BITTER GOURD/BITTER MELON (AMPALAYA)

Bitter gourd (balsam pear/ bitter melon) is a young, tender, edible fruit-pod in the Momordica genus of climbing vines. Although it’s bitter in, it can sweeten your health through virtue of its disease preventing and health promoting phytochemical compounds.

Bitter melon is used for various stomach and intestinal disorders including gastrointestinal (GI) upset, ulcers, colitis, constipation, and intestinal worms. It is also used for diabetes, kidney stones, fever, a skin condition called psoriasis, and liver disease; to start menstruation; and as supportive treatment for people with HIV/AIDS.

Bitter melon is likely unsafe when taken by mouth during pregnancy. Certain chemicals in bitter melon fruit, juice, and seeds can start menstrual bleeding and have caused abortion in animals. Not enough is known about the safety of using bitter melon during breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Too much intake of bitter melon in the long term together with medication for diabetes may lower blood sugar levels. In that case, a person may feel dizzy and feel weak.

Precautions

Bitter melon fruit is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth in the short-term. The safety of long-term use (beyond 3 months) is not known. There also is not enough information about the safety of consuming other parts of the bitter melon or applying bitter melon to the skin.

 

Interactions

Taking bitter melon along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to be too low since both decreases blood sugar levels. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed.

Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase), and others.

User’s age, health, and several other conditions may affect the dose of bitter melon to take. At present, there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for bitter melon. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

 

Available brands:

  • Amargozin
  • Charantia
  • Mordica CP
  • Omelon
  • Ampalaya plus

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