About Nutrition and Health Benefits of Bitter Leaf

Bitter leaf has numerous medicinal values and benefits to human health and lifestyle. The leaf exhibits antibacterial and antifungal properties that make it a good home remedy to several health issues such as dysentery, diarrhea, high blood pressure, and many others.

Some people may not find bitter leaf so fantastic due to bitter taste, but the health benefits of bitter leaf highlighted in the sections below will go a long way to change some people's perspectives about the leaf.

The bitter leaf contains flavonoids and other plant compounds that have nutritional values which promote overall health.

 

1.  Helps To Clear Fever

Bitter leaves contain flavonoids that have powerful antioxidant effects in treating several health issues such as feverish conditions.

Other elements like andrographolide lactones, glucosides, diterpene are also present in the leaves and work together to treat and trim down fever and its symptoms.

A glass of bitter leaf juice is a strong herbal medicine that helps combat malarial symptoms and reduce fever effects.

 

2.  Lowers High Blood Pressure

Chewing fresh bitter leaves or drinking the juice extracted from the leaves are commonly known to reduce sugar in the blood and control blood pressure due to the bitterness.

It is true because bitter leave has andrographolide content that contributes to sugar reduction in the blood and reduces the risk of diabetes.

There is also a trace of potassium in the bitter leaf, which is another good remedy for hypertension.

This mineral helps flush out the accumulation of salt, which spikes sodium in the bloodstream and causes delicate blood pressure (high blood pressure).

 

3.  Treats Stomach Upset

They are eaten raw or mashed to get the juice used in treating abdominal difficulties such as diarrhea, stomach upset, and gastrointestinal tract diseases like dysentery and related other issues.

Bitter leaves are the major agents recommended as a natural remedy for intestinal problems and stomach cramps.

Get a handful of fresh bitter leaves. Wash very well with a small quantity of salt and water.

Squeeze very well to extract the juice, then take a glass of this juice twice a day to flush off stomach problems.

 

4.  Good For The Bones & Teeth

Vitamin C is a strong antioxidant mineral found in bitter leaves that has a special role in the body which is the maintenance of bones and teeth and the prevention of deficiencies associated with this essential vitamin.

It also contains a trace of vitamin K. The functions of this vitamin extend outside blood clotting as it includes maintaining healthy bones and prevention bone tissue weakness called osteoporosis.

 

5.  Improves Body Metabolism

Vitamin B1 called thiamine, in other words, plays an important role in the metabolism of lipids, amino acids, and glucose in the human body.

Thiamine is an important dietary supplement occurring naturally in a bitter leaf that helps to oxidize fatty acids in other to produce the synthesis of lipids.

Metabolism of lipids is commonly associated with carbohydrates, which can be converted into fats by known processes.

Bitter leaf is very effective in this chemical synthesis known as metabolism because it contains the mineral that plays the key role.

 

6.  Fights Free Radicals

Another nutrient in bitter leaf, vitamin E, serves as an antioxidant that fights against free radicals that have harmful effects on the body system.

The bitter leaf also contains an antibacterial compound known as sesquiterpenoids that give the property of bitter taste.

The major function of this plant compound is to scavenge free radicals from the body system and terminate their activities.

 

7.  Prevents Cancer Risks

The presence of anti-cancer properties in bitter leaves makes it effective in preventing and managing the hydatidiform mole, trophoblastic tumor, and lung tumor, which are signs of cancer.

Bitter leaf has also been mixed with other herbal preparations in an alternative medicine experiment on breast cancer.

Andrographolide, labdane diterpenoid present in the bitter leaf, is a plant compound and a powerful cancer curative agent studied scientifically and found effective in treating gastric cancer, colon, and prostate cancers.

 

8.  Treats Diabetes

In fact, bitter leaves have versatile curative and medicinal properties to treat and manage certain health conditions.

Scientifically, it has been proven that bitter leaf contains plant compounds that contribute to its bitter taste and play a pivotal role in moderating the blood sugar level and promoting normal insulin function.

This compound in bitter leaf hinders the rising of glucose in the blood, which leads to the risks of diabetes.

 

9.  Improve Fertility in Women

Bitter leaf has the ability to improve a crucial female sex hormone that contributes to reproductive development and regulation.

It helps to improve the quality hormone profile and prevents the toxification of immunoglobulin that fights an important female sex hormone, estrogen, and reproduction.

Bitter leaf is very effective in women's reproductive life to provide balance in the genital hormone.

 

10.   Detoxifies The Body

The juice extracted from bitter leaf has detoxifying properties that help in mopping off impurities from the body.

This effect also helps get rid of toxins in the liver, kidney, lungs, and entire human body. In such a manner prevents liver and kidney problems such as stone development in such areas.

 

11.    Helps in Weight Loss

Most of the properties of the bitter leaf have a direct association with weight loss.

To start with, incorporating bitter leaf as a vegetable in daily meals or eating just a few fresh leaves a day, or drinking the juice helps to reduce excess calories, which can cause weight gain.

It also helps ward off excess fat in the body, which is the bad cholesterol mentioned earlier in this article.

The fiber content in it and all the properties associated with weight loss found in bitter leaf make it a good weight loss diet. 

 

12.    Helps in Treating Several Infections

Aside from all the health benefits pin-pointed above, the bitter leaf has the properties to treat skin wounds. It can also help treat mouth inflammations, skin infections, toothache, typhoid, ear inflammation, tuberculosis, and respiratory tract diseases.

 

Availability:

Bitter leaf, botanically called Vernonia amygdalina is a healthy sour vegetable that is majorly grown in the western and southern part of Nigeria, West Africa.

They are grown with the stem and are mainly planted during the rainy season because they grow well in the rainforest areas.

This vegetable is onugbu in Igbo, efo ewuro in Yoruba, shakwa shuwaka in Hausa, and etidot in the Cross River State of Nigeria; it is bitter in taste as the name implies. 

They are especially known in Nigeria for culinary purposes, used in preparing Nigerian soup called Onugbu soup in Igbo land and many other local cuisines.

It is also used for pharmaceutical purposes in anti-helminths, laxatives, and fertility induction pills.

Bitter leaves themselves; the roots and the plant, in general, are highly medicinal and serve certain nutritional benefits in the human body.

 

Bitter Leaf Tea

Bitter leaf tea is an extract from the bitter leaf itself. It is used for medicinal purposes in treating gastrointestinal problems and generally protects the body from damages to cells, tissues, and organs.

 

Nutritional Facts about Bitter Leaf

Though bitter in taste, Bitter leaf contains essential vitamins such as vitamins A, C, and E, vitamin B1 and B2.

Other important nutrients found in a bitter leaf are fiber, proteins, and minerals such as manganese, zinc, iron, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, selenium, and selenium in traceable amounts.

There is also a presence of plant compounds such as andrographolide, sesquiterpenoids, polimetoksiflavon, apigenin, labdane diterpenoid, and andragrafin in traceable amounts.

Phytochemicals such as alkaloids, steroids, tannins, terpenes, and saponins are also found in the bitter leaf.

 

Conclusion

Bitter leaf is an excellent vegetable with a line of health benefits. It also contributes to a certain healthy lifestyle and human outlook.

Bitter leaf is so effective on the skin because it helps wipe off wrinkles due to aging effects and radicals causing skin problems.

Upon all the benefits, a warning also follows that you should not bitter leaf to infants and individuals with kidney problems except on recommendation by health practitioners. 

Note that bitter leaf juice works marvelously on human health just as the raw leaves but people who are allergic to bitter leaf should stop consuming it in any form.



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