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Friday, March 31, 2017

Bitter Melon and Its Uses

Bittermelon or scientifically known as Momordica charantia is a kind of vine that widely grown to tropical and subtropical countries and a member of cucurbit family. It is also called as bitter gourd, balsam pear, ku gua, ampalaya, balsamino and is considered the most bitter fruit.

The plant comes in different shapes and sizes. Usually, it has a wart looking outer skin, is oblong in shape and green in color if unripe. The inside layer is surrounded by pith and commonly large flat seeds. It turns yellowish and more bitter if it has started to ripen. The fruit becomes too bitter, orange in color and already soggy if it is fully ripe. The plant is can be eaten raw or cooked with other vegetables and it can be drank as a tea.

The awareness of the medicinal use of bitter melon is significantly increasing but it has been already used as a traditional medicine for some Asian countries for such a long time. It stimulates digestion because of the bitter properties called momordicin. It helps to relieve the person with slow digestion, constipation and dyspepsia but it worsens the ulcer and produces heartburns as contraindication.
Laboratory studies shows that the fruit has anti-malarial effect and has a compound use to treat HIV. And it also helps to balance the harmful effect of anti-HIV drugs. But it is very necessary to have a thorough research of this before further recommendation is done.

The plant is very much likely to be used as an aid to prevent diabetes. A study shows that bitter melon boosts insulin sensitivity. It contains lectin that has an insulin-like action. In the Philippines, the bitter melon also known as amplaya, is widely used as anti-diabetes medicine. As approved by the Philippines Department of Health, bitter melon is said to aid lower blood sugar level. it is being transformed and being sold in the market and exported in other countries as a food supplement and herbal tea.

One of the most promising medicinal aids of bitter melon is the act as an immunomodulator. Some findings suggested that bitter melon decreases the production of cancer cells and it has a hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic effect. Clinical studies show that the fruit can develop the immune cell function of the person with a cancer. But more studies and research that is need to indulge to verify this theory. But if it is proven to treat cancer it is also more possible that it can also treat HIV.

Ayurvedic Treatment for PCOS Using Bitter Gourd or Bitter Melon - See more at: https://www.moolikaayurveda.com/#sthash.jNZzsou0.dpuf
Ayurvedic Treatment for PCOS Using Bitter Gourd or Bitter Melon - See more at: https://www.moolikaayurveda.com/#sthash.jNZzsou0.dpuf

By Gerald Salazar

Benefits of Bitter Melon Herbs

Bitter melon herb is one of many names given to momordica charantia. This tropical vine is native to India, but now is also found in China, the Americas, and Africa.

Some plants seem to gather around human dwelling places, and the herb appears to be one of them. It draws attention to itself by growing to six feet high and sporting yellow flowers and orange fruit. Naturally, the people noticed it. As they explored its uses, they gave it names, often related to its bitter taste.

The people of Asia know this plant very well. It is called karela by practitioners of Ayurveda, a holistic healing tradition, and is used as a stomach medicine, blood purifier, and for lowering blood sugar levels.

In China it is known as bitter gourd and often used in salty stir-fry dishes. The herb is a useful addition to the type 2 diabetic's diet because it lowers blood sugar.

Bitter Melon and Diabetes Mellitus
Diabetes is a challenging disease. Sufferers are subject to a regime which revolves around managing time, balancing exercise, and measuring quantities precisely in order to control their blood sugar level. Diabetics must always think about what they eat in terms of the effects of carbohydrates, exercise, and insulin.

Bitter melon herb contains plant chemicals which have the same effects as those produced by the commonly prescribed anti-diabetic drugs but without the side effects. One possible side effect of diabetes medications is low blood sugar, so bitter melon should not be used if any of these drugs are being taken, because it is itself a hypoglycemic.

Bitter melon also lowers cholesterol, which may benefit type 2 diabetics, especially when obesity is a factor. Also the absence of fat and presence of phosphorous, calcium, and iron in the fruit add value for the type 2 diabetic by bringing sound nutritional elements into the equation.
The herb can be taken as a tea made from the leaves, but an extract of the fruit made into juice, tincture, or capsules is recommended for diabetics, as the hypoglycemic properties are concentrated in the fruit.

