Bitter Leaf: The Medicinal Benefits You Need To Know
What comes to your mind when you see ‘bitter leaf’? A leaf that is bitter? Well, you are not far from the truth.
Bitter leaf is popularly known to some people in Africa and commonly used in Nigeria but others may not be familiar with this amazing leaf.
It is popularly called in Yoruba as ‘Ewuro, ‘Onugbu” in Igbo and ‘Shiwaka’ in Hausa. However, it is scientifically known as ‘Vernonia amygdalina’.
Touching the bitter leaf can leave your hand bitter for a long time. However, the health benefits of this amazing leaf are enormous.
We can imagine the distaste you feel right now thinking about the leaf. However, a glass cup of bitter leaf juice saves a lot of cost for medical bills.
Let’s highlight some of the nutritional benefits of bitter leaf.
1. Bitter leaf reduces the risk of cancer
As stated earlier, a glass cup of bitter leaf keeps the doctor away and saves lives. Adding bitter leaf to your diet may reduce the risk of breast cancer and other forms of cancer cells building up in the body. The leaf contains numerous anti-cancer properties that have been scientifically found to be effective in treating prostate cancers, colon and gastric cancers. Also, it has been revealed that bitter leaf extract strengthens the immune system, prevent the growth of cancer cells and inhibit tumour growth.
2. It enhances fertility
Bitter leaf strengthens the reproductive system in women. The chemical compounds found in this leaf promote hormonal imbalance and boost the immune system that can fight against infection and toxification. If taken effectively, it balances and restores the genital hormone which may increase the chances of being reproductive.
3. Promotes liver health
Bitter leaf stimulates, cleanse and generally support the liver. It is generally considered a herb that purifies the liver. The liver is an important organ in the body. The liver produces bile acid that helps in fat metabolism. It is with the help of this organ that fats are being digested in the body as energy. Therefore, a glass cup of the bitter juice can maintain the liver to release the best bile acid. Generally, the liver function in different ways, so it should be taken care of by taking the juice
4. Bitter leaf treats sore throat
The leaf cures the itchiness in the throat and treats sore throat.
To manage this, get a handful of the leaf and blend together. Sieve it and add a pinch of salt to it. Take once or twice during the course of the sore throat. It is very effective and it will go in a few hours or the next day of using it.
I could remember when we were small. We take a glass cup of bitter leaf juice mixed with a pinch of salt anytime we develop a sore throat. A glass cup of this juice is effective in treating sore throat.
5. Effective in treating malaria
Malaria is a disease caused by the parasite mosquito which could lead to an increase in temperature. The leaf contains an antiseptic that is very effective to reduce the heat inside the body.
To cure malaria, get a handful of bitter leaf. Boiled in four cups of water. Allow up to 2 cups of water to stay alone. Drink 3 times a day.
6. It is effective for typhus
Typhus is a disease caused by a bacterial infection. Common symptoms for this disease include fever, headache and rashes. Bitter leaf is believed to be used as a medicine for typhus.
7. Bitter leaf cures typhoid
Typhoid is a disease caused by bacteria. Taking bitter leaf can kill the bacteria that cause typhoid.
8. It lowers blood pressure
The leaf contains some substances like andrographolide, alkaloid, and potassium. These compounds can improve the body’s defence systems such as the production of white blood cells that attack bacteria and other foreign substances. High potassium in the leaf is useful to remove water and salt to treat hypertension. Potassium compounds provide efficacy to lower blood pressure.
9. It stops diarrhoea
In addition to the amazing benefits of bitter leaf. The leaf can also be used to treat dysentery which is good in managing diarrhoea. A glass or 2 glasses of the juice a day can aid in treating diarrhoea.
10. Effective for diabetes
Bitter leaf is effective in maintaining diabetes. It can prevent a high sugar level in the blood because of its bitter elements. As it lowers the sugar level it will also repair the impaired pancreas. Pancrease is the organ responsible for the production of insulin in the body. Therefore, the impaired pancreas does not release the right amount of insulin needed in the body to maintain the right sugar level in the blood.
Make the juice and drink twice daily morning and evening.