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AmpalayaThe health benefits of karela (bitter-gourd) are greater than those of many vegetables. Karela’s bitter taste is generally attributed to the quinine it contains. Cooked bitter gourd stimulates the appetite, cleanses the liver, purifies the blood, and provides many other benefits.

Grown in the Indian subcontinent and parts of Asia, Africa, and South America, karela (aka bitter-melon, kaakarakaya) is unsavory yet very nutritious and healthy. Karela comes in many different varieties and is similar in shape to a cucumber. In the Indian grocery stores in the US, you’ll find the the Indian, dark green, spiky variety, while in the Asian stores, you’ll find the lighter-green bitter-melons that are larger with a bumpy peel.

A really delicious type of karela is kantola or kakrol (aa-kaakarakaya). These are small, round or oval with tiny, prickly spikes, and are not bitter at all or only slightly bitter. These taste great sliced into thin chips and either stir-fried or deep-fried. Fresh kantola are a rare sight in the US but are widely available frozen.

In South India, karela and kantola, are soaked overnight in brine or buttermilk and sundried, and then deep-fried as needed, and like pappadums, served as crunchy accompaniments or added to soups and stews. These vadiyams or vadams are available in Indian grocery stores.

Karela and Health—-Quick Facts

In Indian medicine, such as ayurveda, bitter-gourd juice (from the gourd or leaves) has long been used as a remedy for diabetes and liver problems. Karela juice is also used to treat skin problems like psoriasis, and is generally good for skin health as it purifies blood.

Ayurvedic doctors also prescribe bitter-gourd juice for digestive problems and to boost immunity. A glass of karela juice with a dash of lemon, taken on an empty tummy, is supposed to improve general health as well as skin health.

Karela contains a chemical called charantin which reduces high blood glucose levels, and hence the best home remedy for diabetes (as a curry or juice).

Pregnant women are advised to avoid this vegetable as it can cause miscarriages.

Along with fiber, karela contains several vitamins, minerals, and trace elements like vitamin C, iron, zinc, potassium, calcium, and phosphorus. Like most vegetables, karela is low in calories, and as such great for weight-loss. Studies show that bitter-melon extract can help prevent breast cancer.

It makes sense to include karela in your diet as it offers so many health benefits.

With Dua
Aliwale Hussianwale
Motive is to get connected to Shia World.


The 12 Health Benefits of Ampalaya Leaves (Shoots)

Posted on December 12, 2010 by marvin

My father is growing ampalaya vine. He usually gather the young shoots – only those that grow near the plant base. Young ampalaya leaves are popular as vegetable dish ingredients. It’s more than just leaves, anyone can get more benefits out of these bitter commodity:

1) The decoction of the leaves is used as a stomachic – relating to stomach problems e.g.diarrhea. The recommended intake is one teaspoon of ground ampalaya leaves three times a day.

2) The leaves is used as antipyretic – medicine that lowers body temperature to prevent or alleviate fever

3) The whole plant, pulverized, is a good when externally applied in leprosy and malignant ulcers. Malignant – dangerous to health; characterized by progressive and uncontrolled growth.

4) The leaves are pound and apply to certain skin diseases. Can also be applied to burns and scalds.

5) The leaves are applied as a poultice for headaches. Poultice – a medical dressing consisting of a soft heated mass of meal or clay that is spread on a cloth and applied to the skin to treat inflamed areas or improve circulation. Pantapal from albularyo term.

6) Watt says that an infusion of the leaves acts as a febrifuge – lowers body temperature to prevent or alleviate fever.

7) The leaves are administered as an anthelmintic – capable of expelling or destroying parasitic worms.

8) The juice of the fresh leaves acts as a mild purgative – stimulates evacuation of the bowels – for children.

10) Aids in treatment of diabetes. As researched and published by Dr. William Torres, amplaya contains polypeptide-P, an insulin like substance present only in this bitter plant.

11) Boiled leaves and a decoction of the plant itself is recommended to promote lochiae. Lochiae (lochia) substance discharged from the vagina (cellular debris and mucus and blood) that gradually decreases in amount during the weeks following childbirth.

