Moringa: The Miracle Tree
You have probably been made aware of the many beneficial effects of green, leafy vegetables in promoting body health. Moringa is not an exemption. In fact, it is often referred to as a miracle tree because of its wide array of medicinal attributes.
Moringa is a fast-growing and drought-resistant tree that has fragile and drooping branches. Its leaves are green and feathery, with oval-shaped leaflets and trilateral seed pods hanging down in clusters.
If you’re not familiar with the name moringa, then maybe it’s called drumstick tree, ben oil tree, or horseradish tree in your area.
It has been praised for its health benefits and used for centuries as a natural medicine to aid in different treatments for many body processes.
With Moringa gaining ‘superfood’ status in the West and the reputation of Moringa growing, scientific tests and studies are being carried out on the health benefits of Moringa.
So, what is special about this plant for it to be dubbed the miracle tree? Read on to discover 5 great health benefits of moringa.
5 Major Health Benefits Of Moringa
- Excellent Nutritional Value
Moringa is a rich source of vitamin A, C, E, calcium, potassium and protein. Almost all parts of the Moringa tree can be either eaten or used as ingredients in traditional herbal medicines.
Moringa leaves are packed with vitamins A, B1, B2, and B3. They also contain minerals, such as calcium, potassium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc.
The pods are exceptionally rich in Vitamin C, which is essential for the development and repair of body tissues. Moringa is said to have seven times more Vitamin C than oranges and fifteen times more potassium than bananas. It contains a low amount of fats with no harmful cholesterol.
Aside from those, moringa is also a great source of antioxidants that fight off free radicals. A high level of free radicals in the body is linked to having oxidative stress that may cause chronic illnesses and accelerate aging.
Antioxidants protect the cells from getting damaged. They may also help in building strong immunity.
To acquire these health attributes, you have to add moringa leaves and pods to your diet.
Since it is nutritionally dense and resistant to hot and arid environments, it can be used as a feasible remedy to fill nutrient deficiencies.
It doesn’t require arduous labour to grow, thus making it a practical solution to malnutrition. In other countries, the leaves are dried and sold as dietary supplements, either in powder or capsule form.
This is also a good alternative if you can’t find moringa plants near you or at the market.
- Good For The Blood
Several studies have shown the promising effect of moringa on reducing blood sugar levels in the body. Most of them used animals as subjects, and only a few tested the reaction on humans.
However, this indicates that moringa has the potential to help the body regulate blood sugar. The antioxidants quercetin and chlorogenic acid present in moringa leaves are two main substances that affect the state of the blood.
Quercetin helps in reducing blood pressure, while chlorogenic acid aids in moderating blood sugar levels after meals.
Like many plant-based foods, moringa is also used as a remedy against high cholesterol. Excessive amounts of cholesterol may impose hypertension and heart disease.
There are animal-based and human-based studies that support the claim regarding the cholesterol-lowering effects of the moringa plant.
Vitamin C in green, leafy vegetables, such as moringa, aids in iron absorption in the blood. Iron is a vital mineral for blood production.
Several studies show that moringa leaves and extracts can increase the level of hemoglobin that carries oxygen to the organs and tissues.
Many of these test have not been carried out on humans, so it is important to consult your doctor or get expert advice before incorporating Moringa leaf into your diet .
- Reduces Inflammation
Inflammation is the body’s response when it is experiencing an infection or injury. Though it is a natural occurrence, long-term inflammation may also give rise to severe health issues. In some studies, moringa’s anti-inflammatory properties on animals were tested and proven.
The compounds called isothiocyanates are the ones responsible for such properties. Moringa manages inflammatory flares and is said to reduce the pain that accompanies them.
However, more research is needed to make this claim conclusive.
- Protects Body Against Infection
Many compounds contained in the moringa plant have anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-microbial properties. This makes the miracle plant a natural remedy to fight off infections caused by such microbes.
Moringa is also incorporated in food preservation and water treatment as it inhibits the growth of salmonella and fungi. Some studies have used moringa extracts to combat E.coli bacteria present in water samples.
Adding moringa to your diet will help you boost your immunity against blood and digestive types of bacterial infections, as well as skin fungal ones. It is even used as an antiseptic in treating wounds and minor cuts.
- Moringa Provides Relief From Rheumatoid Arthritis
Because of its high nutritional density and medicinal properties, moringa has become a superfood and home remedy in preventing certain diseases.
Moringa may be able to help those who suffer from the pain of rheumatoid arthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease that progressively worsens, causing painful inflammation in joints, especially in the hands and feet.
Moringa has natural anti-inflammatory properties that can help your body deal with the inflammation and pain.
The calcium and phosphorus, combined with the anti-inflammatory properties of moringa, promote bone health. They may help in treating arthritis and in healing damaged bones.
Other Health Benefits Of Moringa
Claims have been made that Moringa may help fight various types of cancers. The antioxidants in moringa might lower the risk of developing cancer.
Moringa has been researched to contain compounds that suppress the generation of cancerous cells. Aside from that, antioxidants may also eliminate toxins in the kidney, thus preventing failure.
It is also said to promote weight loss, provide relief from stomach disorders, help control eczema and psoriasis.
Anemia is a condition that is caused by a lack of hemoglobin in the blood. Symptoms include fatigue and lightheadedness.
Since moringa can assist in iron absorption and increase hemoglobin levels, it can also be a solution to iron-deficiency anemia.
Anemia is a nutritional disorder that affects mostly children below 2 years and is mainly contributed by iron deficiency.
A study on the benefits of Moringa on anemia stated that “the use of Moringa leaf powder significantly reduced the prevalence of anemia cases by half and worked better in moderate anemia cases.”
Since it is good for the blood, moringa helps in reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases and hypertension. The capacity of moringa to regulate blood sugar levels makes it a practical preventive remedy for diabetes.
The anti-inflammatory properties of moringa, may block the development of edema. Edema is a painful health issue that is characterized by the building up of fluids in body tissues.
Moringa leaves and powder have been used to enhance sexual performance, increase libido and treat sexual dysfunctions.
Like other natural remedies, moringa also imposes a few side effects. One of which is that it could interfere with fertility. Hence, pregnant women should seek medical advice first before ingesting or using moringa.
Also, since it reduces blood sugar and pressure, people who are already on diabetes or hypertension medication should limit their consumption of this food. This is to avoid the sugar level or blood pressure from getting too low, which is also harmful.
Note that the rule “everything in moderation” always applies in every diet. Learn the proper preparation of moringa, including which parts are supposed to be ingested or not.
When it comes to moringa supplements, it is crucial to ensure the validity of the manufacturer’s claims. The qualities of moringa are often for preventive measures only.
Consult your doctor for proper treatment when experiencing specific health issues.