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Bitter Melon
Ku Gua 
Momordica charantia fruit

Common Name: Bitter Melon
Botanical Name: Momordica charantia fruit
Pin Yin Name: Ku Gua Gan
Origin China
25401P Bitter Melon powder form Plum Flower pound $19.99
25401 Bitter Melon Sliced  Plum Flower pound $19.99

Bitter melon is found in many Asian grocery stores. It is also sold in liquid extract and capsule form.[1] Bitter melon is rich in iron, and has twice the beta carotene of broccoli, twice the calcium of spinach, twice the potassium of bananas, and contains vitamins B and C. Its bitterness comes from the high concentration of quinine.[2] Bitter Melon is cultivated in tropical areas, where the climatic condition is warm and humid. It is a green in color having a shape of a cucumber having gourd-like bumps all over its surface.[3]

Bitter melon is widely grown in Asia, and Asian immigrants in North America continue to enjoy its bitter taste in their native cuisines. In Asian restaurants in North America, however, it is not commonly found on the menu.[4] Bitter melon is used both as a medicine and as a food. It is often added to dishes, for all parts of the plant, as its name suggests, taste very bitter and add an astringent or sour quality to foods.[5] Bitter melon is considered one of the “original medicines” in Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine disciplines, wherein it often is included in blood sugar formulations. 

Bitter Melon is currently reported to help in the treatment of diabetes and psoriasis. It has also been thought that Bitter Melon may help in the treatment of HIV, but the evidence thus far is not conclusive.[7] Bitter melon is traditionally regarded by Asians , as well as Panamanians and Colombians , as useful for preventing and treating malaria . Laboratory studies have confirmed that various species of bitter melon have anti-malarial activity, though human studies have not yet been published [3] .[8] Bitter Melon is a member of the gourd family, and a relative of squash, watermelon, muskmelon, and cucumber. The tropical vine is a tender perennial.[9]

Bitter melon is normally grown as an annual crop, but can perform as a perennial in areas with mild winters. [13] Bitter melon is a tropical member of the cucurbit family, grown in Asia as a source of food. The intensely bitter flavor of bitter melon is a popular addition to the cuisine of many Asian nations, ranging from India to the Philippines, although it has not caught on in the West.[14] Bitter melon is also a medicinal plant used in the Ayurvedic system of medicine for various conditions, including blood sugar control. In the Philippines, bitter melon is known as Ampalaya, and widely used and advertised for its blood sugar lowering benefits.[15]

Bitter melon is used mostly as a vegetable. It is incorporated in the daily diet.[16] Bitter melon is also used often in Okinawan cuisine.  In Indian Ayurvedic medicine, it is popularly seen as a "plant-insulin" and is thus highly recommended for diabetics.[17] Bitter melon is cooked with spices and served with a side of slightly sweetened yogurt in Indian cooking. In other Asian dishes it's steamed, or used in soups or stir fries.[18]

Bitter Melon is a vegetable that Americans don't eat a lot of.  Bitter melon is commonly stuffed, curried or pickled. It can also be used in stir-fry’s and soups and may be steamed.[20] 


[1] http://www.mail-archive.com/nivia@yahoogroups.com/msg03745.html
[2] http://nepatica.blogspot.com/2007/11/how-bitter-melon-can-lower-blood-sugar.html
[3] http://www.articlesbase.com/health-articles/bitter-melon-201204.html
[4] http://www.jcu.edu/bible/cba/fhs/archive/2006ngan.doc
[5] http://www.healthline.com/galecontent/bitter-melon
[7] http://www.viable-herbal.com/singles/herbs/s124.htm
[8] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/bitter_melon
[9] http://bittermelon.org/learn/bittermelonquickreference
[13] http://www.island.wsu.edu/crops/bitterme.htm
[14] http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-bitter-melon.htm
[15] http://www.raysahelian.com/bittermelon.html
[16] http://ezinearticles.com/?bitter-melon-natural-remedies-for-diabetes&id=488230
[17] http://recipes.wikia.com/wiki/ampalaya
[18] http://www.healthcastle.com/forum/lofiversion/index.php/t805.html

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Please note:  Definitions of the following forms which are products are sold in.

Powdered Concentrates 5:1 Ratio of an herb in Powder form.  100 gram container size.(3.5 oz)
This has been processed, and usually has dextrin added.
Powdered Herb This is the herb, root, berry, twig, or any form of the herb, which has been Powdered into a fine mesh which usually can be put into capsules.  Most of the Powders herbs are in a 1 pound size, unless otherwise noted.
Cut and Sift This the herb, root, berry, twig, or any form of herb cut into manageable pieces. In general about 1/4 thick.  Size of herbs are 1 pound containers
Whole In very rare occasion herbs are whole, for example the Reishi Mushroom, Noto Ginseng, Mandrake, and Marigolds. Size of herbs are 1 pound containers.  If concerned please call.
Teapills These are small pills which have already been formulated and made into small pills.  Usually the size of small peas. The teapills are swallowed whole. The formula is usually based on Ancient Chinese Medicine.
Capsules Are Gelatin Capsules, unless noted as vegetarian capsules.  Please see each individual product for further information
Tablets Are a hard tablet ranging in various sizes. Please see each individual product for further information
Extracts An extract is produced by adding alcohol to an herb and letting the medium activate the components of the herbs, as well as to preserve the herbs
Loose Leaf The herb is not in a teabag.  It is loose in the packaging.  Sizes of the leaf vary from 1/4 inch to 1 inch depending on herb and brand.

 

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Prices are subject to change without notice. This web site is intended for information only. It is not to be used to diagnosis, treat, cure, or in place of medical supervision. Consult with your Naturopathic Doctor, or health care professional. FDA has not evaluated this statement and these products, are not intended for prevention, treatment, cure or mitigation of disease.

Use and Dosage of Products:      The FDA currently restricts statements about the functions of herbs or supplements.  The herbs we sell are dietary supplements, intended for further processing (tea, tincture, decoction, poultice, compress, eye wash, or encapsulation).  We are not able to legally or ethically give medical information, including traditional function information, in this online store. Please consult your local qualified herbalist or a reliable reference manuals for traditional indications and functions of these herbs, as well as dosage and preparation.  In many states, acupuncturists are allowed to prescribe these herbs as medicines. 

All prices on this web site are subject to change without notice. Whilst we make every effort to provide you the most accurate, up-to-date information, occasionally, one or more items on our web site may be mis-priced. In the event a product is listed at an incorrect price due to typographical, photographic, or technical error or error in pricing information received from our suppliers, 1stChineseHerbs.com
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