Scientific Name: Momodica Charantia
Species: Momodica Charantia
Other Names for Momordica Charantia:
English = Bitter melon, bitter gourd
Chinese = Pinyin
Japan = Goya
India = Karela
Nepal = Karella
Philippines = Ampalaya, Amaragoso
Caribbean = Cerasee
South America = Cerasse
Ampalaya (Bitter Melon) is a tropical as well as subtropical climbing vine that grows at trellis, trees and other vines. It bears fruits of about 20 centimeters long and 5-10 centimeters in diameter. The shape, color shade, length and diameter depend on its specie. However, it is distinctively identified for most variety for its plowed and wrinkled outer surface feature. The bitter taste of the ampalaya fruit had been proven for its medicinal value because of the presence of a substance known as momorcidin.
Herbal Benefits of Ampalaya:
- Ampalaya is good for rheumatism and gout
- Ampalaya treats diseases of the spleen and liver
- Ampalaya aids in sugar regulation by suppressing the neural responses to sweet taste stimuli.
- Ampalaya is useful for those people with diabetes mellitus and other type of diabetes and psoriases. It is because ampalaya contains a mixture of flavanoids and alkaloids. This makes the Pancreas produce more insulin that controls the blood sugar in diabetic people.
- Ampalaya helps in lowering blood pressure
- Ampalaya Relives headaches
- Ampalaya disinfects and heals wounds & burns
- Ampalaya can be used as a cough & fever remedy
- Ampalaya treats intestinal worms, diarrhea
- Ampalaya helps prevent some types of cancer
- Ampalaya enhances immune system to fight infection
- Ampalaya treat of hemorrhoids
- Ampalaya is helpful to people with indigestion.
- Amapalaya is an antioxidant and parasiticide
- Ampalaya is antibacterial and antipyretic
- Ampalaya is beneficial because of the Lectins for it posses significant antilipolytic and lipogenic properties.
- Ampalaya is helpful to people with diabetes.
- Ampalaya has also been reported that it may help in the treatment of HIV.
Important Note: Large dozes of pure Ampalaya juice can be a purgative and abortifacient.
Preparation & Use of Ampalaya:
- 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.
Nutritional Value of Ampalaya:
- Dietary fiber
- Vitamin A
- Thiamine (Vit. B1)
- Riboflavin (Vit. B2)
- Niacin (Vit. B3)
- Vitamin B6
- Folate (Vit. B9)
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
Culinary Uses of Ampalaya
There are varieties of culinary uses of ampalaya (bitter melon) from beverages, tea, soup, salad, appetizer, dishes and etc. popularly in countries such as:
- Trinidad and Tobago