ability to lower blood sugar levels) and post prandial (after eating) blood glucose level in the body. Bitter melon has also a significant effect against breast cancer cell growth. The extract of leaves, stem, green fruits and roots can also be utilized as a dietary supplement for the prevention of breast cancer.
Cucurbitacins (triterpenes, included momordicosides A - E, K, L, momordicius 1, 2, 3).
Steroidal Saponins (charantin); 2P - insulin (or V - insulin) alkaloids (momordicin), micro - elements / Zn++, Cr+++. Potassium, Iron, Calcium, Beta carotene, Fiber phosphorus, Vitamin C, B1, 2 and 3. Vicine, protein MAP30.
Alkaloids, charantin, charine, cryptoxanthin, cucurbitins, curcubitanes, cycloartenols, diosgenin, elaeostearic acids, erythrodiol, galacturonic acids, gentisic acid, goyaglycosides, goyasaponins, guanylate cyclase inhibitors, gypsogenin, hydroxytryptamines, karounidiols, lanosterol, lauric acid, linolenic acid, momorcharasides, momorcharins, momordenol, momordicilin, momordicins, momordicinin, momordicosides, momordin, momordolo, multiflorenol, mysristic acid, nerolidol, oleanolic acid, oleic acid, oxalic acid, pentadecans, peptides, petroselinic acid, polypeptides, proteins, ribosome - inactivating proteins, rosmarinic acid, rubixanthin, spinasterol, steroidal glycosides, stigmasta - diols, stigmasterol, taraxerol, trehalose, trypsin inhibitors, uracil, vacine, v - insulin, verbascoside, vicine, zeatin, zeatin riboside, zeaxanthin, zeinoxanthin, amino acids - aspartic acid, serine, glutamic acid, thscinne, alanine, g - amino butyric acid and pipecolic acid.
Vincine, Mycose, Momordicoside A and Momordicoside B.
Bitter Melon preparations (infusions, tinctures, etc.) have been shown to greatly improve glucose tolerance without increasing blood insulin levels, and to improve fasting blood glucose levels. Blood and urine sugar levels and post-prandial (after eating) blood glucose levels also go down.
The fruit juice acts like insulin to exert its hypoglycaemic effect and it can stimulate amino acid uptake into skeletal muscle cells, just like insulin.
It has been found to be just as effective as a prescription-only drug called Glibenclamide or Glyburide (brand names: Diabeta, Micronase, Glynase, Euglucon) at reducing blood sugar levels, without causing any adverse effects.
The fruit juice considerably improves glucose tolerance. This improvement is not associated with an increase in serum insulin tolerance; the improvement is in glucose tolerance in diabetics.
Orally administered, bitter melon lowers glucose concentration in these patients independently of intestinal glucose absorption and involves an extra pancreatic effect.
Scientific data indicates that there are molecules with insulin-like bioactivity present in seeds from bitter melon. This insulin-like action makes it valuable in stabilizing diabetic degeneration; this may eventually reduce the dependence on injecting with insulin. Momordica works in almost the same way as insulin to reduce blood sugar levels.
At least three different groups of constituents have been reported to have hypoglycemic (blood sugar lowering) or other actions of potential benefit in diabetes mellitus. These include a mixture of steroidal saponins (charantin), insulin-like peptides, and alkaloids. Be aware that close monitoring of blood glucose levels and consulting with the physician or health provider is essential for those on insulin, if the use of bitter melon is considered. The dosage of insulin may be adjusted due to this hypoglycemic effect of Bitter melon in diabetic patients.
If the use of Bitter melon (Momordica charantia) is closely checked in type 2 (non - insulin dependent) patients, there can be great benefit from such a therapy.
For type 1 (insulin dependent), the situation is somewhat more complicated.
In case to get a smooth transition to lower the dependence on insulin (in cases were this is desirable or achievable) consulting the prescribing physician is absolutely necessary to prevent possible hyper- and hypoglycemic occurrences.
Use of Bitter melon in type 2 diabetics must be seen as a treatment in addition to a healthy diet and exercise but not as a substitute for these.
Finally, loss of blood sugar control on diet alone may be transient and as such requires only short term administration of Bitter melon. In addition, Bitter melon also successfully reduces cholesterol – and high triglyceride levels.
Like most bitter tasting foods, bitter melon seems to stimulate digestion, and so helps to treat dyspepsia and constipation.
Two compounds extracted from bitter melon, a-eleostearic acid (seeds) and 15,16-dihydroxy-a-eleostearic acid (fruit) have been found to induce apoptosis (programmed cell death) of leukemia cells in vitro.
Bitter melon herbal tincture and tea are used as a cure for diabetes, gout, psoriasis (by inhibiting the enzyme guanylate cyclase), cancer infections, pain related to neurological infections. It delays onset of cataracts and stimulates lipogenesis.
Also used as a stomachic and vermifuge (a medicine that destroys intestinal worms and helps to expel them).
Tincture: 1 - 4 ml. daily (1 ml = 30 drops = 1 full dropper) in water or juice.
Infusio (herbal tea): 1 - 3 cups daily.
Side effects and / or interactions
Interaction with prescription drugs, used in treating diabetes, may further lower blood sugar.
No interactions known at this time (06 / 2013) between Bitter melon and OTC (over the counter medicine); dietary supplements, food, alcohol and tobacco.
Not recommended during pregnancy or breast - feeding. May affect the ability to get pregnant.
Hypoglycemic: low blood sugar, this occurs when the blood glucose (blood sugar) level drops too low to provide adequate energy for the body's activity.
Hyperglycemic: higher than normal amount of blood glucose.
Insulin: produced in the pancreas; is a polypeptide hormone that regulates the carbohydrate metabolism. It lowers the blood sugar by moving glucose from the blood into the cells of the body were they provide energy.
Insulin for injection: animal or synthetic medicine for patients whose pancreases make no - or not enough insulin.
Also check out our DIABETIC page.
For more details on the phyto-chemistry and pharmacology of bitter melon: go to our "Bitter melon" page.
The above presentation is for informational and educational purposes only.
It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage.
For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) medication is also available.
Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using dietary supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications.
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