I have seen these “dreaded” things around, and my cook-friend at the “local banner” restaurant sometimes forces me to eat them. But they are not a choice veg to me as they are so bitter-tasting. I have changed my mind.
The other day a Bangkok friend, Gee at Orgathai, put up a picture and asked what they were; my contributions was some sort of ma ra. It was established that it was ma ra kii nok. My Thai teacher then found this article and translated it as her assignment – I teach her English:-
Momordica Chanrantia L is a kind of vegetable which has been used for thousands years in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Some other names in English are Balsam apple and Balsam pear. It’s called “Ma Ra Kii Nok” in Thai.
Medicine uses Momordica Chanrantia L for treatment of diabetes, liver disease and rheumatism. Traditional Thai medicine uses its leaves to cure fever, and its roots are also used to get rid of bad blood and to treat liver disease.
Research studies about this plant has been performed since 1962. Lotika and Rao discovered the Charantine reduced the blood sugar in certain experimented animals. There was a report that the bitter substance in “Ma Ra Kii Nok” has a quality that reduces the level of blood sugar. The bitter substance is anti-diabetic. It has a function that works against diabetes; for instance, activating insulin coming from the pancreas, decrease sugar coming from the liver, helping the metabolism and increasing glucose tolerance by inhibiting the growth of glucose in the small intestines.
“Ma Ra Kii Nok” juice can fight against diabetes in rabbits and white rats. It was also found that it can slow down kidney-disorder and cataracts.
There was a case study on 8 patients who had diabetes and were treated without being given insulin. Taking “Ma Ra Kii Nok” as food and drinking its juice, the case study showed that those patients could tolerate glucose better. The level of sugar in their blood decreased when they were full. The frequency of their urination reduced. As a result, the doctors suggested that people with diabetes take “Ma Ra Kii Nok” as food and drink to keep normal blood pressure and to slow down bad results caused from their diabetes.
Green “Ma Ra Kii Nok” is healthy food. It consists of Vitamin A (2,924 IU), Niacine (190 mg/g) and antioxidant.
How to make “Ma Ra Kii Nok” juice.
1. Ma Ra Kii Nok 100 g.
2. Cut each piece into 2 half
3. Scrape out the pitch and seeds
4. Put the pieces in a blender and liguefy them
5. Pour the juice from the blender through a sieve to get the juice
This recipe can make 40 ml of juice.
Thanks Aod for this, please put up the URL in “Comments”.
Well I couldn’t take 40 ml of pure ma ra kii nok, but I have added it to my green juice. I use pak bung because you can leave roots standing in water so it lasts longer, and 5 ma ra kii nok – ginger, lemon and honey. First taste was ghastly – too bitter, but now I am used to it and look forward to the drink. Good stuff – back on song.