Bitter melon or paria (momordica charantia) on Ayurweda medicine (India medicine) and traditional Chinese medicine have been used for a long time to cure diabetes. As well as on Brazilian traditional and Mexican traditional medicines. On the traditional medicines, its fruit or leaves usually be pounded and squeezed. The juice later can be drunken directly or to be mixed with another medicines. Another alternative, paria leaves can be used as tea if people don’t like its bitter taste or if they have stomach problem.
The wide usage of bitter melon as anti-diabetes drug by various tribes in the world of course for strong reasons. Various clinical studies, pre-clinical and limited clinical studies in the last four decades tend to confirm its property. Research at the University of Giessen, German for instance particularly showed medical benefits of bitter melon on its research on diabetes gene carrier mice.
“Even in only five weeks of medication, we can see the significant result,” said Professor Krawinkel, one of researchers. “The mice that we gave bitter melon had lower sugar level than control group.”
Other researches also had the same conclusion. “Bitter melon juice or its seed powder caused reduction on blood glucose level and increased glucose tolerance,” wrote A. Raman and C. Lau, researchers in Pharmacognosy Research Laboratories, Department of Pharmacy, King’s College, England.
Pare or bitter melon is from the same family with cucumber, pumpkin and watermelon (cucurbitaceae). Bitter melon is a tendril-bearing vine fruit. Its fruit looks like cucumber, but it has wrinkle skin and has sharp ends.
The anti-diabetes effects from bitter melon comes from complex actions of its compounds. Researchers had identified important compounds such as charantin, vicine, peptida and polipeptida-p. Its compounds stimulate beta cells on pancreas gland to produce more insulin, besides increasing glycogen reserve in liver. Other bio-active components such as momordicine and momordicosides and fatty acid are found in high concentrates in its seeds to help reserve insulin resistance. Fiber and saponin in bitter melon slow down carbohydrate absorption and prevent blood sugar spurge after we eat.