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Karela - Bitter gourd [Herb]
Started by: Jayashree at January 7 2008

Replies: 2 & Views: 12908    Font    Page 1 of 1            Reply

   
Karela - Bitter gourd [Herb] By: Jayashree
Calcutta, India
  
January 7 2008

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Karela - BITTER MELON
(Momordica charantia)


CLINICAL SUMMARY
Derived from the fruit and seed of the tree. Bitter melon has been used to treat diabetes, cancer, viral infections, and immune disorders. Data suggest that a significant hypoglycemic effect occurs in both healthy and diabetic patients. However, bitter melon should not be used in place of mainstream therapies. In vitro and animal studies indicate antiviral activity against HIV and herpes, cytotoxic effects against leukemic cells, and cytostatic effects in breast cancer, but related human studies have not been conducted. Children and pregnant women should not use bitter melon because of its potential toxicity. Reported adverse effects include hypoglycemia and hepatotoxicity. There is a potential for additive effect when bitter melon is combined with insulin or oral hypoglycemic agents. A clinical trial demonstrated no effect on natural killer cell activity in cervical cancer patients
SCIENTIFIC NAME
Momordica charantia
ALSO KNOWN AS
Bitter gourd, bitter apple, wild cucumber, bitter cucumber, balsam apple, balsam pear, margose, la-kwa, leprosy gourd, karela
PURPORTED USES
Cancer prevention
Diabetes
Fever
HIV and AIDS
Infections
Menstrual disorder
CONSTITUENTS
Fruit
Glycosides: momordin, charantin
Alkaloids: momordicin
Others: polypeptide-P
Oils (seed only): stearic, linoleic, oleic acids
Glycoproteins: alpha-momorcharin, beta-momorcharin, lectins
Others: vicine (pyrimidine nucleoside), protein MAP30 (1)
MECHANISM OF ACTION
Vicine, charantin, and polypeptide-P in both animals and humans increase glucose uptake and glycogen synthesis in the liver, muscle, and adipose tissue, and improve glucose tolerance. Studies with hepatic enzymes in mice revealed reduction in glucose-6-phosphatase and fructose-1,6-bisphosphatase activity, and increased glucose oxidation by G6PDH pathway. Bitter melon displays cytotoxic activity against leukemic cells in vitro (guanylate cyclase inhibitor). The MAP30 extract has a cytostatic effect on MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer cells xenografted into mice. MAP30 also demonstrates dose-dependent inhibition of HIV-1 integrase leading to poor viral DNA integration, thus inhibiting T lymphocyte and monocytes.
WARNINGS
Red arils (covering on seed) are reportedly toxic in children, causing vomiting, diarrhea, and death.
ADVERSE REACTIONS
Reported: Hypoglycemia, hepatotoxicity (animal studies)
Toxicity: Ingestion of vicine (seed) may cause favism characterized by headache, fever, abdominal pain, and coma.

A prospective evaluation of 18 newly diagnosed adult diabetics comparing blood glucose level with and without bitter melon administration 30 minutes prior to an oral glucose tolerance test (GTT). Patients had not started any hypoglycemic therapy (e.g. insulin or sulfonylureas). A statistically significant reduction in blood sugar after administration of bitter melon, approximately 20-30%, was demonstrated. Larger randomized trials are necessary to establish long-term effects.

Note:In India people make a curry like preparation to eat with rice or Indian bread paratha. The vegetable is quite bitter but by mixing ground mustard seeds this becomes quite tasty. The preparation may be dry or with gravy. People usually smear with salt and after some time drain off the water accumulated alongwith the bitterness.

Jayashree Kanoi

Re: Karela - Bitter gourd [Herb] By: Dr Hasmukh Shah
  
January 9 2008
Many people drink its juice for diabetes and psoriasis.

Re:Karela - Bitter gourd [Herb] By: homeofan321
California
  
January 12 2012
what a great site here...such great organized information...i'm glad i found it....i take bitter melon for psoriasis....i have been taking the 500mg capsules...here is the link for others interested.....http://www.momemineral.com/Bitter-Melon-caps-Pacific-Biologic/dp/B004QDPA0C ...i have also found this site to contain great an exhaustive ingredient list for those like me who actually care what they consume...and are partial to some sort of research.....

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