Bitter gourd (Momordica charantia) is bitter in taste. It pacifies aggravated Pitta and Kapha, and purifies blood. It is a mild laxative and a diuretic. Consumption of the juice of bitter gourd or bitter gourd curry strengthens digestive power. Consumption of its juice is highly beneficial in anaemia. Local application of its juice on burns relieves burning sensation. It helps in distaste for food, loss of appetite, Ama dosha, worm infestation, blood-related problems, anemia, cough, asthma, amenorrhoea, obesity, etc.
Consumption of bitter gourd curry helps in swelling, gout, enlargement of liver or spleen, chronic skin disease, fever, indigestion, diabetes, piles, Vata Roga, spermatorrhoea, body-ache, elephantiasis, goitre, gonorrhoea, herpes, disease of the mouth and ear, poor eyesight, disease caused by predominance of Kapha, etc.
It works efficiently in diabetes. It reduces blood sugar and destroys subtle mala and Ama dosha. It improves functions of the liver and stomach. It stimulates the pancreas to increase the secretion of insulin.
Modern research has found vitamins A, B, C and minerals like calcium, phosphorus, iron, etc. in bitter gourd.
(1) Arthritis and gout: Prepare Bhurtha of bitter gourd by roasting it in the fire. Eat about 100 gm Bhurtha everyday for 10 days. It helps in stiffness in muscles and joints. Local application of hot bitter gourd juice is also beneficial.
(2) Splenomegaly: Enlargement of spleen is reduced by drinking one glass of water mixed with 25 ml bitter gourd juice once or twice a day.
(3) Hyperacidity: Adding Bhurtha prepared from bitter gourd to diet cures hyperacidity.
(4) Obesity: Taking 20-30 ml bitter gourd juice mixed with juice of one lemon in the morning helps in obesity.
(5) Mild fever, body-ache, loss of appetite and heaviness of eyes: Cut bitter gourds into small pieces. Put them in cold water overnight. Drink the resultant water in small quantity several times a day. It helps in this condition.
(6) Diabetes: Cut bitter gourds. Put them in a broad vessel and crush with your feet. This helps a lot in diabetes. (Read page 32, Rishi Prasad December 2018 for details.)
Note: Generally, people peel off the skin of bitter gourd and remove its juice while preparing curry. This greatly reduces its properties. Hence, it should be cooked without peeling its skin and removing its juice.