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Moringa or drumstick is one of the most widely used plants in the history of mankind. The uniqueness of Moringa lies in the fact that it can be grown in the most water deficit conditions. It manages to be such a rich source of a lot of essential nutrients, minerals, and vitamins without needing much care. In fact, scholars all over the world consider it to be a superfood. With the advancement in researches, more and more people are becoming aware of the health benefits of this plant. Apart from being used as a food, Moringa plant is being used as a fuel, cattle feed, fertilizer and in cosmetics and perfumeries. Isn’t that amazing.

As wonderful as this plant is today, it is not a modern discovery. It might interest you to know that Moringa plant has been in use by humans since 150 B.C. According to some historians, Moringa was the primary nutritional supplement of Mauryan army which is famously known for defeating Alexander's army. According to ayurveda, Moringa has an ability to treat at least 300 human diseases. Moringa leaves alone have been known for their excellent healing potential. Looking at all of the health benefits of Moringa, one realizes that it is aptly named a miracle tree.

Some basic facts about Moringa

  • Botanical name: Moringa oleifera
  • Family: Fabaceae
  • Common name: Sehajan, Sahijan, Drumstick plant, Horseradish tree, ben oil tree.
  • Sanskrit name: Shobanjana, Danshamula, Sigru Shobhanjan.
  • Parts used: Roots, bark, seed pods, leaves, sap, flowers.
  • Native region and geographical distribution: Moringa is a native of North India but it is found commonly in the tropics and subtropics zones of the world.
  • Energetics: Heating/ warming.
  1. Moringa health benefits
  2. Moringa uses
  3. Moringa dosage
  4. Moringa side effects

Moringa is rightly called the wonder plant for its many healing benefits. Regular consumption of Moringa is not only known to ward off diseases but the nutritional qualities of this plant make it a perfect food supplement for building health and nutritional deficiencies. Let’s explore some of the medicinal benefits of Moringa.

  • Highly nutritious: Moringa is loaded with nutrients and minerals and is an excellent source of fibre. It is widely used as an ingredient in health supplements in India and Africa.
  • Benefits for nursing mothers: Moringa has been evidenced a galactagogue. It improves milk secretion and flow in lactating mothers.
  • Promotes weight loss: Moringa contains bioactive agents that have been suggested to possess weight loss benefits. They reduce body weight and improve BMI without any side effects.
  • Beneficial for skin and hair: Moringa is an all-encompassing solution for your skin and scalp problems. It hydrates and nourishes your skin, improves hair growth, prevents UV damage and delays ageing signs like dark spots, wrinkles and hair greying.
  • Reduces blood pressure: Research evidence suggests that moringa juice contains hypotensive (reducing blood pressure) properties, which is attributed to the flavonoids present in it.
  • Improves Alzheimer’s symptoms: In vivo (lab-based) studies indicate that the antioxidants present in moringa are effective in improving memory and delaying cognition loss in case of Alzheimer’s. However, these findings are yet to be confirmed in clinical settings.

Apart from the above benefits, moringa has also been suggested to be effective in preventing anaemia.

  1. Moringa for eyes
  2. Moringa as an antioxidant
  3. Moringa for anemia
  4. Moringa for Alzheimer's
  5. Moringa anticancer properties
  6. Moringa for nursing mothers
  7. Moringa for men
  8. Moringa benefits for hair
  9. Moringa weight loss benefits
  10. Moringa nutrition source
  11. Moringa benefits for skin
  12. Moringa for cholesterol
  13. Moringa for diabetes
  14. Moringa for high blood pressure
  15. Moringa anti-inflammatory potential
  16. Moringa for liver

Moringa for eyes

Moringa leaves are known to be one of the most nutritious foods in the plant kingdom. It is not only rich in essential minerals and nutrients but it is also a rich source of vitamins. Vitamin A, as we all know is very important for the health and well being of our eyes. Deficiency in this particular vitamin leads to conditions like night blindness, cataract, and loss of vision in extreme cases.

