Bitter leaf is called that way because of its bitter taste. But despite of this, it can make a lot of people smile very sweetly due to the fact that it is a medicinal herb that is capable of offering a number of health benefits!
Native to various places in Asia, bitter leaf is also known by many other names, some of which include pepaitan, ki oray, chuan xin lin and andiloto. Those who belong to the scientific community sometimes refer to it as vernonia amygdalina, which is the herb’s botanical name.
Various aerial parts of bitter leaf are used by traditional healers for medicinal purposes, including the leaves and stem. There are instances, too, in which the seeds are used for making herbal preparations.
Since it is customary for bitter leaf to grow in vacant lots, roadsides and fields, it is oftentimes regarded as a weed, but of course it is more of an herbal plant for those who take advantage of the various medicinal properties it offers. The following are some of those that can surely impress:
Relief of Diarrhea
Traditional healers recommend bitter leaf for dealing with diarrhea. There are a couple of reasons why this herb works very well in controlling diarrhea. First, it has antimicrobial properties that enable it to kill off diarrhea-causing microbes in the intestines. Second, it has astringent properties that reduce mucus secretion in the colon.
Control of Diabetes
So many bitter-tasting vegetables on the planet are beneficial for individuals who have diabetes or at high risk of it. One of them is bitter leaf. The reason why bitter leaf and other bitter-tasting vegetables are very good at keeping diabetes complications at bay is the fact that it can regulate sugar levels in the blood.
Regulation of Blood Pressure
Bitter leaf is also known to be advantageous for any hypertensive person because it has the ability to lower the blood pressure. Experts say that this herb contains potassium and other compounds that are proven to keep the blood pressure from going past the range that is regarded as healthy and normal.
Lowering of Fever
Another well-known medicinal benefit of bitter leaf is its ability to reduce fever. That’s because it helps in lowering the core temperature of a person. More importantly, bitter leaf possesses antimicrobial properties which enable it to kill off microorganisms that have invaded the body, causing an infection to strike.
Ease of Stomach Ache
Consuming bitter leaf in the form of tea is also an excellent home remedy for just about any form of stomach ache. For instance, it can be very helpful for anyone who is suffering from indigestion because of greasy, fatty or spicy foods. Bitter leaf is also effective for dealing with excess gas and abdominal cramps.
Reduction of Cancer Risk
Last but not least, bitter leaf is revered for its ability to lower a person’s risk of having cancer. Scientists say that there are certain compounds in the herb that possesses antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, helping to control oxidative stress and inflammation, both of which are commonly blamed for cancer development.
CAUTION: Make sure that you use bitter leaf for therapeutic or medicinal purposes only under the direct supervision of a reputable and experienced herbalist. Inform your doctor about your plan on using bitter leaf if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. The same is true if you are diagnosed with a medical condition.
Kindly have this article reposted on your various social media sites to let everybody you care about know that, despite of having a bitter taste, there are so many health benefits that bitter leaf can offer!