Moringa Oleifera is a drought tolerant evergreen plant that is native to northwestern India. It grows up to 2 meters high and produces long, slender, brown capsules with globular seeds.
Its pods range from 6 to 18 inches in length, and most of its parts including its leaves, seeds, and flowers are eaten as vegetables. Fresh Moringa pods and leaves are readily available, and the plant has been given the title “the miracle plant” because of its long list of health benefits.
Moringa is used for the following conditions:
- tired blood (anemia);
- arthritis and other joint pain, like rheumatism
- stomach pain, and stomach/intestinal ulcers;
- intestinal spasms;
- a headache;
- heart problems;
- high blood pressure;
- kidney stones;
- fluid retention;
- thyroid disorders; and
- Bacterial, fungal, viral, and parasitic infections.
Moringa is also used to reduce swelling, and as an aphrodisiac to increase sex drive. It can be used to prevent pregnancy, boost the immune system, and increase breast milk production in nursing women.
Moringa can be applied to the skin as a germ-killer or drying agent, and is also used topically for treating abscesses, athlete’s foot, dandruff, gum disease, snakebites, and warts; even the oil from moringa seeds is used in foods, perfume, and hair care products.
Proven Moringa Benefits
Moringa Protects Skin and Nourishes Hair
Moringa has antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral qualities that can protect the skin from infectious agents. Moringa effectively hydrates and detoxifies your skin, while neutralizing the effects of harmful toxins brought by pollution, sweat, and other chemical products.
Furthermore, the plant’s high protein content shields dermal cells from damage caused by mercury and cadmium, which has made it to be, used in several skin care products.
Similarly, Moringa strengthens your hair and protects it from harmful Ultra Violet rays and pollutants. It stimulates hair growth and helps prevent thinning of hair.
Moringa Provides Antioxidants and Anti-Inflammatory Effects
Moringa gives no side effects acquired from constant drug use. It has significant levels of antioxidants, essential amino acids, carotenoids, and anti-bacterial compounds, which work in the same way as most anti-inflammatory drugs such as NSAIDs.
Moringa leaves have anti-aging properties because of its significant amount of vitamin C, beta-carotene, polyphenols, quercetin, and chlorogenic acid. All these components of moringa leaves, not only reduce inflammation but also combat oxidative stress and decelerate the progression of age-related disorders.
Moringa Promotes Heart Health
High levels of cholesterol in the body increase your risk of numerous heart ailments, and fatty deposits create blockages within arteries; thus, increasing your risk of heart attacks.
Isothiocyanates and Niaziminin, are two bioactive components found in Moringa, that prevents the thickening of arteries.
Moringa effectively regulates blood pressure and cholesterol levels in the body; thus, reducing the impact of hypertension and preventing other unhealthy heart conditions.
Moringa Stabilizes Mood and Enhances the Function of the Neurotransmitter
Moringa is an excellent source of protein (tryptophan) that is beneficial in maintaining proper neurotransmitter function. Moringa also enhances the production of serotonin, a hormone that gives you vitality and promotes wellbeing. It promotes thyroid health, which helps maintain high energy levels and fight weakness and insomnia.
Moringa Balances Hormones and Slows the Effects of Aging
A 2014 study published in the Journal of Food Science and Technology tested the effects of moringa along with amaranth leaves on levels of inflammation and oxidative stress in menopausal women.
With the knowledge that levels of valuable antioxidant enzymes get affected during the postmenopausal period due to deficiency of “youthful” hormones, including estrogen, researchers wanted to study if these super foods could help slow the effects of aging using natural herbal antioxidants.
Results obtained, showed that supplementing with moringa and amaranth caused significant increases in antioxidant status along with significant decreases in markers of oxidative stress.
Other effects like better fasting blood glucose control and positive increases in hemoglobin were also found. This led the researchers to conclude that these plants have therapeutic potential for helping to prevent complications due to aging and natural hormonal changes.
Moringa benefits the libido as well and when used right, might work as a natural birth control compound, according to some studies.
Moringa Helps Improve Digestive Health
Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, moringa has been used in ancient systems of medicine such as Ayurveda to prevent or treat stomach ulcers, liver disease, kidney damage, fungal or yeast infections, digestive problems, and infections.
Moringa oil is commonly used to boost liver function and therefore detoxifying the body of harmful substances, such as heavy metal toxins. It might also be capable of helping to fight kidney stones, urinary tract infections, constipation, edema, and diarrhea.
Moringa Balances Blood Sugar Levels and Help Fight Diabetes
Moringa contains chlorogenic acid, which has been shown to help control blood sugar levels and allow cells to take up or release glucose as needed. This makes moringa a natural antidiabetic and a hormone-balancing agent.
Furthermore, another compound, called isothiocyanates that are present in moringa has been tied to natural protection against diabetes.
A study that was published in the International Journal of Food Science Technology found that moringa had positive effects on blood glucose control and insulin levels in patients with diabetes when eaten as part of a high-carbohydrate meal.
The effects of moringa, curry, and bitter gourd were tested in response to eating meals containing various levels of glucose, and the results showed that plasma insulin responses were significantly lower when the three plants were included in the meal compared to when they weren’t (all three plants have similar effects).
moringa seed powder help increases antioxidant status and enzyme production within the liver, pancreas, and kidneys of rats and prevents damage, according to a study in Egypt.