Studies suggest that Moringa leaf and seeds are a rich source of Vitamin A. It was further claimed that consumption of this plant provides for a big portion of our daily dietary requirements of vitamin A and vitamin C.

An in vitro study indicates that ethanol extracts of Moringa leaves can efficiently reduce cataract symptoms. But, there is no evident study to confirm the anti-cataract benefits of moringa leaves in humans. So, it is best to talk to your doctor to understand the benefits of Moringa plant for your eyes.

Moringa as an antioxidant

Antioxidants are the bioactive compounds responsible for scavenging free radicals in the body. Thus, they help reduce the body’s oxidative stress and alleviate the risk of some chronic degenerative diseases like arthritis, atherosclerosis (plaque formation in arteries), asthma, cancer etc. In vitro and in vivo studies hint that certain compounds present in Moringa plant make it an efficient antioxidant.

A study done in India suggests that extracts of moringa leaves, bark, roots, and flower have excellent therapeutic and antioxidant potential. Furthermore, it was suggested that the Moringa plant has at least 30 different antioxidants. In another study, a flavonoid present in Moringa leaves is claimed to be responsible for its antioxidant activity.

Moringa for anemia

Moringa is used in the traditional medicine system as a remedy for anemia. Recent studies suggest that Moringa is an excellent source of iron. Additionally, it is claimed that Moringa leaves are an anti-anemia agent.

Its efficiency is believed to be more than the commercially approved drug ferric citrate. However, in the absence of clinical trials, it is best to ask your doctor about the anti-anemic effects of Moringa.

(Read more: Anemia treatment)

Moringa for Alzheimer's

Alzheimer’s is a neurodegenerative (hampers brain function) disease. The symptoms of which is marked by loss of memory and cognition along with deterioration of normal brain function. According to the Alzheimer’s Association of the USA, around 80% of the cases of dementia can be associated with Alzheimer’s. The current line of treatment includes costly drugs and repetitive administration.

In vivo studies hint that aqueous extracts of Moringa leaves have strong antioxidant potential which can help in slowing down the progress of Alzheimer’s. Furthermore, research suggests that the Vitamin and flavonoids present in Moringa leaves may be responsible for its antioxidant activity. Due to the absence of human studies, it is best to refer to your ayurvedic doctor to know more about the therapeutic potential of this plant in Alzheimer’s.

(Read more: Alzheimer’s disease causes)

Moringa anticancer properties

The anticancer potential of Moringa plant has been studied for the treatment of various kind of cancers including breast cancer, colon cancer, lung cancer, skin cancer and liver cancer. All of the lab-studies indicate that Moringa leaves, stem, root and bark extracts are excellent anti-cancer agents when given as an oral drug.

It has been further claimed that Moringa extracts initiate apoptosis (cell death) of cancer cell lines thereby reducing the spread of cancer cells in the body. A further study suggests that the root extract of Moringa plant is more efficient in killing cancer cells than the leaf extract.

According to a review article published in the Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention, Moringa plant is rich in a compound called glucomoringin which is primarily responsible for mediating the apoptosis in human cancer cells. However, more studies are still needed to confirm the anti-cancer potential of moringa plant in humans.

(Read more: Symptoms of cancer)

Moringa for nursing mothers

According to ayurvedic doctors, Moringa is an excellent galactagogue (increases breast milk). A review article published in the Philippine Journal of Pediatrics Indicates that at least 5 clinical trials have been done so far to test the efficiency of moringa in improving milk flow in breastfeeding mothers.

All of the clinical studies show a significant increase in the amount of milk and milk flow in nursing mothers. However, the mechanism of action is still unclear and needs more research. Nursing mothers are recommended to check in with your doctor to know the possible effects of Moringa on you and your newborn.

Moringa for men

Moringa is a known aphrodisiac in traditional medicine system. Animal-based studies suggest that Moringa has a stimulatory effect on the testosterone levels in males.

Furthermore, it is claimed that consumption of Moringa leaves can improve sexual stimulation. But, no human studies have been done so far to confirm similar effects on humans. So, it's best to refer to your ayurveda doctor to know more about the aphrodisiac properties of Moringa.

