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Bitter Melon Extract – Momordica charantia For Cancer

Posted by Jennifer Shipp | Jun 02, 2019


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Bitter Melon for Cancer

IMPORTANT NOTE: Bitter Melon Extract should not be used by pregnant or lactating women. Most of the research on bitter melon has focused on the medicinal effects of bitter melon for diabetes [5].

Reversal of Multi-Drug Resistance

Bitter melon is a folk remedy that’s been been used recently in conventional medicine to make chemotherapy medications more effective, but modern patients also often use it as a stand-alone treatment or used in as part of a cancer protocol [1]. In conventional medicine, bitter melon has demonstrated the ability to reverse multi-drug resistance to chemotherapy through mechanisms that aren’t entirely understood [6].

Other Diseases That Can Be Treated With Bitter Melon

The bitter leaves and green fruits have been used to treat not only cancer but also HIV, asthma, anorexia, skin infections (such as ringworm and scabies), gastrointestinal problems, hypertension, infectious diseases, psoriasis, and to prevent jaundice. Below is a list of diseases that can be treated using bitter melon: Below is a list of different types of cancer that have responded positively to bitter melon in a research setting:

Taken in the early stages of the disease, bitter melon can cure cholera as well as other diseases that cause diarrhea. Practitioners of traditional medicine have used bitter melon in China, east Africa, India, the Amazon, the Caribbean, and the southeastern United States. Ayurvedic practitioners have used bitter melon to treat disease and disorders of the eyes and it known worldwide for its ability to treat diabetes. Bitter melon contains a substance that, when taken continuously, has the ability to substitute for insulin in the body [4][9].

Bitter Melon Cancer Research

In one study, the use of Bitter Melon Extract (BME) caused a significant decrease in cancer cell proliferation and it induced apoptotic cancer cell death. Based on their observations the researchers recommended using BME as a dietary supplement to both treat and prevent breast cancer [2]. The use of BME along with a cancer diet as part of a comprehensive cancer protocol is recommended for breast cancer patients.

Research has shown that Bitter Melon Extract kills the following cancer types:

  • Breast cancer [1][2]
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Leukemia [4]
  • Liver cancer
  • Adrenocortical Carcinoma [3]
  • Head and neck cancers
  • Other types of cancers [1][7].

Researchers believe that bitter melon may have a special ability to correct the metabolic abnormalities in cancer cells, it may be able to selectively target and kill cancer cells, or it may work by doing both of these things at the same time. At any rate, bitter melon is able to induce apoptosis in cancer cells without negatively affecting the health of normal cells [7][8].

Medicinal Properties

Bitter Melon demonstrates the following medicinal properties:

  • Lowers blood sugar
  • Stimulate appetite
  • Improves the entire digestion process
  • Has emetic, purgative, and anthelmintic properties
  • Anti-flatulent
  • Dissolves fats to promote weight loss
  • Contains significant quantities of essential vitamins such as vitamin A, thiamine, riboflavin, vitamin C and iron.
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Astringent
  • Purifies the blood [4]


Diabetics typically take between 50 to 100 mL of bitter melon juice per day. Some health practitioners prescribe up to 900 mg of the fruit 3 times per day for diabetics [4].

In addition to using parts of the plant as a tea, bitter melon can also be cooked and consumed with different vegetables. All parts of the plant, including the fruit are often used in stir-fries. The bitter melon fruit can be stuffed or used in soups or with beans [9].

Reported Adverse Effects

Side effects from taking bitter melon are rare, however Bitter Melon Extract should be used with caution in children because it can, in some cases, it can cause convulsions. Improper use can lead to hypoglycemic coma. Patients who are taking prescription drugs to control blood sugar levels should talk to their doctor before taking bitter melon.  Studies on mice have shown that Bitter Melon can reduce fertility and cause a favism-like syndrome. People who have been diagnosed with glucose-6-phosphate deficiency may also experience adverse effects such as headache, stomach pain, fever, or even coma from using bitter melon. Some people who take this medicine may experience headaches [4][5][8].

Our Amazon links to powerful cures like Hawaii Pharm herbal tinctures often disappear mysteriously after we publish. Support our outside vendors by purchasing Hawaii Pharm's Bitter Melon tincture here. 

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[1] Emerson, D. (2018). Integrative Therapy for Breast, Colon, Ovarian, Pancreatic and Head/Neck Cancer. Retrieved June 14, 2018 from

[2] Ray, R. B., Raychoudhuri, A., Steele, R., Nerurkar, P. (2010). Bitter Melon (Momordica charantia) extract inhibits breast cancer cell proliferation by modulating cell cycle regulatory genes and promotes apoptosis. Retrieved June 14, 2018 from

[3] Brennan, V. C., Wang, C. M., Yang, W. H. (2012). Bitter melon (Mormordica charantia) extract suppresses adrenocortical cancer cell proliferation through modulation of the apoptotic pathway, steroidogenesis, and insulin-like growth factor type 1 receptor/RAC-alpha/threonine-protein kinase signaling. Retrieved June 14, 2018 from

[4] Sampath Kumar, K. P. & Bhowmik, D. (2010). Traditional Therapeutic Uses and Medicinal Benefits of Momordica charantia Linn. Retrieved June 14, 2018 from

[5] Basch, E., Gabardi, S., Ulbricht, C. (2003). Bitter melon (Momordica charantia): a review of efficacy and safety. Retrieved June 14, 2018 from

[6] Limtrakul, P., Khantamat, O., Pintha, K. (2004). Inhibition of P-glycoprotein activity and reversal of cancer multidrug resistance by Momordica charantia extract. Retrieved Juen 14, 2018 from

[7] Raina, K., Kumar, D., Agarwal, R. (2016). Promise of bitter melon (Momordica charantia) bioactives in cancer prevention and therapy. Retrieved June 14, 2018 from

[8] Nerurkar, P., Ray, R. B. (2010). Bitter melon: antagonist to cancer. Retrieved June 14, 2018 from

[9] Dandawate, P. R., Subramaniam, D., Padhye, S. B., Anant, S. (2016). Retrieved June 14, 2018 from [10] Taylor, L. (2002). Technical Data Report for Bitter Melon (Momordica charantia). Retrieved 

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