Bitter leaf, unknown to many people can cure almost a dozen of diseases if not more. It’s researched to have a certain amount of anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties that help to fight off sicknesses and diseases.
Many people in countries around the world especially Nigerians use it as a natural home remedy to cure ailments and diseases ranging from diabetes to measles.
The benefits of bitter leaf are amazing and numerous in number.
The taste of this leaf is bitter and not everyone enjoys taking it. Some people tolerate the bitterness because of the health benefits to be gained after consuming it.
Nigerians from the Eastern part of the country, the Igbos, commonly use bitter-leaf as a vegetable in their soup.
A soup made with bitter leaf is called ofe onugbu in Igbo and it is believed to be unique to the people of Anambra state.
Contrarily, the Yorubas use bitter leaf more as a medicine than food.
Facts about bitter leaf
- The botanical name is Vernonia amygdalina while the english name is bitter leaf.
- It can be chewed raw, used to cook soup, drank as juice or tea.
- It’s rich in vitamin A C E B1 and B2.
- It contains minerals such as manganese, potassium, calcium, and iron.
- It’s consumed by both humans and animals.
- It can be grown in the garden of a home.
- It can be used as food and medicine.
- The local names for Vernonia amygdalina in Nigerian languages is ewuro (Yoruba), onugbu (Igbo), Shakwa shuwaka (Hausa), Etidot (Cross River)
More nutrients contained in bitter leaf are flavonoids, alkaloids terpenes, calcium, folic acid, cooper, etc.
Now that the facts of bitter leaf are known, let’s dive deeper into more details about the diseases or sicknesses bitter leaf can cure.
Which sickness can bitter leaf cure?
There are a good number of harmful sicknesses you can manage or cure with bitter leaf, it’s juice or bitter leave water. These ailments include…
Can bitter leaf cure measles?
Local independent research shows that bitter leaf or its extract may help to treat children and adults infected with measles. However, scientific research has not agreed with the claim “bitter leaf can be used to cure measles”. So far, research acknowledges vernonia amygdalina to be highly medicinal and effective in the treatment of some health conditions that will be discussed here but not measles.
N.B Measles infections should be reported to health specialists and at no time should you self-medicate. Bitter leaf mixed with dry gin (ogogoro) does not cure measles and should not be considered. Thus we recommend you consult your doctor if a measles infection breaks out.
How can I prevent Measles?
Situations that will warrant you to start asking Google questions like “how do I treat measles” should be prevented with all precautionary measures. Moreover, the saying “prevention is better than cure” was not born out of wrong thoughts. Nigerians and perhaps other Africans use natural herbs and bitter leaf to prevent measles but that doesn’t confirm its effectiveness or reliability. The best and reliable way to prevent measles in children is by immunizing them. It’s is encouraged to take your child for measles immunization once your baby is seven (7) months old or at most nine (9) months old. Consult your doctor before immunizing your child and please follow all doctor’s instructions.
In case you are not aware, immunization helps protect your child against developing measles and consequently keep other children in your community safe from the disease. Having your baby immunized also confers lifelong immunity to your child.
Eating bitter leaf has a positive effect on diabetes. It’s thought to be a good consumable for adults and children living with diabetes. This thought is birth out of the fact that bitter leaf contains phytochemicals, vitamins, proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, ash, and other nutrients.
To gain the benefit for this condition, drink one cup of bitter leaf water or juice every morning and evening/night before going to bed. Discontinue the moment you see improvement in your condition.
P.S. Speak to your doctor first about your intention of drinking vernonia amygdalina extracts and work with your doctor’s instructions.
For ringworm treatment – Take the bitter leaf and squeeze the juice out. A thin layer of this juice should be applied to the affected area. Do it once daily.
High fever can be cured with bitter leaf solution and this is because of its rich content of antiseptic properties, flavonoid, glucosides, diterpene, lactones, and andrographolide. Though the method is ancient, it’s still sought after especially in places that lack good health care facilities and essential medications. To treat a high fever with Vernonia amygdalina, drink one cup of the solution morning, afternoon and night.
Here is how to prepare the solution: Add 200cc of water into a pot together with 10 grams of bitter leaf and 25 grams of dried turmeric. Boil till the quantity of water added remains 100cc, sieve to have only the liquid, and then add 100 cc mahogany cotton flower and stir. Allow cooling a little before serving for drinking.
Bitter Leaf is an excellent herbal treatment for combating piles. one cup of bitter leave water a day for one week may help reduce the pain and swelling that comes with piles. However, the use of vernonia amygdalina to cure piles should not be relied on as there is no research study supporting this claim.
