Bitter melon, also called bitter gourd or bitter squash, is a green vegetable that is highly revered in many cultures for its medicinal properties. It’s consumed as food, medicine or as a dietary supplement safe to take on a daily basis. Bitter melon provides a nutritious source of vitamins and minerals. As its name suggests, it has a bitter taste. Researchers have identified 32 active chemicals in bitter melon that are responsible for its slew of health benefits.
1. Promotes Weight Loss
Carbohydrates turn into sugar and bitter melon helps metabolize these sugars. With increased metabolism of carbs, the body stores less as fat and instead uses it to build or maintain muscle. Bitter melon has also been found to metabolize fat already stored in the body , helping you lose weight. To use bitter melon for weight loss, supplement with it daily.
2. Prevents and Treats Diabetes
Bitter melon’s ability to improve sugar metabolism also makes it helpful for diabetes prevention and management. Bitter melon contains a chemical that acts like insulin to boost glucose metabolism and lower blood sugar levels. Multiple clinical trials have confirmed that bitter melon stimulates cellular uptake of glucose and improves glucose tolerance  in diabetic patients, making it a promising natural remedy for managing diabetes. It also helps people with diabetes by reducing inflammation and mediating gene expressions that control appetite and body weight.
3. Improves Cholesterol Levels
Bitter melon has been found to lower levels of bad cholesterol by reducing the absorption of cholesterol from food . High amounts of cholesterol in the blood clog the arterial walls and increase your risk of heart disease, heart attack and stroke. Triglycerides are fats stored in the body that also increase your risk of heart problems. One study on rats showed that bitter melon supplementation reduced triglycerides stored in the liver .
4. Prevents and Removes Kidney Stones
When taken in therapeutic doses, bitter melon breaks down kidney stones. Excessive consumption of sugar and other acidic foods increases the body’s acidity and puts you at risk of developing kidney stones. Bitter vegetables like bitter melon balance this with an alkalizing effect. By reducing acid accumulation in the body and promoting alkalinity, bitter melon can prevent painful kidney stones.
5. Improves Digestive Health
Cultures with long histories of using bitter melon in traditional medicine understand that bitter foods promote digestive health. The liver plays a critical role in the digestion and assimilation of nutrients. Research shows that bitter melon helps detoxify the liver and prevent liver problems , including liver disease and cirrhosis of the liver. The bitterness of bitter melon also kills intestinal parasites, as well as the bacteria that causes stomach ulcers. It can relieve constipation, as it has a gentle laxative effect, and improve symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease by reducing inflammation.
6. Improves Skin Appearance
Bitter melon promotes glowing, beautiful, blemish-free skin from the inside out. By improving liver health, it enables the liver to detoxify the blood better. Blood toxicity manifests as skin problems such as acne, psoriasis and eczema. Bitter melon’s anti-inflammatory properties make it a useful topical skin treatment for psoriasis and eczema; simply apply bitter melon juice to the affected area.
7. Provides a Rich Source of Vitamin K
Vitamin K is critical for supporting bone health and reducing inflammation in the body. Maintaining optimal vitamin K levels is crucial for people with arthritis and other inflammatory conditions. Just one serving of bitter melon meets your entire daily requirement of vitamin K. Taking a bitter melon supplement every day ensures you don’t become deficient in this vital nutrient.
8. Boosts Your Immune System
Bitter melon has antibacterial and antiviral qualities that defend against pathogens, such as the ones that cause the common cold and seasonal flu. Its antioxidant properties reduce oxidative stress, also known as free radical damage. Oxidative stress limits immune function, whereas antioxidants help the body’s natural defense system function in high-gear.
9. Helps Prevent and Slow the Growth of Cancer
Bitter melon is a cancer-fighting food that has been found to restrict the growth of pancreatic, breast, colon, liver and prostate cancer cells. It promotes heavy metal detoxification and reduces oxidative stress, which are both actions linked to cancer prevention. A medical study published in Carcinogenesis  concluded that bitter melon juice possessed a strong anticancer property against human pancreatic carcinoma cells, as it helped stop these cancerous cells from multiplying in vitro.
Bitter melon is a superfood with many therapeutic benefits. It has a long history of use in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine, and there’s no shortage of scientific research that supports its medicinal properties. Supplementing with bitter melon daily can help you prevent several diseases, manage your weight, enhance the beauty of your skin, prevent colds and get the nutrients your body needs.