Benefits of Bitter Gourd (Karela)


Botanical Name : Momordica charantia

Family Name        : Cucurbi- taceae

Hindi Name           : Karela


Its origin is not known but it is native to tropics. It is cultivated during hot season and is available in India, China, Sri Lanka, Malaysia etc.

Parts Used           

Roots, leaves and fruits.


Hypoglycaemic (blood sugar reducer), astringent (arresting secretion), anti-haemorrhoidal (checks bleeding of piles), stomachic (appetiser and digestive), emmenagogue (inducing menstruation), galactogogue (increases milk secretion), hepatic stimulant (liver corrective), anthelmintic (removes worm) and blood purifier.

Forms of Use

Juice, as vegetable, soup & juice mixed with honey.

Medicinal Uses

(i) The bitter gourd has excellent medicinal properties and is used as a folk medicine for diabetes. It has

hypoglycaemic or insulin-like principal, known as "plant- insulin". It reduces the blood and urine sugar levels. For better results, the diabetic should take the juice of about four or five fruits every morning on an empty stomach.

(ii) Diabetics usually suffer from malnutrition. They are normally under-nourished. Bitter gourd is rich in all the vitamins and minerals, especially vitamins A, B1, B2, C and iron. Its regular use prevents many complications such as hypertension, eye complications, neuritis and defective metabolism of carbohydrates. It increases body's resistance against infection.

(iii) Juice of the fresh leaves of bitter gourd is valuable in piles. Three teaspoonfuls of this juice mixed with a glassful of buttermilk should be taken each morning for about a month in this condition.

(iv) Bitter gourd is highly beneficial in the treatment of blood disorders like blood boils, scabies, itching psoriasis, ring- worm and other fungal diseases. A cupful of fresh juice of bitter gourd mixed with a teaspoonful of lime juice should be taken, sip by sip, on empty stomach daily for four to six months for these conditions.

(v) Its juice also works as preventive measure against leprosy cases.

(vi) Bitter gourd plant roots are used in folk medicine against respiratory troubles from ancient times. A teaspoonful of the root paste mixed with equal amount of honey or tulsi leaf juice, given once every night for a month acts as an excellent medicine for asthma, bronchitis, pharyngitis, colds and rhinitis.

(vii) Leaf juice is beneficial in the treatment of alcoholism. It is an antidose for intoxication caused by alcohol. It also tones up the liver affected by alcohol.

(viii) Diarrhoea and cholera can also be controlled by giving fresh leaf juice. Two teaspoonfuls of juice plus equal quantity of white onion juice along with one teaspoonful lemon juice should be given in these conditions.

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