Moringa tree, scientifically known as Moringa oleifera, is a tree that naturally grows in South Asia. Today, this tree that grows quite fast is seen all over the tropical areas around the globe.
The leaves of Moringa tree have been utilized in many folk medicines for hundreds of years. For instance, the Ayurvedic medical system links this tree (or its leaves to be more precise) with the prevention and cure of over 300 diseases.
Moringa, also known as the horseradish tree, drumstick tree or even the miracle tree, comes with rounded small leaves that contain a myriad of nutrients including beta carotene, calcium, protein, potassium, vitamin C and more!
So, it is not a surprise why people have used it for medicinal purposes for more than four millennia.
Since moringa grows very fast, it is now frequently planted in impoverished areas including some parts of India, Senegal, and Malawi where people use it to enhance nutritional intake. The best part is that this tree’s leaves can be harvested all year round.
Everyone can try to grow a moringa tree in their yard. Most people will notice that it grows similar to a weed – fast and without any problems.
However, growing one in your yard that is not located in a place that has tropical climate is practically useless because the leaves will be extremely small and it will be very difficult to harvest and use these leaves. The good news is that you can find leaves like this in health stores.
Top 6 Reasons Why Moringa is considered a Superfood
1. Amazing nutritional value
Moringa leaves are packed with minerals, vitamins, amino acids and many other nutrients. It turns out that 100 grams of these leaves come with:
– 10 times the vitamin A found in carrots
– Nine times the protein found in yogurt
– 15 times the potassium found in bananas
– 12 times the vitamin C found in oranges
– 17 times the calcium found in milk
– 25 times the iron found in spinach
2. Rich in antioxidants
Another thing that is worth mentioning is that these leaves are an excellent source of powerful antioxidants like beta-carotene, vitamin C, chlorogenic acid, and quercetin. The chlorogenic acid, for example, has the ability to slow the absorption of sugar in cells and studies conducted on animals have indicated that it can stabilize blood sugar levels.
According to the reputable Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention, moringa tree leaves contain a high level of polyphenols which is the main reason why they provide such strong antioxidant effects.
The extracts from these leaves based on young and mature leaves show powerful antioxidant activity that can eliminate free radicals, keep people safe from oxidative damage and provide strong protection against damage caused by oxidation.
In addition, a scientific study where women were consuming one and a half teaspoon of this powder for 90 days, has shown that they were able to boost the antioxidant level drastically.
3. Stabilizes blood sugar levels
It turns out that moringa provides anti-diabetic effects too. It seems that the specific plant substances found in the leaves, especially isothiocyanates are the main reason for its effectiveness.
A scientific study conducted not while ago has confirmed that women who were consuming 7 grams of powder based on moringa leaves on a daily basis for about 90 days have lowered their blood sugar levels by up to 14%.
Another scientific research has shown that using 50 grams of these leaves in any meal during the day can lower blood sugar spikes by around 20% in those suffering from diabetes.
4. Lowers inflammation
The moringa leaves, as well as the seeds and pods of this tree, contain flavonoids, isothiocyanates, and phenolic acids. These compounds provide anti-inflammatory effects too. The reputable Epoch Times has reported that this tree’s powerful anti-inflammatory effects have been known for a long time and that’s why people have used them to heal stomach ulcers.
In addition, it’s good to know that moringa oil, also known as Ben oil, also has the ability to keep the liver safe from chronic inflammation. This oil is different than other vegetable oils because it can resist rancidity.
As a result of that, moringa oil is an excellent natural preservative used for foods that are prone to spoiling. Moringa oil is sweet oil that people often use as a salad dressing and for frying too. In addition, when used externally on the skin, it can fight arthritis and different antifungal issues or you can use it as a great natural skin moisturizer.
5. Keep normal levels of cholesterol
Moringa also provides cholesterol-lowering effects. A scientific study on lab animals has shown that the effects of moringa were similar to the effects of the popular pharmaceutical drug known as simvastatin.
The Journal of Ethnopharmacology has pointed out that moringa tree is part of the folk medicine in Thailand where it is used as a natural cardiotonic. Several scientific studies have confirmed that this plant can produce hypocholesterolemic effects.
