Q: Dear Dr. Mao,
A few months ago I heard about the health benefits of bitter melon, particularly regarding diabetes. My daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes and immediately put on insulin injections. Would bitter melon help her with her diabetes? Does it make any difference if the bitter melon is eaten raw or cooked or juiced?
A: You can use bitter melon for your daughter, but this alone will not be sufficient. Type I diabetes is insulin dependent, which means that the pancreatic cells are not producing insulin. This being the case, insulin is required. I recommend steaming the vegetables or juicing them. I usually drink the juice in the morning hours and then eat the steamed vegetable in the evening hours.