A question about Karela

Good morning and Thank you for all the wonderful things you teach us, I really feel the difference!
My questions about Karela are; first I eat it at least 2 times a week but when I buy it I am not sure if it is supposed to have black spots on some of the bumps on the outside of it and then when I cut it open sometimes the inside is red and the seeds are not packed as tight? So is it okay to buy and eat Karela when it has the black spots on it or do I cut it off, and is the Karela still fine to eat when it is red inside, and do I still cook with the seeds when it is red? 
Thank you again for all you do.
Vaidya replies:
Dear Jim: when you buy karela, make sure that it does NOT have any black spots on the outside. The black spots are an indication that the karela is not fresh. On the other hand, if you find red seeds inside, that is ok. Red seeds are a sign of the maturity of the karela. Nothing wrong with that. But I recommend that you de-seed it, take out the seeds before slicing and cooking. The seeds do have medicinal value but they are very hard on the intestinal wall. If you want to get their benefit though, you can cook with them but not eat them – take them out as you are eating, do not chew and swallow them.


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  1. What if you boil the Karelia, with the seeds until soft and then blend them and drink as smoothie. Is that ok?

  2. Hard to say… Vaidya says “The seeds do have medicinal value but they are very hard on the intestinal wall.”

    Ayurveda uses combining and processing (samyog and samskar) all the time to neutralize or enhance specific qualities. If you are boiling the seeds, pulverizing them (and perhaps adding some ghee?), you may be neutralizing any rough quality in the seeds (if that is indeed what Vaidya meant by “very hard on the intestinal wall).”

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