Bitter leaf is a common leaf in Africa used for cooking various dishes and delicacies but not everyone is aware of its many health benefits especially those gotten from the bitter leaf juice.
You might ask; but what is the nutritional value of bitter leaf? Study revealed that Vernonia amygdalina leaf has high protein (33.3%), fat (10.1%), crude fibre (29.2%), ash (11.7%), mineral (Na, K, Ca, Mg, Zn & Fe), phytate (1015.4mg/100g) and tannin (0.6%) content, while it contain low cyanide (1.1mg/kg).
Everybody seems to know it. It grows everywhere. Bitter leaf, vernonia amydalina, is a very homely plant.
Wherever it grows, it flourishes. And it’s evergreen. The Igbos call it Onugbu. The Yorubas call it Ewuro. The Hausas call it Shiwaka. Perhaps the most distinctive feature of the plant its bitterness. Every part is bitter.
It is one thing to put it in your meals, but washing the leaf and extracting its raw, bitter juice is your best bet for getting all its benefits. Here are some of the many health benefits of drinking bitter leaf juice.
Health benefits of drinking bitter leaf juice
Bitter leaf juice helps in curing those suffering from insomnia. Take two glasses of bitter leaf juice every night, and your body system would be so calm you would sleep easily. You may add a little honey if you wish.
Tones up the liver and the kidney
The kidney is a very important organ in the body. If the kidney breaks down it would affect the workings of the entire body. Bitter leaf does an excellent job of taking proper care of the kidney and liver. Bitter herbs help to tone the vital organs of the body, especially the liver. Bitter leaf is very useful in the care of the kidney and the liver. It is for this reason that many refer to bitter leaf as a cure-all
Detoxifies the whole body:
Bitter leaf is rich in proteins, vitamins, and minerals that detoxify the whole body and helps improve the Immune system.
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Helps prevents and cures diseases:
The juice prevents diseases such as malaria, due to a component known as Natural Quinine. It cures sexually transmitted diseases (STD), helps treats Hepatitis B, cures intestinal parasitic infections and treats skin diseases such as ringworm, eczema and so on. It also cures cough, as well as toothaches.
Controls the synthesis of female hormones:
Due to the presence of nutrients especially ß-carotene, it controls the synthesis of female gender hormones. This allows women to stay active, young, and healthy for a longer period.
It helps pregnant and lactating mothers:
Bitter leaf juice increases milk production in lactating mothers and is also used for the contraction of the uterus during labour. It also improves appetite.
Aids to protect the body against pollutants:
Bitter leaf is useful in protecting the body against pollutants that come from cigarette smoke and other dangerous gas.
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It helps cure memory loss:
Bitter leaf juice cures memory loss even though it could be a symptom of diabetes or another sickness of its own. Still, bitter leaf is very good for treating this.
Drinking Bitter leaf juice is a well-known remedy for stomach-aches. It brings immediate relief and helps indigestion.
Helps in curing Prostate Cancer:
Bitter leaf is very good for curing prostate cancer. This form of cancer is common among men who are older than 40 and its symptoms include difficult and painful urination, amongst others. Bitter leaf juice increases the flow of urine and reduces the pain, and it regulates the spread of the cell.
What are the side effects of bitter leaf juice?
It is impossible to use this species of a plant when the person has an allergic reaction. If not to keep a dosage and to self-medicate, there can be such side effects of bitter leaf juice as blood pressure, serious heart troubles, the increase of glucose level in blood. Therefore, it is important to use bitter leaf only after the advice of the doctor. Bitter leaf and pregnancy There are no additional side effects of bitter leaf at pregnancy; therefore, you can use it. Moreover, it helps with problems with conception.
How do you preserve bitter leaf juice?
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.
This post was originally published in 2018 and updated in September 2020