Health Benefits of Karela [Bitter Gourd]:
Karela is profoundly grown in Asian and sub-tropical climates. It makes an essential detoxifier and skin cleanser. Regular intake of this bitter herb helps boost the immune system while removing all unnecessary toxins. Bitter guard is considered a fruit as it has seeds. However, the most common usage of this fruit is as a vegetable, often used for cooking.
1. Type II Diabetes
Some studies have shown that bitter melon lowers blood sugar through increased metabolism of glucose. Drink one cup daily. Try this recipe to receive the full benefit of the fruit. As with any changes to your diet, be sure you consult you physician. Stop use if you’re experiencing abdominal pain, diarrhea, or fever. Monitor blood sugar regularly and adjust medications as necessary, with the assistance of your doctor.
2. Kidney Stones
A kidney stone is an extremely painful medical condition. Bitter melon can be helpful in ridding the body of kidney stones through naturally breaking them down. Bitter melon reduces high acid that help produce painful kidney stones. Infuse bitter melon powder with water to create a healthful tea. This tea has a nutty flavor and, surprisingly, does not require sweetening.
3. Lower Cholesterol
Help lower dangerous cholesterol levels with bitter melon. Reducing cholesterol significantly reduces heart attack, heart disease, and stroke. The added benefit is that bitter melon is completely natural in working with the body to prevent these health risks. High cholesterol can only be diagnosed with a blood test. Try Bitter Melon Delight to reap the reward of this surprising health benefit.
4. Pancreatic Cancer
One of the most surprising health benefits of bitter melon is its anti-cancer properties. Bitter melon has been shown to disrupt the production of glucose, potentially inhibiting the growth of pancreatic cancer cells. Try these bitter melon juice recipes for a touch of variety and to reap the full health reward of this unusual melon. Bitter melon may also starve other cancerous cells in the liver, colon, breast, or prostate.
5. Skin Benefits
Foods or drink taken from this melon benefit the skin. Taken regularly, bitter melon is said to have a “glowing” effect on the skin and is helpful in treating acne, psoriasis, and eczema. Experience natural and soothing relief with bitter melon. Try bitter melon soup for relief of any of these skin conditions or for more beautiful skin. An added benefit is that bitter melon is a blood-purifying agent.
6. Weight Loss
As is common with most plants, bitter melon is extremely low in calories and very filling. Lose, or maintain a healthy weight, with bitter melon. Prepare stuffed bitter melon to enjoy thissame properties that aid against Type II Diabetes also assist in health weigh loss and maintenance. The melon is very high in nutrients, which is another reason it’s so beneficial in weight loss.
7. Liver Tonic
There are several benefits of regularly consuming a liver tonic. A tonic aids in digestion, improves gallbladder function, and lowers fluid retention. Cirrhosis of the liver, hepatitis, and constipation may be relieved with a bitter melon liver tonic. Drink a bitter melon juice at least once a day to enjoy the benefits. A liver tonic is also aids in weight loss, and may relieve the symptoms of irritable bowel system.
8. Carbohydrate Digestion
This is a very important benefit for those who have Type II Diabetes. Carbohydrates turn to sugar, and bitter melon metabolizes the sugars. Faster metabolism of carbohydrates means that less fat is stored in the body which leads to weight loss, and healthy weight maintenance. Proper carbohydrate digestion also aids in muscle growth and development. ABitter Melon Stir-Fry is just the ticket for the many benefits of bitter melon.
9. Vitamin-K Source
Vitamin-K contributes to bone health, blood-clotting, and is an anti-inflammatory. Those suffering from arthritis can experience lower pain and inflammation in the joints through increasing Vitamin-K. No-Fry Karela Crispies are a delicious way to add Vitamin-K to your diet. The addition of bitter melon satisfies your body’s daily nutritional need for Vitamin-K. Also, the addition of bitter melon is a great source for dietary fiber.
