Moringa, (Moringa oleifera), is a plant native to parts of Africa and Asia. It is often referred to as the “Miracle Tree” or the “Tree of Life”, due to its nutritional and medicinal properties. It is also known as the Drumstick tree, due to it’s long, thin branches and triangular shaped seed pods.

Not only is every part of this tree useful and valuable for good health, but it is also easy to cultivate, harvest and to process for consumption. The health benefits of moringa are hard to overstate.

Moringa Habitat & Growth

Moringa is native to the foothills of the Himalaya Mountains, but now grows also in other tropical and subtropical countries throughout the world. It is a very hardy tree that can thrive even in drought conditions and poor soil.

The Moringa tree is slender with drooping branches, oval-shaped leaves and whitish-yellow flowers that ripen into pods containing round seeds, similar-looking to pea pods but much larger. This is why it is also often referred to as “drumstick tree.”

When the seed pods are mature, one can harvest the pods, remove the seeds, dry them and simply plant them one inch deep into the soil. Sprouting will occur within 2 – 3 weeks. In one year it will easily grow up to a height of 16 feet, and can finally reach a height of 32 – 40 feet. The seedlings and the tree itself tend to grow very rapidly.

To ensure the best growth, it is advisable to prune the top of the tree regularly to stimulate branching at the lower stem.

Parts of the Moringa Tree Used Medicinally

Various parts of the moringa tree, including its leaves, seeds and flowers are used for their nutritional and therapeutic benefits.

Active Ingredients in Moringa

Moringa is rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and bioactive compounds, making it a popular ingredient in traditional medicine and dietary supplements.

Moringa is a powerhouse of important minerals such as: iron, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc and calcium, as well as rich in 18 out of the 20 essential amino acids. Ounce for ounce, Moringa has three times the amount of potassium as bananas, three times the iron of spinach, seven times the amount of Vitamin C found in oranges, as well as large amounts of Vitamin E, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2 and Vitamin B3.

Moringa leaves contain four times the calcium found in milk, five times more beta-carotene than carrots, more than three times the amount of iron found in spinach or beef, and twice the amount of protein found in yogurt.

Moringa is also said to have the highest protein ration of any plant studied so far, with the leaves containing approximately 40% protein. In addition to that, Moringa contains chlorophyll, beta-sitosterol, lutein, zeatin and caffeoylquinic acids, all of which contribute to overall health.

The Latin term ‘oleifera’ means oil-containing, which is very fitting as Moringa seeds contains 35-40% oil by weight and can even yield more oil than peanuts.

Health Benefits of Moringa

Although modern researchers have only recently discovered and studied the value of Moringa, it has been used since ancient times to treat a wide range of ailments.

Moringa is believed to have various health benefits, including; boosting immunity, reducing inflammation, supporting digestive health, promoting skin and hair health and providing energy. Today it is a popular health “superfood” in many countries because it improves overall health and provides a wide range of essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals.

These days there are many poverty and malnutrition stricken areas around the world. To combat this misfortune, Moringa trees are now popularly grown and cultivated in a large number of regions.

Moringa Plant Oils

Moringa is one of the most valuable plant oils, containing numerous health properties. Similar to coconut oil, Moringa oil is very stable even at high temperatures and can therefore safely be used for cooking. This magic oil, with its antioxidant and anti-ageing properties, is the perfect product for head to toe treatments.

Moringa for Water Purification

Not only do the seeds produce this wonderful oil, they are also used for water purification due to its coagulation and antimicrobial properties. The process involves preparing Moringa seeds, extracting them in water, and using the resulting seed extract as a coagulant. This coagulant is added to turbid water, causing impurities to clump together. After settling, the clearer water is separated or filtered, reducing turbidity and microbial content.

While this method is considered simple and cost-effective, its efficacy can vary, and it may not address all waterborne contaminants. Use in water purification should be approached with caution and may be more suitable in areas with limited access to conventional water treatment.

Moringa seeds have also been used to make an antibacterial hand-washing soap.

Moringa to Boost Immune System

This all around miracle tree boosts the immune system in astonishing ways. There are innumerable accounts of Moringa either reducing or even eliminating sickle cell anemia and even HIV/AIDS.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University, and the World Health Organization, have studied Moringa extensively and report an impressive range of properties including: antibotic, antifungal, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, cholesterol-lowering, antispasmodic, anti-ulcer and antioxidant qualities.

Weight Loss with Moringa Leaves

Moringa leaves are one of the most nutritionally dense leafy greens, as well as being low on the glycemic index (GI), meaning they provide goodness and are rich in fiber, but do not create spikes in blood glucose. For this reason, Moringa is a good food source for those wishing to eat a healthy diet as they maintain or lose weight.

As mentioned above, Moringa can also help with lowering cholesterol levels in the body.

Moringa oleifera is not only an ideal food source to add to your diet, giving you the nutrients that you need, but is also a powerful supplement that can be used to detoxify and heal many issues in the body.

How to Take Moringa

There are many ways in which Moringa can be consumed. The leaves can be used fresh or dried and brewed to make a delicious healthy tea. Fresh leaves are a tasty and nutritious addition to any salad.

Eating the fresh nutty tasting seeds raw or cooked gives a welcome energy boost. Health food shops offer Moringa in the form of capsules or powder. The powder can be added to food products as a nutritional supplement.

The leaves will be classed as a herb and the seeds and flowers will be classed as spices. In addition, Moringa oil can be used in cooking, as well as being applied topically to benefit the skin.

Always take care when taking herbs and Read Our Disclaimer.

Moringa Herb Notes / Side Effects

While moringa is generally considered safe for most people when consumed in appropriate amounts, excessive intake or certain conditions may lead to potential side effects.

Some possible side effects of moringa include:

Digestive issues: Consuming large amounts of moringa leaves or supplements may cause digestive discomfort, such as diarrhea, nausea, or stomach upset, in some individuals. This is more likely to occur if moringa is taken in high doses or on an empty stomach.

Interference with medication: Moringa may interact with certain medications or supplements, particularly those that are processed by the liver. It contains compounds that can affect the activity of enzymes responsible for drug metabolism, potentially altering the effectiveness or side effects of medications. Individuals taking prescription medications should consult with their healthcare provider before adding moringa to their routine.

Blood sugar lowering effects: Moringa has been shown to have blood sugar-lowering properties, which may be beneficial for individuals with diabetes. However, it can also enhance the effects of diabetes medications or insulin, leading to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) if not monitored closely. People with diabetes should monitor their blood sugar levels carefully when consuming moringa and consult with a healthcare provider to adjust medication dosages as needed.

Risk of allergic reactions: Some individuals may be allergic to moringa, particularly those who are allergic to other plants in the same family, such as ragweed, marigold, or daisies. Allergic reactions to moringa may manifest as skin rash, itching, hives, or difficulty breathing. Anyone with known allergies to similar plants should use caution when trying moringa products.

Risk during pregnancy and breastfeeding: While moringa is generally safe for consumption, there is limited research on its safety during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Pregnant or breastfeeding women should consult with their healthcare provider before using moringa supplements to ensure safety for both mother and baby.

As with any dietary supplement or herbal remedy, it’s essential to use moringa responsibly and in moderation. Individuals with underlying health conditions, allergies, or concerns about potential interactions should seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional before incorporating moringa into their diet or supplement regimen.



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