Bitter Leaf Health Benefits- juicing Your Way to Good Health

Bitter Leaf

Bitter leaf (Vernonia Amygdalina), is an African vegetable that can grow anywhere in the world. It is very common in most communities in Africa.bitter leaf

In Nigeria, it is named differently by different ethnic groups. The Ibos call it Onugbu, Yoruba (Ewuro), Hausa (Shiwaka) and in Cameroon is called Ndoleh.

Its distinct feature is the bitterness of its roots, bark, stems and leaves. The vegetable is an ingredient for the preparation of two popular African cuisines Egusi and Onug bu soup that is served in many Hotels and eateries around the world.

I remember a trip to London in 2006; at a restaurant in central London, I was served Egusi soup with bitter leaf and semovita . It was very delicious and I was impressed with the soup and the chafe.

The leaf is very bitter as well as sweet, Kind of confusing right.) Yes, when you take the leaf is bitter but when you drink water after eating, your mouth kind of taste sweet. You really need to experience this to understand what am talking about. Ok, let’s proceed.

The leaf has been a very important herb in traditional African medicine as Antimicrobial, Antimalarial, Anticancer and as a laxative.

Chemical Composition.

Research published by African Journal of Biotechnology Vol. 8 (18) 2009 and Greener Journal of Agricultural sciences Vol. 3 (3) 2013, shows that bitter leaf contains the following chemical and nutritional compositions.

Mineral elements,

• magnesium
• , Chromium
• , Manganese
• , Selenium
• . Iron
• , Copper
• , Zinc

Phytochemical composition

• Flavonoids
• , Tannins
• ,Saponins
• , Polyphenol
• , Alkaloids
• , HCN
• , Riboflavin,
• Thiamine
• , Oxalates

Proximate composition

• Crude protein
• , Fibre,
• , Fat
• , Ash
• Carbohydrate
• , Moisture ,


• A, E, C, B1, B2

Essential Amino acids

• Leucine Isoleucine,
• Lysine,
• Methionine
• , Phenyl alanine,
• Threonine,
• Valine
• , Histidine,
• Tyrosine
This vegetable is rally loaded of mineral and nutritional constituents essential for the body growth and maintenance.

This vegetable is indeed  a wonder leaf as it is applied in several herbal remedies for the treatment of diseases. Below are some of the herbal remedies:

Medicinal Benefits.

As antitoxin  – Bitter leaf is very good in shielding you against the impact of toxic emissions from a car, motor bike, Generator pollution for those l iving in the third world that are still battling with having constant power and smoking.

• Detox – it helps in the metabolic process and help detox the system. A Cup of the juice daily is a healthy way to detox your system and help you take care of issues like constipation, pile, insomnia and malaria which kills more people in Africa than HIDS.

• Care of the Liver and Kidney – It cares for the liver and kidney, two essential organs in our body. When these two organs are in good shape and functioning well, it effects positively on the other parts as well.

Diabetes– This can be partly linked to the above. Studies have shown that bitter leaf extract possesses Ant diabetic, Anti-hyperglycemic, and Anti-hypoglycemic effects.

With the availability of other chemicals and nutrients act against diabetes and also help with the repair of the pancreas gland. For diabetic patients, a glass of bitter leaf juice 3 timely daily will help reduce blood sugar and help cure diabetes with the adjustment of other lifestyle changes.

Skin diseases –skin diseases like Eczema, Ringworm, Warts, Roseola etc. can be cleared off with the intake of bitter leaf juice and applying a squeezed paste of bitter leaf on the affected area.

Arthritis and Rheumatism – It is very good in treating both ailments. The juice, when taken, helps to sooth swollen joints and pains resulting from inflammation of the body area.

Cancer – It lowers the risk of breast cancer according to studies published in Experimental Biology and Medicine of February 2004 Edition

Helps Clotting– It is also used in an emergency to stop blood flow in a situation of mild cuts.

• Cardiovascular Health – Research shows that its extract decreased bad cholesterol by nearly half and increased the good cholesterol. It also contains essentially fatty acids – linolenic and linoleic, which studies show that large quantities of this two acids bring people at the lowest risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.

How to Use Bitter Leaf.

The major way to use this vegetable to get an appropriate result is by juicing. The vegetable can also be taken raw or use as vegetable added in soup. It can be taken fresh or dried, to preserve it longer for use.


How  To Extract The Juice From The Leaf.

The process is very simple. You can either
1. Squeeze the bunch of the bitter leaves or
2. Blend it.

Items to use.

1. Blender
2. Bunch of bitter leaves weighting – 50g
3. A bottle of 50cl water


1. Wash your plugged leaves well severally with clean water.
2. Add into the blender and blend thoroughly
3. Pour the content into a sieve and separate the juice from the remaining leaf particles.
4. Pour the juice in a drinking glass…..ready to

The Juice is very bitter however to sweeten the taste you can as well blend it together with orange or pineapple to give it a less bitter taste.

If this article benefit you or you have questions to ask, drop your comment here and I will surely get back to you. You can share the article to your friends. Thanks for dropping by.

This article has 18 Comments

  1. I’m very impressed by the information available at your site on how to live healthy. How long will one take the juice to cure diabetes? Keep doing the good work sir.

