Krela - Bitter gourd

Hi everyone.

Just wanted to share a short story.

On the way to the airport, I met a man from India who shared with me a plant that he states many use in India that lowers blood glucose. He called it “krela.” When I researched it, it bitter gourd came up.

I thought you all might be interested in learning more about it. Here is the link to the article.


Shetty, A. K., Kumar, G. S., Sambaiah, K., & Salimath, P. V. (2005). Effect of bitter gourd (Momordica charantia) on glycaemic status in streptozotocin induced diabetic rats. Plant Foods for Human Nutrition, 60(3), 109-112.

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Bitter gourd is more commonly known as bitter melon. The evidence is pretty weak on it helping diabetes. My experience is that taking bitter melon extract pills dropped my blood sugar 10-20 mg/dl for about 2 weeks. After that the effect was gone. I don’t need a treatment that works 2 weeks, I need something for life. My advice, you can try it, but don’t have significant expectations.


To add to what Brian has said:

The article jojeegirl mentions refers to the effects of bitter gourd on diabetic rats, not people. The vast majority of the results obtained from research utilizing diabetic mice and rats does not translate to effective use in human beings. Whenever I see something like this, I take it with a huge grain of salt (if I even bother to read it at all) because I’m a big believer in not giving people false hope…


I have known of this one from early on. I think there are a lot of variables, though I respect the real-life experiences cited. I’ve never tried it.

Somewhat related—in terms of the efficacy (or Not) of ancient remedies—I have had great success over a long period with Nopal Powder–from the common prickly pear cactus. It was an ancient treatment for “the sugars”—from Mexico and Central America originally as I remember…I usually give a new option a 3-month trial with lots of testing, unless I have a bad reaction right away (diarrhea, for instance)…

But we are all different, so it may not be useful to a lot of us…Blessings…

i don’t like giving, false hope, i did read the article, & through it was ok,.

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Here in the Philippines Bitter Gourd is called “ampalaya” and they have many delicious ways to cook it.

I really like it (fried with egg, a little onion, and tomato), or in the local dish called pinakbet, or with beef and blackbeans. It is definitely low carb, so good from that perspective, though not when they are eating along with white rice, the other local staple.

On the other hand, my mum can’t stand it, and it the only local food she refused when she visited last year.

It is also the locally best known remedy for diabetes, and they have teas and pills made from it. I have tried both (but not very seriously or consistently, and I don’t think they work effectively with overt diabetes… too small difference to replace other meds / diet/ exercise.

From a Chinese medicine perspective Ampalaya, being a bitter food, is also good for balancing the body.

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Rats and mice, both. Rodents are used for research for a number of practical reasons, but their carbohydrate metabolism is significantly different from ours. None of the “cures” observed over the years have yet proven transferable to human beings.


Hi Everyone,

Just wanted to say that as a researcher I am very well aware that the study was undertaken in rodents.

The challenge with undertaking studies in humans with diagnosed illness is that the Institutional Review Board will not approve a study where the subjects who are living with a chronic illness are not treated. It could cause harm to the subjects.

A precedent for this is the Tuskegee Syphyllis Study that look at the progression of untreated syphyllis. This is one of the reasons why we have an IRB.

So that humans are not harmed, researchers use animals.



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My daughter spent a decade in liver cancer research before Genentech wanted to move her out of her beloved lab into management–at which point she quit and became a teacher.

But her first few years were with a small start-up. She took their focused chemo-delivery system (which she designed) through to human trials—overseas! But the investor-money dried up at the point where they were getting fantastic results in quality of life improvement, but no lengthening of life…

Which is just to say all testing is incredibly complicated. And all results need considered study!..Blessings…

Thank you, Judith 8)).

My husband is chinese and his family eats bitter melon a lot. I eat it when I’m around them for meals, but agh, it is hard to eat. Unless flavored with something its not easy to choke down at least for me. Unless its cooked properly, I find it absolutely gross. Yes, its great on BGs but you really got to love it to eat it a lot. I guess if its in a pill form might be easier to eat. I’m not disputing any health benefits, but the taste of it is hard for me to move past without seasoning. :wink: