True to its name, bitter melon (Momordica charantia) is unabashedly bitter. The bitterness, for some people with or without taking some getting used to, is unique and memorable. For some others, it is one of the reasons—in addition to its warty exterior—that makes bitter melon underappreciated until they realize its medicinal benefits. Bitter melon, apparently, has been ethnomedicinally used to treat various ailments, including type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes mellitus, is a common metabolic disorder that results from the body’s ineffective use of insulin. It is a serious medical condition that often requires the use of anti-diabetic medication, or insulin to keep blood sugar levels under control.
According to diabetes.co.uk, a global diabetes community, bitter melon contains at least three active substances with anti-diabetic properties, including charantin, which has been confirmed to have a blood glucose-lowering effect, vicine and an insulin-like compound known as polypeptide-p. These substances either work individually or together to help reduce blood sugar levels.
Bitter gourd can be made into juice, salad or other dishes, such as the following recipe.
Ingredients: 3 bitter melon fruits, 50gr dried and salted anchovies, 1 teaspoon salt, 2 tablespoon olive oil, 4 shallots – slice, 3 cloves garlic – slice, 1 lemongrass – bruise, 1 galangal rhizome – bruise, 3 red chili – oblique cut, 2 green chili – oblique cut, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1 teaspoon broth powder (optional)