Health Benefits of Bitter leaf (Vernonia amygdalina)

bitter leaf juice , Health Benefits of Bitter leaf (Vernonia amygdalina)
 Bitter leaf plant


Bitter leaf (Vernonia amygdalina) is a vegetable used for preparing the popular Bitter leaf soup. It is also known as Onugbu, Shiwaka & Ewuro by the Igbos, Hausas&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.
 
My grandma was a big fan of the bitter leaf juice, and on one of my visits she made me drink the juice to cure a fever. I hated the bitter taste, at that time, but when I realized the fever was gone, I humbly joined the Bitter leaf fan club ... .... those grey hair on her head ain't there for nothing, Right?.


Bitter leaf and Spinach Juice

Well, To get the best results from the bitter leaf plant, it's best taken freshly squeezed from the leaves. 


 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 a cheese cloth, 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);

  * It speeds up metabolism and therefore is great for weight loss. 

* Bitter leaf juice relieves fever and feverish conditions. Take the squeezed juice, 3 times daily until the symptoms disappears.

* It also helps to reduce high sugar level in the blood, and great for diabetic patients.

* Squeeze the fresh leaves on your palm and apply the juice on skin rashes,eczema, ring worms and any superficial skin ailments, you'll notice a change in few days. Don't apply to open wounds.

* Bitter leaf is said to soothe and also cure pile .

* Taking a cup of bitter leaf juice a day, is a great way to detoxify the body of harmful toxins.

* Bitter leaf juice nourishes the skin.

* Bitter leaf (Vernonia amygdalina) also cures mild stomach ailments 

* Bitter leaf juice is said to increase breast milk production in nursing mothers.


* The washed roots and stalks of bitterleaf  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


* Bitter leaf juice 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.

* A cup of bitter leaf juice a day, energizes you...o yes it does.

Click Here for a delicious bitter leaf soup Recipe

bitter leaf juice , Health Benefits of Bitter leaf (Vernonia amygdalina)
Bitter leaf soup made with dried leaves

Health Benefits of Bitter leaf (Vernonia amygdalina)
Dried Bitter leaves



For Research references:
* Photo of (Vernonia amygdalina) by R.R.Schippers
* Ijeh II, Ejike CECC (2011). "Current perspectives on the medicinal potential of Vernonia amygdalina Del". J Med Plant Res 5 (7): 1051–1061...
*Kokwaro, John (2009). Medicinal Plants of East Africa 3rd ed. Nairobi, Kenya: University of Nairobi Press. ISBN 9966-846-84-0.

*** This article is for educational purposes only,Always seek medical advise before you try anything new***



BY Nky Lily Lete

129 comments:

  1. Anonymous4:11:00 PM

    Is true, bitter leaf takes care of fever. As an undergraduate, i never went to the hospital, each time i feel feverish i squeeze and drink the water and am well again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for confirming this dear.. it does work well for fever.

      Delete
  2. where can we get the fresh bitter leaf to buy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's sold at all Nigerian markets, but if you live outside Nigeria, you can search at any African Food store.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous8:42:00 AM

      Does bitter leave juice really burn body fat

      Delete
    3. It speeds up metabolism, in that way your can lose some fat too.

      Delete
  3. Am highly impressed. I will try it and confirm it's benefits

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Please do dear ,,, you'll be glad you did :)

      Delete
  4. saidu from minna, niger state11:58:00 AM

    Nky, am real glad for all d health benefits of all these natural leafs and vegetables I saw. I just Like to read, understand, confirm and actualise things like this, please keep it up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too saidu, I love to know stuff like this. You can check the okra benefits too. Here it is http://www.nigerianfoodtv.com/2013/06/okra-health-benefits-of-okra-okro.html

      Delete
  5. Anonymous8:17:00 AM

    Does Bitter leave helps to burn fat and is it ideal to keep d juice in d frezer

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bitter leaf juice helps to speed up metabolism which in turn aids digestion and reduce bloating(which may make you feel and look fat)... and yes you can put the juice in the freezer.