12) The sweetened decoction of the leaves is considered a powerful emmenagogue (promotes menstrual discharge), and an effective vermifuge (causing the evacuation of parasitic intestinal worms).


Uses and Benefits of Ampalaya Seeds

Posted on May 7, 2011 by marvin

The ultimate use of ampalaya seed is for propagation. Propagators need to secure good quality seeds for the next planting season. It can be bought from seed companies to ensure the breed purity. However, an excess seeds can be use for other purposes.

Uses and Health Benefits:

1) Crevost and Petelot stated that the seeds with oil can be employed as a cosmetic.

2) Dalziel reports that the root is sometimes used as an ingredient in aphrodisiac prescriptions and, along with the fruit or seeds, is also used as an abortifacient, as well as a remedy for urethral discharges.

Warning!: Abortifacient – a drug (or other chemical agent) that causes abortion. Pregnant women should never take it.

3) Perrot and Hurrier mention that in Indo-China the seeds are employed with success in dysentery – an infection of the intestines marked by severe diarrhea.

4) Stuart reports that the seeds benefit the breath and invigorate the male principle.

5) Dalziel quotes Freise [Aoth, Zeit. 44 (1929) 1480], who says that the seeds are used in Brazil as an anthelmintic. Watt and Breyer-Brandwijk state that the anthelmintic action of the seeds is to reside in the embryo. Anthelmintic – a medication capable of causing the evacuation of parasitic intestinal worms.

6) Can be used as purgative. The seeds yield 32 per cent of purgative oil. Purgative – a purging medicine; stimulates evacuation of the bowels.

7) According to Yumiko Yasui ampalaya seeds has linolenic acid that can  kill color cancer.

8) The seed also contain Polypeptide-p, a plant insulin that helps diabetic patients.

9) For production of coffee and polvoron.

items 1-6 are compiled by bureau of plant and industry



(MOMORDICA CHARANTIA), Also known as “bitter ground” or “bitter melon” in english. It is most known as a treatment of diabetes (diabetes mellitus) for the non-insulin dependent patients. Has been proven to be an effective herbal medicine for many ailments. The effectiveness of ampalaya as an herbal medicine has been tried and tested. Ampalaya is an alterantive medicine to help alleviate various ailments including diabetes liver problems and even HIV. It enhances immune system and fight infections.

Preparation: For coughs, fever, worms, diarrhea, and diabetes; juice the ampalaya leaves and drink a spoonful everyday. For further ailments; the fruit and the leavescan both be juiced and taken orally. For headaches, wounds, burns and skin diseases; apply warmed leaves to affected area. In large doses, pure ampalaya juice can be a purgative and abortifacient.



Ang ampalaya ay may siyentipikong pangalan na Momordica Charantia at kilala din bilang bitter melon o bitter gourd sa wikang Ingles. Ito ay isang tropical at subtropical na halaman na kapamilya ng Cucurbitaceae. Ang bunga nito ay kilala sa pagkakaraoon ng mapait na lasa dahil nagtataglay ito ng momordicin.


  • 1 Bilang Halamang-Gamot
    • 1.1 Preparasyon
  • 2 Bilang Ulam
  • 3 Sanggunian
  • 4 Pagkilala

Bilang Halamang-Gamot

Ayon sa mga pananaliksik, ang ampalaya ay mabisang panglunas sa sakit na diyabetes. Sa wastong pagkain at dosi ng ampalaya, ito ay makatutulong sa pagtaaas ng produksyon ng beta cells ng lapay (pancreas). Bilang resulta, pinagbubuti ang abilidad ng ating katawan na gumawa ng insulin, ang pumipigil sa pagtaas ng blood sugar ng mga diyabetiko.

Ang ampalaya ay nairekomenda ng Kagawaran ng Kalusugan bilang isa sa mga pinaka-epektibong halamang-gamot dahil sa kakayahan nitong makapagbigay-lunas sa sakit sa atay, diyabetes at HIV. Ito ay isa sa karaniwang halamang-gamot na ginagamit sa bansang Tsina. Sa Pilipinas, ang mga dahon nito ay kadalasang ginagamit na panglunas sa ubo, sakit sa balat, pagkabaog ng mga babae, pamurga, at pampababa ng lagnat.

