Saturday, January 26, 2008

Bitter Gourd

Lowers blood & urine sugar levels. Increases body's resistance against infections and purifies blood.

Bitter Gourd has excellent medicinal virtues. It is antidotal, antipyretic tonic, appetizing, stomachic, antibilious and laxative. The bitter Gourd is also used in native medicines of Asia and Africa. The Bitter gourd is specifically used as a folk medicine for diabetes.

Recent researches by a team of British doctors have established that it contains a hypoglycemic or insulin-like principle, designated as ‘plant-insulin’, which has been found highly beneficial in lowering the blood and urine sugar levels. It should, therefore, be included liberally in the diet of the diabetic. The seeds of bitter gourd can be added to food in the powdered form. Diabetics can also use bitter gourd in the form of decoction by boiling the pieces in water or in the form of dry powder.

A majority of diabetics usually suffer from malnutrition as they are usually under-nourished. Bitter gourd being rich in all the essential vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin A, B1, B2, C and Iron, its regular use prevents many complication such as hypertension, eye complications, neuritis and defective metabolism of carbohydrates. It increases body’s resistance against infection. It contains minerals like calcium, phosphorous, iron, copper and potassium

Bittergourd contain compounds like bitter glycosides, saponins, alkaloids, reducing sugars, phenolics, oils, free acids, polypeptides, sterols, 17-amino acids including methionine and a crystalline products name p-insulin.

Bittergourd is known as hypoglycemic antihaemorrhoidal, astringent, stomachic, emmenagogue, hepatic stimulant, anthelmintic and blood purifier.

Diabetes is a result of problems with the pancreatic hormone insulin. Insulin controls the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood and the rate at which the glucose is absorbed into the cells. The cells need glucose to produce energy. In people with diabetes, glucose builds up in the bloodstream instead of being taken into and used by the cells, leading to hyperglycemia (abnormally high levels of glucose in the blood). Eventually, hyperglycemia leads to damaged blood vessels, which in turn, may cause eye disease, heart disease, peripheral and autonomic neuropathy (nerve damage in the limbs and internal organs), and diabetic nephropathy (kidney disease). The major danger with diabetes, however, is not the disease itself, but the complications that can arise if insulin levels are not maintained at a constant level.

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