The bitter melon extract or capsules you may have seen in pharmacies or health food stores has remarkable, although not scientifically proven, health benefits. Bitter melon extract is the concentrated form of the bitter melon fruit. A bitter melon is a tropical plant that is related to both cucumbers and melons. The plant grows primarily in southern Asia, China, Africa and the Caribbean. Bitter melon has an oblong shape similar to a cucumber but with a very warty skin. The primary medicinal use of bitter melon extract is for treatment of diabetes. Bitter melon extract can cause a lowering of blood sugar levels, although more scientific studies are needed before the treatment becomes mainstream. Other uses include treatments for indigestion and constipation.
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