Bitter leaf.



I myself am not a huge fan of bitter leaf soup, but I happen to know quite a number of bitter leaf loyalists amongst my friends. I also have met patients and clients who think a cup of the bitter extract a couple of times a day is a worthy suffering to alleviate their problems. Let’s get thee full gist of it then.
Bitter leaf is a traditional ingredient in many African soups. Also known as Vernonia amydalia, its bitter taste makes it distinct from many other ingredients used for preparing soups.
Recent studies indicate that eating more of Bitter leaf
also called ‘Ewuro’ in Yoruba. ‘Onugbu’ in Igbo, and ‘Shiwaka’ in Hausas, has many potentials health benefits.

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Elevated cholesterol — especially “bad” LDL cholesterol — is a risk factor for heart attack, stroke and Alzheimer’s disease. According to the February 2008 edition of the “Journal of Vascular Health and Risk Management,” bitter leaf can reduce bad and total cholesterol. In an animal model, supplementation with bitter leaf extract reduced LDL cholesterol by 50 percent while also boosting “good” HDL cholesterol. However, no research investigating bitter leaf on cholesterol has been conducted on humans.

Your body’s cells are under a near-constant assault from a harmful process known as oxidation. Unchecked oxidation can increase the chances of precancerous cell formation. Bitter leaf is an abundant source of oxidation’s nemesis — antioxidants — reports the December 2006 issue of “Food Chemistry.” The researchers add that the antioxidant properties of bitter leaf make a healthy disease-fighting addition to your diet.

Regular consumption of vegetables such as Vernonia
amygdalina (bitter leaf) and Telfairia occidentalis (Ugwu) can help to regulate the blood’s cholesterol level, a risk factor for heart attack and stroke. This build-up of cholesterol and other substances called plaque,
can narrow the artery like a clogged drain, leading to
arteriosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. Over time, this causes heart attack. The 2011 study published in the African Journal of Biochemistry Research showed that the treatment with bitter leaf and ugwu diets led to a significant increase in serum good cholesterol (HDL-C), showing their protective role in conditions that affect the heart and blood vessels such as heart attack.

In cases of constipation, stomach ache and inflammation of the stomach, bitter leaf is a remedy. Chew the tender stem of the plant like a chewing stick and swallow the bitterness or extract the juice and add a pinch of salt to three tablespoons for immediate relief.
Bitter leaf has been widely used and recognised for its efficacy in preventing malaria. The raw leaves are plucked and washed before being squeezed to extract the juice. Drinking the juice alone is an antidote for malaria. Scientists in a study of the antimalarial activities of the aqueous and ethanolic crude extracts of bitter leaves, found that under laboratory conditions, extracts of bitter leaf made from water and ethanol showed moderate antimalarial activity and a negligible level of toxicity in the test animals–rats. In the 2011 edition of the Science World Journal study, the ethanol extract of bitter leave showed the highest antimalarial activity of 78.1 per cent. The water extract had the malaria parasite growth inhibition of 74.0 per cent. In addition, another 2008 study documented in the journal African Health Sciences the potential use of bitter leaf in reversing chloroquine resistance when used as an adjuvant with chloroquine.
Researchers in 2005 edition of the African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines say that chewing the stem of Bitterleaf helps to prevent Gingivitis (a tooth-gum problem) and toothache due to its proven antimicrobial activity says. Whilst the bitter taste may make it unappealing to many people for everyday use, a person with embarrassing gingivitis or toothache may benefit from using it.

Common skin diseases such as ringworm,pimples, eczema and others have been successfully treated with bitter leaf because of its antimicrobial effect. In many communities, individuals squeeze and paste bitter leaf regularly on the affected portion of the skin, coupled with the drinking of the fresh bitter leaf juice. This clear the skin diseases in no time.
The results of a study by Professor Ernest B. Izevbigie suggest that Bitter leaf, if incorporated in the diet, can slow cancer growth and even kill cancer cells. Simply squeeze the flesh leaves in water and take a glassful four times daily.

