Nature’s Bitter Essence: Bitter Leaf

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The Bitter leaf (Vernonia amygdalina) is one of Africa’s common plants. In certain parts of Tropical Africa, it can be found in nearly every living space. The plant is well known for its REALLY bitter taste. In fact it is so bitter, the taste can linger on a person’s hands for as long as two days. And that is from the intense washing the leaves go through to get most of the bitter taste out.

It is mostly used as a staple vegetable in its fresh or dried form for different dishes in different cultures in Africa. Despite the seemingly unfavourable bitter taste, here are some reasons why Bitter leaves are healthy.

  • Gets rid of fevers: A glass of freshly squeezed bitter leaf juice contains flavonoids that have antioxidants. They are capable of dealing with feverish conditions and malarial symptoms in an efficient manner.
  • Deals with High Blood Pressure: A glass of Bitter leaf juice or going commando to chew the leaves regularly is quite effective at reducing the amount of sugar and regulating the blood pressure. This is due to the bitter taste.
  • Reduces the risks of Cancer: The leaves or the juice, when ingested regularly, are capable of preventing and managing cancer and its symptoms. The leaves contain Andrographolide, labdane diterpenoid that has been studied and found to be effective in dealing with colon, gastric and prostate cancers.
  • Treats Insomnia: Insomnia, as laughable as it can be, is a condition a lot of people go through. Bitter leaf juice works wonders as it helps to calm the body to get much needed rest and sleep.
  • Treats Diabetes: Bitter leaves and their juice are capable of regulating the blood sugar and this is especially useful in treating diabetic patients. The bitter leaf plant contains certain compounds that contribute to its exceptional bitter taste. This helps to control the amount of glucose and stimulates proper insulin production.

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