THIS kind of leaf is very familiar to some people but others may not have any idea about this wonder leaf. Bitter-leaf can grow anywhere unlike other leaves that only grow in certain places and temperature. These leaves flourishes anywhere they grow. They add beauty to all places where they are present. The most distinctive characteristic of this plant is its bitterness. Every part of this plant is bitter starting from the leaves to its roots. The bitterness of this plant is actually good for the body. It has a lot of health benefits to people. The plant can remind people that life is not always sweet; it takes to taste bitterness before you can achieve sweetness. This plant is very useful in toning the vital organs of the body especially the liver and the kidney.
The liver is one of the most important organs of the body. It has a lot of vital functions that is needed for normal functioning of the whole system of the body. Without the liver all major process in the body will be paralyze. The liver is known as the largest organ inside the body. It has an approximate weight of 1-3 kg in an average adult individual. There are a lot of major functions that the liver should do every day and this includes the production of bile acid that helps in fat metabolism.
Without the liver fats will not be digested inside the body to be use as energy. Bitter-leaf can be very helpful in maintaining the livers optimum health to release bile acid every time people eat fatty foods. Another major function of the liver is the production of glycogen. Glycogen is stored energy that is release in times of low level of glucose especially for people who do fasting.
The liver should be well taken care of by using bitter-leaf. Once the liver is been damage it can’t be restored into its normal function. People with liver problems can boil a bitter-leaf and drink a glass of it every day.
Another very vital organ inside the body is the kidney. Kidney helps in the excretion of waste products inside the body. If the normal function of the kidney breakdown there will great huge problem inside the body. Bitter-leaf a natural herb that is useful in taking care of the kidney and the liver.
Diabetic patient can also use bitter-leaf as one of their medication to prevent high sugar level in the blood. It will not only lower the sugar level in the blood but also repair impaired pancreas. As you all know pancreas is the organ responsible for the production of insulin for glucose to reach each cell to use by the body as energy. Impaired pancreas does not release the right amount of insulin to maintain the right sugar level in the blood. Bitter-leaf is a real wonder of nature. You can take the benefit of this amazing plant by squeezing its leaves in ten litters of water.
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 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.
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.
STUDIES conducted at the University of Texas have concluded that incorporating bitter leaf into your routine diet could reduce risk factors for such health conditions as breast cancer and type II diabetes. It is normal for African cuisine to contain bitter leaf as an ingredient. Even though it is called bitter, the taste is actually described as having a mild flavor. Bitter leaf carries several health benefits for many people around the globe who consume it regularly.
Even though many people are very familiar with bitter leaf, this type of food ingredient may be completely new to others. This food will grow anywhere, unlike other leaves that require specific temperatures and locations in order to maintain growth. Therefore, these leaves are able to flourish in any location.
The top five benefits
Battles against breast cancer
According to, over 10 percent of all American females will develop breast cancer. In order to lower chances of developing breast cancer, maintaining a healthy weight, remaining physically active and maintaining a healthy diet are a few things that you can do. Adding bitter leaf in addition to that routine may also lessen the risk of breast cancer, according to the February 2004 edition of Experimental Biology and Medicine.
Lowers cholesterol
Using a bitter leaf extract supplement on animals during a study decreased bad (LDL) cholesterol by nearly half, while simultaneously raising good (HDL) cholesterol levels. There are no studies, however, providing a definitive determination of how bitter leaf will effect a human body’s cholesterol levels.
Lymphatic cleanse
If you are a smoker or someone who is breathing second hand smoke, using bitter leaf is helpful for acting as a shield against the pollutants that pour from cigarettes while burning. Through the consumption of bitter leaf juice, smokers and those breathing second hand smoke can help protect themselves against the health dangers associated with the habit.
Contains essential fatty acids
It is important for a person’s diet to contain linolenic and linoleic acid, because the body is unable to make them. Bitter leaf is able make these fats. According to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, when people consumed large quantities of linolenic and linoleic acid, they were at the lowest risk for cardiovascular disease when compared to those who did not.
High in antioxidants
Oxidation is constantly assaulting your system’s cells. If this is left unchecked, precancerous cell formation could possibly arise. According to research conducted by and published in Food Chemistry, there are antioxidant properties found in bitter leaf that, when added to a person’s diet, offer excellent disease-fighting properties.
While use of bitter leaf is not considered a cure-all, it does have proven benefits. The research studies listed above have proven that the benefits of adding bitter leaf to your diet on a routine basis outweigh any doubts that may exist.
The plant precisely in Nigeria is very a common vegetable that is abundantly grown almost everywhere in the country. it is popularly known as Ewuro amongst the Yoruba,  Onugbu by the Igbo and called Shiwaka by the Hausa.
Botanically called Vernonia Amygdalina, this shrub has been used by traditional locals to treat different ailment, diseases, due to the medicinal value and healing potencies present in this vegetable.
However the vegetable can be prepared by jucing it with your blender, juicer, or you can do it the local way by adding little water to the leaves rubbing it on your palm and squeezing the juice out of it. another way of preparing it is by cooking it as a soup ( Bitter Leaf soup a popular delicacy amongst the Southeast people of Nigeria). But it works effectively when its jucied.
In the wild, chimpanzees have been observed to ingest the leaves when suffering from parasitic infections. Many herbalists and naturopathic doctors recommend aqueous extracts for their patients as treatment for Emesis, nausea, diabetes, loss of appetite-induced abasia , dysentery and other gastro intestinal tract problems. Until the last decade or so, there were only anecdotal reports and claims to support the health benefits. The anecdotal reports are now being supported by scientific evidence that V.amygdalina regimen or consumption as dietary supplements may provide multiple health benefits.
An estimated 815 million people in developing countries suffer from malnutrition, and infants and children are the worst hit (FAO, 2004). Unfortunately, efforts at improving food production and accessibility in these regions have been directed lope-sidedly to roots/tubers, cereals, and animal production. The largely ignored dark green leafy vegetables can however augment the nutrients derivable from other sources, thereby reducing malnutrition tremendously. Oshodi (1992) said Leaves are easy to prepare, and contain appreciable quantities of nutrients. (Ejoh et al., 2007) reported that V. amygdalina contain significant quantities of lipids, carbohydrates, fiber and proteins with high essential amino acid score that compare favourably with values reported for Telfairia occidentalis and Talinum triangulare. The plant has also been shown to contain appreciable quantities of ascorbic acid and caroteinoids (Udensi et al.,2002). Calcium, Iron, potassium, phosphorous, manganese, copper and cobalt have also been found in significant quantities in V.amygdalina (Eleyinmi et al.,2008).
Nutrient composition of  Bitter leaf which have been reported by several researchers include proteins, fibre, carbohyrate, Ascorbic acid, carotenoid, calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, sulphur, sodium, manganese, copper, zinc, magnesium and selenium. Active principles also reported include stigmastane-type saponins (Vernoniosides), steroidal saponins, sesquiterpene lactones (Vernolide, vernodalol, vernolepin, vernodalin, vernomygdin, hydroxyvernolide), flavonoids (luteolin), terpenese, coumarins, phenolic acids, lignans, xanthones, anthraquinones and peptides (Edoties).