8 Cerasee Plant Benefits (Bitter Melon)

Cerasee (Momordica Charantia) is a plant originating in the Middle East and Africa. These days it is found throughout the world. Its bitter yellow fruit, known as bitter melon or bitter gourd, is eaten raw or cooked. But Jamaica is its biggest fan, using it as an herb or tea.

The cerasee plant has been used as a traditional remedy for many ailments, including diabetes mellitus, high cholesterol, and inflammation. When brewed into a tea, it is antioxidant-rich, high in gallic acid, and contains catechins similar to what is found in green tea.

Cerasee, also known as asosi, is commonly turned into tea by boiling a vine with its leaves and stems until the water has reached a greenish-brown. The taste is incredibly bitter; thus, honey or sugar is often added.

While the tea is thought to have many benefits, there are situations, such as pregnancy, when its use should be avoided.

Slice of bitter melon
Slice of bitter melon

Popular Uses for Cerasee Tea

Cerasee and the tea derived from it have long been used to help with numerous health complaints. Uses for cerasee include:

  • Acne
  • Constipation
  • Diabetes
  • Digestive Complaints
  • Eczema
  • Fever
  • Immune booster
  • Inflammation
  • High Blood Pressure
  • High Heart Rate
  • High Cholesterol
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Obesity
  • Parasites
  • Rashes
  • Skin Ulcers
  • Urinary tract infections

1. Cerasee Tea For Diabetes

Treating diabetes is one of the most common uses of cerasee tea in Central America and the West Indies. There have been some studies into this, most notably a paper published in 1985 after it was tested on mice.

The study noted that the mice showed improved glucose tolerance after eight hours and, in five hours, showed a reduction of hyperglycemia levels. Further studies have since followed, showing promising signs, but safe dosages have yet to be determined.

Bitter melon cut
Bitter melon cut

2. Cerasee Tea for Hypertension

Cerasee Tea has long been a Caribbean folk remedy for hypertension. A team in the UK examined this closer and published a paper in 1997. The results on mice were compared to a case report in two children. The finds were promising, showing a “transient fall in blood pressure.”

3. Cerasee Tea Is Antioxidant-Rich

The medicinal compounds of cerasee tally over 200. This includes antioxidants, which are commonly consumed through drinking cerasee tea. It has been shown that naturally occurring antioxidants, such as cerasee tea, are far more beneficial to our bodies than antioxidant supplements.

4. Cerasee Tea Has Gallic Acid

One of the most abundant antioxidants in cerasee is gallic acid. Gallic acid is commonly found in tannins and is a phenolic compound. This tannin is frequently found in black and green teas. It is thought to have anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties.

The benefits of gallic acid include helping people reduce the inflammation caused by allergies and helping the recovery of heart damage that occurred from type 1 diabetes.

5. Cerasee Tea Has Catechins

Cerassee is high in catechins, which are also a beneficial compound in green tea. Catechins are another antioxidant known as flavonoids. These have also been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties and the potential to lower hypertension and cholesterol.

Catechins are also used to manage weight. In 2005, a study was done on Japanese men and found that those that had 690 mg of catechins a day ended up reducing their body fat mass, subcutaneous fat, and their waist circumference. The results were reflected by their body lower body weight.

Catechins also seem to aid in digestion, including using them to alleviate constipation.

Bitter melon plant
Bitter melon plant

6. Cerasee Tea Has Anti-Microbial Properties

Cerasee is tea has anti-microbial properties.

Anti-microbials are used to treat:

  • Worms
  • Parasites
  • Viruses
  • Fungus
  • Acne

Many people do report that their skin looks better and has less acne after consuming cerasee. Some have also found it beneficial when dealing with rashes and eczema.

Other uses include adding it to a bath, which helps with various skin diseases, sores, and skin ulcers.

7. Cerasee Is Rich In Vitamin A

Cerasee is high in vitamin A. This vital nutrient has been proven to have many benefits.

Vitamin A Benefits Your Eyes

Your body uses vitamin A for your eye health. It needs it to create an electrical signal for your brain from the light that hits your eye. Lack of vitamin A can cause nyctalopia, better known as night blindness. Your eyes also require vitamin A to compact age-related macular degeneration.

Vitamin A Boosts The Immune System

Part of the body’s natural defense system is creating mucous barriers in our genitals, gut, eyes, and lungs. These help keep infections out or at least trap them from spreading further. To develop proper mucous, we need sufficient vitamin A.

Vitamin A is also necessary to create enough functioning white blood cells that are vital to fighting pathogens that may have reached our vascular system.

Vitamin A For Healthy Bones

Vitamin A is routinely overlooked when it comes to healthy bones. However, when levels are low, people become high risk for fractures.

Vitamin A May Lower Cancer Risk

Vitamin A has shown promising results in reducing the risk of certain cancers such as lung, bladder, cervical, and Hodgkin’s lymphoma. However, these results have not been as promising when taking it as a supplement.

Bitter Melon in farm
Bitter Melon in farm

8. Cerasee Is Rich In Vitamin C

Cerasee is high in vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid. The RDA recommendation is 75-90 milligrams a day for an adult. However, new research suggests we might require 500 mg per day.

Vitamin C is well known for helping our immune system and preventing scurvy. But vitamin C plays an even bigger result than that. Here are a few of this essential nutrient’s lesser-known benefits.

Vitamin C May Lower Heart Disease Risk

Vitamin C has been linked to lowering heart disease in people who take at least 500 mg daily. This is because Vitamin C is reducing LDL cholesterol and blood triglycerides.

Vitamin C May Lower High Blood Pressure

Vitamin C has been linked with the relaxation of blood vessels, especially ones that transport blood to our hearts. The biggest improvement is in the systolic blood pressure.

Vitamin C May Reduce Risk Of Chronic Disease

Vitamin C helps combat oxidative stress. This occurs when the numbers of free radicals outnumber the antioxidants in the body. While free radicals do help our bodies fight pathogens, they need to be in balance with antioxidants to prevent harm to our DNA, proteins, and fatty tissues.

Repeated or prolonged oxidative stress has been linked to:

  • Atherosclerosis
  • Cancers
  • Chronic Inflammation Disorders
  • Diabetes
  • Heart Disease
  • Hypertension
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases