Bitter Gourd (Karela) Juice For Diabetes – How To Prepare, Benefits, And Dosage

Written by Charushila Biswas, MSc (Biotechnology), ISSA Certified Fitness Nutritionist  • 

Bitter gourd or bitter melon (karela) juice is the best natural medicine for diabetes. Drinking it early in the morning on an empty stomach helps lower your blood sugar levels and reduces the possibility of diabetes-related health complications like weight gain, heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc. But the problem with bitter gourd juice is that many people find it unpalatable due to its bitter taste. And this is where our article comes into play. Our amazing bitter gourd juice recipe will help you down it without thinking twice. Read on to find out how to prepare bitter gourd juice, dosage, etc. Let’s begin!

Highlights Of The Article

What Is Bitter Gourd?

 What Is Bitter Gourd
Image: Shutterstock

Bitter gourd is also known as bitter melon, African cucumber, balsam apple, karela, and ampalaya. Its color ranges from white to fresh green. It is 3-12 inches tall, has crocodile-like skin, and is a vine-grown bitter-tasting vegetable that belongs to the cucumber family. The riper it is, the more bitter it is. But this bitter vegetable is a traditional medicine for treating diabetes. Find out what diabetes is and why it affects so many people in the next section.

Back To TOC

What Is Diabetes In Simple Terms?

 What Is Diabetes In Simple Terms
Image: Shutterstock

Diabetes is one of the most prevalent diseases in the world (1). It is a chronic disease that occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin or the cells become insulin resistant. Insulin is a hormone that helps in glucose uptake by the cells. High blood sugar levels for a prolonged duration leads to diabetes and other related diseases.

Diabetic genes are passed on from generation to generation, but the condition can also occur due to a sedentary lifestyle and improper food habits. It can be classified into type I and type II.

Type I diabetes is caused when the body produces inadequate amount or no insulin at all and is also known as juvenile diabetes or early-onset diabetes.

Type II diabetes refers to a condition where either the body does not produce enough insulin for proper function or the cells in the body do not react to the insulin produced.

Gestational diabetes occurs in women during pregnancy when they have high levels of glucose in their blood, but their bodies are unable to produce enough insulin to transport all the glucose into their cells. This further leads to progressively rising levels of glucose.

Type 2 diabetes is more common than the other forms. But bitter gourd juice can help reduce and reverse it. Find out how.

Back To TOC

How Bitter Gourd Juice Helps Treat Diabetes

  • Bitter gourd contains many compounds, but there are three main active compounds that make it such an effective Ayurvedic medicine for diabetes. These compounds, Polypeptide-p, Vicine, and Charatin, mimic the human insulin and help the cells to take up sugar molecules, increase insulin secretion, stimulate the liver and muscle glycogen synthesis (packing several glucose molecules together), and decrease glucose absorption in the body (2). Another molecule, momordin, also helps regulate glucose metabolism and fatty acid (broken down fat molecules) storage (3).
  • Scientists at the Naresuan University studied the effect of bitter melon juice and metformin (a drug prescribed for diabetic patients) on diabetic patients. They divided the patients into four groups and administered doses of 500 mg/day, 1000 mg/day, and 2000 mg/day of bitter melon and the last group received 1000 mg/day metformin. After 4 weeks, the results were analyzed and the scientists found that patients who received 2000 mg/day of bitter melon had significantly lower blood glucose levels (4).
  • In another study, researchers administered bitter gourd tablets to diabetic patients and followed up on their fasting blood glucose, two-hour postprandial blood sugar, glycosylated hemoglobin, kidney and liver functions, and blood lipid profile. They confirmed that the bitter gourd tablet helped lower the blood glucose levels and also showed improvement in the plasma triglyceride levels (5).

It is clear that bitter gourd or karela juice’s anti-diabetic property is ancient but is supported by modern science. But what can you do about the bitter taste of this vegetable? Take a look at the following recipe to find out how to make bitter gourd juice taste yummy.

Back To TOC

5 Simple Steps To Make Bitter Gourd Or Karela Juice For Diabetes

5 Simple Steps To Make Bitter Gourd Or Karela Juice For Diabetes
Image: Instagram

Here’s a simple and quick way to make bitter gourd juice for diabetes at home.

  • 2-3 fresh bitter gourds
  • ½ lime
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • A pinch of pink Himalayan salt
How To Prepare
  1. Wash the bitter gourd and peel the skin. If the peel does not bother you, do not peel it.
  2. Slit the bitter gourds vertically and take out the rind and the seeds. Roughly chop them into smaller pieces. Make sure that the bitter gourds are not ripe.
  3. Soak them in a bowl of water for 10 minutes. Add half a teaspoon of salt to the water.
  4. Take out the bitter gourd pieces with the help of a large spoon or sieve and toss them into a juicer. Give it a good spin.
  5. Pour the juice into a glass, add pink Himalayan salt, turmeric, and lime juice. Stir well before drinking

Note: You may pass the juice through a sieve or strainer if you have a sensitive stomach and cannot process high-fiber foods.

Apart from drinking bitter gourd juice in the morning, you can also incorporate it in your diet. Is that possible? Yes! Let’s get creative.

Back To TOC

How To Incorporate Bitter Gourd Juice In Everyday Diet

Here are a few ways to incorporate bitter gourd or karela juice into your diet.

