Bitter leaf botanically known as Vernonia Amygdalina is a very powerful medicinal shrub. Over the years, a bitter leaf has been used in various ways, it can be used in preparing dishes majorly in making soups and it can also be used as a natural replacement for various synthetic drugs in treating certain diseases and a host of others.
However, science has offered us so many options when it comes to medicine but there is no doubt that bitterness still has its place in the ‘world of medicine’.
In this article, we’ll be looking into what bitter leaf plant has to offer, its benefits, and the facts associated with it.
Do you know the origin of most drugs or what most drugs are made from plants? Well, these drugs are being formulated from these medicinal plants/shrubs and then used in treating all sought diseases. Now one of the plants used in making drugs is the bitter leaf and if you wish to find out more about this plant, do well to continue reading as this article will be an eye-opener.
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Now, the bitter as you may not know is a small tree of about 23ft in height when it’s fully grown and developed. Bitter leaf also called Vernonia amygdalina botanically belongs to the daisy family of shrubs/plants, and it mainly grows in tropical Africa.
Researchers on the bitter leaf discovered that Vernonia amygdalina possesses antifungal, antimalarial, and anti-bacterial properties. It has strong anti-oxidant agents that are very good for health.
The leaves of the plant are so bitter that even touching them makes your hands bitter. But the health benefits of this plant overcome its taste. In herbal medicine, the decoction of bitter leaf plants is used to treat different diseases. This plant has quinine which is the most effective drug for malaria.
You should also know that bitter leaf as the name implies ‘bitter’, is quite bitter, and touching it alone can also make your hands bitter but the good news is its benefits overcomes its taste. This plant has quinine which is the most effective drug for malaria.
14 Health Benefits of Bitter Leaf (Vernonia amygdalina)
Below are the 14 amazing health benefits of bitter leaf (Vernonia amygdalina):
1. Relieves Stomach Ulcers
Bitter leaf has the capability of relieving stomach ulcers due to its strong anti-oxidant properties. It also protects the wall of the stomach. According to research, the antioxidants in bitter leaves are responsible for these positive gastric effects.
2. Treats Malaria
The bitter leaf contains a natural anti-malaria drug in it called ‘Quinine’. this content makes bitter leaf a natural replacement for malaria drugs, although it does not mean that you should use it as a substitute for malaria drugs as too much bitter leaf can be very bad.
3. Cures Fungal Infection
The anti-fungal properties of bitter leaves empower them to fight against Fungal Infection. you can apply it to infected areas on your skin.
4. Treats Skin Conditions
Skin problems like eczema, psoriasis, and ringworms, can easily be treated with bitter leaf. This is because the plant has different antimicrobial effects that’s why helps in treating many skin conditions.
5. Treats fever
The bitter leaf contains flavonoids which are strong antioxidants that empower this plant to be able to treat typhoid fever. You should know that it can be used to treat malaria and typhoid fever.
6. Helps in Weight Loss
Taking a glass of bitter leaf a day can help burn too much fat in your body. Also, the chemicals in it can help remove removing bad cholesterol from your body. A glass of bitter leaf juice is good for your weight loss.
7. Controls Blood Sugar
Now, the bitter taste of bitter leaf is not just there to make its taste distinct but it also plays a huge role in controlling the blood sugar.
Due to its bitter taste, it can also be used in treating diabetes. The phytochemicals, vitamins, and other nutrients such as proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, and other chemicals in the bitter leaf are considered to aid in lower blood sugar levels.
8. Enhances Fertility
Bitter leaf can also serve as a great source of fertility for both men and women. Sperm quality can be greatly improved due to the chemicals present in it. It majorly has a great effect on the fertility of females.
It also plays another role in detoxification in the body. It also contains another compound called edotides, which helps in improving the body’s immune system and also balances the hormones of females majorly.
9. Anticancer Properties
According to recent research, the bitter leaf was shown to possess a strong anti-cancer property that helps protect your body from different kinds of cancers. It is found to be effective in treating colon cancer, prostate cancer, and different gastrointestinal cancers.
Bitter leaf has properties that inhibit the growth of tumors and prevent cancer cell development.
It contains a compound called andrographolide that helps in treating cancer.
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10. Controls Blood Pressure
Bitter leaf as mentioned earlier can curb bad cholesterol, which in turn helps in controlling high blood pressure. This plant is very abundant in compounds that control blood pressure.
11. Healthy for Bones and Teeth
Vernonia amygdalina has Vitamin C as a strong anti-oxidant. Bitter leaf can make your oral health better. Similarly, Vernonia amygdalina also has traces of vitamin K making it a good choice for your bone health. The use of bitter leaves can prevent the weakening of bone tissues, also known as osteoporosis.
12. Improves Metabolism
Bitter leaf is rich with thiamine and helps in improving the metabolism of fats, proteins, and glucose, which are essential processes of the human body. Our body needs different vitamins to perform metabolic functions.
One of them is Vitamin B1, also known as Thiamine. Thiamine helps in the metabolism of fats, glucose, and protein in the human body.
Drinking a glass of bitter leaf juice helps your body to perform its metabolic functions properly.
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13. Fights With Free Radicals
has a lot of vitamins. And one of them is Vitamin E. Vitamins E helps in fighting with free radicals and protects your body from them.
14. Treats Insomnia
Insomnia is a condition in which you can’t fall asleep easily. Bitter leaf has some properties that can relax your mind and help you to fall asleep. It is recommended that you treat insomnia with a natural remedy like a bitter leaf.
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