Bitter Melon is one of those foods I often recommend and it is available in Chinatown and asian markets. In Chinese medicine, the bitter flavor is used to clear heat and drain dampness in the body. Some examples of dampness are swelling, mucus (especially yellow phlegm from the lungs), candida overgrowth, abscesses, cysts, tumors, and edema.
One of the easiest ways to prepare bitter melon is to make a tea. Fresh slices of the fruit can be added to boiling water and steeped. Alternatively, the pieces can be dried and then later added to water. When added fresh, the tea has a bright grassy flavor and finishes very bitter. Dried pieces result in a more muted flavor for the tea and the bitterness isn’t as strong. Bitter melon can also be cooked and enjoyed with your meal. Here are links to a couple recipes: Bitter Melon with Ground Pork, Fermented Black Beans, and Fish Sauce, and a vegetarian Bitter Melon Salad.
Have you tried bitter melon? What do you think?