      Delete
  6. Just took one cup and I found it aids metabolism truly because I started feeling light after taking the juice.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad you tried and liked it dear, thanks for the feedback :)

      Delete
  7. Anonymous3:22:00 PM

    can bitter leaf juice de-worm?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes dear, it can be used to de-worm. Take the juice first thing in the morning before brushing your teeth and then use the toilet .

      Delete
  8. Anonymous8:55:00 PM

    Is it true that bitter leaf juice cures sexually transmitted diseases?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't know about that dear, but I have read that most herbalists make healing concoction from the roots and stem, but I`ll recommend a visit to a health practitioner before trying any STD concoction.

      Delete
  9. kudos to you my dear! keep it up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Barde, well appreciated :)

      Delete
  10. can bitter leaves cure liver and kiddney

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It can help with a lot of illnesses but it's best to check with your doctor first especially if you're already taking orthodox medicine.

      Delete
  11. Great article, best way to reduce the bitter taste is by adding lemon juice........but is it really bitter?
    Love it and been enjoying amazing health benefit....

    Great site you have, just found it writing and reading an article on bitter leaf from naturalnews.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by Vogocares :)

      Delete
  12. It speeds up metabolism & help to reduce sugar level,can bitter leaves cure liver & kidney diseases?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bitter leaves are used by herbalists to cure several illnesses, but I'll recommend you Always seek medical advise before you try anything new

      Delete
  13. Linda Okputa11:25:00 AM

    I took this drink for 3 days and it worked as a detox and cleansing drink... it's time the whole world start noticing indigenous African vegetables as great healing herbs.. thanks for this ma.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are so right, Linda, thanks for your input :)

      Delete
  14. Bemshima9:28:00 PM

    Bitter leaf really does work. Just took the soup and the after taste especially after taking water is AMAZING. Great work Nky

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh dear, I know that after taste...it makes you want more and more bitter leaf soup :)

      Delete
  15. Anonymous6:02:00 PM

    What are some vitamins that bitter leaf has?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Vitamins in Bitter leaf includes;Vitamin A, Vitamin C ,Vitamin E, Vit.B1 and Vit.B2

      Delete
  16. Anonymous10:41:00 AM

    it is true. i didn't have fever for the whole 2013 while i was taking bitter leaf juice to lower my blood sugar

    ReplyDelete
  17. Anonymous5:22:00 PM

    bitter leave is truely medicinal

    ReplyDelete
  18. good to hear, will definitely give it a trial. awwch, the taste!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lol.. yes I know the taste isn't so appealing, but you can add some fruit juices or even blend it with spinach or ugwu :)

      Delete
  19. Nice work! will definitely give it a trial. mmm...the taste!

    ReplyDelete
  20. is dry leaves work as fresh leaves?

    ReplyDelete
  21. is dry leaves work as fresh leaves?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fresh is better ,but if you get the one that was clean dried, it will work too.

      Delete
  22. What if you have any infection in your system and want to clean your heart of smoke from cigerratte . thank u.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bitter leaf juice cleanses the system,but it's best to quit smoking to keep your heart healthy :)

      Delete
  23. sam frank3:26:00 AM

    can bitter leave cure malaria

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, if the juice is taken daily, bitter leaf can cure malaria.

      Delete
  24. Anonymous12:10:00 PM

    Am breastfeeding can i stil use bitterleaf?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes dear, you can. I breastfed for 2years and took bitter leaf , my baby didn't complain :)

      Delete
  25. Is it fine to take bitter leaf water after a miscarriage and is it ok to take it when ttc? Since you said women in guinea bissau use it to contract the uterus after child birth.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you are trying to conceive(ttc) then I'll advice you stay away from bitter leaf juice because it might cause early miscarriage before you even know you are pregnant.
      If you just had a miscarriage, then bitter leaf juice can help to contract and heal the uterus, but the moment you start trying again(which is usually 2 to 3 months after the miscarriage), you should stop taking it and switch to homemade fruit juices.