A lot of people get it wrong by thinking surgeries like hysterectomy cure fibroids. But the truth is, surgeries focus more on treating the symptoms related to fibroids than eliminating the fibroids themselves.
Natural treatment like the use of herbs such as bitter leaf can shrink or even terminate fibroids. Squeeze 5grams of vernonia amygdalina, extract its juice into a container and drink twice daily for fibroids cure. Should you want to consider this method, do so with the permission of your health specialist. Also read Vitamin D can shrink fibroid – study reveals
6. High blood pressure
High blood pressure is a condition that threatens the wellness of your health. It stresses the arterial wall and makes the heart works harder than normal to pump blood. If left unmanaged, HBP can lead to several other ailments. Bitter leaf among a few other herbs can help restore high blood pressure readings to normal. According to a report by the Journal of Food Biochemistry, bitter leave has a positive effect on high blood pressure and may aid the treatment.
Looking for a natural home remedy for malaria? vernonia amygdalina solution got you covered. Bitter leaf is one of the most effective herbal treatments for malaria. With vernonia amygdalina solution you don’t need to spend much before getting well again. The effect of this leaf is so strong on the blood system as it helps cleanse the blood and boost liver functions. Here is how to treat malaria with bitter leaf…
- put a handful of the leaf into a clean bowl
- wash thoroughly to eliminate sand particles
- drain off the water completely
- add two glasses of drinking water into the washed leaf
- squeeze neatly and carefully
- sieve the mixture with a sieve to separate the broken leaf from the juice.
- then serve with a clean cup
One full glass cup of the extract taken morning, and evening will eliminate malaria symptoms completely.
Vernonia amygdalina juice should be your best plug if you have insomnia or can’t fall asleep a few minutes after you climbed the bed with your head rested on a pillow at night.
Insomnia is a night sleep snatcher and a daytime productivity destroyer, hence there is a need to fix the problem if you have it.
With the juice of this incredible plant, your nerves will get relaxed, calmed and in turn cause your body to sleep. Consistency is what will help you defeat insomnia. Never skip a day, take bitter leaf juice 1 hour before bedtime for days or even weeks but stop the moment you see improvement.
If you have a diagnosed health condition, talk to your doctor first before taking it.
Can bitter leaf cure prostate cancer naturally? The answer is “maybe”. A study showed that vernonia amygdalina has anti-cancer properties that help slow or reduce the growth of cancer tumor but the effectiveness in treating cancer is dependent on the severity and age of cancer.
Early detection is key in any health condition which is why routine check-ups should be taken seriously by all humans especially adults over 30years of age.
However, there is a need for further studies on the subject to be sure bitter leaf can cure cancer 100%.
According to a study by NCBI, bitter leaf plants may cure or protect against stomach ulcers. Stomach ulcers, also known as gastric ulcers leave painful sores in the lining of your stomach. The feeling can be so discomforting but can be relieved with bitter leaf juice. Scientists believe the positive effect of this plant on stomach pain or ulcers is as a result of the antioxidants contained.
Thus: Bitter leave can help relieve stomach pain and improve ulcer conditions.
11. Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
There is no scientific evidence yet to show bitter leaf can cure PID (pelvic inflammatory disease). Studies, however, are going on and would be published afterward. But until then, don’t use vernonia amygdalina to cure PID rather see your doctor for better medical guidance.
Other health conditions you can treat with Vernonia amygdalina include…
Bitter leaf water or juice may cure diarrhea naturally. However, speak to a specialist first about your intention of drinking bitter leaf water if you have a problem with your bowel movements or digesting consumed foods.
Vernonia amygdalina contains a rich amount of vitamins and minerals that are beneficial to reproductive and general health at large. One study by PubMed shows that the plant can improve sperm quality which inturn rids off infertility. So, if you’re a couple trying to conceive, drink one cup of this plant solution mixed with scent leaf water for days or weeks depending on when you start seeing results.
In conclusion, vernonia amygdalina is a healthy plant to consume. The health benefits are incredible and many to be counted. It has high medicinal and food value and should be used often in meals. You can also chew it raw or juice it. Whichever way you choose to eat it, the benefit will still be gained.
For menopause – to extract the juice, take some fresh bitter leaves. To taste, add 3 to 4 tablespoons of honey. Consume this juice every morning and evening to ease the symptoms of menopause.
Kindly note that this article has been updated from the last version written in 2021.
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