Effect Of Ampalaya Supplement

Ampalaya is another name for the tropical and subtropical vining plant Momordica charantia, also called bitter melon, wild cucumber or balsam apple. In many parts of the world---including large regions of Africa, South America and Asia---ampalaya is used both in daily meals and as an essential component in native medicine.

While proponents believe ampalaya supplementation can cure a number of ills, including cancer, diabetes, digestive problems and menstrual disorders, others consider this clinically unproven supplement to be dangerous if used without medical supervision. Do not begin taking ampalaya supplements without first consulting your doctor, especially if you are being treated for diabetes.


The ampalaya supplement is derived from the fruit of the Momordica charantia plant, an annual plant that reaches approximately two meters in height and features yellow flowers. According to the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, this fruit contains high amounts of vitamins and minerals as well as high amounts of compounds that give the fruit its characteristic bitter taste. A number of cultures have included ampalaya in their ancient folk medicine traditions, including the Chinese, Africans and Indians.


Drugs.com reports that individuals with diabetes have been prescribed 50 to 100 ml of an ampalaya supplement per day, but indicates that there are no scientific studies available to show whether or not this amount was ultimately successful at controlling blood sugar levels. Herbs2000.com adds that herbal tinctures containing ampalaya---administered at a rate of 5 ml two or three times a day with meals---are also used, but provides no statistics regarding the usefulness of these tinctures.

Positive Effects

Proponents of regular ampalaya supplementation believe that the plant is able to prevent and fight cancer, lower the amount of fat circulating in the bloodstream, stimulate the immune system into successfully fighting infections and cure digestive problems like parasites, ulcers, diarrhea and colitis. In addition, ampalaya is thought to help control diabetes through its ability to both decrease the amount of blood glucose and increase the body's glucose tolerance. According to Drugs.com, ampalaya is also thought to be a natural contraceptive and to have strong antimicrobial properties.

Negative Effects

Ampalaya supplements should never be consumed by pregnant women since the supplements may cause premature contractions, abnormal bleeding and possible miscarriage. Children should also not take ampalaya in any form: the portion of the coverings of ampalaya seeds, known as red arils, contain a toxin that can cause severe vomiting, diarrhea and death. The supplements may also cause problematic levels of hypoglycemia, liver problems and a toxic disorder known as favism, characterized by a high temperature, severe headaches, stomach pain and possible coma.


No form of ampalaya supplementation should be used if you are also using insulin or any hypoglycemic drug, such as chlorpropamide, phenformin or glyburide. The ampalaya can greatly magnify the effect of these drugs, resulting in a number of health problems.



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