      Delete
  26. Anonymous12:02:00 PM

    The bitter leaf juie is very very good, i've taken it nd i could see the results in me. I took it without adding any juisce or water for fast results nd that's how i have been taking it. I love it because it is very very medicinal.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your feedback dear, I'm so glad you are seeing great results.

      Delete
  27. Just took mine yesterday. ..it really works for bloating. .and the feverish feeling I've been having for two days now has dissappeared....I'm grateful for this info

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your lovely feedback dear, I'm so glad more people are taking advantage of this wonderful healing plant.

      Delete
  28. Just took a cup of bitter leaf juice yesterday...it really works for bloating....been having this feverish feeling for some days now and its gone...this is for real guys.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Bisi Adigun3:09:00 PM

    I was skeptical because of the bitter taste of the bitter leaves but since I hate malaria tablets and tablets of all kinds, I decided to give it a try, but mixed it with fruit juice as you recommended and to my surprise, I worked for my fever and the pile which I have had for ages. Thank you so much , please share more of these natural gift of nature.
    Now I'm taking it for weight loss and have lost 3 kg in the last month.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm happy for you, God has blessed us with natural healing plants , and the best we can do is to take advantage of it.

      Delete
  30. How many times can I take it in a day for weight. Loss?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Take it three times a day, especially after meals so that it will speed up you metabolism. But remember that you'll also have to reduce the portion of food you eat, so that you can get faster results.

      Delete
  31. Anonymous7:17:00 PM

    I have been trying to conceive for sometime now, and i like to detoxify my body during my menstrual period, can i take bitter leaf juice or home made juice during my menses in order to cleanse my system? Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi dear, you can take it during your menses but stop as soon as you start trying to conceive. I pray that God grants you your heart's desire.

      Delete
  32. Now I remember - During my early days my grandma used to give me a glass full of margosa juice - bitter ! But I enjoy health now !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. margosa juice is great too :)

      Delete
  33. Anonymous11:02:00 PM

    On high cholesterol issue, how can bitter leaf help in the reduction?

    ReplyDelete
  34. Anonymous8:11:00 AM

    Please can a nursing mother take it? Or will it affect the baby negatively in anyway?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It doesnt affect the baby in any way, I took it while nursing too.

      Delete
  35. Anonymous8:16:00 AM

    Never mind Nky Lele, I've seen your response to same question above

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous3:05:00 PM

      Anonymous Man
      Nky, i am from Delta State and almost 50yrs old, in my growing day with my grandma, headache, stomach pain, waiste pain, etc. grandma would only appy better leaf juice on us, as i speak, the only flowers in my compund is better leave and my kids whether they like it or not are accepting it. to me, better leaf is life, i sometimes chew the fresh leaves just after washing dust off it and i have not visited the clinic for over 20yrs as far as i can recall even though i am entitle to free medical by virtue of my place of work. please take better juice daily and keep the doc away.

      Delete
    2. Thanks for your lovely comment. Nature has all that we need , I'm so glad that many of us are beginning to see it :)

      Delete
  36. Dear Nky Lily,
    Is it true that better leaf can help with all the claims made by the post of june 8th? if true, how come ppl does not know about this potent herb all along? if it is eaten as better leave soup, will it still be as potent as it should be? please reply bcos i will find it difficult to take it in its raw state

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Alero, bitter leaf is a potent plant and has lots of great benefit but due to its bitter taste , most people don't take advantage of this wonderful gift of God. You can't get all the benefits from eating the soup because the one used for preparing the soup has been washed and squeezed thoroughly and has just a little potency.

