I've decided that in my attempt to stay med-free for life, I'm going to rely on three main things...1) Diet, 2) Exercise, and 3) Teas (and other natural remedies) that are known to benefit diabetics.
The first tea on my list is called Bitter Melon tea. Bitter Melon is well known in Asia and India for helping diabetics. Since first reading about bitter melon in an herbal medicine book in the Caribbean, I've been surprised at how well known this vegetable is in certain communities.
I saw the tea at a Chinese corner store in Paris and I asked the woman at the register if it was good for diabetics. For ten minutes she explained that it is excellent for reducing blood glucose and that the tea could be drank hot or cold. She also led me to the back of the store to the freezer section where she sells bitter melon pieces cut, frozen, and ready to cook in soup. This was an impressive conversation because the woman had taken time to not only show me what bitter melon was, where I can find it, and how to prepare it; but she also made sure that I understood her. While I'm not fluent in French just yet, I only missed about 10% of what she said.
She told me that each bag makes tea four times, but I didn't understand how much water to put in the teapot, oh well. Below are the steps and the results.
|Bitter Melon tea. This bag makes tea four (4) times.|
|Opened the bag and this is what it looks like.|
|Tea is in, next is the water.|
|It has a good color--I like that.|
|Pouring my first cup|
|Here I go...tasting the Bitter Melon tea|
Taste (3 of 5): Not as bitter as I thought. It has a smooth start and an earthly aftertaste that's bearable. I usually don't add sugar/Splenda in my tea, but I tried it in my second cup to see if it would eliminate the aftertaste. It did the opposite, the mild flavor became bold and I hated it so much that I didn't finish the 2nd cup.
Effects (5 of 5): This tea is known to increase insulin sensitivity (similarly to exercise). While it won't and shouldn't replace my workout routine, this is perhaps the closest I'll get to "exercise in a cup." :-)
Overall (4 of 5): I'll add more water next time to lessen the robust aftertaste rather than add a sweetener. This tea can easily become a part of my weekly tea indulgence. It's tasty, healthy, gives a good color, and has a nice aroma.