The Moringa Oleifera tree is native to North India and is found in Africa, Central America. It has been praised for its many health benefits for thousands of years.
But what is special about this tree and what exactly are the health benefits of Moringa?
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 an ingredient or natural health remedy.
Many claims have been made about Moringa. It is said to help fight various types of cancers. promote weight loss, provide relief from stomach disorders, help control eczema and psoriasis.
One of the best health benefits of Moringa is the fact that when used correctly it can improve your immune system.
So here are some of the many health benefits of Moringa.
Anemia & Sickle Cells
Anemia is a nutritional disorder that affects mostly children below 2 years and is mainly contributed by iron deficiency.
Moringa oleifera leaves are rich in iron and other essential nutrients necessary for iron metabolism.
Moringa is beneficial in treating Anemia because 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 flavonoids, and phenolic acids.
Sickle cells are an abnormal form of these red blood cells and are crescent in shape, having a particularly difficult time in optimizing oxygenation.
Arthritis is a common ailment where the joints in the body (ankles, elbows, fingers, knees, wrist etc.) are affected by inflammation, thereby causing swelling, redness, pain, and stiffness.
Pain is one of the most common and most distressing aspects of arthritis. One of the most impressive activities of Moringa oleifera is its analgesic effect that can help to relieve the arthritis pain.
Moringa oleifera has strong natural anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and analgesic properties that helps treat the inflammation, pain and swelling brought on by arthritis.
These properties can tackle some of the key biological processes involved in arthritis development.
Moringa can decrease heart risks in arthritis
The risk of heart disease is prevalent in many types of arthritis, especially in the ones where inflammation has a crucial role in disease development.
The inflammation promotes the process of atherosclerosis and harms the endothelium , which eventually impedes the cardiovascular function.
This further increases the risk of heart diseases such as hypertension, strokes, heart attack, etc.
Moringa oleifera has anti-atherosclerotic potential due to the presence of flavonoids like kaempferol, myricetin, etc.
These compounds reduce the risk of developing heart diseases by preventing endothelial damage, and atherosclerosis.
The anti-inflammatory effect of the different parts of this plant is remarkable against arthritis. It is capable of suppressing the inflammation and ameliorating the symptoms of this disease.
Moringa can help treat Asthma
Moringa provides relief from bronchial asthma and inflammation due to its anti-allergenic properties. It helps inhibit hypersensitive reactions relevant in several allergic diseases such as anaphylaxis and allergic rhinitis.
Moringa helps lessen the frequency of asthma attacks and alleviate its symptoms such as dyspnea, chronic coughing and bronchial constriction. Overall, it promotes respiration and lung function.
Research shows that taking 3 grams of Moringa twice daily for 3 weeks reduces the severity of asthma symptoms and improves lung function in adults with mild to moderate asthma.
Moringa Helps Prevent Cancer
Moringa is highly valued in cancer treatment because of its protective qualities attributed to the presence of the phenolic components, quercetin and kaempferol.
Furthermore, 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 various types of cancers (in initial stages).
Reduces Risk Of Diabetes And High Cholesterol
It is claimed that Moringa can help reduce the amount of sugar in the blood, as well as glucose and protein in the urine, which may help treat diabetes.
Various studies have shown that the isothiocyanates present in Moringa leaves can reduce the level of blood sugar in the body thereby reducing the risk of getting diabetes and all its complications.
One study involving 30 women reported that consuming 7 grams of Moringa leaf powder everyday for three months helped reduce fasting blood sugar levels 13.5 per cent, on average.
Having high cholesterol has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease.
Consuming Moringa can reduce the level of cholesterol in the body and consequently bring down your chances of suffering from cardiac problems.
Moringa and Epilepsy
Moringa is used in traditional medicine to treat various ailments including epilepsy. Whilst Moringa cannot prevent seizures, it does have anti-seizure properties.
Moringa oleifera leaves possess:
- CNS depressant and anticonvulsant properties that could help in epilepsy management.
- Glutamic Acid is an active neurotransmitter substance which increases memory. Glutamateis a neurotransmitter in the brain and plays a role in the initiation and spread of seizure activity. So Glutamic Acid can help prevent seizures.
A study concluded that Moringa “.. demonstrated significant antiepileptic and anxiolytic effects” and authenticated the traditional claims about the use of Moringa oleifera in treatment of epilepsy.
Promotes Heart Health
High levels of cholesterol in the body increase your risk of numerous heart ailments. Fatty deposits create blockages within arteries, increased your risk of heart attacks. Isothiocyanates and niaziminin, two bioactive components found in Moringa prevents the thickening of arteries.
Moringa effectively regulates blood pressure and cholesterol levels in the body; therefore reducing the impact of hypertension and preventing other heart conditions.
High Blood Pressure
Moringa contains isothiocyanate and niaziminin, compounds that help to stop arteries from thickening, which can cause blood pressure to rise.
