Topics: Bacteria, Momordica, Antibiotic resistance Pages: 2 (572 words) Published: June 23, 2013
Scientific name (Momordica charantia)
 Ampalaya, also called bitter melon, is best known for its traditional use in treating diabetes. This plant also is used to treat psoriasis, intestinal worms, infections and other conditions. That's because, in addition to its blood-sugar lowering action the plant has antibacterial properties, says "Ampalaya," author Frank Murray. Always check with a doctor before trying a new supplement for any purpose. FUNCTION

Ampalaya is traditionally used in parts of Asia, the Amazon and Brazil to treat skin infections, says K. D. Mwambete, author of a study published in "African Health Sciences." The plant also grows in Africa, where it's sometimes used as an anti-viral agent against the hepatitis and measles viruses, Mwambete notes. SIGNIFICANCE

Mwambete believes it's important to test plants like ampalaya in attempt to find new ways to fight microbial infections. Several microbial infections, including respiratory infections and bacterial meningitis acquired in hospitals, and diseases such as those that are sexually transmitted are showing resistance to the commonly used antibiotics ampicillin, penicillin and fluoroquinolones. This increasing trend in antibiotic-resistant illnesses is due to several factors including mutations of the microbes, irrational use of antibiotics, poor quality drugs and patient non-compliance, the study author notes. POTENTIAL

The plant exhibits antibacterial properties --- at least in a laboratory setting, says Mwambete, who tested it for action against several types of infection. Mwambete found that the plant may be useful for combating Escherichia coli, the common yeast Candida albicans, Salmonella typhi and Staphylococcus aureus. It may be useful against Klebsiella pneumoniae as well, Mwambete notes. Klebsiella pneumoniae is frequently a hospital-acquired pathogen. It causes pneumonia, urinary tract infections and intraabdominal infections, according to the Centers for Disease Control. FEATURES...
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