Karela or Bitter Melon is a laxative, stimulant, a form of bitter, good for the stomach and a tonic. It is also diuretic and carminative, an antidote to worms.
Karela is a fruit which contains at least three active substances with anti-diabetic properties, including charantin, vicine and an insulin-like compound known as polypeptide-p. Either these substances work individually or together to help reduce blood sugar levels. Bitter melon also contains a lectin that reduces blood glucose concentrations by acting on peripheral tissues and suppressing appetite - similar to the effects of insulin in the brain. This lectin is thought to be a major factor behind the hypoglycemic effect that develops after eating bitter melon. Karela is rich in vitamins a, b1, b2, c, iron and its regular use prevents complication associated with diabetics such as eye complications, neuritis and defective metabolism of carbohydrates. Karela powder with 50 grains of turmeric (half a teaspoonful) produces an emetic action and cleans up the stomach. It is a blood purifier.
Karela fruits dried in the shade and powdered and given in the dose of one tola morning and evening on an empty stomach with water help control excessive sugar in the urine and blood.
In ancient times karela powder was used in cases of snake poisoning.
Consuming bitter melon powder can help you get rid of acne, blemishes and deep skin infections. Bitter melon is useful in treating blood disorders like blood boils, scabies, itching, psoriasis, ringworm and other fungal diseases. The free radicals in it are also useful for anti-ageing. Consume the juice of a bitter melon mixed with lemon on an empty stomach daily for 6 months or till you get the desired results.
According to ayurvedic, all the six tastes (sweet, sour, salt, bitter, astringent and pungent) are essential in the diet. It has, however, been found that predominance is given to the other tastes and the bitter taste is often neglected. All the tastes should be given equal importance and those who want to take advantage of the bitter taste should use Karela fruit, but excess of the same is unwise as it is a laxative and perhaps may do a little harm if used too often.