Moringa oleifera is a plant that is native in South Asia, particulary in the tropical and subtropical regions. It is also called "drumstick tree" because of its long, slender, and triangular seed-pods. Some called it "horseradish tree" since the roots taste like horseradish. Other terms use to call it are "moringa" and "ben oil tree" or "benzolive tree."
It has been used for its health benefits and medicinal properties since ancient times. Every part of the plant has been used to make medicine, its leaves, flowers, fruit, bark, seeds and root. It has antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and antidepressant properties. It is also used for anemia, arthritis, joint pains, asthma, cancer, diarhea, diabetes, parasitic infections, intestinal spasms, intestinal ulcers, headache, fluid retention, aphrodisiac, epilepsy, immunity booster, stomach pain, heart problems, high blood pressure, kidney stones and thyroid disorders. Proponents also say that it can increase breast milk production.
Moringa has a lot of proteins, vitamins, and minerals. Its antioxidant properties helps protect cells from damage. In Southeast Asian countries, moringa oleifera are commonly grown as food. There are a lot of moringa health benefits since its leaves is a significant source of Vitamins B, vitamin C, provitamin A (beta-carotene), calcium, vitamin K, manganese, and protein. You also get moringa health benefits from its drumsticks which are boiled until soft. The drumsticks are high in vitamin C, dietary fiber, potassium, magnesium, and manganese. Its seeds also contain high levels of vitamin C and it has good amounts of B vitamins and dietary minerals. Moringa oil which can be squeezed from moringa seeds has high concentration of behenic acid. The moringa roots has good amounts of polyphenols.
Moringa Side Effects & Safety
Ingesting moringa is safe the leaves, fruit, and seeds have been used as food for a thousand of years. A journal posted by the Phytotherapy Research said that Moringa leaves, seeds, bark, roots, sap, and flowers are used as traditional medicine by the locals and they use the leaves and immature seed pods for food. Also according to the journal, there were "no adverse effects were reported in association with human studies."
Moringa Health Benefits: Good Source of ProteinMoringa leaves are high in protein, a Food Chemistry journal said that "moringa leaves contain considerable amount of crude protein." It has also been use as Nile tilapia feed as an alternative protein source according to this journal.
Moringa Health Benefits: Full of Vitamins and NutrientsMoringa oleifera can be an important source of many essential nutrients, according to the journal Current Drug Discovery Technologies it can be use as a tool to overcome nutritional deficiency. It also stated that moringa oleifera's leaves contains good amount of protein including Sulphur containing amino acids. It also has more vitamin C than oranges, higher concentration of vitamin A than carrots, higher calcium content than milk and more potassium compared to bananas. It also has nine (9) times more iron compared to spinach. It also has four times the amount of fiber compared to oat.
Moringa Health Benefits: Contains Powerful Antioxidant PropertiesAntioxidants are compounds that play an important role in hindering and hunting free radicals in your body. It can give protection to the body against infections and degenerative diseases. Also having more free radicals in your body can cause oxidative stress, which is associated with chronic diseases like hypertension and type 2 diabetes.
According to a study posted by Plant Foods for Human Nutrition Moringa oleifera both mature and tender leaves have potent antioxidant activity that can offer significant protection against oxidative damage. Another study from the Journal of Ethnopharmacology found that Moringa oleifera possesses antioxidant, hypolipidaemic and antiatherosclerotic activities and has therapeutic potential for the prevention of cardiovascular diseases.
Moringa Health Benefits: Lower Blood Sugar LevelsYou blood sugar (glucose) is high if its higher than 130 mg/dl before a meal or higher than 180 mg/dl two hours after eating. Having frequent high sugar levels can cause damage to your nerves, blood vessels, and organs.
Diabetes medications are used to lower blood sugar. Moringa oleifera can also help lower blood sugar effectively. It is vital to ensure blood sugar levels do not get too low. A study posted on the Journal of Food Science and Technology shows that Moringa oleifera supplementation can decrease fasting blood glucose level. Another study published by the Journal of Ethnopharmacology shows that this plant decreases blood glucose level of hyperglycemic rats. A journal from the Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition also showed that Moringa oleifera helps decrease blood glucose levels on Wistar rats.
