Ampalaya is actually known more as bitter gourd or bitter melon. Click here to see further about the health benefits bitter melon fruit. It is a unique tropical plant that is recognized both as a vegetable as well as a fruit. The ampalaya is an adible part of the Momordica charantia plant. Although it is known as one of the most bitter plants, people seem to like it and keeps on using it as an ingredient in their dishes. This plant can be found in the Asia and some parts of Africa as well as Caribbean.
Uniquely, the leaves of this plant can be consumed, and they are not at all bitter-tasted unlike the fruit itself. The ampalaya leaves can be turned into tea that has some potential uses in herbal medicine. The tea bags from this plant is made by the leaves of the ampalaya plant itself as well as the fruit and stems of it. Experts on this tea recommends to consume it a cup after you take your daily meals with an average of three cups each day.
Nutrient Values of Ampalaya Leaves Tea
Here are the nutrient values that you should
Each pod of ampalaya will provide you with just a quarter gram of total fat, making it a low-fat plant. With that being said, it can provide you with 4.6 grams of carbohydrates and 1.3 grams of proteins that are needed to fuel your daily life.
About 1 gram of the carbohydrates can be some sort of fuel for your body cells while the remaining 3.6 grams can help your body to beat cardiovascular disease, hemorrhoids and also constipation as this type of carbs come from dietary fiber.
Note too that one of the health benefits elderberry is also good for the hemorrhoids. On the other hand, the protein can help to maintain healthy bones and body’s tissues. According to National Academy of Sciences Research Council, the fiber contained in ampalaya leaves can provide you up to 9 and 14 percent of your daily fiber needs for men and women respectively.
- Folate and Vitamin C
One ampalaya can provide you with 104 milligrams of vitamin C which is exactly the recommended daily intake as well as 89 micrograms of folate which covers 22% of the recommended daily intake according to the Institute of Medicine. The rich amount of folate and vitamin C in ampalaya leaves makes it healthy especially for the cardiovascular system.
Folate can help you to maintain and metabolize your homocysteine which is an amino acid that can accumulate toxic levels and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease if not maintained well. Read further about the health benefits of folic acid for your body. Meanwhile the vitamin C content can also help to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and lower the risk of coronary heart disease.
- Vitamin A
One ampalaya can provide you with 584 international units of vitamin A. According to the Institute of Medicine, it provides 19% of recommended vitamin A daily intake for men and 25% for women.
The vitamin A can be used to control gene activity which is an essential process for the development of new cells in your body. It is also good to support the growth of new red blood cells as well as maintain your vision to remain healthy.
Now that we have learned about the nutrient values of ampalaya leaves, let’s dig into the benefits of ampalaya leaves tea for your body:
- Combat Allergens
Quercetine contained in ampalaya leaves tea can act as an antihistamine which is used to treat various health problems such as sneezing, runny nose, itching, and congestion. The antihistamine will inhibit allergic reactions inside of the body.
- Decreasing-Glucose Properties
The ampalaya leaves tea have an insulin like peptide which is called as charantin. Due to this property then, one of the benefits of ampalaya leaves tea is to help lower blood sugar level and improve glucose control.
Researchers from International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health found that the another one of benefits of ampalaya leaves tea is that it can significantly lower HBA1c levels in patients that have diabetes. HBA1c itself is a test which estimates the average amount of glucose in the blood over the past two to three months and used to monitor, diagnose and screen for diabetes.
- Sleeping Aid
Another one of the benefits of ampalaya leaves tea is that it is free of caffeine. You can sip this tea before tugging yourself in bed to initiate sleepiness since it will promote a relaxing and soothing environment. This tea will be especially good to be consumed by those who happen to have trouble sleeping at night.
Not just helping you sleep, it can also help to relieve headaches, heal wounds, burns, and treat gout, as well as spleen. If you happen to grow tired of the ampalaya leaves tea, know that one of the benefits of malunggay leaves tea is also good for sleep aid.
As mentioned above, this tea is full of quercetin which is a flavonoid compound with antioxidant activity. As an antioxidant, quercetin will search for free radicals to help protect the body cells. With this, then the risk of developing aging process and chronic diseases will be reduces.
Quercetin also have anti-inflammatory features that can protect your body from diseases such as cancer and heart disease. It is also said that one of the health benefits of ampalaya leaves tea due to the rich amount of quercetin in it is to reduce the unpleasant side effects of chemotherapy that needs to be taken by people with cancer. Here’s a link to learn further about the health benefits of taking quercetin and bromelain.
- Lower Cholesterol and Body Weight
According to some tests, there are some lipid-lowering properties found in the ampalaya leaves tea. These properties can help the body to reduce body weight as well as the cholesterol level of it.
Although the benefits of ampalaya leaves tea sounds great, there are some cautions that you need to pay attention to, which are:
American Journal of Health System Pharmacy review found that some people may develop hypoglycemia after drinking ampalaya tea or take its extracts. Hypoglycemia itself is a condition where your blood sugar level drops below the normal rate.
This condition can lead to more harmful conditions so make sure NOT to consume this tea if you happen to have issues with your liver’s health or is taking any medication related to your liver. Because, it turns out that ampalaya leaves tea may cause mild and temporary gastrointestinal side effects such as bloating, diarrhea, as well as abdominal discomfort.
- No Official Research Yet
For the sleeping aid part as well as headaches relieves, the testimonies are gathered from self-reports only. There is no official research conducted yet in this matter so keep in mind that it might not necessary work for your body.
Now we have learned many things about ampalaya leaves from its nutrient values, health benefits of ampalaya leaves tea as well as some cautions that you need to take note. You can head to your local Asian markets to get some fresh and dried ampalaya leaves or healthy food as well as the online shops to get commercial ampalaya leaves tea bags. However, please also note to discuss with doctors first before you decide to use ampalaya leaves tea for therapeutic purposes. Good luck!