Maliban sa pagkakaroon nito ng kakayahang makapagpagaling, ang ampalaya rin ay nagtataglay ng maraming bitamina at mineral, sa humigit-kumulang isang tasa (93 grams):

Vitamin A 9%
Thiamine 2%
Riboflavin 2%
Niacin 2%
Vitamin B5 2%
Vitamin B6 2%
Vitamin C 130%
Folate 17%
Calcium 2%
Iron 2%
Magnesium 4%
Phosphorus 3%
Copper 2%
Zinc 5%


  • Uminom ng isang kutsara ng katas ng dahon ng ampalaya para sa mga may ubo, lagnat, nagpupurga, at nagtatae.
  • Itapal ang mainit-init na dahon ng ampalaya sa bahagi ng balat na may sugat, paso at iba pang sakit sa balat gayun din sa noo kapag masakit ang ulo.

Bilang Ulam

  • Ang ampalaya ay kadalasang isinasahog sa mga ulam tulad ng pinakbet, isang bantog na luto ng gulay sa Pilipinas na may kasamang ibat’t-ibang gulay tulad ng okra, talong, sitaw, kamatis, kalabasa at bagoong.
  • Ginagamit din ang ampalaya bilang ensalada–ibinababad ang bunga sa suka at asin kasama ang sibuyas at kamatis.
  • Ang ginisang ampalaya na may itlog ay isa rin sa mga paboritong ulam ng mga Pilipino. Iginigisa ang maninipis na hiwa ng ampalaya sa bawang, sibuyas at kamatis at pagkatapos ay inihahalo ang binating itlog sa ginisang ampalaya.


  • (hinango noong Agosto 15, 2008).
  • Traditional Medicine. (hinango noong Agosto 15, 2008).
  • Ampalaya: Herbal Medicine. (hinango noong Nobyember 20, 2008).

Ampalaya (Momordica charantia)

Ampalaya (Bitter Melon) with a scientific name Momordica charantia, is a climbing vine and the tendrils of which grow up to 20 centimeters long. This herbal plant belongs to the family of Cucurbitaceae, and it is a tropical as well as a subtropical vine. Ampalaya leaves are heart-shaped, which are 5 to 10 centimeters in diameter. The fruits of the ampalaya vine are fleshy green with pointed ends at length. It can never be mistaken for any other variety because its ribbed and wrinkled surface had always been ampalaya’s distinct physical structure. The bitter taste of the ampalaya fruit had also been the distinguishing factor from the rest of the fruits with medicinal value, and this is due to the presence of a substance known as momorcidin.

Ampalaya has been a folkloric cure for generations but has now been proven to be an effective herbal medicine for many aliments. Most significant of which is for Diabetes. The Philippine variety has proven to be most potent. Ampalaya contains a mixture of flavanoids and alkaloids make the Pancreas produce more insulin that controls the blood sugar in diabetics. Aside from Ampalaya’s medicinal value, it is good source of vitamins A, B and C, iron, folic acid, phosphorous and calcium.

Ampalaya has been for used even by the Chinese for centuries. The effectively of Ampalaya as an herbal medicine has been tried and tested by many research clinics and laboratories worldwide. In the Philippines, the Department of Health has endorsed Ampalaya as an alternative medicine to help alleviate various ailments including diabetes, liver problems and even HIV. Aside from these, ampalaya also helps treat skin diseases and cough. Its herbal value extends to increasing the sterility of women, in parasiticide, antipyretic, and has purgative functions, as well. Note: In large dozes, pure Ampalaya juice can be a purgative and abortifacient.

