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This tea is one of those, really healthy, recipes that I accidentally had a chance to try when I stumbled upon just by being the husband of my Thai wife. It is a simple tea that touted for having blood sugar lowering properties. We have posted on bitter melon before as something that is good for blood sugar as bitter vegetables often are.
Different ways to make it
You can make the tea any way you want. It's really just a matter of getting the essence of the bittermelon infused into the water. You could boil it and separate it as the Hmong do with kabocha squash tea. You can also buy just the bitter melon tea bags and just steep those. My wife and I went to a Thai temple for her birthday, and a monk offered us the bitter melon tea. There're two kinds of tea, one is on a small tea bag and another kind is a freeze-dried bitter melon. This is how he was drinking it.
I made it the way he did and used loose tea plus tea bags. I just used a microwave and added about a cup of water for 2 minutes and then put a tablespoon of the dried bitter melon and 1 teabag and let it steep for 2 to 3 minutes. You can also use a teapot like he did and heat the water. You then just add your desired amount of dried bitter melon and the bags.
Bitter Melon Tea For Health
You always want to take health claims with a grain of salt until you analyze the "research" They are claiming. I looked at the research and it appears more studies are needed. For clinical outcomes, I always look for a confidence interval greater than 95%. You will see a CI of 95% in the data, usually towards the bottom of a publication. Here is the registered dietician's final opinion on her piece on the health benefits of bitter melon from this article.
However, research in humans is limited, and larger, more high-quality studies are needed to understand how bitter melon may impact blood sugar levels in the general population.
Finding Bitter Melon
I found several brands of tea bags on amazon.com here. I found the dried melon as a loose tea on amazon here. You will also find it at Asian markets and more and more often at Western markets like Whole Foods as we continue to globalize. Alternatively, you can just google the keywords and find them easily from wherever you prefer. I might grow it as it is a pretty vine that will climb an arbor and add a neat look to your patio. You will start to notice it everywhere now that you know what it is and start keeping it around the house because it is such a feel-good tea.