Moringa benefits for hair

Moringa plant is a rich source of essential nutrients, Vitamins, and minerals. This nutritive property of Moringa makes it an excellent tonic for hair. Moringa hair masks are used widely to obtain longer and healthier hairs.

Additionally, Moringa is known to be a rich source of antioxidants which have a great value in reducing hair fall and premature greying of hairs. Moringa oil is an excellent moisturizer which makes it the perfect remedy for a dry and itchy scalp. Thus, Moringa is a nutritive and a blessing for your hairs.

Moringa weight loss benefits

Moringa is a known weight loss agent in Ayurvedic and traditional medicine system. Animal-based studies claim that moringa isothiocyanates exhibit marked anti-obesity properties. In two different clinical trials, polyherbal formulations (consisting of more than one herb) of moringa have been reported to be effective in reducing total body weight and BMI (basal metabolic index) without showing any serious side effects.

However, more studies need to be done to know the mechanism of action and proper dosage for moringa for its weight loss benefits. It’s always recommended that you talk to an ayurvedic doctor before using Moringa as a weight loss supplement.

(Read more: Obesity Causes)

Moringa nutrition source

According to research, Moringa is one of the highest plant sources of nutrition. Studies suggest that Moringa bark is a rich source of lipids while its fruit is rich in carbohydrates. Almost all parts of moringa plant have been found to be rich in fibre. Moringa has also been reported to be rich in minerals like Zinc, Iron, Calcium, Sodium, Magnesium, and Potassium. In fact, it has been widely used as a health supplement in various nutrition programs in India and Africa. However, some lab-studies indicate that moringa leaf has some indigestible nutrients. If you are interested to know if moringa as a health supplement is right for you, it is best to talk to a dietician or a health expert.

Moringa benefits for skin

Who does not desire a young and glowing skin? Numerous brands thrive on their cosmetic and beauty product lines. Unfortunately, most of these products are made of chemical-based components which come with their own side effects. With the rise in awareness, there has been an increasing demand for plant-based or natural products.

Moringa is one such plant which is widely studied and used for its skin nourishing and anti-ageing benefits. Apart from providing all the benefits of its predecessors, these natural products don’t have as many long-term side effects on the body or skin.

Recent studies suggest that Moringa leaf extracts can reduce UV damage to the skin along with giving it a fresh glow. Further studies hint that Moringa is rich in oleic acid which is an excellent moisturizer and cleanser for skin. The moisturizing property of Moringa oil is being used in making various lotions and cosmetics.

Additionally, the flavonoids and phenolics present in Moringa are claimed to have potent anti-ageing potential. A natural compound which not only makes the skin look younger and healthier but also helps you age more gracefully. All the above-mentioned properties of moringa make it an ideal choice for everybody looking for perfect radiant looking skin. 

Moringa for cholesterol

In vitro (lab-based) studies suggest that the phenolics and tannins present in moringa leaves have hypolipidemic (reduces cholesterol) properties.  

It was reported that the active components of moringa leaf have an inhibitory effect on a pancreatic enzyme which leads to a reduction in cholesterol absorption by the body and release of extra cholesterol along with excreta. In an in vivo study, it was suggested that the butanol fragment of moringa leaves can be useful in lowering the blood cholesterol levels in the body.

However, due to the lack of clinical evidence, not much can be discussed about the hypolipidemic activity of moringa on humans.

(Read more: High cholesterol treatment)

Moringa for diabetes

In vivo (animal based) studies are suggestive of hypoglycemic (lowers blood sugar levels) effects of moringa leaf extracts.  

According to an article published in the International Journal for Food Science and Nutrition, moringa doesn’t have a direct effect on the insulin sensitivity in the body. However, in a recent clinical study, a combination of Moringa and neem extracts have been found to be more potent in reducing blood sugar levels than either of these herbs alone.

In another human-based research, it was found that moringa leaf did not significantly lower the blood sugar levels in people living with diabetes. So, it’s best to ask your ayurvedic doctor before taking moringa in any form for diabetes. 

