Unless you’re from somewhere tropical, odds are goya fruit isn’t on your radar. Also known as karela, bitter gourd and most commonly bitter melon, this plant plays host to a ton of health benefits making it a worthy addition to your kitchen and next meal.

What is Goya?

Bitter melon is a green cucumber shaped plant with a bumpy texture that comes from South America and Asia. Known for its bitter taste, it’s often not eaten raw and instead used for flavor in some Asian dishes.

It contains a number of nutrients such as folate, vitamin B6, B12 and C, as well as antioxidant flavonoids. These break down fats, regulate blood glucose levels, preserve neurological functions, resist infections, control inflammation and prevent respiratory problems.


It’s known to be helpful in treating Type-2 diabetes as well as potentially treating cancer. The cancer study was done on mice however, so human testing is still ongoing. A study by the University of Colorado found that a mouse who had been fed the bitter melon was 60% less likely to develop pancreatic cancer than the controls.

If you’re looking to try it yourself, it’s recommended that 50ml of fresh bitter melon be taken per day. If you want to save yourself the bitter taste, 5ml of tincture 2-3 times per day can also work. Be sure to dispose of the seeds and inner white part of the fruit as well, the green parts are what you should be eating.

Added benefits include

  • Improve energy levels
  • Boost metabolism
  • Improved infection resistance
  • Improve vision and repair eye problems
  • Cure hangover
  • Boost digestion
  • Help with gout and improve blood circulation

7 Goya Treatments

  1. Skin infection


The seeds are often used topically to treat wounds like swelling and sprains. In traditional Chinese medicine, the juices are also used to treat scabies.

  1. Hypertension

Bitter melon is rich in Polypeptide-P and charantin which help regulate blood pressure.

  1. Asthma

A bitter taste is found to be good for your airways. The bitterness of goya helps to reverse contraction of the airways through a process called bronchodilation.

  1. Stomach problems


Used to treat various stomach conditions like gastrointestinal upset, ulcers, colitis, constipation and intestinal worms.

  1. Type-2 diabetes

Bitter melon has compounds like steroidal saponins, charantin, peptides and alkaloids that are hypoglycemic and lower the body’s blood sugar levels. This goes hand-in-hand with the low blood pressure abilities.

  1. HIV infection

Contains the alpha and beta momochardin proteins that can have an inhibitory effect on HIV. It’s been found to be a good resistor of HIV and helps aid in the treatment of it.

  1. Psoriasis

Bitter melon inhibits guanylate cyclase, which is a driving force behind psoriasis.

Don’t be put off by its strange look and bitter taste, this fruit packs a wallop in the health department. Take a trip to your local Asian supermarket and give goya a try, you won’t be disappointed.

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