Fascinating guest post on a vegetable that I’ve eaten in China and heard of in Chinese medicine, but here with far more uses than I imagined.
Known in the English-speaking world as bitter gourd, bitter melon, or Momordica Charantia, the ampalaya is getting its place in the sun. Ampalaya has done wonders to me, a diabetic. This wonder vegetable has been part of traditional and herbal medicine in the Philippines. Ampalaya is a vegetable that has graced the dining tables of Filipinos and it has been elevated to cult status. I was intrigued by the fact that even the Health Department of the Philippines has acknowledged the healing properties of this bitter vegetable. Science or no science, still the wonders of the Ampalaya are legendary and I am a living witness to its efficacy.
The sweet life
Just like any other person who is genetically predisposed to type 2 diabetes, doctors would often recommend synthetic medicines. Physicians also advice diabetics, like me, to do insulin therapy to help ease the symptoms and help bring normal blood sugar levels. We have to appreciate that it is a sweet life until diabetes symptoms strike. Insulin is great against diabetes but it is too cumbersome since due to the frequent injections. Other synthetic medicines are not without side effects and could often lead to more problems than they cure. That is why it makes a lot of sense to find alternatives that are more convenient and less harmful to the body. Here now comes the use of ampalaya as herbal remedy against diabetes.
The seal of approval
Ampalaya has been used by traditional medicine in the Philippines for centuries to enhance the immune system and even to fight intestinal worms; its anti-bacterial properties are well-known.
My own experience with ampalaya came by accident as I was finding ways to alleviate the inconvenience of treating my chronic disease. In fact, I was already showing symptoms of anxiety knowing that Western medicine’s answer to diabetes are periodic injections and medicines that have the potential to create yet greater health problems.
When the Health Department finally gave its seal of approval to ampalaya as part of its list of tested and potent herbal medicines, I jumped on the bandwagon right away.
The tradition of ampalaya
Traditional Chinese medicine has been using ampalaya for centuries. I figured that history has been silent about diabetes. It could be a result of two possible reasons. First, there are no cases since it is a modern disease and second, the herbal medicines have been able to stop diabetes. I would believe that it is plausible that herbal medicine has a hand in keeping blood sugars in check for centuries.
The ampalaya experience
It is not hard to find an ampalaya preparation for diabetics nowadays. The Filipino government has approved the sale of some ampalaya concentrate as food supplements. One can easily buy over-the-counter ampalaya capsules and teas for diabetics.
Before I started full ampalaya therapy, I would often buy the leaves and roots. The good thing about that was the leaves and roots were pennies. Now they cost something, but compared to mainstream medications, they are still far cheaper. Coupled with exercise and diet, ampalaya has brought down the symptoms and has pushed my blood sugar to acceptable levels.
The dwindling pressure
Aside from lower blood sugar, ampalaya can help people suffering from hypertension. I used to be borderline hypertensive and the ampalaya has helped me cope with the chronic disease better. Needless to say, I have stabilized my blood pressure with the help of a low-sodium diet.
The triple threat
Recently, I found two other herbs indigenous to the Philippines, namely Banaba and yellow ginger. Banaba is known as a diuretic and could help diabetics lose weight. Yellow ginger has powerful anti-oxidants and could even help people with certain kinds of cancers. It can also fight inflammation and help point to a cure for anxiety.
Herbal medicine could help a lot of people especially those who can’t afford expensive medicines. Ampalaya, also known as bitter gourd has proven its ability to help people suffering from diabetes and weight problems. If I did not open my mind and accept the possibility of ampalaya making an improvement in my health, I could still be puncturing myself and possibly suffering from the resulting side effects.
About the Author:
Ryan Rivera is a writer who focuses mainly on topics that help people find relief from their anxiety-related health issues. You may contact him through his Calm Clinic Google + account.
The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the owner of this site. This post is informational and not meant to imply or suggest an herbal cure for diabetes.