      Delete
  37. Anonymous2:40:00 PM

    please try research on noni juice and tell us something, cos i hear its equally good

    ReplyDelete
  38. Anonymous2:08:00 AM

    Great job Nky!
    I observed you responded to virtually all the comments/questions raised; this says a lot about your personality and commitment to your audience.
    Kindly keep up the good work.
    Also, bitter leave is an amazing God-given plant for our benefit. Mom used it steadily to aid the cure of malaria.
    I handle a fitness class in which we share health tips; this would definitely be the next in line for our next class.
    THUMBS UP!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks dear, I appreciate your lovely comment. Bitter leaf is surely a God given plant and there are more common plants out there with great health benefits and healing properties, I'll write about them as soon as I can :)

      Delete
  39. Anonymous5:53:00 PM

    Hi mrs nky, i appreciate ur effort 2impart us about bitterleaf,i can view it as dark horse and all its function' s remarkable if u ask me,i also wna ask if it can boost energy in sports coz i'm tired of energy drinks and also can it reduce ageing.keep up wit da goodwork,GOD BLESS U.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Anonymous11:19:00 PM

    Pls, am 7mths pregnant n my sugar level is high. Cn I drink bitter leaf juice or will it harm my baby if I do?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, no no, pls stay away from bitterleaf juice if you are pregnant. It can cause miscarriage and induce labour.
      You doctor will surely give you a better medication to help reduce your sugar level. Cheers to your health and save delivery :)

      Delete
  41. Anonymous5:58:00 PM

    Hello ma'am i would like to ask can i drink it cold and how long can i eat afterwards.i have heartfailure and its affecting my stomach with fluid and digestive issues. is it good for me to try it

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you have heart failure, I wouldn't recommend anything that is not from a doctor. Please ask your doctor to give you a good medicine for your stomach. Bitter leaf juice is a natural drink but also very potent, and it's better taken if you only have mild health issues.

      Delete
  42. thanks to u Lily n all dose hu have made contributions, i havr been greatly educated on the health benefits of bitter leaf. I would like to kno if excess intake of bitter leaf juice may caise harm to any organ in the body and also can de juice be taken cold?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Lekses. Too much of anything, whether good or bad, can be harmful to the body. A lass every 2days won't hurt you,depending on what you are taking the juice for, and yes you can take it cold, I actually prefer it cold.

      Delete
  43. Matthew1:50:00 PM

    Bitter leaf juice true is the best for body cleansing,because it works for me anytime i notice malaria.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your lovely input Mattew :)

      Delete
  44. Anonymous11:21:00 AM

    I can take bitter leaf juice with orthodox medicine?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, I don't advice mixing them together.

      Delete
  45. Anonymous11:03:00 PM

    Someone recommended that I take bitterleaf with saint leave (nchuanwu). Your opinion, please.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Scent leaves also have great health benefits and can be combined with bitter leaf for cleansing.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:41:00 PM

      Thanks for your reply, Nky. Please can you prescribe dosage? Like how many leaves of each per serving. By the way, great job you are doing - I already bookmarked this site.

      Delete
    3. Thanks dear,I remember my granny uses like 5 to 8 fresh leaves per glass cup.

      Delete
  46. Anonymous4:04:00 AM

    Bitter leaf juice detox. When a person with Sickle cell disorders takes it as they notice jaundice, the eyes soon gets cleared. To juice I mix with scent leave (frukana in Ijaw language).Pls, too much of anything is bad.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Too much of everything is bad. Bitter lead juice is not food, it's only used for detox.

      Delete
  47. Anonymous4:49:00 PM

    I'm 3 weeks pregnant, can I eat bitter leaf soup?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can avoid the soup if you want dear, but honestly the leaves used for bitter leaf soup has been thoroughly scrubbed and has no potency and is save, as long as you don't eat it everyday.

      Delete
  48. Anonymous9:40:00 AM

    Hi NKY, do you know of any herb to use when trying to conceive?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. sorry dear, i don't know of any.

      Delete
  49. Anonymous1:06:00 PM

    Hi Nky, am really impressed abt ur response to commentaries. keep up the gud job. i need you to educate me on the kinda herb to cure erectile dysfunction and other sexual related issues.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks dear.
      As for the herbs, I don't know of any at the moment.