(Read more: Symptoms of diabetes)

Moringa for high blood pressure

Numerous studies have been done to test the efficiency of moringa in maintaining blood pressure in the body. At least two in vivo studies suggest that Moringa seeds are useful in lowering high blood pressure.

In a recent clinical study, 20 men suffering from high blood pressure were given moringa leaf juice twice a day for a thirty day period. At the end of the designated time, it was observed that all the subjects showed a marked reduction in both diastolic and systolic blood pressure levels. It was further suggested that the flavonoids present in moringa leaves may be the primary hypotensive agent (reduces blood pressure). However, more studies are being conducted to test the effects of moringa leaves on females.

(Read more: High blood pressure symptoms)

Moringa anti-inflammatory potential

Inflammation refers to the swelling and reddening of an injured area of the body. According to doctors, it is actually a sign that our immune system is actively fighting against an infection. Diseases like bronchitis (inflammation in the respiratory system) and dermatitis (skin inflammation) are commonly associated with inflammation.

A number of studies suggest that Moringa leaves are an excellent anti-inflammatory agent. An in vivo study suggests that ethyl acetate extracts of Moringa leaves have potent anti-inflammatory effects against cigarette smoke. It was further suggested that Moringa leaves have a direct inhibitory effect on the immune system cytokines, which are the primary inflammatory compounds in the body. Another study claims that the isothiocyanate fraction of Moringa leaves is responsible for its anti-inflammatory effects. However, most of these studies have been in laboratories or are animal-based models. Not much is evident about the anti-inflammatory effects of Moringa in humans.

(Read more: Bronchitis symptoms)

Moringa for liver

Numerous in vivo studies have been done to test the hepatoprotective (protecting liver) activity of Moringa. All lab studies indicate that Moringa extracts efficiently prevent liver damage. One such study suggests that moringa leaves interfere with the genetic expression to reduce accumulation of fats and inflammation in the liver.

(Read more: Hepatitis symptoms)

Further animal-based study hints that Moringa leaves exhibit a strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effect to alleviate symptoms of liver damages in case of fibrosis. Due to the absence of human studies, it is best to refer to your doctor before taking moringa as a health supplement.

Almost all parts of moringa are used for their culinary or healing benefits. Moringa is probably the most common part of South Indian Cuisine. Moringa is also consumed with salad in some cuisines. Moringa oil is commonly used for cooking. According to some researchers, the oil obtained from Moringa is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs, good fat) which make it a perfect substitute for olive oil. Moringa oil is now being used in the commercial production of a number of cosmetics including body lotions, lip balms, creams etc. Some weight loss recipes use Moringa in the form of juice and tea along with honey. 

The high nutritional value of Moringa finds its use in the form of energy bars and energy drinks. Other products like Moringa powder, Moringa tablets, and Moringa capsules are also prescribed by some Ayurvedic doctors for its medicinal and health-building properties.

Additionally,  Moringa leaves are used as livestock feed and the extracts of its leaves have been in use as a growth hormone to increase plant growth. Moringa stems are also used in the form of a manure.

(Read more: Olive oil benefits)

Due to the lack of clinical studies, there is no known ideal dosage for Moringa. So, if you are looking forward to taking Moringa as a health supplement, it is best to check in with your ayurvedic doctor.

  • There has been no significant research to confirm the safety of Moringa during pregnancy. Some studies indicate that some parts of Moringa can cause abortion. Pregnant women are highly suggested to check with their doctor before taking Moringa in any form.
  • The hypoglycemic effects of Moringa can make it unsuitable for many people living with diabetes who are already on blood glucose lowering medicines.
  • Moringa is known to decrease blood pressure. If you have a naturally low blood pressure or if you are on medicines for maintaining blood pressure, it is best that you refer to your doctor before taking Moringa in any form.
  • An animal-based study suggests that long-term intake of Moringa leaves may cause damage to liver and kidneys. Hence one should not exceed more than the prescribed dose of moringa in any form.
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