Moringa the Miracle Tree and Super Food - the ultimate guide to Benefits
What are the Origins of the Moringa Tree
There are records of the moringa tree being used by the Egyptians and also notes in Indian records of about 5000 years ago. There are many “old wives” tales and natural moringa remedies that have been passed down from generation to generation.
What is very clear about the Moringa tree is that it really is a miracle tree. The Moringa tree has become folklore in many cultures.
By the time you finish this article, you will know why the moringa tree is often referred to as the “miracle tree”.
Learn about its benefits, how it can help cure 300 plus different conditions and know which are the best moringa teas, powder, capsules and more.
Moringa Tree and What is it Good For
Where Does it Grow
This amazing tree is grown in the Indian continent (including Pakistan), most of Africa, the Philippines, the Caribbean, and warmer parts of South America. Lately, it has also been getting a lot of interest from warmer parts of the US like Florida and California where you can grow the moringa tree very well. You can read our article on how to grow a moringa tree from cuttings and seeds or even grow moringa in containers inside you home or appartment!
Moringa Tree - What is it
The moringa tree probably has more names than any other trees in history.
It goes by the names
It is called drumstick because of its seed pods which have a long slender outline or shape very similar to drumsticks.
I have also heard it be called the horseradish tree, this comes from the tree’s roots. They have a similar taste to horseradish - although I have never tasted them.
Benzolive tree or Ben tree - this name comes from the oil which the seeds produce.
Other names for the moringa plant or tree I have found are
- Ben Oil Tree
- Drumstick Vegetable
The tree is actually deciduous and an older tree can grow up to approximately 40 ft high.
In addition, the moringa tree grows rapidly at a rate of 4-6 feet per year depending on climate. So it can be a really fast-growing tree. It is the second fastest growing tree in the world behind bamboo!
So if you want to keep the tree shorter then you need to prune it regularly.
The flowers from the moringa plant are quite fragrant -and have white to yellow petals.
Different parts of the moringa tree.
Now we get to the interesting part - Every part of the Moringa tree is good for us and actually animals like cats and dogs as well. I am going to cover the leaves, roots, bark, seeds, and flowers.
You can use these in a wide number of applications. From spicing up your food to making a really healthy Moringa shake through to natural Moringa remedies and as it is often reported that you can use Moringa to purify water.
As already stated the tree is a fast grower with good strong roots. It tends to have a canopy that looks like an umbrella. So it is actually a great benefit as a shade tree in hot climates. But this is really the least of its benefits as you will see by reading on.
While the pods are growing they are green in color and look like a drumstick - hence the name drumstick tree. As the pods mature they tend to go brownish and when they are fully ripe they open up expelling the seeds. When the pods are quite young and green you can eat the pods very much like you would eat beans. You can eat them raw, even straight from the tree. Alternatively, you can cook them and consume them as a vegetable. They are also a tasty addition to salads. The best time to eat the seeds is when they are quite young. The smaller the better- the older they get you can not eat them raw and the longer you need to cook them. In addition to beans many people also say that moringa pods taste a bit like asparagus.
The seeds come from the pods and there is usually around 18-22 per pod. The seeds are actually very easy to use for growing a new tree - more on that later. When the seeds are young they are quite tender - but as soon as they are dried they get quite hard.
Moringa seeds' taste tends to be quite earthy - but you can certainly eat them.
What is recommended is that you consume them in small doses. Why because they have a “cleansing” or detox effect on your digestive system. So we suggest you eat a very small amount to start until you see if they have an effect on your stomach.
Another way to consume Moringa seeds is to add them to other foods, like casseroles or soups. I have also heard of them be used in bread or cornbread mixes to give the bread a little more texture.
One of the best uses for moringa seeds is as a Flocculant for clarifying water - read all about how to do it and the method here.
Moringa leaves can be consumed in a number of ways - they can be eaten dried, fresh off the tree or cooked. Of course, a lot of them are also made into powder. Even as dried products the leaves can retain their nutritional benefits for years,
By grinding the leaves up you can use the powder in a salad dressing recipe.
