The most notable benefits of bitter melon tea include its ability to prevent chronic diseases, lower cholesterol level, regulate diabetes, aid in cancer prevention, stimulate the immune system and help the metabolism, among others.
There are some side effects to drinking this tea that must be considered, including dangerously low blood sugar, liver complications, severe allergic reactions, decreased fertility, headaches, vomiting, and nausea. Most of these side effects can be avoided if you drink the tea in moderation. Before including this beverage in your diet, speak to your doctor about any potential reactions the intake of this tea could lead to.
What is Bitter Melon Tea?
Bitter melon tea is also known as bitter gourd tea in many parts of the world. Scientifically known as Momordica charantia, the plant produces gourds that resembled fat, bumpy cucumbers. They also change color to a yellow-orange when they are ready to be harvested. The tea, unlike many other herbal remedies, is produced by steeping multiple parts of the plant, including the seeds, fruit, and leaves.
The impressive list of health benefits of bitter melon tea is mainly due to the high concentration of vitamin A, vitamin C, B-family vitamins, potassium, magnesium, and zinc, as well as the phenolic compounds.
Bitter Melon Tea Benefits
Drinking bitter melon tea is great for people suffering from diabetes, slow metabolism, high cholesterol levels, a weak immune system, digestive issues, or a risk of cancer.
Lowers Cancer Risk
Several studies, including the 2016 paper published in the Chinese Journal of Natural Medicines, highlight the anticancer properties of the bitter melon. The tea, made of the fruit and other parts of the vine, is packed with the same advantages.
Compounds found in bitter gourd include cucurbitane type triterpenoids as well as karaviloside III. Both these compounds are said to have exhibited anticancer properties during independent researches. The study also brought to light the potential of karaviloside III to be developed as a chemotherapy agent for the treatment of hepatic fibrosis or carcinoma, and protection against both diseases.
The high antioxidant levels found in bitter melon tea make it ideal for preventing chronic diseases, such as coronary heart disease, as well as autoimmune disease. As a full body tonic, this tea has a wide variety of applications in human health.
The rich supply of B-family vitamins found in bitter melon makes this tea excellent for stimulating and optimizing the metabolic activities of the body. This can result in a more efficient hormonal and metabolic function, including passive fat-burning.
Bitter melon tea has been connected to lower triglyceride levels in the body, which means less harmful deposition of cholesterol in the arteries. This can help to prevent atherosclerosis, as well as coronary heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes.
One of the main uses of bitter melon tea is for the regulation of diabetic symptoms. Compounds like vicine and charantin are able to lower blood sugar levels by regulating carbohydrate metabolism. This prevents the spikes and drops in glucose levels that can be so dangerous to diabetic patients. However, if you are taking blood sugar-lowering medication, adding bitter melon tea to your health regimen can be dangerous.
This herbal tea has been traditionally used to treat stomach-aches, inflammation in the gut, ulcers and irritable bowel syndrome. This can also help to optimize digestion and increase nutrient uptake while eliminating symptoms of constipation and diarrhea.
Detoxify the Body
Although an excess of bitter melon tea can result in liver damage, in appropriate amounts, it can eliminate inflammation of the liver. This not only keeps the liver functioning well but can also moderate liver-induced skin conditions, such as eczema and psoriasis.
Notable levels of vitamin A mean that this herbal tea is also excellent for improving vision health. Vitamin A is derived from beta-carotene and acts as an antioxidant that can prevent macular degeneration and slow the development of cataracts.
How to Make Bitter Melon
Bitter melon tea is quite easy to prepare, and only requires a dried bitter melon (gourd), hot water, and honey to sweeten the flavor, if desired. The preparation of this tea is quite unique and can be made with the leaves, seeds, and fruits since there are valuable nutrients in all three. First, chop up the dried/fresh bitter melon and thoroughly wash the slices. Then, you are ready to brew!
- 2 cups of dried (or fresh) bitter melon
- 2 cups of water (filtered)
- Honey or sugar, if desired
- Step 1: Bring the water to a boil in a pot and then add the chopped bitter melon.
- Step 2: Put the lid on the pot and boil for 10 minutes at medium heat.
- Step 3: Remove from heat and allow to steep for an additional 10 minutes (no lid)
- Step 4: Strain the mixture into a teapot or glasses.
- Step 5: Add honey or sugar, if necessary, and enjoy!