A plant that has been used as a natural antidiabetic by some indigenous populations  is bitter melon or karela, and for people suffering from malignant diseases.

It is a true gift from nature and a great aid. Due to the active ingredients which prevent the metabolism of glucose in malignant cells and ‘’starve’’ them by reducing their needed sugar this plant can actually serve as a cure for certain types of cancer showed scientific studies .

That with its natural properties bitter melon can not only destroy cancer cells but also prevent from futher spreading  concluded experts from Saint Louis University Cancer Center.

Further more, that the side effects that occur during chemotherapy, can be eliminated by the melon juice which is usefull in slowing down the pancreatic tumor growth discovered another team of experts from the Univercity of Colorado Cancer Center.

Because of its ingredient glycoprotein lectin bitter melon is very important in nutrition since its activity resembles that of the insulin due to tha fact that it decreases glucose concentration in the blood and functions as an immunomodulator.

This is the reason why this plant is very helpful in cases of liver, prostate, colon and lung cancer, leukemia and neuroblastoma. Unfortunately, consumption should be avoided by pregnant, breastfeeding women and children.

As vine with yellow flowers and fragmented leaves bitter melon grows, from the family Cucurbitaceae which can be found in the tropical and subtropical regions of Africa, Aisa, South America and the Caribbean.

By its form is simmilar to zuccini, has an elongated shape. From green to orange-yellow one as it grows changes colors, and it has more accentuated yellow color as it ripens more. With many red seeds released the ripe fruit opens in three parts. It is used as a medicine all around the world, and in Eastern populations mostly as food.

Nutritional value of 100 grams of fresh, raw bitter melon:

  • Vitamin K – 4.8 mg
  • Vitamin B1 (thiamin) – 0,040 mg
  • Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) – 0,040 mg
  • Vitamin B3 (niacin) – 0,400 g
  • Vitamin C – 84 mg
  • Calories – 17 kcal
  • Carbohydrates – 3.70 g
  • Dietary fiber – 2.8 g
  • Fat – 0317 g
  • Folate – 27 µg
  • Protein – 1.00 g
  • Potassium – 296 mg
  • Calcium – 19 mg
  • Phosphorus – 31 mg
  • Magnesium – 17 mg
  • Sodium – 5 mg

This fruit is very bitter and is used in nutrition and for medicine preparation because of  its healing properties. The abundance of vitamin C, potassium and phosphorus are contained in the unripe fruits, while in lectin that reduces blood sugar  are rich the ripe ones. It improves the immunity of cell functions, it kills cancerogenic cells in people with cancer and also treats HIV – infections bitter melon is very beneficial fruit because. In the combat against free radicals this plant also proved to be very helpful– the culprits for degenerative diseases and the aging process. Another positive side of this plant is that has a small amount of calories, but high amount of  minerals and vitamins such as vitamin  B1, B2, B3, and C.

As we saw earlier, for weight loss, immunity boosting and liver detoxication bitter lemon nowadays is frequently used. But in traditional medicine, Chinese and Indian, this plant served to treat fever, coughs, burns, peinful menstrual cycle, colic, skin conditions, etc. Moreover, for tea which treats and prevents malaria and viral diseases such as measles  and  chikenpox its leaves are used. There are several ways of consuming it like cooked, juiced, raw or in a tincture. Watch out, to diarrhea and abdominal pain can lead overconsumption.

Bitter melon is a potent tool in the fight against HIV infections, carcinomas, diabetes, and it also eliminates possbile toxins from the body accordin to newest studies.

Pancreatic cancer

That bitter melon can be used in the treatment of pancreatic cancer due to its extract which lowers the glucose metabolism in pancreatic cells thus destroying them  showed the clinical study conducted by the University of Colorado Cancer Center. Since the melon extract positively affects diabetes type 2, which is a predecessor of pancreatic cancer.scientists questioned whether they could apply the extrac directly to pancreatic cancer cells. That the ones fed with bitter juice, had 60% lesser chance of developing cancer than the control group also showed the study on mices.

Breast cancer

Melon extract can be used as a cure for breast cancer according to another study, published in 2010. Bitter melon helps in the treatment of breast cancer cells with its extract in a way in which it lowers the cells proliferation and induced apoptotic cell death. By increased polymerase cleavage and caspace activation was followed this apoptosis.

That bitter melon extract can cure breast cancer  deduced another study, published in 2010. In lowering of the cells proliferation and induced apoptotic cell death resulted the treatment of breast cancer cells with this extract. This apoptosis was followed by increased polymerase cleavage and caspase activation. Also that BME modulates signal transduction pathways for inhibiton of breast cancer cell growth and can be used as a dietary supplement for prevention of breast cancer  confirmed the study.


Since it has been used as a natural cure for fiabetes for centures now  scienties decided to test bitter melon anti- diabetiv properties. The isolated three major compounds from bitter melon, identified ad hypoglycemic agents:

Vicine – By intraperitoneal administration, vicine induces hypoglycemia in non-diabetic fasting rats.

That using 2000mg bitter melon per day, significantly decreased the blood glucose levels in patients with diabetes type 2, eventhough the hypoglecimic effect was lower than 100 mg day dose of Metformin confirmed a clinical study, conducted in January 2011 and published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology.

Charantin – it is a typical cucurbitane: type triterpenoid and a substance with antidiabetiv properties. This compound is more potent than the oral agent tolbutamide according to the research.

Polypeptide –p- a hypoglucemic protein which when injected subcutaneously, lowers blood glucose levels in gerbils, langurs and humans. Because it resembles the action of human insulin in the body it can be used as a plant-based insulin replacement in patients with diabetes type 1.