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What is Bitter Melon Tea?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 06 December 2016
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Bitter melon tea is a fusion or tea that is made using the dried seeds, leaves and fruit from the bitter melon vine. Also known as bitter gourd tea, it is also possible to prepare the herbal tea using ground ingredients or even by using a few drops of bitter melon extract. Popular in India and a number of other nations around the world, this nutritional tea is said to aid in regulating digestion and in maintaining health blood glucose levels.

The process for preparing bitter melon tea is relatively straightforward. After filling a tea ball with the dried bitter melon leaves and fruit, the ball is immersed into water that has been heated in a teapot. Typically, the bitter melon is allowed to steep for at least five minutes, although some recipes call for a longer period. At times, use of the leaves only, or the leaves and fruit together, is recommended. Enthusiasts usually adjust the steeping time to coincide with the strength or weakness they prefer.

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In terms of use of bitter melon tea as a medicinal aid, there is a large body of anecdotal evidence for use of the hot tea to help settle upset stomachs and calm other types of gastrointestinal distress. This includes constipation and bloating. While effective for some, others report that the tea tends to increase heartburn rather than alleviate the discomfort. Generally, people suffering with stomach ulcers are not encouraged to drink the tea as a means of settling an upset stomach.

There are also many testimonies to the ability of bitter melon tea to aid in controlling blood sugar levels. When consumed just before a meal, the components of the beverage purportedly help the body absorb and convert carbohydrates with more efficiency, leaving lower levels of glucose in the bloodstream. Studies conducted in several nations, including Australia and the Philippines, seem to support this benefit of bitter melon when consumed in any form, including the tea.

At present, the amount of research into the benefits of bitter melon tea in the west has remained somewhat limited. The tea is sold as a beverage only, while the extract and bitter melon capsules are sometimes classified as nutritional or dietary supplements, and made available in herb shops and health food stores in the United States, Canada, and a number of other nations. While the health benefits of bitter melon tea are still subject to debate, many people enjoy the pungent taste and consider the tea an excellent after dinner alternative to coffee or various types of commercial teas.

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RoyalSpyder
Post 3

To be honest, I never cared for tea, as I've always preferred coffee. Does anyone else feel the same way? However, as much as I dislike it, I'll admit that it's great to drink when you're feeling under the weather. It clears your sinuses right up, and also helps you with your sore throat, among other things.

Chmander
Post 2

@Viranty - I don't know what store they sell it at, but if you can't find it, you could always try other "bitter" supplements. Also, you're right in the fact that usually what's bitter is almost always what's beneficial.

Viranty
Post 1

Isn't it funny how the things that are most bitter are also very nutritional? I've never had bitter melon tea, but after reading this article, I may take a look at it next time I go food shopping. Does anyone know what store they sell it at?

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