The ampalaya has a had a long use in traditional herbal medicine in tropical areas of the world for hundreds of years. It has been used to treat many medical conditions in these far off places, and has been studied by the medical field since the 1960s.
The ampalaya may be more commonly known by the names bitter melon or bitter gourd. It’s scientific name is Momordica Charantia. All parts of this plant can be eaten, but are extremely bitter.
The ampalaya is long tuberous vegetable that in appearance looks much like a cucumber or zucchini squash. It has deep wrinkles and folds in its skin. It is also known to be an addicting vegetable, once its bitter taste has been accustomed to.
This plant is found in Central America, Asia, and other tropical regions across the world. Ampalaya has been a staple in these diets long before it was discovered by scientists.
Historical Uses in the Amazon
The native people of the Amazon use the ampalaya fruit and leaves in their soups and beans. This is a tradition that has been passed down generation to generation.
Amazon tribal doctors believe that the ampalaya plant is useful as a tea for diabetes, to cure gas, to help fight measles, hepatitis, and other conditions that are accompanied by a fever.
Topically it has been a traditional medicine to treat infection in sores and wounds. They also use the ampalaya to treat worms and parasites.
Introduction to U.S. Doctors
According to newsflash.org, in June 2002 UCLA doctors invited the Philippine Doctor Francis Wade Gomez to the United States to speak about the potential use of the ampalaya plant.
Gomez informed the doctors of the differing uses and side effects related to the ampalaya as well as other herbal medicines. He recommended that the plant be used for treating blood sugar problems in diseases like Diabetes Miletus, because if the ampalaya didn’t work, herbalists wouldn’t use it in their communities. They would not want to risk ruining their practice. He concluded that some of the best medicines do actually grow on trees.
While many doctors recommend the best way to reap the benefits of the ampalaya plant is to eat it, there are many who prefer to take it in either tea or pill form.
Ampalaya tea is made from dried ampalaya berries. Teas often include other ingredients such as lemon grass, noni berry juice and banaba.
Time proven side effects of both the ampalaya tea as well as pills are loose stools, and bowl frequency.
-Tea and Side Effects at: http://www.charantia.com/about-ampalaya/http://www.naturesessence.net.au/index.php?act=viewDoc&docId=2
-UCLA Newsflash at: http://www.newsflash.org/2002/05/si/si001242.htm