      Delete
  50. Anonymous10:17:00 PM

    Hi, i was advised by my Doctor to take bitter leaf juice to enhance the opening of my cervix in order to be delivered of my baby. am 40 weeks gone now. what do u think? since ur post indicates that bitter leaf juice should not be taken during pregnancy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry for the late response dear.
      At 40wks, your baby is fully developed and ready to be delivered, and at the stage, you can't have a miscarriage. I think Your doctor prescribed bitter leaf juice to help your cervix dilate naturally and quickly, since the baby has reached its term.
      If you are not comfortable with the idea, you can talk to you doctor, he would offer you other alternatives.
      Wishing you a quick and safe delivery :)

      Delete
  51. Anonymous9:37:00 AM

    Great site.Thanks for educating me and others.I took it this morning.Pls,Can it cure oral fungus?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome. I don't know if it cures oral fungus, sorry I can't be of help.

      Delete
  52. Anonymous11:56:00 AM

    Can bitter leaf juice be taken by hypertensive patients?

    ReplyDelete
  53. Anonymous7:43:00 AM

    Pls I want to know if I can mix bitter leave and scent leave juice. And again if they can be boiled instead of squeezing?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes , you can mix the two leaves and also boil them if you want to.

      Delete
  54. Anonymous1:52:00 PM

    Thanks for the reply, am very grateful. Keep up the good work, the good lord will reward u.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome and thanks for your kind words :)

      Delete
  55. Anonymous2:00:00 PM

    Good site indeed.Well done.

    ReplyDelete
  56. I grew up all my life in Lagos enjoying better leave. Since I moved to the US I have been trying to find the fresh leave or stem as I will like to grow it my garden. Do you maybe have detail contact information of US African stores that will have this?
    I don’t mind paying any price for it.

    ReplyDelete
  57. I grew up all my life in Lagos enjoying better leave. Since I moved to the US I have been trying to find the fresh leave or stem as I will like to grow it my garden. Do you maybe have detail contact information of US African stores that will have this?
    I don’t mind paying any price for it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ej, So sorry, I don't know of any.
      You can ask at any African store, if they don't have it,you can ask them to make a special order for you from Nigeria.

      Delete
  58. Anonymous5:01:00 PM

    Remi to Nki Lily Lete. The man in us should google owa afrikaan market to get the fresh bitter leaves.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Remi. I'm sure he has done that already and wanted a trusted vendor or seller :)

      Delete
  59. Anonymous5:37:00 PM

    Abena to Nky Lily Lete, How will bitter leave improve my breast milk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HI Abena, It is known to help to stimulate lactation and many people have testified to it.
      I don't know the science of it (if that's what you want to know)

      Delete
  60. Anonymous10:18:00 AM

    In case of child spacing , can bitter leaf serve as an alternative to pills and its like . Thank you

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I won't advice the use of bitter leaf juice as an alternative, it's better to seek medical advice, your doctor will tell you of other reliable alternatives that work better than pills.

      Delete
  61. Anonymous9:31:00 AM

    Thanks for your sincere advice, and keep on with the good work pls .

    ReplyDelete
  62. Anonymous2:31:00 PM

    I took a cup of bitterleaf juice and then in d morning I felt abit funny like malaria symptom. Should I continue and can I take it with milk. I guess mayb d bitterleaf Brought d malaria out. Well done NKY and good Job

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bitter leaf juice is just like any cleansing herb, once you take it, it pushes out harmful toxins from your body.
      Continue with it , but don't take it with milk, I can't vouch for the result you'll get if you mix it with milk.

      Delete
  63. Anonymous2:37:00 PM

    Hi NKY, am visiting this blog for the first time and am impressed with all the response above. Good job. Wen u take bitter leaf juice for the first time can it bring out malaria and should one continue with the juice and is it appropriate to add milk to the juice if u want to treat Malaria?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks dearie.
      As for the malaria symptoms, if you were bitten by a mosquito like 5 days ago,the Malaria would have come anyway even if you didnt take the juice, because you've already been infected by the bite.
      Now you have a choice to continue with the juice or just leave it and take a malaria medicine.
      If you chose to continue with it , don't take it with milk, I can't vouch for the result you'll get if you mix it with milk, but I usually get good results with the juice alone.

      Delete

Enter your email address to receive updates when new recipes are published & of upcoming giveaways

Sponsored links