Moringa seems to have come out of obscurity to be an amazing superfood! Have you heard of it? I know you'll be thankful to learn more about the health benefits of Moringa… So keep reading because it really is a miracle superfood.
Moringa has heaps of protein, vitamin C and calcium, and comes with many health benefits. This miracle tree is edible from the root to the bark, with seeds that can even purify water!
In 2018 the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations named it the crop of the month. Time Magazine called it “the next quinoa” and Huffington Post writes it’s “so huge, you should know about it”.
The Moringa Tree has Many Names and Benefits
There are 13 different species of this ‘wonder tree. It is also known as the drumstick tree and also the horseradish tree. It grows in South Asia, South America, West Africa, and some parts of the tropics.
The seeds and leaves are a rich source of:
- Vitamins A, C, and E
- Amino acids
- And other antioxidants like flavonoids, polyphenols and ascorbic acids.
Some experts even claim that Moringa leaves have twice as much protein and what yogurt has and seven times more vitamin C than oranges.
Additionally, the leaves and pods contain anti-inflammatory and anti-diabetic properties. Some even say Moringa can protect you from cancer.
You can eat the health-giving seeds green, roasted, powdered, and even steeping in water to make a healthy drink.
History of the Moringa Tree
The Moringa tree grew initially in northern India. In fact, it has been used in Ayurveda for nearly 5000 years. There are also accounts of the ancient Greeks, Egyptians and Romans using Moringa. They referred to it as the Wonder Tree, the Miracle Tree and the Divine Tree.
In West Africa, people call the Moringa tree the Dr. Moringa tree because of all it's health benefits. It's even called Nebedaye which is a sort of twist on the English words, “never die” because of the ability to grow in almost any type of soil or conditions.
If it receives too much water, it doesn’t suffer that much. And if it doesn’t get enough water, it also usually bounces back. People who work with Moringa trees even joke saying that if you scatter Moringa seeds on the ground, something will come of it… A Moringa tree will grow there.
Moringa is known to help a wide variety of health conditions like:
- Low energy and fatigue
- Heart problems
- Kidney stones
- Fluid retention
- Thyroid disorders
- Low sex drive
How To Take Moringa
You can take Moringa in a lot of different ways to get the benefits. But if you live in the U.S. it might be best to buy it in powder form or capsule form which prolongs its shelf life.
Actually, there is no specific dosage for Moringa. This is because it’s a food and not an essential nutrient.
The recommendation is that you should start off by taking ½-teaspoon of dried Moringa every day for 3-5 days. Then increase the intake slowly but surely over two weeks to get accustomed to its effects. Some people take it only every other day because it can cause laxative effects and upset stomach when overused.
Dried Moringa Leaves or Moringa Powder
If you cook Moringa for too long, a lot of the nutritional content gets lost. So, an easier way to get in the nutrients is through the powder form. The leaf powders are very concentrated with minerals and vitamins.
It takes around seven pounds of Moringa leaves to be converted into making one pound of dried Moringa powder.
The leaves of the Moringa have the most antioxidants and macronutrients and are the most beneficial and potent parts of the plant.
The root and stem portions of the plant seem to have the least amount of bioactive nutrients compared to the leaves.
If you store Moringa powder in a cool place, the powder can last for months. You can sprinkle it over any foods. It is particularly best on savory meals, or you can mix it with oatmeal, or blend it with juice or add it to a smoothie.
The dried leaves will be available in capsule, powdered, or tea form. It is best if you take whatever form you have purchased with a meal rather than on an empty stomach.
Made from the dried leaves of the Moringa tree, Moringa leaves steeped in hot water, just like herbal teas. The leaves are dried slowly under low temperatures to preserve the delicate compounds. Don’t boil the leaves because you don’t want to destroy the nutrients. Cooking can also destroy some of the nutrients.
The Moringa pods and flowers have high phenolic content along with fatty acids and proteins. It is these parts of the plants which help to purify water and to add protein to diets that are low in nutrients. The immature green pods of the plant are often called “drumsticks” – and you prepare them in much the same way as you prepare green beans. The seeds inside the pods are removed and roasted or dried just like nuts.
Moringa oil is used in creams and lotions. You will want to keep your oil in a cool, dark place away from high temperatures or from being in the sun.