Herbal Benefits of Ampalaya: Preparation & Use of Ampalaya:
• Good for rheumatism and gout
• And diseases of the spleen and liver
• Aids in lowering blood sugar levels
• Helps in lowering blood pressure
• Relives headaches
• Disinfects and heals wounds & burns
• Can be used as a cough & fever remedy
• Treatment of intestinal worms, diarrhea
• Helps prevent some types of cancer
• Enhances immune system to fight infection
• For treatment of hemorrhoids
• Is an antioxidant and parasiticide
• Is antibacterial and antipyretic
• For coughs, fever, worms, diarrhea, diabetes, juice Ampalaya leaves and drink a spoonful daily.
• For other ailments, the fruit and leaves can both be juiced and taken orally.
• For headaches wounds, burns and skin diseases, apply warmed leaves to afflicted area.
• Powdered leaves, and the root decoction, may be used as stringent and applied to treat hemorrhoids.
• Internal parasites are proven to be expelled when the ampalaya juice, made from its leaves, is extracted. The ampalaya juice, and grounded seeds is to be taken one spoonful thrice a day, which also treats diarrhea, dysentery, and chronic colitis.



Lowers sugar levels & helps fight Diabetes
One of the most studied benefits of bitter gourd is its effectiveness in lowering blood sugar levels. High blood sugar leads to diabetes, which in turn may cause high blood pressure, heart disease, blindness, high cholesterol and stroke. Researchers at Lucknow University in India examined the effects of the pulp of bitter gourd on blood sugar levels. The results of their study, published in the August 2010 issue of the “Indian Journal of Biochemistry and Biophysics,” show that not only does bitter gourd lower blood sugar, its antioxidant activity also protects the body’s organs from damage caused by diabetes. Trigonella foenum graecum seed powder, or fenugreek herb, was also used in the study and is reported to have antidiabetic benefits as well.

Fights Cancer
It can play an important role in the prevention and treatment of cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. Researchers at the University of Hawaii, reporting in the June 2010 issue of “Pharmaceutical Research,” state that bitter gourd may stop the growth of cancer cells and initiate cancer cell death. Bitter gourd effects differentiate between cancer cells and healthy cells, as they leave normal cells intact.

Treats Psoriasis
Regular consumption of this bitter juice has also been known to improve psoriasis condition and other fungal infections like ring-worm and athletes feet.

Improves circulation, helps fight Obesity
Bitter gourd can help fight the battle of the bulge, whether you have a little to lose or a lot. Weight gain and obesity may lead to serious health consequences such as diabetes, heart disease and even cancer. In the June 29, 2010, issue of “BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine,” researchers report that when tested on human fat cells, bitter gourd juice exhibited the ability to stimulate the breakdown of fat cells and prevent new fat cells from forming. Researchers conclude that bitter gourd should be considered as an alternative therapy for obesity treatment.

Fights High Cholesterol
High cholesterol is a primary risk factor for heart disease, heart attack and stroke. The two types of cholesterol are LDL, known as bad cholesterol, and HDL which is good. LDL builds up on arterial walls and can cause blockages and hardening of the arteries. HDL sweeps through the arteries, preventing LDL from building up. You can increase your HDL levels through exercise and nutrition, and research shows that bitter gourd is a dietary component that can help increase those levels. The September 24, 2007, issue of “BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine” reports that bitter gourd not only has antidiabetic activity, it also lowers triglycerides and LDL cholesterol, while raising HDL cholesterol levels.

Alleviates Eye problems and Improves Eyesight
The high beta-carotene and other properties in bitter gourd makes it one of the finest vegetable-fruit that help alleviate eye problems and improving eyesight.

Prevents Jaundice, Strengthens Liver, Treats Hangover
Bitter gourd juice can also prevent jaundice by strengthening the liver. By detoxifying and nourishing liver, bitter melon juice may be beneficial in the treatment of a hangover.

Good for patients who are suffering from Piles
Mix three teaspoonfuls of juice from bitter melon leaves with a glassful of buttermilk. Take this every morning on empty stomach for about a month and see an improvement to your condition. To hasten the healing, use the paste of the roots of bitter melon plant and apply over the piles.

Excessive consumption may cause mild abdominal pain or diarrhea. Diabetics taking hypoglycemic drugs will need to alter the dosage of their drugs if they consume bitter melon on a regular basis. Please consult your doctor.

Pregnant women should avoid taking too much bitter gourd or its juice as it may stimulate the uterus that may lead to preterm labor.

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