10. Increased Immunity
A healthy immune system is vital for fending off potential infections and diseases. Add this delicious and easily prepared Bitter Melon Stir-Fry for this added health benefit. Stop or prevent a cold instantly in its tracks while benefiting the digestive system. Prevent or curb food allergies, and get rid of yeast infections, naturally. An added bonus of bitter melon is relief of acid reflux and indigestion.
Tips For Some Healty Diet Of Bitter Melon
Growing And Caring :
|Scientific Name : Momordica Charantia L.|
|Family : Cucurbitacea|
|Colour : Light Green|
|Common names : Bitter gourd, Bitter melon, Bitter cucumber, Karela (Hindi), Balsam pear, Balsam apple|
|Best Season : Throughout the year|
|Nutritional Value : 44 kcal, 5.6 g protein, 290 mg calcium, 5 mg iron, 5.1 mg vitamin A, 170 mg vitamin C per 100 g serving.|
Mainly a warm season plant, bitter gourd thrives in hot and humid climates. The best medium for the seeds is a fertile, well-drained soil with a pH ranging from 5.5 to 6.7, enriched with organic matter, such as compost or dried manure. But it will tolerate any soil that provide a good drainage system (sandy loam soil, but it will grow I areas with poorer soils.) It should be in a frost-free area and will prefer the climate with daytime temperatures between 75 and 80F. The soil must be prepared well by adding organic matter before planting. Seeds soaked in water will germinate sooner. Soil temperature for germination is at least 60 to 65F.
Since this is a very fast growing vine, producing many fruits that will rot on moist soil, trellising will reduce diseases and make harvesting easier. When the vine reaches the top of its trellis, it is recommended that all lateral branches from the soil up to the 10th node as well as the growing tip of the vine be cut off as this will stimulate the upper branches and produce a higher yield.
While vines are blooming over a six month period, Bitter Melon needs insects such as honeybees to carry out the pollinating process for setting fruits. If the insects are not available in your area, the pollinating process can be done manually, by picking up male flowers and transferring pollens (face-to-face touching the center part of flowers) to female flowers. Female flowers have a fat section between the flower and vine stem. This process should be carried out when flowering is active during the daytime. If the pollination is a success, the fat portion will grow into full size fruit.
Regular watering with plenty of water is essential for its growth. Flowers will start appearing in 5-6 weeks and fruition will occur between two to four months. Mature fruits are ready to be picked within 3 months from planting and they will be light green and juicy with white flesh but bitter.
Pick the fruits every 2-3 days when they are still at the tender stage. Regular picking is important as fruits will become more bitter as they mature and it can also hamper the growth of new fruits.
Vines should be pruned at the tips when female flowers start developing to encourage branching and fast bearing. Regular fertilizing is essential for its growth. Water immediately after applying fertilizers.
The developing fruits must be watched closely or they grow too large and become bitter. Eight to ten days after blossoms drop, when the fruits are 4”- 6” long, light green in color and pear shaped, the gourds should be harvested.
Some vines should be left in the field to produce gourds for seed. Seeds continue to mature inside the gourd even after harvest. Seed that is sorted, washed and stored in a cool, dry spot, will remain viable for 2-3 years.
Leave some fruits to reach full maturity if they have to be reserved for subsequent crops. When fully mature, the fruits will break open on their own and release brown or white seeds which can be collected.
Diseases and Pests
Like other cucurbits, Bitter Melon vines are susceptible to several insect pests and diseases like downy/powdery mildew, mosaic virus (watermelon mosaic virus), wilt, fungi and pests like root-know nematode, which can be controlled by sulfur dust. Rust disease is controlled by spraying foliage with oxycarboxin. It is best to plant resistant varieties, mulch to prevent weed competition and use pesticides that are not toxic to honeybees.
The fruits are subject to attack by various fruit flies and fruit rots. Pests attack on fruits can be prevented by wrapping fruits with newspapers, when they are about a few centimetres long.
Some sources advise to grow Bitter Melon just like you would grow cantaloupe and honeydew melons.