Have you noticed moringa powder, supplements, and tea in the aisles of your favorite natural foods store? Moringa has become increasingly popular during the past few years. If you haven’t seen moringa products yet, you will. The health benefits of moringa are impressive. In fact, it’s not unusual to hear holistic practitioners refer to moringa as a natural multivitamin.
What is moringa? Why do nutritionists, naturopathic doctors, and even mainstream medical professionals regard moringa so highly? For starters, it’s no exaggeration to say that moringa is the most nutritious tree known on Earth.
Moringa is native to India. However, it is grown in many parts of South America, Asia, and Africa. The tree grows in subtropical and tropical environments but can survive in extremely dry conditions. The moringa tree goes by several names. It is called the drumstick tree, the Ben oil tree, and the horseradish tree. In Africa, natives know the tree as the “never die tree.”
Every part of the moringa tree is edible. The flowers, roots, seeds, fruit, leaves, gum and bark are all extremely nutritious and useful. The most nutrient-rich part of the moringa tree is the leaves. They contain an incredible concentration of all sorts of nutrients. Here’s an abbreviated list of the nutrients you can find in the moringa leaf:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B1
- Vitamin B2
- Vitamin C
What’s even more impressive is the amount of each nutrient found in the moringa leaf. While oranges contain 30 milligrams of vitamin C per 100 grams, moringa leaves contain more than seven times that amount at 220 milligrams vitamin C per 100 grams. Similarly, Moringa contains 440 milligrams of calcium per 100 grams while cow’s milk contains only 120 milligrams. Same story with the rest of the nutrients in the moringa leaf. These leaves contain staggering levels of essential vitamins, minerals, and all nine essential amino acids.
Health Benefits of Moringa
While researchers are still finding new health benefits of the moringa tree, we found some incredible uses for moringa that have already been established.
1. Cancer Treatment and Prevention
In several studies, moringa has been shown to kill cancerous cells and prevent the development of new cancer cells. One particular study in animals found that moringa treated and fought off cancerous tumors while making an unwelcome environment for the growth and population of new cancer cells.
2. Inflammation Reduction
Dakar Medical Journal published a study that showed how the roots of the moringa tree contain anti-inflammatory properties. Animals were administered as an agent to induce inflammation. One group was given moringa root afterward. In the moringa group, inflammation levels dropped dramatically. Other studies have come to the same conclusion. Moringa has powerful anti-inflammatory effects.
3. Moringa Lowers Cholesterol
A study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology found that rabbits given moringa experienced a significant drop in blood cholesterol levels (LDL). The triglyceride levels of the rabbits were also lowered, and the good cholesterol (HDL) was raised.
4. Brain Health
Researchers have found that moringa can improve your memory. It has also been shown to reduce oxidative stress in Alzheimer’s disease patients.
5. Water Purification
Moringa seed extract can purify very dirty, toxic water and make it potable. Within one to two hours of treatment, moringa can eliminate 99.9 percent of bacteria in the water.
6. Sexual and Reproductive Health
For centuries, moringa has been used as a natural aphrodisiac. Scientific research has found that moringa increases sexual activity in rats. When given to male rats, they showed more sexual interest and had better erectile function amid a stressful environment. Fertility in male rats was also improved.
7. Energy Boost
The B vitamins, potassium and magnesium in moringa help provide a nonjittery energy boost. It is focused energy that increases concentration. The energy from moringa won’t keep you up at night but induces a feeling of being well rested and calm.
8. Protects Against Arsenic Toxicity
Several animal studies have shown that moringa leaves and seeds can protect against arsenic toxicity. With water supplies and many food crops showing high levels of arsenic these days, moringa may be a good addition to the diet.
9. Increases Milk Production in Nursing Mothers
The phytosterols found in moringa, as well as the iron, zinc and calcium content, makes moringa an excellent galactagogue. Galactagogues increase the milk supply of lactating mothers. The added nutrition from moringa makes it a good choice for nursing mothers as well. Both mom and baby can benefit.
10. Diabetes Maintenance
If you’d like to control your blood sugar naturally, consider moringa. Several studies have shown that moringa lowers blood sugar when taken with meals. This is likely because of the high levels of quercetin in moringa leaves.
11. Hormone Balance
Moringa contains high levels of tryptophan, an essential amino acid that helps the body produce the “feel good” hormone serotonin. Through studies of post-menopausal women, researchers have found that moringa helps protect against mood swings, age-related diseases, and intense hormonal shifts.
One parent reported that her daughter, who has temporal lobe epilepsy and seizures multiple times a day was able to stop taking the strong antiseizure medication when she started taking moringa tablets each day. Her daughter has been seizure-free for more than two years while taking Moringa. WebMD cites moringa as an effective treatment for epilepsy as well.
