Moringa is sometimes called the Ben oil tree. Interestingly, in 2008 the National Institute of Health referred to moringa (moringa oleifera) the “plant of the year,” due to the fact that moringa has the ability to avert several environmental challenges and provide for many unmet human needs.”
Moringa is well researched with over 1,300 studies, articles and reports on health benefits. There are over 100 names attached to this plant globally. Moringa is native to the Himalayan mountains and parts of India and Africa, with over 90 protective compounds, including isothiocyanates, flavonoids and phenolic acids.
Different varieties of the moringa tree also exist in the plant family Moringaceae. These are fast-growing, tall, leafy plants that produce flowers or pods. The species (moringa oleifera) is the most consumed globally. Moringa is normally found in Ayurveda medicine for over 4,000 years and gained a good reputation for fighting inflammation and combating various effects of malnutrition and aging, earning the nickname “the miracle plant.” The Wikipedia(2021) also notes that,Moringa tree is regarded as a “tree of life” or “miracle tree” by some because it is arguably the most nutritious source of plant-derived food discovered on the planet. Modern scientists and some missionary groups have considered the plant as a possible solution for the treatment of severe malnutritionand aid for those with HIV/AIDS.
The following are some generic benefits of moringa:
- inflammation-related diseases
- low energy and fatigue
- arthritis and other joint pain, such as rheumatism
- allergies and asthma
- constipation, stomach pains and and diarrhea
- stomach and intestinal ulcers or spasms
- chronic headaches
- heart problems, including high blood pressure
- kidney stones
- fluid retention
- thyroid disorders
- low sex drive
- bacterial, fungal, viral and parasitic infections
All parts of the plant from leaves, seeds, flowers/pods, stem and roots — is nutritious and contain medicinal properties. For medicinal purposes, drying and grinding down moringa leaves, is where most of the antioxidants are found.
Apart from the leaves, the pods of the moringa tree also contain seeds that hold a healing type of oil. Oil from moringa seeds can be used to cook with or put directly onto the surface of the body.
According to fdc.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods. One cup of fresh, chopped leaves (21 grams) contains:
- Protein: 2 grams
- Vitamin B6: 19% of the RDA
- Vitamin C: 12% of the RDA
- Iron: 11% of the RDA
- Riboflavin (B2): 11% of the RDA
- Vitamin A (from beta-carotene): 9% of the RDA
- Magnesium: 8% of the RDA
Also an organization by name Kuli Kuli, harvests moringa plants in Africa, gram for gram, the plant contains:
- Two times the amount of protein of yogurt
- four times the amount of vitamin A as carrots
- three times the amount of potassium as bananas
- four times the amount of calcium as cow’s’ milk
- seven times the amount of vitamin C as oranges
Scientific studies on benefits
1. Loaded with Antioxidants and Anti-Inflammatory Compounds
Levy(2020) agrees thatMoringa oleifera seems to have similar abilities as certain conventional drugs, only it doesn’t pose the same level of risk for experiencing side effects.
For instance, a report by Razis et al.,(2014) assert that moringa contains a mix of essential amino acids (the building blocks of proteins), carotenoid phytonutrients (the same kinds found in plants like carrots and tomatoes), antioxidants, such as quercetin, and natural antibacterial compounds that work in the same way as many anti-inflammatory drugs.
Other studies revealed that these compounds protect the heart, act as a natural circulatory stimulant, and possess antitumor, anti-epileptic, anti-ulcer, antispasmodic, antihypertensive and antidiabetic effects.
Moringa powder is also high in many powerful anti-aging compounds that lower the effects of free radicals, oxidative stress and inflammation. These are associated with a reduced risk for chronic diseases, such as stomach, lung or colon cancer; diabetes; hypertension; and age-related eye disorders.
2. Balances Hormones and Slows the Effects of Aging
One study by Kushwaha et al., (2014) examined the effects of moringa and amaranth leaves (Amaranthus tricolor) on levels of inflammation and oxidative stress in menopausal adult women. The aim is to investigate if these plants could help slow the effects of aging by balancing hormones naturally.
The method includesLevels of antioxidant status, serum retinol, serum ascorbic acid, glutathione peroxidase, superoxide dismutase and malondialdehyde, analyzed before and after supplementation, along with fasting blood glucose and haemoglobin levels.
The study result demonstrated that supplementing with moringa and amaranth caused significant increases in antioxidant status along with significant decreases in markers of oxidative stress. Better fasting blood glucose control and positive increases in haemoglobin were also found.
Some studies also confirmed moringa improves sex drives. For instance, one study by Prabsattroo et al.,(2015), hypothesized that Moringa oleifera leaves might improve male sexual dysfunction induced by stress and concluded that, M. oleifera is a potential aphrodisiac.
A previous study conducted by Shukla et al.,(1988) investigated moringa oleifera roots for its estrogenic, anti-estrogenic, progestational and antiprogestational activities. Oral administration of extract progressively increased the uterine wet weight of bilaterally ovariectomized rats. The study found that moringa work like a natural birth control compound . This means that moringa is a natural aphrodisiac and help reduce rates of conception. Additionally, a study by Bethesda (MD) in the National Library of Medicine (US); 2006 also found that, it can boost the immune system during pregnancy and also increase breast milk production/lactation.
3. Supports Digestive Health
One study conducted by Minaiyan et al.,(2014) found that, moringa prevent or treat stomach ulcers, liver disease, kidney damage, fungal or yeast infections (such as candida), digestive complaints, and infections.
Moringa oil helps boost liver function, detoxify the body of harmful substances, such as heavy metal toxins. It might also be capable of helping fight kidney stones, urinary tract infections, constipation, fluid retention/edema and diarrhea.
4. Blood Sugar Levels support
Levy(2020) explained that Moringa contains a type of acid called chlorogenic acid, which has been shown to help control blood sugar levels and allow cells to take up or release glucose (sugar) as needed. This gives it natural antidiabetic and hormone-balancing properties.
Aside from chloregnic acid, compounds called isothiocyanates that are present in moringa leaf have also been tied to natural protection against diabetes.
TO BE CONTINUED
BY DR. RAPHAEL NYARKOTEY OBU, ND, PHD