Stephan Dorlandt (Los Angeles, CA), herbalist and author of, “Dr. Gourd – What Bitter Melon Can Do for You.”
Steve Dorlandt has spent most of his life as a technician in the medical field, much of it in alternative medicine and biofeedback. He is a strong believer in the power of the mind to control illness, which he says that Mother Teresa also used. Steve has become the “Bitter Melon King,” as a result of his extensive study of herbs and health.
Melons, he explains, are in the gourd family, along with squash, zucchini and cucumbers. They are very easy to grow and one of the oldest foods. Gourds are some of the earliest known religious icons.
Bitter melon is a small fruit that looks like a yellow, wrinkled cucumber. There are many strains. It may be purchased in Asian or Latino markets. Its scientific name (Momordica charantia) means “lower blood sugar.” The fruit is quite edible either cooked or raw, steamed or included in a soup or salad, and may also be sautéed with other vegetables, meats or noodles. The riper it gets, the more bitter it becomes so the plant is usually eaten green. Because of its nutritional value, it may also be added to carrot juice.
If you are diabetic, the plant should be eaten every day (four to six slices, twice a day, each helping about the size of a sushi piece).
There was some discussion about bitter foods in general, which tend to diminish the desire for sugar.
Bitter melon may be grown indoors, perhaps near glass doors. The plant is only about eight inches tall and requires much sunlight (or artificial light).
Steve’s website has many other nutritional products available, including “coffeetea.”
(Ecology and the environment; 2010) February 15, 2010