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Updated: October 7, 2012 16:31 IST
MEALS THAT HEAL

Juicy news

Uttam Sajwan
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Bitter gourds help in treating several diseases. Photo D. Gopalakrishnan
The Hindu Bitter gourds help in treating several diseases. Photo D. Gopalakrishnan

Bitter gourd juice — a healthy way to start the day

Bitter gourd or bitter melon (Momordica charantia) is actually a member of the squash family and resembles a cucumber with bumpy skin. Bitter melon bears simple alternate leaves. Each bitter melon plant bears separate yellow male and female flowers; its fruit has an oblong shape.

When first picked, a bitter melon is yellow-green, but as it ripens, it turns yellow-orange in colour. As the fruit ripens, the flesh becomes tougher and more bitter. Bitter melon has a variety of shapes and sizes. The inside of the melon is filled with fibrous seeds.

Health benefits

Bitter gourd is believed to improve the body's ability to use blood sugar and glucose tolerance. It is consumed regularly in leprosy endemic regions as it is believed to help prevent the disease. It is helpful in fighting cancer and several infections.

Bitter gourd has been known to provide relief from constipation and is also effective in the treatment of psoriasis. It’s high beta-carotene that helps alleviate eye problems and improve eyesight. The juice of the leaf has been found to be beneficial in the treatment of alcoholism. It is also said to build the immune system.

Bitter gourd contains beneficial properties that rid the blood of toxins; consuming 20 ml of the juice daily helps cleanse the liver. It is recommended for asthma patients.

Caution

There are no side effects but excessive intake of bitter melon juice (several times more than the amount recommended above) may lead to diarrhoea and abdominal pain. People who are allergic to bitter melon, Persian melon, honeydew, casaba and muskmelon should, therefore, avoid it.

Now, for a recipe.

Bitter gourd juice

Ingredients

Bitter gourd: 100 gm

Half a lemon

A pinch of salt

Drinking water

Method: Wash the bitter gourd thoroughly. Cut it into small pieces. Put the pieces along with enough water and grind it in a mixer. Strain the liquid. Add lemon juice and salt; stir well. Drink the juice in the morning on an empty stomach daily.

Sr. Chef De Partie

Vivanta by Taj-Fisherman’s Cove

Keywords: Bitter gourd

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