Natural Remedies: Ivy Gourd

Insulin Levels and PCOS

In women with PCOS, it is very important to control glucose levels and thereby maintain moderate amounts of insulin in the blood stream. We saw in the previous post on Bitter Gourd the effect of uncontrolled insulin levels on symptoms of PCOS. In fact in advanced conditions or when left untreated for prolonged periods, type-2 diabetes develops; the pancreas fails to keep up with insulin production from sheer exhaustion and insulin levels diminish.

Remedy: Ivy Gourd
In such situations, supplements that mimic insulin action aid in maintaining glucose levels. Ivy Gourd (Kovakkai) is one such plant. It is a very well researched natural remedy and both leaves and vegetables are established as powerful insulin mimetics.

Treatment Methodology
Ivy Gourd grows commonly in tropical regions. In the US and Europe, Korean. Chinese/Indian markets and health food stories carry the vegetable. Indian stores also carry frozen, chopped vegetable. Women with PCOS should include at 1-2 lbs. of the vegetable in their diet every week.

A recipe for cooking the vegetable is given below:
-Ivy Gourd : 1 lb.
-sesame oil : 1-2 tbsp.
-mustard seeds : 1/2 tsp.
-curry leaves : 5-10 gms. (optional)
- turmeric : 1/4 tsp.
-spice (chilly/cumin) : wee bit (optional)
-salt : for taste

Chop the vegetable into small pieces. Roast the mustard seeds in sesame oil. Add the curry leaves, turmeric and spices to the oil when hot; when they are moderately fried, add the steamed vegetable to the oil. Mix thoroughly and roast the vegetable until it is fully cooked.

The leaves of the vegetable may also be consumed; a kootu may be prepared as described in the Methi kootu recipe by replacing fenugreek leaves with ivy gourd leaves.

- Avoid over-eating ivy gourd as it can make some people mentally dull/lethargic.

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