The aqueous extract of Bitter leaf can help in inducing labour. Ugandan researchers studying the use of Bitter leaf herbal remedies in stimulating childbirth traditionally in rats found that the water extract of the plant showed marked rat uterine stimulation (oxytocic). This is an indication that Bitter leaf can hasten childbirth or cause abortion if used in preterm pregnancy. In Malawi, ethnobotanical survey found that the dried bark of Bitter leaf is used to improve contractions of the womb during childbirth.

As worm expeller Wild chimpanzees in Tanzania eat bitterleaf to get rid of worms and other parasite diseases.

Where there is no medical help, blood oozing from fresh wound can be stopped by squeezing fresh, green bitter leaves and dropping it on the wound.
Weighing between 1 and 3 kilograms, the liver is essential for the metabolism of fats and protein and must therefore be well taken care of. Alcohol, sugar, and processed foods we often feed ourselves can weaken the liver and make it susceptible to infections. Damage to the liver is often difficult to reverse and bitter leaf has long been used as a toner for this and other vital organs of the organ of the body.
As with the liver, bitter leaf helps repair the pancreas as well as cut down sugar levels in the blood. Agitate and squeeze ten handfuls of the fresh leaves in ten litres of water and drink two glasses thrice daily for one month. This amounts to six glasses daily. According to a study published in the Journal of Pharmacy & Bioresources, researchers at the University of Jos, stated that the crude chloroform extract of the leaves of Bitter leaf has an anti-diabetic effect in rats with diabetes mellitus (Type 2 diabetes) under laboratory conditions.
Bitter leaf extract has been known to work magic for many unable to get restful sleep. Simply take two glasses of bitter leaf solution every night to experience great calm and well being. You may add a little honey if you wish.
Squeeze the fresh leaves of the plant in water. Take a glass-full thrice daily. Warm [DO NOT BOIL the solution each time before drinking. Continue the medication for a month. To save time a large quantity can be made in one go. Add some honey to preserve the solution.
NB: Bitter leaf extract stored for longer than twenty-four hours loses the bitterness but the efficacy remains.
Prostrate cancer is most common among black men over forty years old. Its symptoms include difficult and painful urination, among others. Bitter leaf helps increases the flow of urine and reduces the pain through its anti-inflammatory properties. It is also said to stop the cancer from spreading. Simply squeeze the fresh leaves in water and take a glassful four times daily.
Often feel weak and tired? Do you lack vitality and vigour? Squeeze the leaves in water and drink a glass three times daily. Soon you will experience a new lease of energy.
Bitter leaf solution has a calming effect on the nerves, strengthens the muscles and cleanses the system.
Arthritis or rheumatism patients who have tried bitter-leaf solution as described above attest to its effectiveness. It soothes inflamed joints and eradicates the pain.
* It speeds up metabolism and therefore is great for weight loss.
* Bitter leaf juice relieves fever and feverish conditions. Take the squeezed juice, 3 times daily until the symptoms disappears.
* It also helps to reduce high sugar level in the blood, and great for diabetic patients.
* Squeeze the fresh leaves on your palm and apply the juice on skin rashes,eczema, ring worms and any superficial skin ailments, you’ll notice a change in few days. Don’t apply to open wounds.
* Bitter leaf is said to soothe and also cure pile .
* Taking a cup of bitter leaf juice a day, is a great way to detoxify the body of harmful toxins.
* Bitter leaf juice nourishes the skin.
* Bitter leaf (Vernonia amygdalina) also cures mild stomach ailments
* Bitter leaf juice is said to increase bosom milk production in nursing mothers.
* The washed roots and stalks of bitterleaf are boiled and the infusion is taking as a worm expeller. A cup of bitter leaf infusion taking first thing in the morning before meals

* Bitter leaf juice is used by local women in Guinea-Bissau to contract the uterus after childbirth and therefore should not be taking during pregnancy or if you’re trying to conceive,because high intakemight cause miscarriage.
So, if you happen to fall into the category of onugbu lovers, don’t relent in your indulgence as that might just e the reason you are so healthy. If using it for an ailment, make sure you get cleared with your dietitian before you start dosing to avoid toxicity or complications. ENJOY.
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