What Are The Benefits of Bitter Leaf During Pregnancy?
Here's what you need to know about bitter leaf and pregnancy.
The benefits of bitter leaf during pregnancy shouldn’t be a cause for concern. That’s if you know how to eat everything in moderation. There are several benefits in bitter leaf for pregnant women. Some of them are listed below, but first, let’s understand what exactly bitter leaf is. What is bitter leaf?
Benefits Of Bitter Leaf On Pregnancy: What Is Bitter Leaf?
It is a shrub mostly found in African countries. This unique plant stands out because of its biting bitter taste. Bitter leaf is known by different names across Nigeria. Some people know it as ewuro, etidot, onugbu, amongst others.
It is so bitter that people spend a lot of time washing the leaves in order to reduce the bitterness before they use it in their cooking. Bitter leaf is also medicinal. Herbalists use it to treat conditions like high blood sugar, high blood pressure and a host of other ailments.
Bitter leaf and pregnancy: the advantages
When you’re pregnant, doctors advise you to be careful with your diet. This is because some foods can prove dangerous to the mom and the baby. If you are wondering how safe it is to continue eating bitter leaf and the effects of bitter leaf on pregnancy, you should, first of all, know the medicinal uses of this wonder plant.
Reduces blood sugar
Bitter leaf counteracts the effects of sugar in the body. Some people take it to reduce high blood sugar and manage diabetes.
Bitter leaf vs cancer
Bitter leaf has been proven to reduce the risk of cancer and to reduce the spread of the cancer cells for those who already have cancer. This is especially true in the case of prostate cancer.
According to Experimental Biology of February 2005, women who want to reduce their risk of getting breast cancer can add the bitter leaf to a healthy diet and regular physical exercise.
Bitter leaf juice can heal as many diseases like malaria, fever, pneumonia, typhoid, and the like.
Reduces blood pressure
The high amounts of potassium found in bitter leaf help in the management of high blood pressure. Chewing bitter leaf or drinking the juice often can help with high BP.
A study published by the Journal of Food Biochemistry showed that bitter leaf is antihypertensive, making it a great remedy for people suffering from hypertension.
Bitter leaf helps with conception. According to Dr. Grace Johnson in this article published in the Guardian Nigeria, bitter leaf boosts your general health, helps the ovaries to release healthy eggs, and balances the hormones.
Ultimately, the bitter leaf can improve the fertility of those who consume it regularly.
Some side effects of bitter leaf during pregnancy
Eating too much bitter leaf in early pregnancy can lead to a miscarriage. The dried back of a bitter leaf tree, especially, can cause contractions in early pregnancy.
It is important to note that this can only happen when the woman eats too much bitter leaf. It is safe for women with more advanced pregnancies if they eat it in moderation.
If a pregnant woman eats too much bitter leaf, she risks getting an upset stomach, indigestion or even constipation. In this case, you can no longer use the bitter leaf to treat these discomforts since it is directly responsible for the symptoms.
It is important to note that it is highly unlikely that you will eat unsafe amounts of bitter leaf in soups. This is because when people wash the leaves to reduce the bitterness before adding it to soups, they reduce the potency of the leaves. This reduction makes it possible to eat your delicious bitter leaf soups without worrying about over-consuming it.
However, if you love juicing bitter leaf to extract the juice, you risk consuming too much of it. You can enjoy your bitter leaf when you eat it in moderation!
Resources: Natural Remedy Lab
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