A glass of karela or bitter gourd juice is what most people with diabetes start their mornings with as it helps to control blood glucose levels. The anti-diabetic properties of karela make it a popular health drink with those who are at risk of diabetes or are diabetic. However, what most of us are not aware of the cholesterol-lowering properties of karela. Yes, bitter gourd is good for people with hypercholesterolemia or high cholesterol level.
How does karela lower cholesterol?
According to a study published in the Journal of BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, it was confirmed that karela acts as a potential supplement in the treatment of hypercholesterolemia and its associated disorders.
High cholesterol levels are associated with type 2 diabetes, atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease and liver diseases. Karela contains compounds which not only act at the enzyme level but also help in eliminating excess cholesterol stored in the liver.
How to use it?
Karela has been widely used as a herbal medication which is not only safe but also used to avoid side effects of various medicines.
You can eat karela as a vegetable and also choose various forms of karela that are available in the market including juices, churna, capsules and tablets.
Here’s the correct way to use karela:
Karela Juice: Take 10-15 ml of karela juice and add the same amount of water. Mix and drink it on an empty stomach once a day to reap its benefits.
Karela Churna: Take 1-2 gms (which accounts to around a quarter to half a teaspoon) of karela churna add a teaspoon of honey (if you are not diabetic), make a thick paste and eat it. Do this twice a day preferably after meals.
If you are diabetic, you can even add the same amount of churna to a glass of water, mix and drink it after meals twice a day.
Karela Capsule: You can have 1-2 capsules twice a day, preferably after meals with water.
Karela Tablets: Take 1-2 karela tablets twice a day with water after meals.
However, it is wise to consult your doctor or an Ayurvedic expert before taking karela in these forms.
1. Saad DY, Soliman MM, Baiomy AA, Yassin MH, El-Sawy HB. Effects of Karela (Bitter Melon; Momordica charantia) on genes of lipids and carbohydrates metabolism in experimental hypercholesterolemia: biochemical, molecular and histopathological study. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2017 Jun 17;17(1):319.