Bitter leaf plant otherwise known as Vernonia amygdalina is an important component of many local cuisine especially in the tropics where it is used in the preparation of  bitter soups, bitter leaf tea, dishes and  for medicinal purposes. A recent study published in the journal of food biochemistry exposed the huge potentials of the bitter leaf plant.There are several health benefits of bitter leaf plant these include:

1. Bitter Leaf Anti-Cancer Properties

Annually an estimated 1,685,210 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in the United States and 595,690 people will die from the disease. The number of new cases of cancer is 454.8 per 100,000 men and women per year, cancer is increasingly becoming a public health nightmare. Bitter leaf is one of the few plants with huge anti-cancer properties, it has been shown to be useful in the management of hydatidiform mole, trophoblastic tumor and lung tumor which was the forerunner of cancer.   See The Excellent Health Benefits Of Ginger

2. Bitter Leaf and High Blood Pressure Control

Another health benefit of bitter leaf plant is it ability to control blood pressure. Bitter leafs have shown very significant effect on blood pressure regulation. A clinical study which analyzed the impact of bitter leaf on low density lipoproteins (LDL) and High density Lipoprotein (HDL)   showed that bitter leaf decreased bad fat (LDL) cholesterol by nearly half, while simultaneously raising good fat (HDL) cholesterol levels. In addition the high levels of potassium in plant has been linked to the plants ability to reduce blood pressure, it therefore useful in the management of hypertension

3. Bitter Leaf and Gastro intestinal Disturbances

For centuries bitter leaf tea has been used in the management of gastrointestinal disturbance arising from bacterial contamination of food, especially bacillary dysentery caused by Shigella species. In addition, aqueous extract of the leaves have been shown to prevent the growth and proliferation of many microorganism including Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli.

4. Bitter Leaf  Cure For Headaches, Migraine And Flu

The ability of bitter leaf to cure headaches especially tension headache and migraine have been well documented over the years, it has also been shown to be helpful in relieving symptoms associated with cold and catarrh. Also See The Medicinal Benefits of Zobo Drink

5. Bitter Leaf  Anti-Diabetic Properties

A research published in the American journal of Biochemistry and biotechnology reported that bitter leaf tea is very useful in the reduction of blood glucose, as such bitter leaf tea is a very useful plant in the management of diabetes and other blood sugar related conditions.

6. Bitter leaf juice and infertility

The detoxification capabilities of bitter leaf juice and bitter leaf tea boost fertility by aiding the detoxification work carried out by the liver and the kidneys. Estrogen a very important fertility hormone which helps to stop ovulation during pregnancy is eliminated in the liver which is also responsible for balancing all reproductive hormones. A balanced hormone profile increases the chances of fertilization and conception. See The 5 Simple Ways To Get Your Man to Last Longer Naturally

7. Bitter Leaf and Pregnancy

A major health benefit of bitter leaf is its ability to significantly boost a woman’s chances of getting pregnant. Apart from the hormone balancing act , the detoxification work of bitter leaf  help prevent the pollution of the antibodies that helps the body fight disease and initiate tissue repair and regeneration. This can significantly boost the fertility of the ovaries and also eliminate ovarian cysts and premature ovarian failure. Bitter leafs are also known to correct abnormal or irregular menstruation which is a sign of anovulation and hormonal imbalance.

Bitter Leaf Side Effects

  1. Individuals that are allergic to  bitter leaf can expect allergic reaction anytime they use the plant
  2. Because of its ability to control blood pressure it can sometimes lead to unwanted heart outcomes, it is important that you discuss with your doctor before using the plant if you have any heart condition.
  3. When it comes to bitter leaf and pregnancy there are no known side effects of bitter leaf at pregnancy.


Bitter leaf is widely available in the tropics and easy to plant and manage. Growing this plant in the family garden is a common practice in West Africa especially Nigeria where it is used to make a variety of concoction, soups and delicacies. See The Major Health Benefits of African Food

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Public Health Nigeria an Interdisciplinary public health movement focused on health education, advancing fair public health policies, promoting fitness, healthy diets, responsible behavior, community health and general well-being.
Public Health Ng
Public Health Nigeria an Interdisciplinary public health movement focused on health education, advancing fair public health policies, promoting fitness, healthy diets, responsible behavior, community health and general well-being.

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