Another favourite is to pop it into your guacamole - and hey presto it will be greener and healthier - I love moringa guacamole.
Flowers from the moringa tree can also be used, eaten, or cooked with. They are not a large flower but are valued highly. Read here for all the things you can do with these moringa flowers.
What are the Benefits of Moringa?
Moringa Lowers Inflammation.
In a study from Avicenna Journal of Phytomedicine, their conclusion suggests that “a useful therapeutic activity for (hydro-alcoholic extract MSHE) and chloroform fraction (MCF) as an anti-inflammatory and anti ulcerative medicinal plant for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) conditions. Oral administration of MSHE, even with low doses, could be considered as an alternative remedy for IBD conditions and/or prevention of its recurrence.
Also, is properties of isothiocyanates and polyphenols can reduce inflammation by reducing inflammatory enzymes and boosting the production of anti-inflammatory cytokines.
Moringa lowers blood pressure and sugar levels.
Its niaziminin and isothiocyanate contents help stop the arteries from thickening - which causes the blood pressure to go high. Also, Moringa leaves contain antioxidant chlorogenic acid that keeps the blood sugar levels in good condition and may have an effect on how the body releases insulin. And it has a rich content of 25% plant protein which reduces type 2 diabetes.
Moringa nourishes the skin and hair.
Moringa oil extract contains vitamins such as vitamins A, C, and E which are essentials in radiating the skin, protecting it from oxidative stress, help gives the natural amount of collagen to fight off wrinkles, dry skin, and sun damage.
Not just that, it also contains proteins, antioxidants, and anti-bacterial elements. These elements will help repair damaged cells from free radicals and prevent acne breakouts that are caused by pollution, unhealthy diet, and sun exposure.
Moringa helps indigestion.
Moringa powder contains a high amount of calcium and fiber that help the digestive enzymes to function well and relieves constipation. Its anti-inflammatory content could also help in treating stomach ulcers and diseases. Moreover, Moringa is a natural antibiotic, known as pterygospermin, that prevents the growth of pathogens in our system that can upset our stomach. Some bacteria-causing diseases that can be cured by Moringa are Staphylococcus aureus, Citrobacter freundii, Pseudomonas fluorescens, and Bacillus megaterium.
Moringa helps you keep energized all day.
No, it does not contain caffeine or amphetamine stimulants that keep you awake all throughout the day. It helps your body release energy by giving vitamins B1 and B2 that are important contributing factors in converting sugar to energy. Plus, iron and magnesium, which are also found in Moringa, are good in supporting metabolism ad fights off fatigue and tiredness.
Also, Moringa is rich in amino acids which are composed of leucine, isoleucine, and valine. These elements are good helpful in treating muscular weakness and are a good alternative to red meat.
Moringa protects the liver.
The amino acids found in Moringa leaves or powder are able to resist toxins and make regenerate cell membranes for a short time. Thus, it helps the liver’s filtration activity to get better in shrugging off toxins. Moreover, it has methionine which is responsible for lowering cholesterol levels by increasing the liver’s production of lecithin - helps in getting rid of fats and improve bladder condition.
Moringa boosts your immune system.
As we have said above, Moringa has been used to combat malnutrition because of its high nutritional benefits. With over 40 powerful antioxidants and several minerals and vitamins, it can surely protect us from infections, flu, and other common health issues.
It is extremely rich in vitamin C, which is the best vitamins in boosting the immune system. It has even more content of vitamin C than oranges, papaya, and grapefruits. It is also rich in Zinc, which is responsible for wound healing and growth and development of the body. It is also rich in antioxidants, which are essentials in fighting infectious and carcinogenic cells. Iron is also one of the high content amounts found in Moringa; we all know that iron is a great solution for anemia.
