Bitter leaf (Vernonia amygdalina) is a vegetable used for preparing the popular Bitter leaf soup. It is also known as Onugbu, Shiwaka, and Ewuro by the Igbos, Hausas, and Yorubas in Nigeria.
Although this plant has been around for hundreds of years, only a few people know of its medicinal and healing properties.
Bitter leaf (Vernonia amygdalina) as the name implies, is actually a bitter plant whose leaves, extracts, stems, and barks are used for culinary, medicinal and curative purposes.
Vitamins in Bitter leaf includes;Vitamin A, Vitamin C ,Vitamin E, Vit.B1 and Vit.B2.
Well, To get the best results from the bitter leaf plant, it’s best taken freshly squeezed from the leaves.
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How to extract the Bitter leaf Juice:
This can be done, the old school way of rubbing the clean leaves in between your palms with the help of a little water and squeezing out the juice from the leaves.
You can also use a juicer or blend the leaves with a little water, in a blender and strain out the extract with cheesecloth, coffee strainer or a sieve with a tight mesh. Bitter leaf juice on its own is quite bitter and this taste might be unbearable for a lot of people.
So, to reduce the bitterness of the bitter leaf juice, simply blend it with spinach or Ugwu (fluted pumpkin). If you still find it extremely bitter, then add some sweet fruits to it, such as pineapple, apples, or oranges.
Dry bitter leaf is also potent but has to be properly cleaned before use.
Some of the health benefits of Bitter leaf (Vernonia amygdalina):
1- It speeds up metabolism and therefore is great for weight loss.
2- Bitter leaf juice relieves fever and feverish conditions. Take the squeezed juice, 3 times daily until the symptoms disappear.
3- It also helps to reduce the high sugar level in the blood, and great for diabetic patients.
4- Squeeze the fresh leaves on your palm and apply the juice on skin rashes, eczema, ringworms, and any superficial skin ailments, you’ll notice a change in a few days. Don’t apply to open wounds.
5- Bitter leaf is USED to soothe and also cure pile.
6- Taking a cup of bitter leaf juice a day is a great way to detoxify the body of harmful toxins.
7- Bitter leaf juice nourishes the skin.
8- Bitter leaf (Vernonia amygdalina) also cures mild stomach ailments
9- Bitter leaf juice helps to increase breast milk production in nursing mothers.
10- The washed roots and stalks of a bitter leaf are boiled and the infusion is taking as a worm expeller. A cup of bitter leaf infusion taking first thing in the morning before meals.
11- Also, it is used by local women in Guinea-Bissau to contract the uterus after childbirth and therefore should not be taking during pregnancy or if you’re trying to conceive because high intake might cause Miscarriage.
12- A cup of bitter leaf juice a day energizes you.