What is Ampalaya Tea?
Ampalaya tea is created from bitter melons, a unique tropical plant recognized as both a fruit and vegetable. Bitter melons are known to be among the most bitter of the plants though it continues to be incorporated into foods.
Interestingly, the tea does not display the bitter taste associated with the edible plant. Ampalaya tea bags are formed using the fruit itself, leaves, and stems. Freshly boiled water is then poured over the tea bag and steeped for a few minutes. Additionally, the tea may be produced from a bitter melon extract. Advocates of the tea recommend drinking a cup following daily meals, averaging three cups per day.
Benefits of Bitter Melon Tea
Blood Sugar Control
If managing diabetes, drinking ampalaya tea may be quite beneficial. A study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health found tea produced from ampalaya leaves lowered hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels. HbA1c is a test that estimates the the average amount of glucose in the blood over the past two to three months. It is used to screen for, diagnose, and monitor diabetes.
Reduce Cancer Risk
Most teas contain quercetin, a flavonoid noticed for its high antioxidant activity. Powerful antioxidants help protect cells against damage, reducing the risk of chronic disease including cancer. Additionally, quercetin has been suggested to reduce the unpleasant side effects of chemotherapy if diagnosed with cancer.
Along with antioxidant properties, quercetin also acts as an antihistamine. Mostly known as a pharmaceutical drug, antihistamines are used to treat congestion, runny nose, sneezing, and itching by inhibiting allergic reactions inside the body.
Ampalaya tea is caffeine-free, extinguishing the stimulant effects of other caffeine-containing teas and coffee. Sipping on warm, decaffeinated tea prior to bedtime can initiate sleepiness by promoting a soothing and relaxing environment.
Individuals also seek out ampalaya tea to benefit diseases of the spleen, relieve headaches, heal wounds and burns and treat gout. However, these sought out uses to benefit health are mostly based on self-reports and personal testimonials, as sound research is limited to support such claims.
So when it truly boils down to whether or not you can benefit from ampalaya tea, it is important to remember what claims are supported (bulleted items) and which are not. Ampalaya tea can certainly be a hydrating, nutrient-rich drink to compliment a healthy diet!