13. Skin Smoothing and Care
Because of its anti-inflammatory properties and high B vitamin content, moringa can protect and soothe the skin. It can also reduce and lighten age spots and smooth lines and wrinkles in the face.
14. Liver Protection and Healing
Moringa is a friend to the liver. In a 2012 study published in the Journal of Food Science, rats infected with hepatitis were given moringa seed oil daily for three weeks. During this time, the liver enzymes of the rats returned to normal levels.
15. Wound Care
The Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine shared a study in 2011 that showed the healing power of moringa for wounds. When moringa was applied to incisions for 10 days, the wounds healed faster and better than incisions without the moringa application. Scarring was diminished, and the skin was stronger after being treated with moringa as well.
16. Kidney Stone Prevention
According to Ren Lidan, M.D., consuming moringa leaves every day can help expel kidney stones. Lidan advises using Moringa for overall kidney health.
17. Prevention of Iron-deficiency Anemia
Moringa contains 25 times as much iron as spinach. Moringa also has more iron per serving than any animal source. It has more than double the amount of iron found in pork liver. Because of its extremely high iron content, moringa is a fantastic cure for iron-deficiency anemia.
18. Digestive Healing
Moringa has anti-inflammatory, antifungal and antibacterial properties. All of these qualities ensure that moringa is excellent for digestive health. The antibacterial and antifungal properties of moringa help the gut maintain an optimal balance of gut flora. The anti-inflammatory properties reduce swelling and inflammation in the digestive tract.
19. Ocular Health
Both cataracts and macular degeneration have been shown to decrease with the use of moringa. Moringa contains high levels of beta carotene, vitamin E, vitamin C, and zinc ― all nutrients that strengthen and protect the eyes. Patients with dry eyes also report relief when taking moringa supplements.
20. Blood Pressure
According to Operation Wellness, Moringa contains 92 nutrients and 46 antioxidants. The particular nutrients vitamin C, vitamin E, calcium, zinc, potassium, and magnesium help moringa to be an effective supplement for lowering blood pressure. Moringa contains more potassium than bananas. Potassium lowers sodium levels in the body, which helps lower blood pressure. The magnesium in moringa helps your blood vessels relax. This relaxation of the blood vessels helps relieve stress, high blood pressure, and irritability.
21. Immune Boosting
The 46 antioxidants present in moringa help the body to fight off infection. Food Chemistry journal published a 2007 study that showed how the antioxidants in moringa leaves can support and supplement the body’s natural immune response.
22. Asthma Relief
A study from the Indian Journal of Pharmacology highlighted the effectiveness of moringa in treating asthma. According to the research abstract, 20 patients with mild-to-moderate asthma were given finely powdered moringa seed kernels at a dosage of three grams a day, for three weeks. The majority of patients showed a significant increase in hemoglobin values and the severity of their asthmatic attacks diminished. The patients had strong improvements in lung capacity, expiratory volume per second and rate of air flow.
A miracle tree? Researchers have found more than 300 health conditions that can be helped or cured by moringa. Moringa has outstanding promise to fight and prevent all sorts of ailments naturally. It’s a valuable medicinal plant that belongs on pharmacy shelves everywhere.
Africrops! Moringa: a solution to iron deficiency. (n.d.). Retrieved from: https://www.africrops.com/africrops-moringa-a-solution-to-iron-deficiency/
Agrawal, B. (2018). Antiasthmatic activity of moringa oleifera lam: a clinical study. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3023118/
Arelanno, V. (2016). The wonders of the moringa leaf: how it lowers cholesterol and blood sugar. Retrieved from: http://www.wellnessnova.com/2016/05/the-wonders-of-the-moringa-leaf-how-it-lowers-cholesterol-and-blood-sugar-levels/
Guevara, A. (1999). An antitumor promoter from moringa oleifera lam. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10209341
Kumagai, T. (n.d.). Can moringa help to improve eye health? Retrieved from: http://eye.ezinemark.com/can-moringa-help-to-improve-eye-health-31deff8dc55.html
Mehta, K. (2003). Effect of fruits of Moringa oleifera on the lipid profile of normal and hypercholesterolaemic rabbits. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/ pubmed/12738086
Moringa for blood pressure – a natural treatment. (2017). Retrieved from: https://operation-wellness.com/moringa-for-blood-pressure
Moringa nutritional information. (n.d.). Retrieved from: https://treesforlife.org/our-work/our-initiatives/moringa/nutritional-information
Sreelatha, S. (2011). Antiproliferation and induction of apoptosis by Moringa oleifera leaf extract on human cancer cells. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/ 21385597
Top 10 moringa benefits you didn’t know about. (2017). Retrieved from: https://www.curejoy.com/content/moringa-benefits/
What is moringa? (n.d.). Retrieved from: https://www.moringa.com/about-moringa/