Last Updated on September 13, 2020
There are plenty of medicinal plants and herbs out there, but none are quite like Moringa. It goes by many names: “the miracle tree”, “the drumstick tree” and even “the tree of life”. Given the properties of Moringa, it’s no surprise as to why people started calling it so.
What is Moringa?
The Moringa Oleifera is a tree native to the Himalayan regions, particularly around Northern India and Nepal. It is also present around Southeast Asia, South America and subtropical Africa. People have used Moringa as a medicinal plant to treat a wide range of diseases for thousands of years and even today, it’s still used to great effect.
Moringa’s versatility is what gave it the name “miracle tree.” The health benefits of Moringa are also supported by scientific research that focuses on and evaluates its nutritional properties.
Why Should You Use Moringa?
Moringa has plenty of medicinal properties that are proven to be effective. From its nutritional values to its preventative properties, here are some of the best benefits that Moringa can provide:
Moringa Plant is Almost Entirely Edible
Moringa contains 11 nutritional compounds that are great for your health such as Vitamins A, B and C, iron, potassium, and calcium. The great thing about Moringa is that unlike other plants, almost all of its parts can be consumed to gain its attributed health benefits. As an added bonus, Moringa is also low in fat and has zero harmful cholesterol.
The leaves and pods of Moringa are usually the parts processed into medicinal ingredients, but the plant’s seeds, flowers and young roots can also be consumed. The overall edibility of the plant makes sure all of the nutrients found in it can be used and it also makes the plant more efficient, as more ingredients can be harvested from a single tree.
Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean moringa can be consumed raw, though. It’s always best to properly prepare it into a properly consumable form before ingesting it.
It Can Prevent Diseases
The sheer amount of nutrients found in Moringa can help prevent diseases from developing in your body. The plant contains sulphur which has amino acids that can help boost your immune system. It can also support your body against bacterial infections like UTI and problems related to the digestive system.
Clinical trials involving mice also suggested that Moringa can help prevent and cure cancer. Although there haven’t been any human trials yet, studies have found that Moringa had properties that could kill cancer cells and prevent their rampant growth.
While Moringa has proven positive interactions against some diseases, it should be noted that there are also many claims that simply do not have enough evidence to suggest that the plant is particularly effective against them. Be sure to do extra research if you plan to use Moringa to help for a specific kind of sickness, or consult your health practitioner.
Moringa is Rich in Antioxidants
The high levels of Vitamin A and C found in Moringa allows it to help protect your body against harmful chemicals. Vitamins A and C serve as antioxidants which fight off molecules called free radicals. These cause oxidative stress and come from various sources like fried food or pollution.
These free radicals can cause damage to your cells, causing premature aging. A healthy diet containing lots of antioxidants can help keep those wrinkles at bay.
Vitamins C and E also help our brain function better and can help in the treatment of brain-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
It Balances Your Body Chemicals
Moringa has certain properties that can help your body balance the chemicals it produces, such as hormones and blood sugar. A dose of moringa can help keep hormones in check, which can be especially useful for women going through menopause.
These properties also help reduce stress and increase libido. In addition, women can consume moringa to help with their menstrual cycles as the plant’s properties can ease menstrual cramps, reduce nausea, and dampen migraines.
Moringa Makes for a Good Diet Supplement
If you’re looking for something to go with your diet, then moringa can be a great supplement. Dried moringa leaves can be ground into a powder, while pre-prepared moringa supplements can be purchased in health establishments.
Its combination of vitamins, antioxidants and other healing properties make moringa effective in granting that extra boost. Moringa can provide important nutrients that you might otherwise miss from other not eating other types of food, such as Vitamin B. The aforementioned low fat amount and harmless cholesterol found in the moringa plant also means that it’s generally safe for anyone to consume.
The healthy composition of Moringa can also be enjoyed by integrating it into meals, whether as a secondary or primary ingredient. Try incorporating moringa into your food, whether in soups, salads, or even in main dishes to enjoy the benefits of its nutritional properties.
Moringa is an Anti-Inflammatory Plant
The plant has strong anti-inflammatory properties that can be used to treat certain forms of chronic inflammation by promoting the production of cytokines. Moringa can also be used as a substitute for any other kind of anti-inflammatory agent so you can enjoy the plant’s other benefits while also targeting any inflammation you might be experiencing.
Possible Moringa Side Effects
Moringa, despite its many benefits, does not come without any side effects. As with many other types of medicinal plants and herbs, Moringa also has risks that can adversely affect your health.
The leaves of the moringa plant are generally edible but the extract found in its seeds as well as the roots should be avoided as it can be rather toxic to your cells. They can still be eaten, but they must be prepared properly. Keep in mind that consuming high dosages of moringa can also yield negative effects to your health.
The plant is also known to have laxative properties and may cause diarrhea, which is something to remember if you decide to take some moringa tea before heading out of the house.
Pregnant women should also avoid consuming moringa, particularly its roots, bark or flowers, as they can potentially cause a miscarriage. Moringa can cause the walls of the uterus to contract, causing potential harm to an unborn baby.
Lastly, it’s important to note that Moringa’s healing properties may interact negatively with prescription medication. For example, any medication that may go through or interact with the liver can be interrupted by moringa, as the plant can interfere with how quickly the medicine is dissolved. In another case, medicine that’s meant to decrease your blood pressure may end up lowering it to critical levels if you already have moringa in your system.
This same principle is applicable to other forms of medication that deal with the same symptoms and illnesses that Moringa plant is known to counteract. Before you purchase moringa for your own personal use, it’s best to err on the side of caution and contact a medical expert to make sure that taking moringa won’t interfere with any medication.