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Karela – the plant that kills cancer cells, stop diabetes, AND boosts your immune system!

Karela – the plant that kills cancer cells, stop diabetes, AND boosts your immune system!

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Nature’s gifts that give hope to people who are facing with malignant diseases. Karela (bitter melon) has long been used as a natural antidiabetic in some cultures. Recently, scientists have found it as an excellent cure for several types of cancer. For example, the active ingredients of this plant can “starve” malignant cells by reducing the metabolism of glucose. Another research (1) found out that its fruit can destroy breast cancer cells, and stop them from spreading. Other research confirms bitter melon juice can slow down pancreatic tumor growth without any side effects (2).

Karela bitter melon
Karela (bitter melon)

In addition, this plant is found to be helpful in cases of prostate, colon, liver and lung cancer, leukemia and neuroblastoma. Moreover, karela also contains high amount of glycoprotein lectin. Its activity resembles that of human insulin. Glycoprotein lectin lowers the concentration of glucose in blood and acts as an immunomodulator. However, children, pregnant and breastfeeding women are not advised to consume it.

Bitter Melon – Karela – Momordica Charantia

Ripe Karela (bitter melon)

Bitter melon, or karela, is a type of vine of the family Cucurbitaceae that grows in Africa, Asia, South America and the Caribbean. It is cultivated and used as food and as medicine on all continents today.

Bitter melon grows as a vine with long fragmented leaves and yellow flowers. Its fruit has long shape and looks like a warty cucumber or zucchini. The young green fruits mature to orange-yellow ripe fruits, and as they ripen their yellow color becomes even more intense. The ripe fruit breaks open in three parts and releases many red seeds.

Nutritional value of 100 g of fresh, raw bitter melon:

Karela bitter melon nutrition facts
Karela (bitter melon) nutrition facts chart

All parts of the karela are, of course, bitter and can be used for the preparation of food and medicines. It is low in calories and high in vitamins (B1, B2, B3, C) and minerals (Magnesium, Zinc, Phosphorus and Manganese). Unripe fruits are rich in vitamin C, potassium and phosphorus; while ripe fruits are rich in glycoprotein lectin. It also acts as an immunomodulator, helps boost the immunity of cell functions. Thus, helps kill carcinogenic cells in cancer patients, and treats HIV-infections. Bitter melon also contains many antioxidant compounds. For instance, beta-carotene, flavonoids, lutein and zeaxanthin. They are proven to be effective to fight against free radicals – main culprits of aging and various degenerative diseases.

Traditional Uses

In Ayurvedic medicines, karela has been used to treat:

  • fever,
  • skin conditions,
  • chronic cough,
  • burns,
  • colic,
  • painful menstruation,
  • and as an antiviral.

Bitter melon fruit and leaves make a tea beverage which helps prevent and treat malaria and viral diseases. For instances, measles or chicken pox, etc. In modern application, kerala tea aids in:

  • weight loss,
  • reducing the incidence of kidney stones,
  • boosts the immune system,
  • and detoxifies the liver.

You can eat bitter melon can raw, cook it, juice it, or get a bitter-melon-contained tincture. However, excess consumption can cause abdominal pain and diarrhea.

Bitter Melon – A “Bitter” Fighter against Diabetes and Cancer

Latest research has confirmed bitter melon can cure carcinomas, HIV infections and diabetes. Additionally, it also has detox power.


Ancient cultures have long used bitter melon as a natural treatment of diabetes. Therefore, scientists have examined its anti-diabetic properties. As a result, they isolated three major compounds from bitter melon and identified as hypoglycemic agents. These are:

  1. Charantin: a typical cucurbitane-type triterpenoid in bitter melon. It is a potential substance with antidiabetic properties. Studies reported that the compound is more effective than tolbutamide (an oral hypoglycemic agent).
  2. Polypeptide-p or p-insulin: an insulin-like hypoglycemic protein. It has been shown to lower blood glucose levels in gerbils, langurs and humans when injected subcutaneously. The p-insulin works by mimicking the action of human insulin in the body. Thus, may be used as plant-based insulin replacement in patients with type-1 diabetes.
  3. Vicine: a glycol alkaloid. This pyrimidine nucleoside helps induce hypoglycemia by intraperitoneal injection.

In addition, a clinical trial showed that taking 2000 mg bitter melon a day reduced blood glucose levels among type 2 diabetes patients.

Pancreatic Cancer

A study published in Carcinogenesis journal showed that bitter melon extract reduced glucose metabolism. Thus, kills pancreatic cancer cells. This study proved that mice fed the bitter gourd juice had 60% less chance of developing cancer than the control group.

Breast Cancer

Another study, published on PubMed in Feb 2010, showed that karela extract can effectively cure breast cancer. Here are the study’s findings:

Bitter melon juice treatment of breast cancer cells resulted in a significant decrease in cell proliferation and induced apoptotic cell death. Apoptosis of breast cancer cells was accompanied by increased poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase cleavage and caspase activation. Subsequent studies showed that BME treatment of breast cancer cells inhibited survivin and claspin expression. Fluorescence-activated cell sorting analysis suggested that MCF-7 cells treated with BME accumulated during the G2-M phase of the cell cycle. Further studies revealed that BME treatment enhanced p53, p21, and pChk1/2 and inhibited cyclin B1 and cyclin D1 expression, suggesting an additional mechanism involving cell cycle regulation. Together, these results show that BME modulates signal transduction pathways for inhibition of breast cancer cell growth and can be used as a dietary supplement for prevention of breast cancer.

Moreover, there are other studies that confirm the effects of bitter melon in curing prostate, liver and colon cancer among other cancer types.
Source: healthylivingstyle.net

(1) Saint Louis University Cancer Center Research by Ratna Ray, Ph.D.

(2) University of Colorado Cancer Center Research

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