Amazing Health Benefits of Morniga
As far as your health is concerned, Moringa is amazing because it caters so many health needs. Let's look at 10 of them more closely.
1. Increases Breastmilk in Mothers
If a nursing mother can’t produce enough milk for her baby, then she can add three teaspoons of Moringa powder to her meals each day. It has been scientifically proven to increase breast milk supply.
2. Can Help With Malnutrition and Fatigue
If you are feeling weak and malnourished, one teaspoon of Morniga powder with your meals will serve as a preventative measure for someone who is underweight. But, it is not an emergency solution for severe malnutrition.
If you have diarrhea, Moringa, mixed with honey and coconut milk provides a simple solution be it diarrhea, colitis which is inflammation of the colon, or dysentery.
Are you struggling with diabetes? In some countries, where access to medical treatment is in short supply, an infusion of moringa leaf juice helps to control glucose levels.
5. Antioxidant Properties
Moringa is an excellent supplement for those who suffer from anemia, indigestion, constipation and even HIV/AIDS
The flowers of the Moringa are often used to make an anti-inflammatory eyewash or tea. The juice from the flowers is also used for sore throats.
The roots of the Moringa tree are used too. They are pounded to make poultices. Try a Moringa poultice for rheumatism, arthritis pain or lower back pain with inflammation.
7. Reduces Asthma Symptoms
One study found that 3 grams of Moringa taken twice a day for 3 weeks reduced the severity of asthma symptoms in adults.
8. Pain Relief
Best of all about the Moringa tree is that none of the plant actually goes to waste – each part can be used. Moringa leaf poultices are used in countries for everything from a headache to glandular swelling, to skin infections. The seeds can also be cooked like beans or pressed down to create Moringa oil, known for its relief for pain and swelling.
9. May Lower Blood Sugar Levels
High blood pressure is the main characteristic of diabetes and over time it can cause lots of health problems.
One study with women showed that taking 1 1/2 teaspoons of Moringa Powder daily for three months can reduce fasting blood sugar levels.
In another study, Peter Havel, a professor of nutrition and molecular biosciences at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, tested Moringa in rats. He reported that studies show that Moringa delayed diabetes in rats for approximately five months.
In human terms, that could mean a delay by as much as 10 or 15 years in a human. But of course rats aren’t humans, so the tests are just that – tests.
Waterman says, though, that if diabetes could be delayed, it is “huge”. If diabetes is delayed by 15 years and you get it at the age of 60 instead of at age 45, you might not need a kidney transplant. And delayed diabetes could hold an amputation or a heart attack at bay.
There is a specific flavonoid called quercetin which is present in Moringa. It is known to reduce high cholesterol and pancreatic oxidative stress in rodents. Moringa leaves also contain chemical compounds, called isothiocyanates, which have been observed to increase insulin sensitivity and to reduce insulin resistance.
Moringa leaf powder is thought to maximize the potential of antioxidants and to fight high blood sugar by improving the body’s gut microbiota. More research is necessary to confirm these findings, but the preliminary results are promising!
So Moringa might be the next step in your diabetes treatment. Moringa supplements fight diabetes by balancing blood sugar levels. This is because the plant has wonderful antioxidant properties.
10. Acts as a Natural Water Filter
And if you feel your water is not clean, all you need do is add in powder from the crushed Moringa seed kernels to a bottle of the water you feel is not clean. Now let it stand for a bit of time – Moringa acts as a natural filter.
Green is the New Gold
Unfortunately, for many cultures, the Moringa carries a stigma of being a “poor person’s crop” only used in times of crisis. But in the western world, rather than being a sign of impoverishment, Moringa now has acquired status.
In the United States it is known as a super-food. Here you can buy power bars and smoothies made from the leaves of the Moringa. Many people say it is the “new kale.”
But don’t focus on Moringa as a superfood. Rather, aim for a variety and plenty of vegetables and fresh fruits in your diet. Scale down your consumption of processed and junk foods, and eat plenty of vegetables and fresh fruits as well.
In the meantime, it is said that for every health problem there is a solution to be found in nature. The wonder plant, the Moringa might be just the solution you or someone else might desperately be looking for.
Moringa helped me with a skin rash a few years back by reducing inflammation. What about you? How long have you known about Moringa and has it helped you solve any health problems?