In lab rabbits that have received foods rich in cholesterol, moringa has radically reduced the levels of cholesterol and atherocholesterol plaque levels (up to 85%) in 3 months. The effects from moringa can be compared to the ones delivered by simvastatin. Finally, the study results show that moringa has hypolipidemic, antioxidant and antiatherosclerotic properties and has the ability to prevent cardiovascular diseases too.
6. Keeps us safe from arsenic toxicity
Moringa seeds and leaves may be useful against certain effects created by arsenic toxicity which is very important today when many foods that people use on a daily basis like rice, may be polluted. Namely, ground water contamination by dangerous arsenic is a problem around the globe.
A scientific study performed recently has shown that the interaction of moringa oleifera seed powder and arsenic boosted the activities of superoxide dismutase or SOD, GPx and catalase and reduction of GSH level in brain, kidney and liver tissues.
All these changes were followed by around 17%, 64% and 57% reduction in lipid peroxidation, liver metallothionein, and blood reactive oxygen species in an animal that have taken moringa oleifera and arsenic.
What is worth mentioning is that the body has also lowered uptake of dangerous arsenic in soft tissues found in the brain, kidneys, liver and blood after lab animals have take moringa oleifera seed powder.
So, it can be said, based on this study, that taking moringa oleifera seed powder and arsenic can keep the animals safe from oxidative stress. People following chelation therapy can probably benefit from this practice too.
Moringa leaves have the ability to purify contaminated water and more!
When it comes to the digestive system, it is worth mentioning that moringa can be helpful too because it is rich in fiber. As we all know, fiber is an excellent cleanser for the intestines. Moringa can wipe out the leftovers that are usually stuck in the body.
Another thing that we should point out is that the presence of isothiocyanates, compounds with strong antibacterial properties can help the body eliminate H. pylori, well-known bacteria that trigger ulcers, gastritis, and gastric cancer. Finally, moringa seeds were extremely useful for purification of water. The results were better than the ones provided by most synthetic materials used nowadays.
The scientists from the Uppsala University have highlighted the fact that moringa seeds contain a protein that creates connections with impurities making them gather and the clusters can later be removed from the polluted water easily.
The team of scientists from the Uppsala University, as well as their colleagues and fellow researchers from Lund and from the USA, France, Botswana and Namibia, has been trying to learn more about the structure and organization of aggregates created with the protein.
These results indicate that the flocs (clusters of material) that are created with the protein are quite tight especially when compared to the ones formed with ordinary flocculating agents. So, this is a more efficient solution for water purification.
There are some experts that suggest that the ability of this plant to create bonds with dangerous materials may also take place in the human body which means that moringa can be used as a powerful detox tool.
Moringa: How to Use it in the Best Way?
In case you have access to moringa leaves, you should know that you can use them in different meals. Namely, these leaves have a taste that can be compared to radishes. You can blend these leaves in smoothies, prepare a salad or steam the leaves like spinach.
In addition, many people use moringa powder in the form of supplement or as part of soups, smoothies, and other similar foods. The powder has a specific green taste, so it’s the best idea to start using it slowly in low amounts.
It’s also a good idea to use cold-pressed, organic moringa oil, also known as ben oil. However, be prepared for a high price – moringa oil is around 15 times more expensive than olive oil. As previously mentioned, even though it’s not a wise move to plant a moringa tree in the yard, it’s always a smart idea to try the powder or leaves of this tree in case you find some at the local health food store.
Not while ago, a report by Fox News has confirmed that this plant has a wide range of healing and medicinal properties.
Almost every part of this plant can be used to address infectious disorders, inflammation and different issues of the digestive and cardiovascular organs. At the same time, moringa enhances liver function and boosts milk flow in mothers with babies. The many different ways in which we can use moringa are described in Unani and Ayurvedic scripts.
Moringa is an excellent source of a wide array of health-boosting substances and compounds like moringine, kaempferol, morninginine, rhamnetin, quercetin as well as many different polyphenols. According to many experts, moringa tree leaves are the most useful part of this plant and they have proven to be very efficient in stabilizing blood pressure, decreasing water weight and stabilizing cholesterol levels.
Scientific studies have confirmed that the leaves of this tree come with strong anticancer and antitumor properties mostly because of the presence of niaziminin in them. Initial experiments have shown positive effects against the Epstein-Barr virus too.
Substances found in moringa leaves can help people stabilize and optimize thyroid function. They are especially useful for those dealing with an overactive thyroid gland.