Diabetes and bitter melon in the Philippines

Mon, 21 Aug 2006
Bitter melon (Momordica Charantia) is being promoted as a treatment for type 2 diabetes in the Philippines . The Department of Health is endorsing the plant, locally known as ampalaya. The plant is made into a drink by boiling the unripe fruits of young leaves. The active ingredients, polypeptide P, momordicum and Charantin are thought to be at their highest concentrations in the fruit and seeds .

Ampalaya has traditionally been used as a home cure in the Philippines, serving to alleviate diabetes, hypertension, kidney and liver problems, constipation, high cholesterol and other conditions.

Companies, realising that bitter melon could become a lucrative market, have improved the taste of the plant and refined it into a more effective supplement . This has led to claims of 'miracle-cures.' Daniel Abelarde, of Herbcare, had the following to say: "Many doctors are open-minded about us because we don't claim that our products are cure-alls. We have a company policy by which we only market products that have scientific and or medical basis."

Herbcare recommend charantia as a daily food supplement for diabetics, used to reinforce their own diet, exercise and normal allopathic medicine. This company has had their product endorsed by official medical experts.
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