A number of clinical studies have been conducted to evaluate the efficacy of bitter melon in the treatment of diabetes.
In January 2011, the results of a four-week clinical trial were published in the “Journal of Ethno-pharmacology”, showing that a 2,000 mg daily dose of bitter melon significantly reduced blood glucose levels among patients with type 2 diabetes and also showing positive effect towards hypoglycemic .
Other older studies have also suggested an association between bitter melon intake and improved glycemic control, while a report published in the March 2008 issue of “Chemistry and Biology” found that bitter melon increased cellular uptake of glucose and improved glucose tolerance.
The active substances contained can work individually or together to help reduce blood sugar levels. It is also known fact that bitter melon contains a lectin that reduces blood glucose concentrations by acting on peripheral tissues and suppressing appetite, similar to the effects of insulin in the brain. This lectin is thought to be a major factor behind the hypoglycemic effect that develops after eating bitter melon.
Bitter melon has been used for a long time in various Asian and African countries both in herbal and traditional medicine systems as a folk remedy for a variety of ailments; different parts of the plant are used to relieve stomach complaints, stomachic and laxative, anti-bilious, emetic, anthelmintic agent and also for the treatment of cough, respiratory diseases, skin diseases, wounds, ulcer, gout and rheumatism.
According to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Momordica Charantia has a number of uses that are thought to be beneficial including cancer prevention, fever and infections. With regard to the use of Momordica Charantia for diabetes, several animal studies and small scale human studies have demonstrated a hypoglycemic effect of concentrated bitter melon extracts. In addition, a 2014 review shows evidence that Momordica Charantia, when consumed in raw or juice form, can be efficacious in lowering blood glucose levels.
Bitter melon is used in traditional medicine for
It is also used to heal wounds, assist childbirth and, in parts of Africa and Asia, prevents or treats malaria and viral diseases such as measles and chicken pox.
In addition, researchers from Saint Louis University in the US say they have shown that an extract from bitter melon can kill breast cancer cells and prevent them from growing and spreading.