Morninga enhances brain activity
Its antioxidant and neuro-enhancer contents support cognitive activity and the brain’s health. The high amount of vitamin C and E contribute to the brain’s oxidation which is great in preventing dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Moringa is also able to produce happy hormones such as serotonin, noradrenaline, and dopamine which can help depression and stimulate pleasures and moods.
Can Moringa Help Arthritis (Science Backed REF)
Arthritis is one of the most common ailments today which affects 91 million Americans. It is when inflammation happens in one of the joints in the body particularly on the knees, fingers, elbows, wrist, and ankles, thus, causing too much swelling, pain, stiffness, and redness.
There are two common types of arthritis. One is Osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease. This can happen as you age or caused by a breakdown of the cartilage, bony changes of the joints, deterioration of joints and ligaments, or any injury in the joint.
Another type is Rheumatoid Arthritis. It is an autoimmune disease that often begins in 30-50 years of age. It causes joint pains, stiffness, and swelling. The most affected parts are the hand and feet and eventually affects the organs such as lungs, eyes, and skin.
Experts say that the common treatment for arthritis can be a healthy diet, physical therapy, weight loss, exercise, and others may go for surgery if the symptoms already needs it.
HOW MORINGA HELPS PATIENTS WITH ARTHRITIS
Having all of its proven health benefits, here are some keys on how Moringa can help ease Arthritis:
Moringa Can Reduce Inflammation
Inflammation can be the contributing factor to obesity in a person due to body fat tissue. Intense and severe inflammation can lead to damages in the heart, brain, lungs, and other vital organs.
Due to the presence of anti-inflammatory properties in Moringa, pain and swelling can be reduced because of the minerals such as Calcium, Magnesium, and vitamin K.
Its seeds, leaves, flowers, and bark contain a variety of phytochemicals that notably gives a huge amount of anti-inflammatory. Two of which are flavonoids and isothiocyanates.
Flavonoids, according to a study, are considered essential content in different uses especially in pharmaceuticals, medicinal, nutraceuticals, and cosmetics. Its key features are anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic, and anti-mutagenic along with their capacity to produce cellular enzyme function.
On the other hand, isothiocyanates have been linked to its ability to make pro-inflammatory pathways and biotransformation of enzymes that evolved in metabolism and elimination of xenobiotics in the body and also makes anti-oxidant, anti-cancer, and anti-inflammatory pathways.
Moringa can reduce Gout
One of the most common symptoms of Arthritis is a pain in several joint areas. This usually happens in the wrists, hips, knees, feet, and hands.
Due to Osteoarthritis, the cartilage breaks down which serves as a shock absorption of joints. Also, when gout starts to give intense pain, it is because of uric crystal acid build-up that precipitates out from the blood and deposited in the joint which causes pain and swelling.
A study has shown that Moringa produces not jus anti-inflammatory but also anti-nociceptive activities that reduce the COX-2 enzyme that is responsible for the pain felt in the joints.
Arthritis Reduce Cardiovascular risk using Moringa
Cardiovascular risk in rheumatoid arthritis can be dangerous. The reason behind this risk aside from chronic inflammation are high blood pressure and abnormal lipids or hyperlipidemia.
People with these symptoms have less-elastic arteries, high-level of bad cholesterols, and low-level of good cholesterols.
Moreover, Moringa contains the important nutrients needed for these said diseases. It has a rich amount of Magnesium, Potassium, Zinc, vitamin E, and vitamin C. These are all critical and essential in making the blood vessels back to its normal way.
Calcium is needed for the muscle’s relaxation and contraction; Potassium helps the blood vessels dilate; Magnesium, Zinc, and vitamin E helps in reducing the blood pressure.
Also, Moringa leaves have their own antioxidant properties that help improve lipid profiles to decrease every chronic risk in the body.
How to Use Moringa?
Now that you have learned some of the several benefits of Moringa, you might be wondering how to add this to your diet or meal. You don’t have to worry about the taste since it has a very mild tea-like flavor, you won’t even notice that it has Moringa on it.
