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What is Karela?
Karela (Bittermelon) grows in tropical areas, including parts of the Amazon, East Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, and throughout South America, where it is used as a food as well as a medicine. It’s a slender, climbing annual vine with long stalked leaves producing yellow solitary male and female flowers borne in the leaf axils.
What does Karela contain?
At least three different groups of constituents in bittermelon have been reported to have hypoglycemic (blood-sugar lowering) actions of potential benefit in diabetes mellitus. These include a mixture of steroidal saponins known as charantin, insulin-like peptides, and alkaloids. It is still unclear which of these is most effective, or if all three work together. Multiple controlled clinical studies have confirmed the benefit of bittermelon for people with diabetes. In traditional herbal medicine, bittermelon—and essentially all non-toxic, bitter-tasting herbs—is thought to stimulate digestive function and improve appetite. This has yet to be tested in human studies. Unknown compounds in bittermelon have shown antioxidant effects in test tubes.
What are the benefits of Karela?
- Associated with lowering sugar levels in people suffering from diabetes.
- Said to be helpful in fighting against cancer and a number of infections.
- Known to provide relief from constipation and is also effective in the treatment of psoriasis.
- Helps in improving circulation and in turn, generates slimming effects on the body.
- Regular consumption of bittermelon has been associated with prevention as well as treatment of hypertension.
- Karela is believed to be helpful in preventing eye complications, apart from treating neuritis.
- The essential vitamins and minerals present in bittermelon help in treating defective metabolism of carbohydrates.
- The bitter tonic properties of bittermelon have made it effective as a blood purifier.