Bitter melon, also known as karela or bitter gourd, is a unique fruit-vegetable that can be used as food or remedy. Bitter melon (Momordica charantia) is a vine that belongs to the family Cucurbitaceae and it is considered as the most bitter among all vegetables and fruits.
Beside that is being used as a food ingredient, for long time bitter melon has been used as herbal remedy for cancer, fever, burns, chronic cough, painful menstruation, malaria, some viral diseases (chicken pox and measles), various types of cancer and diabetes type 2.
Charantin, vicine and polypeptide-p are one of the most active substances of this fruit. All of them have anti-diabetic characteristics. Charantin is known for its effect on lowering the glucose in the blood and polypeptide –p is an insulin-like substance. Each of these compounds reduces the levels of sugar in the blood by itself as well as in combination with the others.
The glucose blood leves are also reduced by lectin, which is also one very important compound of bitter melon. Lectin suppresses the appetite by it influence on peripheral tissues. Its effects are very much alike the ones that insulin has in the brain.
After consumption of bitter melon an effect of hypoglycemia is developed. It is thought that this effect is due to the presence of lectin.
Powerful anticancer juice made from Bitter Melon
Recent results from a study of Bitter melon at the University of Colorado are more than encouraging. This herb, which is known in the East and is used in food for centuries, can help in treating cancer.
A new study performed on mice has shown that bitter melon juice significantly reduces the growth of pancreatic tumors, because it hampers metabolism of glucose in cancer cells and automatically it starves them and leaves no sugar, “fuel” without which cancer cells cannot survive.
The numerous health benefits associated with consumption of bitter melon are already known. This herb is grown and eaten throughout Southeast Asia, Africa, Japan, China, Oceania, and even the Caribbean.
It is particularly popular in the Okinawa and Japanese are known for longevity.
The anti-carcinogenic action from Bitter melon is visible in certain tumors like breast, stomach, colon, liver and prostate cancer and in leukemia.
The results from the latest study revealed the cytotoxic properties of bitter melon on pancreatic cancer.
Researchers, who were from the Colorado’s University, bought these melons in the local market, removed the skin and seeds used the blender to make juice from it.
The resulting juice is used for testing in two ways: directly to the cells, or frozen and ground into powder, which was later be used as food for the test on mice.
Freshly squeezed juice diluted with only 5 percent of water acted hard on reduction of the cancer cells of the pancreas. In fact, after 72 hours of testing AsPC- 1 and Capan- 2 tumor cells were reduced by 90 percent, and BxPC- 3 and MiaPaCa- 2 to even 98 percent.
Juice caused programmed death of the cancer cells.
Once the mice in the experiment were fed up with the dust of bitter melon, there was a 64 percent reduction of the cancer cells.
The story is similar with chemotherapy applied in the treatment of pancreatic cancer, but in this case without apparent side effects that accompany chemotherapy treatments.
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