High levels of immunoglobulin, fasting blood sugar and glycosylated hemoglobin (which are all markers seen in diabetics), were also found to decrease as a result of moringa given to rats with diabetes.
Results from the study showed that in overall, compared to rats not given the herbal treatment, those receiving moringa experienced a return to kidney and pancreatic health as well as reduced complications of diabetes symptoms.
Moringa can Protect the Liver
Moringa is beneficial to the liver, and fights liver damage caused by certain drugs as well as speeding up the recovery process. Moringa helps restore normal glutathione levels in the body and prevents hepatic lipid peroxidation. This is possible, owing to Moringa’s phytochemical composition of catechin, epicatechin and vitamin C.
Moringa Enhances Eyesight
Moringa’s abundance of antioxidants helps improve vision and provides protection against retinal damage while preventing capillary membranes from solidifying. This helps in avoiding retinal dysfunction.
Prevents Stone Formation
Moringa is effective in breaking down uterus, bladder, and kidney stones since it helps reduce the development of stone deposits and regulates endogenous oxalate synthesis.
It also protects the kidney from nephrotoxicity. Nephrotoxicity is a kidney problem due to exposure of certain toxins or a consequence of taking certain drugs, and the nephroprotective effects of Moringa soothe renal injuries and serve as an effective bio-absorbent, helping to eliminate heavy metals and toxins out of the body.
Moringa Helps Prevent Cancer
Moringa is highly valued in cancer treatment for its protective qualities attributed to the presence of phenolic components (quercetin and kaempferol).
In addition, Niamzimicin, a bioactive compound in Moringa, inhibits the spread of cancer cells and induce caspase-mediated cell death. Such chemo-modulatory effects can even cure early stages of various types of cancers.
Moringa Serves as an Antibacterial Agent
As stated earlier, Moringa features a broad spectrum of protection against foodborne microorganisms including E. Coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas Aeruginosa, and Salmonella, and its inhibitory effects make it ideal for preservation and sanitation purposes.
Moringa can be Used to Treat Anemia
Moringa is beneficial in treating anemia as it facilitates the absorption of iron, increases red blood cell count, and regulates normal blood parameters.
It also prevents the formation of abnormal red blood cells or sickle cells, owing to its zinc, flavonoids, and phenolic acids content.
Moringa can help in the Treatment of Asthma
Moringa provides relief from bronchial asthma and inflammation. This is owing to its anti-allergenic properties. It helps inhibit hypersensitive reactions relevant in several allergic diseases such as anaphylaxis and helps lessen the frequency of asthma attacks.
It also alleviates its symptoms such as dyspnea, chronic coughing, and bronchial constriction, and in overall, it promotes respiration and lung function.
Moringa Nutrition Facts
Moringa is a unique plant because almost all parts of it (leaves, seeds, flowers/pods, stem, and roots), can be used as a source for nutrition or for medicinal purposes to fight free radical damage.
The most popular medicinal use of moringa involves drying and grinding down the tree’s leaves to unlock the most moringa benefits.
Moringa leaves are loaded with numerous nutrients, including antioxidants, protein, calcium, beta-carotene, vitamin C and potassium, and provide a concentrated source of vitamin A.
It is given to thousands of children in third-world countries who are suffering from life-threatening vitamin A deficiency, which is linked to impaired immune function.
Moringa can be used to obtain important trace minerals, protein, and phenolics, and the plant contains a rare and unique combination of disease-preventing phytonutrients, including zeatin, quercetin, beta-sitosterol, caffeoylquinic acid etc.., with proven anti-inflammatories and strong medicinal values.
Several studies have shown that these compounds are protective of the heart, natural circulatory stimulants, and possess antitumor, anti-epileptic, anti-ulcer, antispasmodic, antihypertensive and antidiabetic effects.
To take advantage of this, moringa leaves are used to brew tea by steeping the dried, preserved leaves in hot water, which releases their special chemical compounds.
Dried Moringa leaves are also ground to create a long-lasting powder. Potent extracts are taken from the leaves to be used in the formation of concentrated moringa capsule supplements.
In addition to the valuable leaves, the pods of the moringa tree also contain seeds that hold a healing type of oil, which can be used to cook or put directly onto the surface of the body.
Some uses of moringa oil are to help retain skin’s moisture, speed up wound healing, and soothe dry or burnt skin.
The seeds are also used for water purification, since combining moringa seeds with water helps impurities cling to the seeds so they can be removed, leaving behind better quality water that’s lower in toxins.
Salt also seems to bind to moringa, which is beneficial for producing fresh-tasting water for hydration. Some studies have shown that little quantity of ground moringa seed can turn contaminated water into safe drinking water due to the coagulating actions of certain ingredients in the seeds that absorb bacteria.
Moringa Oleifera, which is also known as the drumstick tree, offers a multitude of health benefits across various cultures, and help address a list of widespread conditions such as anemia, cancer, diabetes, heart problems, low sex drive, and parasitic infections to name a few.
Presently known as “the miracle plant,” Moringa is something you should consider taking a serious look at, in your pursuit of good health for you and your family.