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São Caetano melon, also known as bitter melon, São Caetano herb, snake fruit and melon, is a medicinal plant with healing and antimicrobial action, being widely used to help in the treatment of some skin problems, such as insect bites, wounds or eczema, which is an inflammation of the skin caused by an allergy to some medication, fabrics or creams, for example.
In addition, this medicinal plant, whose scientific name is Momordica charantia, also has hypoglycemic action, and can be indicated in the form of teas to complement the treatment of diabetes. See other teas to complement the treatment of diabetes.
São Caetano melon is usually found in local fairs and municipal markets, has a bitter taste and can be used in recipes such as juice, stews and salads.In addition, the leaves of this plant can also be used to prepare teas and compresses, for example, or found in the form of capsules.
What is São Caetano melon used for
Among the properties of São Caetano melon are the healing, anti-rheumatic, hypoglycemic, antibiotic, antiviral, antidiabetic and astringent action. So this plant can be used for:
- Regulate blood sugar levels, thus helping to treat diabetes;
- Help in the treatment of skin problems such as wounds, lesions and eczema;
- Relieving insect bites;
- Help in the treatment of constipation.
São Caetano melon is also effective in the detoxification process, helping to eliminate toxins from the body through urine, feces or sweat, after prolonged use of medication or excesses in food, for example. See other suggestions to help detoxify your body.
How to use
São Caetano melon can be consumed in preparations such as juices, pickles, salads or stir-fries. In addition, the leaves of this plant are also used to prepare teas and compresses, to be applied to the skin.
1. São Caetano Melon Tea
São Caetano melon tea can be indicated to complement the treatment of diabetes and to help fight worms, for example.
- 1 tablespoon of São Caetano melon leaves;
- 1 cup of boiling water.
Place the leaves of the São Caetano melon in a cup with boiling water. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Strain and drink 2 to 3 cups a day for a maximum of 8 weeks, as directed by your doctor or herbalist.
São Caetano melon tea can also be used in compresses to apply to skin with lesions, wounds, scabies or eczema.
2. São Caetano Melon Capsules
São Caetano melon can also be found in the form of capsules, in compounding pharmacies or natural products stores, prepared with the dry extract of this medicinal plant.
Doses may vary according to the amount of melon-de-são-caetano in the composition of the capsules, and therefore its use should only be done with the guidance of a doctor or a professional with experience in medicinal plants, with individualized doses.
Possible side effects
São Caetano melon can cause side effects such as abdominal pain, stomach discomfort, gastric ulcer, abdominal pain, headache, vomiting, diarrhea, palpitation, nephritis or vaginal bleeding.
In addition, when consumed in the form of tea or capsules, São Caetano melon can greatly reduce the amount of sugar in the blood and cause hypoglycemia that can be perceived through symptoms such as tremor, weakness, sweating cold, pale skin, blurred vision, heart palpitation, chest pain, anxiety, mental confusion, difficulty speaking, drowsiness.
Hypoglycemia can almost always be controlled with immediate intake of sugar or glucose. However, when severe hypoglycemia occurs, which can lead to symptoms such as seizures, fainting, or even coma, seek medical help immediately or the nearest emergency room if the person experiences these symptoms. See how hypoglycemia first aid is done.
Who should not use
São Caetano melon should not be used by pregnant women as it can cause uterine contractions and miscarriage. This medicinal plant should also not be used by children, breastfeeding women, people with chronic diarrhea, hypoglycemia, liver problems or who have a deficiency of the enzyme glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD).
Furthermore, people who use insulin or medication to control diabetes, such as metformin or glibenclamide, for example, should consult a doctor before using São Caetano melon, because this plant can interact with these medications, causing hypoglycemia.
For this reason, it is advisable to consume São Caetano melon only under the recommendation of a doctor, or a specialist in the use of medicinal plants.