Bitter leaf is one of the medicinal plants found in China, India and Tibet. It belongs to the family of Asteraceae family, in the big genera Vernonia, Astragulus and Amabilis. The plant is usually a small shrub with low growing canopies, occurring mainly in open, regenerated forest areas; it is sometimes also grown along with settlements.
The leaves of the plant are flat, narrow and spirally-shaped, arranged in spirals. They are green and reddish-orange in colour. The flowers and fruits are small in size; they may grow up to about an inch tall. The leaves are very small in size, about three to four inches in diameter. In general, bitter leaves have a bitter taste, but some varieties have a milder taste.
Sometimes, the leaves of this herb do not have any taste at all
As the name suggests, the bitter leaf contains antioxidants that have a major effect on the human body. The primary active ingredient in this plant is called terpinen-4-ol or CQ-A. This is an oxidizing antioxidant that has been shown to have a very good effect in reducing oxidative stress, a factor known as a free radical formation.
Bitter leaf is very effective in treating several types of cancer, such as
- Pancreatic and
- Prostate cancer
Bitter leaf has been used in Asia to treat various types of skin cancer. Research studies are being conducted now to determine whether this plant can also be effective in treating lung cancer.
Other medicinal uses of Bitter leaf include treatment of
Other research studies are being conducted to determine the effectiveness of Bitter leaf in the treatment of
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Stroke, and
Bitter leaf has also been used for the treatment of
- Psoriasis, etc.
The plant has even been tested in studies to treat anxiety and depression. Bitter leaf is very beneficial when used for cleansing your body. It cleanses your blood, lymphatic system, liver, and colon. In addition, it can also be used to detoxify your system by flushing away the toxic heavy metals from your body.
The main constituents of Bitter leaf extract are polyphenols, thujone and terpinen-4-ol. The polyphenol compound is very powerful in cleansing the body. Thujone has a very strong antioxidant action, while the terpinen-4-ol is very useful in detoxifying your blood.
Bitter leaves will also help you lose weight. It is rich in antioxidants that can help control the cholesterol level. It can help lower bad cholesterol by destroying the LDL-cholesterol particles that cause atherosclerosis.
The other ingredients of Bitter leaf help in protecting the human immune system
They also prevent the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, which can aggravate several autoimmune conditions such as asthma and eczema. Bitter leaf is also effective in stimulating the production of collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid, which helps prevent the ageing process.
When taken in proper doses, bitter leaf extract helps the body to produce new collagen and elastin, which will not get broken down during the digestive process. It also helps in preventing the loss of collagen and elastic fibres.
Other ingredients in this herb include several enzymes and polysaccharides. The polysaccharides are important to protect the skin against sun damage. and free radical damage. They also have a strong anti-viral activity that helps prevent the growth of skin cancer cells.
Leaves of Bitter leaf are used in the treatment of eczema
They have also been used in China as a natural skin moisturizer. As well as using bitter leaves as an insect repellant, it has also been used as a food supplement for centuries. It has also been used in the treatment of skin and wound healing.
It has also been used for over a century in the treatment of arthritis. It works in strengthening the blood vessels, reducing pain and inflammation, as a detoxifier and preventing or reducing infection. People who use this herb in their diet have reported weight loss in a dramatic way. There have been no significant side effects reported in clinical trials.
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