April 30, 2016

Bitter Melon

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What other names is Bitter Melon known by?

African Cucumber, Ampalaya, Balsam Pear, Balsam-Apple, Balsambirne, Balsamo, Bitter Apple, Bitter Cucumber, Bitter Gourd, Bittergurke, Carilla Fruit, Carilla Gourd, Cerasee, Chinli-Chih, Cundeamor, Fructus Mormordicae Grosvenori, Karavella, Kathilla, Karela, Kareli, Kerala, Kuguazi, K'u-Kua, Lai Margose, Melón Amargo, Melon Amer, Momordica, Momordica charantia, Momordica murcata, Momordique, Pepino Montero, P'u-T'ao, Sorosi, Sushavi, Vegetable insulin, Wild Cucumber.

What is Bitter Melon?

Bitter melon is a plant. The fruit and seeds are used to make medicine.

Bitter melon is used for various stomach and intestinal disorders including gastrointestinal (GI) upset, ulcers, colitis, constipation, and intestinal worms. It is also used for diabetes, kidney stones, fever, a skin condition called psoriasis, and liver disease; to start menstruation; and as supportive treatment for people with HIV/AIDS.

Topically, bitter melon is used for deep skin infections (abscesses) and wounds.

Bitter melon is used as a vegetable in India and other Asian countries and as an ingredient in some kinds of curries.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Diabetes. Research results so far are conflicting and inconclusive. Some studies show that bitter melon fruit, fruit juice, or extract improves glucose tolerance, reduces blood sugar levels, and lowers HbA1c (a measure of blood sugar control over time) in people with type 2 diabetes. However, these studies have some flaws. Other research has not been positive.
  • Psoriasis.
  • HIV/AIDS.
  • Stomach and intestinal disorders.
  • Kidney stones.
  • Liver disease.
  • Skin abscesses and wounds.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of bitter melon for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).


Therapeutic Research Faculty copyright

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