Here are some ways how to do it:
Let’s start the daily habit of adding a smoothie for a healthy lifestyle. You can mix the Moringa powder with your green vegetables or nuts or fruits.
If you love baking, Moringa powder or leaves can be a good healthy alternative to your ingredients. You can just sprinkle the leaves or powder to your flour mixture and you can definitely have a good amount of vitamins and minerals to your cakes, cookies, tarts, cupcakes, bread, etc. If you are a vegan, this is highly recommended.
If you lack green leafy vegetables for your soups, salads, toasts, guacamole, and other recipes, you can sprinkle enough amount of Moringa leaves or powder to it.
Moringa can also be a good alternative for matcha or any caffeinated drinks. You can add the powder and whisk it to hot water or you can boil the leaves with water and drink every morning.
Take note: there are no studies that prove overdosage in Moringa, but for safety, start a small amount of it or follow the instructions of your Moringa capsule supplements. For pregnant and lactating mothers and people with critical and sensitive illness, consult your doctor for the best recommendation.
Moringa’s Nutritional Value - The FACTS
Moringa oleifera has been popular over the decades for its high nutritional value. As you have read above, it contains several antioxidants, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, vitamins, and minerals that are beneficial to our bodies. According to studies, it can treat hundreds of diseases and helps longevity.
According to the U.S Department of Agriculture’s database, 100 grams of Moringa leaves contain these recommended daily allowances:
- 147mg Magnesium
- 52mg vitamin C
- 1.2mg vitamin B6
- 2 grams of Protein
- 0.66 Riboflavin
- 0.378mg vitamin A
- 4mg Iron
- 9.4g Protein
- 2g Fiber
- 185g Calcium
- 337mg Potassium
- 9mg Sodium
- 112mg Phosphorus
- 0.6mg Zinc
- 0.15mg Copper
- 0.26mg Thiamin
- 2.22mg Niacin
- 0.4mg Folate
- 8.3g Carbohydrate
- 1.4g Fat
These are just the vitamins and minerals found in Moringa oleifera leaves. The antioxidants (Antioxidant 9, 11,12, 13, 14, 15) present in Moringa are 46 in total and has 71 anti-microbial content, 36 anti-inflammatories, 9 essential amino acids, and 92 nutrients.
Men also use moringa to great benefit - we have and article here.
Other items of the advantage of taking Moringa daily
- Protecting and nourishing skin and hair.
- Treating edema.
- Treating stomach complaints.
- Fighting against bacterial diseases.
- Making bones healthier.
- Treating mood disorders.
Is it safe to take moringa daily
Most Moringa Pills or Capsules recommends a daily serving size of 5-10 grams. Moringa is considered to be a vegetable, similar to broccoli or spinach - therefore its consumption is generally thought of as safe.
Should I take Moringa in the morning or at night?
We think the best time is to have moringa in the morning. Whether it be as part of a smoothie, a simple breakfast But even as an afternoon snack, you really can't go wrong with a little moringa every day.
Can Moringa be taken at night?
Moringa can also be consumed as a tea. If you do not like the taste add some spices and herbs — such as cinnamon and lemon — this can help offset the slightly earthy taste of pure moringa leaf tea. The good thinf is that mornga is naturally caffeine-free, so you can consume it as a relaxing drink before bed
Does Moringa make u poop?
Moringa powder is produced from the dried and ground leaves of the plant and it has a delightful earthy or spinach-like flavor. Moringa leaves may have a laxative effect when consumed in high doses and make u poop.
PRECAUTIONS IN USING MORINGA
While there has been no scientific study of Moringa as being a threat to our health, regardless of the dosage and usage, precautionary measures are still to be observed especially for those who have special conditions or health issues.
Moringa roots and root extracts may contain a toxic substance, but its leaves are totally safe for usage.
People who are pregnant and breast-feeding should consult medical professional first before taking Moringa as a supplement. There is not enough information yet on how Moringa takes effect on pregnancy and infants.