Moringa Helps To Balance Hormones and Slows the Aging Process
Moringa leaves have anti-aging properties owing to its significant amount of vitamin C, beta-carotene, polyphenols, quercetin, and chlorogenic acid.
All these components not only reduce inflammation, but also combat oxidative stress and decelerate the progression of age-related disorders.
The production of certain hormones including somatotropin, estrogen, and testosterone declines throughout life as we age.
These hormones are crucial in keeping the balance in many aspects of your overall health.
Deficiency of such hormones may affect anti-oxidative activities, cause major health problems and hasten the aging process; resulting in reduced sex drive, thinning of hair, dulling of skin, increased abdominal fat, low energy, and much more.
Although aging is a natural process, you could slow its effects by incorporating Moringa to your diet.
Moringa’s antioxidants scavenge free radicals that damage healthy cells and promote hormonal balance.
Moringa supports Liver Function
A healthy liver helps regulate our blood supply. It stores blood so that it can provide the body with a fresh and healthy supply of blood when injured, and repair or eliminate damaged blood cells that pass through the liver.
The liver is responsible for blood clotting, an essential function that helps our bodies heal during injury.
Studies have shown that Moringa can help reduce liver damage, help reduce inflammation and helps to prevent liver injury.
An unhealthy liver can lead to a host of problems, ranging from nutritive problems to poor psychological health.
Moringa has been shown to help support the liver, protect against damage and even repair functioning in damaged livers.
Moringa for Menopausal symptoms
Moringa is said to aid sexual stimulation in women and increase fertility. But another health benefit of Moringa ishelping with symptoms of the menopause.
Menopause is a crucial stage in every woman’s life. During Menopause, the body needs extra Iron and Calcium to compensate for the blood bleeding.
Because of the irregular blood flow and hormonal changes, women feel tired and at times stressed.
Moringa leaf powder has an exceptionally high iron content.
Early research shows that adding fresh Moringa leaves to food for 3 months improves menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes and sleeping problems in healthy, postmenopausal women.
One study in women found that taking 1.5 teaspoons (7 grams) of Moringa leaf powder every day for three months significantly increased blood antioxidant levels
Health Benefits of Moringa for Weight Loss
Although Moringa is not your standard weight loss, because of the numerous vitamins and many nutritional properties it is effective in burning fat.
This makes it a good supplement for people of all ages who are trying to lose weight, tone up, and stay in shape.
By using Moringa as a food supplement, you can reduce your food intake or portion sizes whilst still getting the essential nutrients in your diet.
Here are 5 ways to use Moringa for weight loss that will achieve visible results:
- Use Moringa in conjunction with a healthy diet
- Moringa should be used alongside an active lifestyle or exercise regime
- Always use quality and potent supplements
- Be patient and persistent when ingesting Moringa
- It’s best to have two servings of Moringa a day with a balanced meal
How to use Moringa leaves
Moringa is packed with nutrients. Just eating a few handfuls of the Moringa leaves can supply you with proteins, vitamins A, B and C, iron, riboflavin and magnesium.
One half cup cooked Moringa leaves will meet your day’s need for Vitamins A and C
Moringa leaves can be eaten in salads, added to rice, pasta or any other dish. You can juice, fry, steam or bake Moringa leaves in any meal.
However you should bear in mind that excess heat destroys some of the vitamins, and all of the enzymes of Moringa leaves or Moringa powder.
Cooking fresh Moringa leaves for a short time (a few minutes only), or even eating them raw is the best way to get the best benefits of Moringa.
How to use Moringa seeds
Moringa seeds are an excellent source of Calcium, vitamin D and said to enhance your sexual performance.
Your body system needs to get used to ANY new food that is introduced to it and Moringa seeds are no exception. Because they taste quite bitter, Moringa seeds may take getting used to.
Moringa seeds are best eaten when they are very young.
Eating too many at a time can be unpleasant and they may upset your stomach.
How to use Moringa powder
Moringa leaf powder can be used in many ways including:
- Stirring it into your water
- Sprinkling it into soups and main meals
- Baking it in your food
- Mixing it into smoothies
Moringa leaf powder tastes strong, so you would be advised to experiment in order to find the right amount for your palate.
How to use Moringa pods
Moringa pods can be cooked and eaten in a variety of ways. They can be boiled, steamed, fried just as one might do with green vegetables.
The pods are best eaten when they are young and tender. A good test is to bend the pod — if it snaps and breaks in half, it is good to eat. If it does not break, it may be too old.
How to make Moringa tea
Moringa tea is a really convenient way to get many Moringa benefits.
Simply follow these three steps:
- For a single cup, use between ½ to 1 teaspoon of moringa powder.
- Add warm water.
- Mix up with a little honey and fresh ginger (optional) to taste.
How much Moringa should you use?
You should always keep in mind that the appropriate dose of Moringa depends on several factors such as age, health and other conditions.
Be sure to follow the directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist, physician or other health-care professional before using Moringa.
Natural products are not always fully tested and at this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for Moringa.