Home Remedies Effects of Bitter Melon on Cancer and Diabetes.
Bitter melon is a member of the squash family that grows in many tropical countries. It looks like a warty cucumber and tastes like bitter squash. Its scientific name is Momordica charantia. It goes by many names: karela and bitter gourd are two of the most common.
Karela has been used in Asia for hundreds of years as medicine, especially for diabetes. Many of our readers testify that it has brought their numbers to near-normal without other medications. If you’re not up to speed on this wonderful treatment, read my articles here and here.
Bitter melon has many other medical uses. Now scientists are exploring its ability to fight cancer.
Research at St. Louis University is investigating whether bitter melon can help prevent prostate cancer and stop the spread of head and neck cancers in mice. It seems to cause cell death in a number of kinds of cancer in test tubes and animals.
Lead researcher Ratna Ray, PhD, believes “bitter melon holds great potential in the field of anti-cancer medicine.” Other studies have already found that bitter melon kills pancreatic cancer and breast cancer cells.
The pancreatic cancer finding is interesting. According to Live in the Now, researcher Rajesh Agarwal, PhD, of the University of Colorado Cancer Center said they looked at pancreatic cancer because of the diabetes connection. People with diabetes “are known to be at much higher risk of developing [pancreatic cancer] and bitter melon has been shown to affect diabetes through centuries of use in China and India.”
What about colon cancer ? It turns out a study done by researchers at the University of Kansas Medical Center and at Vels University in Chennai, India (what a world where such collaborations are possible!) found that bitter melon extracts inhibited growth and killed colon cancer cells.
Meanwhile, more people are learning about the value of bitter melon for diabetes.
Bitter melon activates chemicals including AMPK, which helps cells take glucose in and burn it for energy.