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Bitter melon is a vegetable used in India and other Asian countries. The fruit and seeds are used to make medicine.
People use bitter melon for diabetes, stomach and intestinal problems, to promote menstruation, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.
How does it work?
Bitter melon contains a chemical that acts like insulin to help reduce blood sugar levels.
Possible side effects include:
- Bitter melon may cause an upset stomach in some people.
- Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Bitter melon is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken by mouth during pregnancy. Certain chemicals in bitter melon might 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.
- Diabetes: Bitter melon can lower blood sugar levels. If you have diabetes and take medications to lower your blood sugar, adding bitter melon might make your blood sugar drop too low. Monitor your blood sugar carefully.
- Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency: People with G6PD deficiency might develop "favism" after eating bitter melon seeds. Favism is a condition named after the fava bean, which is thought to cause "tired blood" (anemia), headache, fever, stomach pain, and coma in certain people. A chemical found in bitter melon seeds is related to chemicals in fava beans. If you have G6PD deficiency, avoid bitter melon.
- Surgery: There is a concern that bitter melon might interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgery. Stop using bitter melon at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
As always make sure you are using organic herbs as pesticides are toxic and always take normal doses, excessive amounts of anything is not good for you.
We are not doctors, lawyers, accountants or your mom. We give out free smiles and the occasional unsolicited advice. That being said; if you are pregnant, nursing or concerned about your health, call your mom. Or even better, consult a doctors before consuming; particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.
For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.