Making bitter melon part of our diet and eating it regularly may prevent the development of type 2 diabetes in those predisposed to it and delay the progression of the disease in those in its early stages. Eating foods with a low glycemic index whenever possible is also an important step in diabetes management. This type of diet has also been shown to reduce not only diabetes but also and coronary heart disease.

Bitter melon herb is thought to be a safe alternative to anti-diabetic drugs. Diabetics are always advised, however, to work closely with medical professionals before bitter melon herb is used, especially if taking anti-diabetic drugs or drugs that lower cholesterol. Bitter melon herb should not be taken by those trying to conceive, pregnant women, or breastfeeding women. 

By- Shelly Morgan

Friday, March 3, 2017

Pregnancy and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) causes your ovaries to act abnormally and leads to irregular or lack of menstrual periods, abnormal or absent ovulation, and therefore, infertility. PCOS is a common cause of infertility and occurs in about 5 to 10 percent of reproductive-age women. Symptoms of PCOS do not typically show up until after puberty, when menstruation begins. In some women, hormonal changes may begin as early as the very first menstrual cycle. In most women with PCOS, changes occur gradually, over time.

PCOS Symptoms:

o Increased body and facial hair

o Acne

o Darkened color of the skin along the neck, armpits, groin, and inner thighs

o Obesity

o Irregular menstrual periods or no periods

o Vaginal yeast infections

Pregnancy and PCOS

The circumstance that causes PCOS usually originates in your pituitary gland. The pituitary gland is considered your body's master gland because it triggers the release of hormones for your entire body. Instead of the normal reproductive hormonal balance, PCOS causes your hormones to become out of sync. PCOS also causes higher concentrations of male hormones (androgens or testosterone). The result of this complex hormonal imbalance is that ovulation occurs irregularly, if at all.

In a normal ovary with normal ovulation function, one follicle matures and an egg is released each month, and this corresponds to rising progesterone levels. In a polycystic ovary, there are many follicles, but they do not mature and, therefore, no egg is released. Because the eggs are not released, progesterone levels remain low and out of sync with the other hormone counterparts, androgen and estrogen. This results in irregular periods and continues the cycle of PCOS hormonal imbalance. In addition, many women with PCOS produce too much insulin or the insulin they produce doesn't work properly. Insulin is a hormone that controls your body's use of sugar (glucose) but also usually plays a role in PCOS. Insulin interrupts the normal growth of the follicle in the ovaries. The affected ovaries contain such a large number of immature egg follicles; that they become abnormally enlarged and function abnormally.

Causes of PCOS

Women with PCOS often have a family member with the condition. In fact, PCOS is considered a genetic disorder. This means that if you have PCOS, most likely you were born with the condition. Remember that PCOS might also be passed to your female children.

Diagnosing PCOS
To diagnose PCOS, your doctor will ask you questions about your health, your menstrual cycle, and your family history. The doctor will also perform a physical examination and order blood tests to check your hormone levels. If PCOS is suspected, a pelvic ultrasound may be performed to closely view your ovaries.

Treating PCOS

Treatment depends on your symptoms and your desire for pregnancy. A low carbohydrate diabetic diet along with regular exercise may be prescribed to lower your insulin levels. Additionally, research has shown that approximately 75 percent of women with PCOS respond well to fertility medication. In some cases, laparoscopic surgery is required to remove ovarian cysts that resulted from PCOS.

Women with PCOS should be aware of potential long-term health risks. They are at an increased risk of developing uterine cancer and are at risk of developing diabetes. PCOS has also been linked to heart disease, abnormal lipid profile and high blood pressure. Because of these increased health risks, women with PCOS should be evaluated carefully by their doctor on an annual or more frequent basis. PCOS is a condition that you are born with, so you can never truly be cured. However, with proper treatment, your symptoms can be relieved and you can live a healthy and normal life. Becoming pregnant is certainly possible but may require some advance planning and treatments to be determined between you and your doctor.

By - By Tehmina Mazher 

Also read  What are the Natural Home Remedies for PCOS or PCOD? An ayurveda view.