1. Bitter Gourd Or Karela Juice Veggie Soup

1. Bitter Gourd Or Karela Juice Veggie Soup
Image: Shutterstock
  • 2 medium-sized chopped bitter melons
  • 1 chopped carrot
  • 4 tablespoons sweet corn kernels
  • ½ bell pepper, chopped
  • ½ red onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon ginger paste
  • A handful of cilantro, finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon rice bran or olive oil
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
How To Prepare
  1. Soak the chopped bitter melons in salt water for 10-15 minutes.
  2. Heat the oil in a soup pot and fry the minced garlic for about 30 seconds.
  3. Add the chopped onion and cook until the pieces turn translucent.
  4. Add the ginger paste and cook for about a minute.
  5. Add all the veggies and stir-fry for about a minute.
  6. Add a cup of water, salt, and pepper. Cover with the lid and cook over medium flame until all the veggies are cooked.
  7. Remove from the oven and use a hand blender to blend all the veggies.
  8. Garnish with chopped cilantro and a little olive oil. Serve hot.

2. Bitter Gourd Juice Smoothie

2. Bitter Gourd Juice Smoothie
Image: Shutterstock
  • 2 medium-sized chopped bitter melons
  • 1 chopped apple
  • ½ cup chopped baby spinach
  • ¼ cup grapes
  • ½ lime
  • A pinch of pink Himalayan salt
  • ½ teaspoon roasted cumin powder
How To Prepare
  1. Soak the chopped bitter melons in salt water for 10-15 minutes.
  2. Take the pieces out and toss them into a blender.
  3. Toss in the chopped apple, spinach, and grapes.
  4. Give it a good spin.
  5. Pour the smoothie into a tall glass.
  6. Squeeze in the juice of half a lime, pink Himalayan salt, and roasted cumin powder. Stir well before drinking.

So, you see, making bitter gourd or karela juice is not that tough. But does it mean that you can have as many bitter gourds as you want? Or is there a specific dose that is the most effective? Let’s find out in the next section.

Back To TOC

What Is The Recommended Bitter Gourd Juice Dosage For Diabetes?

Here is the recommended daily dose of bitter gourd juice for diabetes.

  • 50-100 ml juice per day
  • 900 mg of fruit, three times a day
  • 10-50 ml/day tincture

Now, let’s take a look at the other health benefits of drinking bitter gourd or karela juice regularly.

Back To TOC

Other Health Benefits Of Bitter Gourd Or Karela Juice

Other Health Benefits Of Bitter Gourd Or Karela Juice
Image: Shutterstock

Bitter gourd is known for its numerous health benefits, especially its potential to lower blood glucose levels. It was widely used in traditional medicine to treat diabetes, and now, it is commercially available in the form of tea, juice, extracts, and pills. Here is the list of benefits of bitter gourd juice.

1. Facilitates Carbohydrate Digestion

Bitter gourd inhibits the enzymes that are involved in breaking down the disaccharides into two monosaccharides, thereby reducing the amount of glucose released into the blood. It is effective in the treatment of both Type I and Type II diabetes as it influences the transport channels for glucose. This is particularly beneficial in preventing the spikes in blood sugar levels after meals.

2. Lowers Cholesterol Levels

Drinking bitter gourd juice regularly can help lower the levels of LDL or bad cholesterol and increase the levels of HDL or good cholesterol. LDL cholesterol gets deposited on the artery walls and constricts the arteries. This blocks blood flow and can make you prone to heart disease and stroke.

3. Detoxifies The Liver

Bitter gourd juice has antioxidant properties that flush out toxins and scavenge the free oxygen radicals. So, if you attended a crazy party the night before, drinking bitter gourd juice in the morning will help get rid of the toxins in the liver.

4. Boosts Immunity

The antioxidants present in the bitter gourd help protect the body against bacterial and viral infections, cure allergies, and improve eyesight. The antioxidants help prevent DNA damage by the harmful oxygen radicals and prevent churning out protein that prevents the proper functioning of the cells.

5. Supports Bowel Movement

When you don’t strain the bottle gourd or karela juice, you will consume a lot of fiber. And fiber helps stimulate the peristaltic movement of the digestive tract. As a result, it flushes out the toxins in the colon, improves digestion,  and prevents constipation and bloating. It also helps keep you full for a long duration.

6. Aids Weight Loss

Bitter gourd or karela is loaded with vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. The dietary fiber helps improve bowel movement, increases satiety levels, and prevents overeating. The vitamins and minerals help in the reactions involved in the metabolic process, thereby speeding up your metabolic rate. So, by drinking bitter gourd juice, eating other healthy foods, and working out, you can lose weight.

7. Improves Skin And Hair Health

The antioxidants present in bitter gourd help kill the bacteria that  cause various skin problems like severe acne. They also help lighten the skin and reduce keratinization. This juice also prevents hair fall, adds volume, and makes the hair shiny.

So, these were the other health benefits of bitter gourd juice. Let’s find out if there are any side effects of drinking bitter gourd or karela juice in the next section.

Back To TOC

Can Too Much Bitter Gourd Or Karela Juice Be Harmful?

Yes, anything in excess is harmful. So, stick to the recommended dose. However, you should also be aware that bitter gourd has the following side effects:

  • Bitter gourd can stimulate miscarriage. Therefore, pregnant women should avoid consuming it.
  • It can lower blood glucose levels below the safe levels.
  • It may cause nausea and vomiting in children.
  • Avoid it if you are allergic to bitter gourd.
  • Drinking too much bitter gourd juice or consuming too many bitter gourds in a day can lead to liver inflammation.
  • It may interfere with drug action.

Back To TOC

To conclude, bitter gourd juice is healthy and helps heal the body. For ages, it has been used as a home remedy to treat diabetes. But you should talk to your doctor before consuming bitter gourd or karela juice for diabetes. Follow the recipes mentioned here to make a delicious healing juice, have it every morning and see quick and good results in just a few days. Good luck!

Recommended Articles:

Was this article helpful?
The following two tabs change content below.

Latest Articles