What is Moringa?
With increasing research in indigenous medicine and health systems, the world is now waking up to a new magical plant. The plant Moringa oleifera, commonly known as the drumstick tree or the horseradish plant, has been used by communities in India for centuries. Sometimes the Moringa Oleifera plant is also called the Ben Oil tree or even the ‘miracle tree’. In India, moringa leaves and other parts of the moringa tree are used in curries and are added to local varieties of lentil soup. Almost all parts of the moringa plants benefits the health and diet and can be used.
For instance, the moringa leaves, bark, flowers, fruit, seeds, and oil, can all be used. The moringa plant can also be consumed in powder form, where fresh moringa leaves are dried and crushed to make a fine powder. Moringa health benefits are many, from preventing diseases such as diabetes, arthritis, liver, anemia, heart disease, and respiratory disease, to the skin and digestive disorders. However, as the moringa plant popularizes, it is also important to know how to use it and what are the side effects. Today in the West, Morning leaves are available in the dried and ground to powder form as Moringa leaf powder. It is also popularly available as a Moringa supplement or Moringa capsules
What are Moringa Health benefits?
We have already introduced to you the traditional history of the Moringa Oleifera. Now let us look in detail into its many health benefits. The following are some of the main health benefits of the versatile Moringa Oleifera plant:
- Dr. Monica Marcu, in her book, Miracle Tree, writes how moringa is one of the rare plants that contains “all of the 9 essential amino acids the body cannot produce”. For plant-based diets, a daily dose of Moringa can ensure sufficient protein in the diet.
- Apart from being rich in amino acids, moringa is loaded with vitamins and minerals like calcium and potassium.
- Works as an antioxidant. Reduces neuron degeneration and improves brain functioning.
- Moringa prevents infections and has antibacterial and antifungal properties.
- Reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease through its lipid control.
- Moringa powder helps to tackle symptoms of diabetes and controls glucose and insulin levels. So naturally, it is advisable to consume Moringa powder to keep your blood sugar levels under control.
- Moringa leaves show blood-clotting properties that help to heal wounds quicker.
- The moringa leaves contain polyphenols that keep the liver healthy by preventing oxidation and damage.
- Moringa leaves have anti-inflammatory properties that keep bodily inflammations under check by acting upon the free radicals of the body.
- Moringa leaves also have properties that enhance the functioning of the human brain. So it ensures good neurological health, keeps you active and energized throughout the day.
- We can use Moringa leaves alternatively to help tackle indigestion. They also aid in tackling headaches and have nutrients and properties that help to improve the immune system.
Research conducted by The United States Department of Agriculture has shown that the moringa plant contains 18 of the 20 amino acids or the chief building blocks of proteins found in our human body. Undoubtedly, all this makes moringa nutritional. Scientific research on the Moringa plant is increasing each day and new findings are enhancing the prospects of this super plant.
What are the different ways in which the Moringa Plant can be consumed?
As we know that all parts of the moringa plant are beneficial, the following are some basic ways of consuming it:
- In India, people use moringa pods and stems regularly in the lentil soups like sambar, giving them their unique flavors.
- The moringa leaves can be easily sauteed and devoured as a side with some bread or chapatti, or some rice and curry.
- Moringa powder is the best of the lot. It tastes mild and so we can add to tea or even a green smoothie.
- You can even choose to sprinkle the Moringa leaf powder on your favorite zucchini bread, or,
- Even use it just like some matcha powder as a caffeine-free alternative for your morning or evening coffee.
Doctors advise between half to one teaspoon of Moringa powder or moringa supplement per day. Moringa Health benefits are many as the moringa plant is so rich in vitamins and nutrients. Recent research has calculated that the moringa powder has the following nutritional values:
- 50% more Vitamin C than oranges
- 25 times more iron than spinach
- 17 times more calcium than milk
- 15 times more potassium than bananas
- 10 times more Vitamin A than carrots
- 9 times more protein than yogurt
Now the above calculations may make you wonder where this amazing plant had been for so many years and why it never came to the mainstream diet of all peoples. But there is always a reason why some plants are endemic to certain geographical and climatic conditions which make it difficult for mass production and consumption. Thanks to Science and technology, more of the Moringa plant is now growning in other parts of the world. Science goes on to conducting amazing research in labs to increase the accessibilities.
What are the side effects of consuming the Moringa Plant?
While the moringa health benefits are many, it is always advisable to consult doctors before starting young babies, pregnant women, or the elderly on doses of Moringa. The following are some side effects:
- Moringa leaves do have some laxative properties. It can cause acidity, stomach aches, diarrhea, or heartburn if consumed in large amounts.
- The moringa plant is full of chemicals and minerals, some of which may cause uterine contractions and cause miscarriage in pregnant women.
- Breastfeeding mothers should avoid consuming moringa as it might harm infants.
- People on blood-thinning medications such as Warfarin must avoid regular doses of Moringa.
- Moringa seed extracts can lead to immune cell damage and should be avoided.
At all stages and conditions, large doses of Moringa supplement or Moringa capsules are never advisable. These plant products contain great health benefits only because of the unique chemical compounds and their natural compositions. Hence, all consumers of Moringa plant products need to have good knowledge of all the side effects. It is necessary to check Moringa Oleifera product details, their chemical compositions, and nutrient contents, and buy your product according to your health conditions and needs.
Moringa Oleifera is undoubtedly a miraculous remedy agent. It has the power to fight malignant tumors and even sometimes act as an aphrodisiac to help erectile dysfunction. It can treat the liver and even keep a check on diabetes and blood sugar levels. Yes, the health benefits of Moringa are plenty, and more and more of its products are available in the markets. You can avail of Moringa supplement, Moringa capsules, Moringa tea, or Moringa leaf powder from most health and grocery stores in the towns. The Moringa products are also available online on Amazon. So keep the side effects in mind, consult your doctor, and go ahead and get yourself your daily dose of Moringa!