Uses and Health Benefits of Ampalaya or Bitter Gourd

Uses of Ampalaya

Ampalaya tastes bitter and is known as bitter melon in other countries. It has a green color and an oblong shape with a wrinkled exterior full of seeds on the inside. When the bitter melon is ripe, the seeds are known to change into red color. Many prefer to use ripe Ampalaya but it can also taste more bitter.

Ampalaya has many uses. It can be a food ingredient used in a lot of dishes. For dishes that require more bitterness, mature ampalaya is preferred. Other culinary uses of Ampalaya include:

  • Pickles. In Nepal, Ampalaya is pickled.

  • It is also served with sambal, chili peppers, and onion

In herbal medicine, the bitter melon is dried first and crushed into powder. The powder is then mixed with other herbs for concoction or it can be used alone for treatment of certain health problems. Herbologists use Ampalaya to treat various illnesses including indigestion, malaria, diabetes, stomach ache, and constipation. The Ampalaya as medicine can be in powder form or supplements.

In laboratories, there are experiments made on ampalaya and its uses on HIV infections.

The bitter melon is thought to alleviate symptoms of HIV infections.

Benefits of Ampalaya

Ampalaya also stimulates blood circulation. It contains potassium, iron, phosphorous, beta-carotene, folic acid, calicium, and vitamins A, B, and C. When it comes to illnesses, Ampalaya is effective in treatment of:

  • Diabetes. Ampalaya can treat diabetes 1 and 2. Supplements of Ampalaya or its concoctions can relieve symptoms and improve overall health. It has been proven that both the fruit and leaves of bitter melon can be eaten.

  • Skin irritations. The seeds of Ampalaya are a natural cure for skin irritations such as burns, open wounds, and rashes. The seeds are pounded and formed a paste. The paste is then applied onto the wound as a topical ointment.

  • Coughing and colds. The extract of bitter melon is a natural cure for cough and cold. The extract can be derived both from the fruits and leaves.

  • Stomach ache. The juice also can treat stomach ache and other illnesses including diarrhea, chronic colitis, dysentery, and intestinal parasites.

  • Antiviral properties. The bitter melon can fend off ailments and fight existing illnesses.

  • It can boost cardiovascular health, metabolic function, prevent depression, stimulate skin and muscle flexibility, and improves the immune and nervous systems.

  • It is crucial in production and development of red blood cells, which in turn, improves the distribution of oxygen throughout the body.