Back to Alternative Medicine Main Page Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Bitter Melon

Bitter melon is a vegetable, eaten in certain countries such as India and Asia. It is thought to have direct hypoglycemic activity, but this may depend on having viable beta cell function in the pancreas. There may be some other activity such as increased tissue glucose uptake, glycogen synthesis, and decreased blood glucose production. Bitter melon may produce gastrointestinal (GI) discomfort, severe reactions like hypoglycemic coma, and unusual effects such as "favism" characterized by headache, fever, abdominal pain, and coma. Like fenugreek, there is a concern for spontaneous abortion in pregnant women. If combined with secretagogues, additive hypoglycemia may occur. Research has been conducted in type 1 and type 2 diabetes, but again the quality is not optimal.

Go To Ginseng ...

Complementary and Alternative Medicine Pages:
Main | Concerns | Gymnema Sylvestre | Fenugreek | Bitter Melon | Ginseng | Nopal | Aloe, Bilberry, and Milk Thistle | Chromium | Vanadium | CoQ10 | Nicotinamide | Alpha Lipoic Acid | Gamma Linolenic Acid | Ginkgo Biloba | Garlic | Advice | Additional Reading | References

Laura Shane-McWhorter, PharmD, BCPS, FASCP, CDE, BC-ADM
November 24, 2001

  Back to Alternative Medicine Main Page Return to the Top of This Page

Last Updated: (none)
This Internet site provides information of a general nature and is designed for educational purposes only. If you have any concerns about your own health or the health of your child, you should always consult with a physician or other health care professional.

This site is published by T-1 Today, Inc. (d/b/a Children with Diabetes), a 501c3 not-for-profit organization, which is responsible for its contents. Our mission is to provide education and support to families living with type 1 diabetes.
By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use, Legal Notice, and Privacy Policy.
© Children with Diabetes, Inc. 1995-2018. Comments and Feedback.