Proponents of moringa also said that eating moringa drumstick leaves together with meal may lessen post-meal blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.
Moringa Health Benefits: Treats Swelling or InflammationInflammation or swelling is part of the complex biological response of body tissues to infection or injury. It’s an essential protective response that may involve immune cells, blood vessels, and molecular mediators however it can cause major health issue if it continues over a long period of time.
Also chronic, low-level inflammation is linked to diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart problems, Alzheimer's, cancer and even depression. According to this journal inflammation has a signifant role in atherosclerosis, a disease in which plaque builds up inside a person's arteries. This study stated that a lot of cancers starts from sites of infection, chronic irritation and inflammation.
This is why it's important to treat inflammation to reduce that risk. Moringa contains isothiocyanates which is believe to have strong anti-inflammatory compounds. It's also present in moringa's leaves, pods and seeds. According to Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry journal Moringa oleifera fruits contains anti-inflammatory phenolic glycosides. Another study from the Journal of Ethnopharmacology said that the seeds of Moringa oleifera can be an effective treatment against immune inflammation. This journal from Pharmaceutical Biology confirms the traditional uses of Moringa oleifera in the treatment of ailments, particularly those related to pain and inflammation can be effective.
Moringa Health Benefits: Reduce cholesterol and improve heart healthMoringa helps lower your body's cholesterol and blood pressure. A study published on the Journal of Ethnopharmacology shows the effects of Moringa oleifera leaves on cholesterol-fed rabbits. The study demonstrated its hypocholesterolaemic effect and it concludes that Moringa oleifera plant "possesses antioxidant, hypolipidaemic and antiatherosclerotic activities and has therapeutic potential for the prevention of cardiovascular diseases." This study from Frontiers in Pharmacology said that this plant contains therapeutic properties for prevention or treatment of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Another study shows that Moringa oleifera was found to lower the serum cholesterol, phospholipid, triglyceride, VLDL, LDL, cholesterol to phospholipid ratio and atherogenic index. This study found that giving crude leaf extract of Moringa oleifera along with high-fat diet decreased the high-fat diet-induced increases in serum, liver, and kidney cholesterol levels.
Moringa Health Benefits: Arsenic toxicity protectionArsenic toxicity is a worldwide health problem that affects millions of people. These toxic arsenic contamination of food and water is mostly caused by natural geological sources leaching into aquifers, contaminating drinking water. It may also be cause by mining, smelting, pesticides or fertilisers. According to Science of the Total Environment raw and cooked rice can also be contaminated with arsenic and can be a possible health hazard.
Long-term ingestion of water contaminated with arsenic may act as a carcinogen and prolonged exposure to high levels of arsenic may cause other health problems. A study posted on Mutation Research shows the role of arsenic in the development of cancer. While this study published by the Current Atherosclerosis Reports shows the association between high-chronic arsenic exposure and cardiovascular disease.
In conclusion, Moringa oleifera has a lot of health benefits and it has been used in traditional medicine and for food by our ancestors. This plant is also highly nutritious that can benefits people around the world specially those who are eating unhealthy food.
If you want to incorporate Moringa oleifera in your diet, it's available in many forms like moringa oil,
moringa tea, moringa powder, and moringa juice. Or you can cook soup with moringa leaves and stem.
Moringa oil is an essential oil obtain from Moringa oleifera plant, it is commonly seen in creams, shampoos, hair products, and serums. It is believe to be highly moisturizing oil and great for dry and sensitive skin.
Moringa tea is a very nutritious tea made from Moringa leaves. It has high protein content, fatty acids, vitamin A, vitamin B complex, vitamin C, vitamin E, potassium, calcium, and iron. It has an earthy flavor comparable to green tea.
Moringa powder it is made from dried and grounded moringa leaves. It is very good and nutritious additives to your smoothies, soup or even coffee.
Moringa juice is a very nutritious, healthy, and refreshing drink that is made from fresh moringa leaves.