Drinking Bitter Gourd slices immersed in hot water, does not cure cancer!

Medical Misleading

There are posts circulating on social media saying that it is suitable to follow various hand medicine methods, referring to cancer treatment. Many people resort to following such guidelines, not caring about their accuracy. Below is our fact-finding of a social media post that includes such misleading guidelines.

Social Media Posts :

Viral social media posts claimed that putting 2-3 thin slices of bitter gourd in a glass of hot water and ddrinking it at least once every day is a cure for cancer. 

“Bitter gourd – Ampalaya

Please spread it out.

Prof Chen Hui Ren from the Beijing Army General Hospital confirmed that if everyone who gets this info then distributes to 10 other people, make sure there is at least one life that will be saved .. I have done the part I have to do, hope you also help do your part.  Tks!

Bitter gourd *ampalaya* in hot water can help you. No matter how busy u r, u need to read this, then spread to friends and others.  

Hot bitter gourd *ampalaya* can kill cancer cells!

Cut 2-3 thin slices of bitter gourd n put in a glass, pour hot water, water will become alkaline (alkaline).  Drink every day. For anyone, it will be useful.

Hot water bitter gourd will emit an anti-cancer substance. This is a new development in the world of natural medicine, useful in treating cancer.

Hot water bitter gourd extract will affect the cyst and tumor. Already proven, it can help various kinds of cancer.

Using bitter gourd in treating cancer, it will only kill the malignant cells of the tumor. It will not affect healthy cells.

In addition, amino acids and polyphenol oxidase in bitter gourd, can balance high blood pressure, blood circulation, reduce blood clotting and can prevent the occurrence of deep vein thrombosis.

After you have read this, send it out to family n friends.  Must take good care of your health.”

Facebook | Archived Link.

This is how Facebook posts get shared widely among users.

Based on the feedback received on these posts, it seems that a significant number of individuals are inclined to adopt this approach.

We have taken steps to check the accuracy of this method.

Fact Check :

Momordica charantia, commonly known as bitter melon or bitter gourd, is one of such plants known for its biological activities used in traditional system of medicines. This plant is cultivated in many parts of the world, including tropical regions in Asia, Amazon, east Africa, and the Caribbean and used as a vegetable as well as folk medicine. All parts of the plant, including the fruit, are commonly consumed and cooked with different vegetables, stir-fried, stuffed or used in small quantities in soups or beans to give a slightly bitter flavor and taste. The plant is reported to possess anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anti-diabetic, anti-bacterial, anti-obesity, and immunomodulatory activities.

Bitter gourd is one of the popular vegetables in Sri Lanka as well. This crop is having high medicinal value with anti diabetic and anti cancer properties. Because of higher nutricious and medicinal value this crop is becoming a higher demanding crop.

The plant extract inhibits some types of cancer cell growth by inducing apoptosis, cell cycle arrest, autophagy and inhibiting cancer stem cells. The plant is rich in bioactive chemical constituents like cucurbitane type triterpenoids, triterpene glycosides, phenolic acids, flavonoids, essential oils, saponins, fatty acids, and proteins. Some of the isolated compounds (Kuguacin J, Karaviloside XI, Kuguaglycoside C, Momordicoside Q–U, Charantin, α-eleostearic acid) and proteins (α-Momorcharin, RNase MC2, MAP30) possess potent biological activity. Click here to read a study report published in the National Library of Medicine in this regard Archived Link

Read a study report showing that triterpenoids from wild gourd inhibit breast cancer cells here. Archived Link

However, as stated in the aforementioned social media posts, we could not locate any research indicating that consuming pieces of bitter gourd in hot water leads to be a cure for cancer.

Professor Chen Hui Ren of Beijing Military General Hospital

As previously noted, there have been references to Professor Chen Hui Ren from Beijing Military General Hospital in relation to this treatment method. Consequently, we undertook an investigation and were unable to find any official information regarding this professor. 

However, the AFP fact-checking team has identified a Professor existence of Professor Chen Huiren at Beijing Military Hospital. As they mentioned on his website indicates that he is listed as the hospital’s chief physician. Nevertheless, upon verification, we discovered that the website is currently down.

Chen spoke out about the false claim in an interview in 2018 with Chinese state-run newspaper Beijing Youth Daily.

He said his name had been “faked” in a Weibo article which shared the claim alongside what appeared to be Chen’s signature and a hospital stamp. “My major is haematology. I have not done any special research on anti-cancer food, nor have I published articles on anti-cancer foods on the Internet. Please don’t believe it,” he said

AFP| Archived Link

Dr. Karunatjilake former senior lecturer at the Institute of Indigenous Medicine, University of Colombo

“Some of the facts mentioned here are correct. But the useof Bitter gourd alone in this way will not cure cancers. Some time it may help to prevent. Bitter gourd has many medicinal properties. It’s mainly a food. Most of the time Bitter gourd will reduce the medicinal effects of the drugs when it is taken as a food.” He said

Director, National Cancer Control Programme

Also, the director of the National Cancer Control Program, Dr. Janaki Vidanapathirana, said that there is no problem in eating fruits and vegetables as they are not harmful to the body.

It was confirmed that eating fruits and vegetables can prevent diseases like cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity, but cannot be called a cure for cancer.

Numerous cancer treatment approaches exist within the realm of Western medicine, including medication, surgical tumor removal, radiation therapy, and more. Decisions regarding the appropriate treatment method are typically made by medical professionals, who recommend these approaches as suitable cancer treatments.

She further emphasized that when it comes to conditions like cancer, it’s essential not to heed the guidance provided in these social media posts. Instead, one should consult with specialized cancer specialists for proper treatment recommendations.

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Conclusion :

Our investigation shows that claims that putting 2-3 thin slices of bitter gourd in a glass of hot water at least once every day is a cure for cancer methods are false. While international studies have reported that bitter gourd may inhibit the growth of certain types of cancer cells, it’s important to note that the above mentioned method is not linked to cancer prevention in any way.

Also, the professor mentioned in the post above said that his main subject is hematology and that he had not done any special research on anti-cancer foods, and that he had not published any articles on anti-cancer foods.


Title:Drinking Bitter Gourd slices immersed in hot water, does not cure cancer!

Written By: Pavithra Sandamali 

Result: Misleading

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