Stevia Recipes; Use of Bitter Gourd in Diabetes Control
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Babu
Posted on: October 7, 2002

Would you kindly give me a recipe for making sweetener that can be used as a substitute in coffee, tea, etc.? I have several friends and family members who have diabetes and I would like to be able to help them.

Please visit the "Richters InfoCentre" section of our website at http://www.richters.com. Look for the stevia InfoSheet.

Also, what can you tell me about how bitter gourd can be used to help keep diabetes under control?

Bitter gourd is also known as balsam pear or bitter melon. The botanical name is Momordica charantia. We list it in our catalogue in the gourmet vegetable section, but we could just as easily put it in our herb section because it is really both a herb and vegetable.

The fruits looks like a knobby or warty cucumber. They are very bitter, but despite the bitterness they are esteemed in Indian and other Asian cuisines.

Research has shown that the balsam pear has insulin-like principles that lower blood sugar. The simplest way to take it is to eat it. Diabetics are advised to include liberal amounts of bitter melon in their diets. It can also be taken as a dried powder, taken as a juice, or made into an infusion. How much to take probably depends on the type and severity of diabetes.

Both stevia and bitter gourd are relatively safe to take, but because they may affect sugar control in diabetics it is wise to use these herbs under the watchful eye of your health care provider. Be sure to advise him or her when using these products. At a minimum blood sugar needs to monitored closely to ensure that nothing untoward occurs.

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