    1. Thanks Dan for drooping by. For diabetes you need to be on the juice until you see viseable results. You also need to combine this with life style changes…you have to stop smoking if you do, stop alcohol , shade that excess weight and engage in physical activities, reduce your sugar intake, stop intake of processed drinks and take fruits instead, and balance your diet appropriately. As you do this you will see a tremendous recovery.

    1. Yes chinasa. You can blend it together with those fruits especially if you can not take it alone. The fruits helps to reduce the bitterness. The mixture does not reduce its potency. Good luck as you try your bitter leaf juice. Once again thanks for your question. Look out for more remedies that will be beneficial to your health.

  2. Hi Uzodinma,
    I am a big fan of juicing and blending, but so far the only greens I’ve used are kale, spinach, cucumbers and occasionally lettuce. I’d never heard of bitter leaf before and I surprised at its many properties and uses. Sometimes I think nature provides most if not all thing we need as preventative medicine and cures, but we’re just not tuned in like we should be. Or we dismiss natural cures as ineffective. Personally, I believe in “and” versus either/or! But, back to the bitter leaf…I live in the U.S…can I get it here in grocery stores?

    1. Alyssa, thanks so much for visiting and commenting on my site, Yes your are right natures has everything for us to depend on and be healthy. since i discovered it over a decade ago i have nothing to do with orthodox medicine, Dont get me wrong, orthodox medicine is fantastic in certain areas of cure but am happy going natural. Bitter leaf is a wonder leaf and very medicinal as mentioned and research has shown it can inhibits the growth of cancer cells and help to cure many other diseases. I dont know if it grows in the US but is a common plant in Africa and some are growing in my backyard,

      Thanks for dropping by

  3. Hi Uzodinma, I have to be honest. I had never heard of bitter leaf but I don’t know, why given its constituent parts and health-giving properties. This could be another ‘miracle food’ for all of those people who might find that it can be beneficial to their wellbeing. Thanks for shedding some light on it!

    1. Ian,thanks for visiting my site and your comment.

      Yes is really a miracle plant in Africa. The leaf is used for the juice and for cooking soup( mainly the dried leaves for soup) .It is really biter and highly medicinal just like we mentioned in the post, A Nigerian born Professor of Biology, Ernest Izevbigie, has been given two patents for bitter leaf-based anti-diabetic and cancer medication in the United States, .His product may also benefit HIV/AIDS patients, Izvebigie, a Professor at Jackson State University, Mississippi, received the first patent Phytochemotherapy for Cancer U.S. Patent 6,713,098 in 2004 and the second 6,848,604 in 2005.

      He founded Edobotanics, a company that uses technology at the university to process, extract and standardize compounds from bitter leaf. Edobotanics now produces nutritional supplements called edoTIDEplus that promotes gastrointestinal, breast and prostate health, Prof Izvebigie is presently the vice chancellor of Benson Idahosa University, Nigeria.

      Thanks for dropping by.

  4. I have always been a fan of herbal remedies and your post about juicing with bitter leaf sounds great.

    I have never heard of this one before, but it is definitely worth a try from all the reliable information you have now made me aware of from this post.

    I have a morning blend I presently take each morning, so I look forward to trying this one out.

    1. Travis, thanks so much for dropping by. Biter leaf is a wonder plant from Africa and very medicinal and i do take the juice from time to time. Helps to reduce blood sugar and good for diabetic patients, You can take leaf raw though very bitter, if you can find it, is worth giving a trial, juicing it in the morning.

  5. Where can I find this leaf? I have not seen it at my health food store I don’t think. I have used Aloe for many years and juice and make blender smoothies frequently, so I would love to incorporate this into my health care regimen. I like using kale, spinach and other vegetables but I think this would be a great addition.Thanks for your response.

    1. Hillary, Thanks for visiting my site and it is nice that you like the bitter leaf and want to add it to your menu. This leaf is common in Africa especially in West Africa, I have plenty of them in my back yard in Nigeria. I don’t know your location. If you are located in the Us, you may try to find it in an African or south America herbs shops . It is a very good medicinal herb that we use to prepare different remedies for treating ,ailments, like diabetes. malaria etc.

  6. Hi,
    Thanks for sharing. Bitter leaf…hmm…how bitter is it? Well, there’s a lot of health benefits from it so that’s a good reason to try it.

    Where can you buy this bitter leaf from? Is it expensive? Are there any side effects from consuming this bitter leaf?

    Can anyone use this product? Is there any age restrictions?


    1. Sofia, thanks for visiting my blog. Well as the names goes it is really bitter .) It is not expensive. I have it growing in my backyard. i don’t know of any side effect. It is very good as a leaf for soup especially the dried one, we call it here bitter leave soup and the juice too which is good for diabetic patients.

    1. Yes it is good to filter before drinking, however the small leaf particles that go through the filter is not harmful. Bitter leave can be chewed raw as well. Thanks for dropping bye and please due visit again

  7. A new day has dawn it seems in the life of the world inwhich we live, Ever where we look people are turning to herbal they are going the natural way and that is a good thing because the old way of doing thigs have had and is having all kinds of side effects. But going natural is the safe way. Your article is so helpful well detailed and filled with so much helpful information. Thanks for sharing all the best to you and have a good day.

    1. Norman, thanks for visiting my site and your kind words. Nature provided us with everything to take care of ourselves and I think the earlier we run back to nature the better for us. Since i became conscious of this and apply it, I have not visited a hospital for the past 10 years. .)

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