Health Benefits of Moringa: Uses & Properties

All you need to know about the Moringa leaf health benefits also its properties, use and every other detail about the tree and its seed. The Moringa or also called the tree of life can reach eight meters in height, with branches that are extended open like an umbrella. The bibliography on the composition of moringa reports that the dry powder obtained from its leaves is very abundant in Proteins (27% by weight), Vitamin ACalcium (2 g per 100 g of dry leaf powder), Potassium and Vitamin C (17 mg per 100 grams). The subject of several studies in different parts of the planet, this kind of herb from Asia and Africa is like a promise in the fight against hunger.

Most of the studies on the beneficial characteristics of moringa have been carried out in vitro or in animals; then, the primary doses to produce any beneficial effect in humans are unknown. On the other hand, since the potential nutrients are many and the scenarios of antinutritional substances are very low, we could not find arguments against the consumption of the plant.

Beyond being still a bit unknown, moringa is a true source of health that carries in its leaves, roots, flowers and seeds, a contribution of characteristics against bacteria, antioxidants and mineralizers that you deserve to keep in mind. For all those who seek to increase their intake of amino acids and proteins of plant origin, moringa will find an excellent ally. This plant classified as a superfood is an optimal supply for the body of direct proteins to better reform the skin and our cartilaginous tissues, through the concentration of fundamental amino acids present in its leaves. Vegetarians and primarily vegans would increase their protein intake by adding moringa to their diet.

The moringa oleifera, also called “tree of life” is a medicinal plant having a high content of vitamins and minerals such as iron, carotenoids, quercetin, vitamin C, polyphenols, chlorogenic acid, etc., which suggest a strong effect antioxidant and antiinflammatory. It is used to treat some respiratory diseases, reduce anxiety, lose weight, and actually control blood glucose in diabetics. In addition, there are still few studies in humans that verify all its benefits and that describe the doses in which it should be ingested.

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Its scientific name is Moringa oleifera, and its most used part is the leaf, which is where the highest concentration of antioxidants is, which have the opportunity to be consumed, whether it is with a facade of tea, capsules or powder, achieving to be bought in stores of natural products, herbalists (elewe omo) and online stores.

What are the health benefits of moringa?

The Moringa has different characteristics that might suggest health benefits. According to some studies it could be used to:

  • Increase respiratory fitness, assisting in battling pathologies, such as asthma, among other things.
  • Prevent diabetes, because it has characteristics that help regulate oxidative stress, which lowers blood sugar levels, continuing to protect against cell damage.
  • Protect the heart, preventing the absorption of cholesterol in the intestine and the formation of fatty plaques in the arteries, thus reducing the burden of suffering from cardiovascular diseases.
  • Regulate blood pressure, because it optimizes blood circulation due to its vasodilator effect.
  • Help in weight loss by containing fibers and a high proportion of proteins that help increase the feeling of satiety;
  • Prevent and combat anemia, because its leaves have a high proportion of iron (105 mg per 100 g), favoring the increase in red blood cells;
  • Increase the body’s defenses  because it has antioxidant substances such as polyphenols, vitamin C and beta-carotene that stimulate the immune system;
  • It has an anti-inflammatory and analgesic effect due to the fact that it contains isothiocyanates, quercetin and chlorogenic acid, which are substances that help to reduce the inflammatory progression, being able to calm the symptoms of pathologies such as rheumatism, osteoarthritis or inflammation of the prostate for example;
  • Protect and moisturize the skin, because it contains vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, C, E and A, favoring skin healing;
  • Improving the health of the digestive system, preventing or treating stomach ulcers and helping to fight constipation due to its prominent fiber content;
  • Help treat hemorrhoids because it optimizes blood circulation causing a vasodilator effect;
  • Improve vision thanks to its prominent content of beta-carotene, which is a precursor ingredient of vitamin A;
  • Help lower the effects of menopause, since it helps to maintain the levels of inflammation and oxidative stress during this stage, favoring a natural balance of the hormones that are damaged during this stage.

Many of these characteristics are still under study and the results are not definitive, so it should be used with caution and primarily under medical supervision.

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Properties of Moringa 

The characteristics of moringa have within antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antidiabetic, vasodilator, anticholinergic, antirheumatic and healing action. Constipation, gastritis and ulcerative colitis have the opportunity to be treated through extracts of moringa. Its antibiotic and antibacterial characteristics help to cut the advance of pathogens.

The ground moringa leaves and its extract have antidislipidemic activity, reducing the levels of lipids or fat in the blood. This effect is really good for people with problems with issues and / or excess lipids in the blood such as cholesterol. But in addition, in a research work done on rats, a reduction in fat accumulated in the liver and in bilirubin levels was also observed.

In fact, a study in women found that taking 7 grams (one and a half tablespoons) of dried Moringa oleifera leaf powder per day over a period of three months significantly increased antioxidant levels in the blood of patients. In Western countries, the leaves are sold dried, powdered or in capsules and taken as dietary supplements. The pods compared to the leaves, have a lower content of proteins and minerals, however, they are much richer in vitamin C. The extraction of the proteins from the seeds with saline resolutions and their subsequent use in distillery stillage resulted in a removal of the initial color (Krishna Prasad, 2009).

Moringa can reach up to 12 meters in height and all its parts (leaves, seeds, roots and flowers) are suitable for human and animal consumption. The moringa oleifera can be used in antioxidant therapies to lower the genotoxicity of arsenic and other heavy metals, whose carcinogenic action mechanisms are related to reactive oxygen species. The antidote action of the seeds of this plant was demonstrated in experiments with laboratory rats previously exposed to arsenic (Gupta, Dubey, Kannan and Flora, 2007). It was found that the dust of such seeds decreases the concentration of arsenic and affirms against hematological issues and oxidative stress induced by this metal, in which various phytochemicals with antioxidant power play a considerable role .

How long can I be taking moringa?

The  use of moringa, like that of some other natural substance, in certain metabolic and nervous ailments, mainly through systematic treatments, should first be done with the consent of your doctor. Even more so if you are taking a common medication, in order to avoid possible incompatibilities or interference with the action of the drugs.

The moringa is a plant that today is under study, so the accompaniment of a physician to realize the appropriateness of taking is recommended, although in general, the recommended period is from 3 to 4 weeks.

Possible side effects

Possible side effects of moringa are nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. It is important to avoid consuming the root and extracts prepared with its root, because they contain toxic substances that have the possibility of causing paralysis.

Contraindications

Its intake is contraindicated in pregnant women, because the effects throughout this stage in humans are not yet known, in some studies with animals it has apparently induced abortions. It is feasible that moringa increases the mother’s milk production, on the other hand, it is not completely proven, so it is favorable to consult our doctor before consuming it throughout breastfeeding. See what are the teas that the pregnant woman can or cannot drink. In addition to this, people with thyroid problems have to avoid it because it could play with the thyroid hormones.

Other uses of moringa

It takes only one seed of this tree to purify contaminated water contained in a glass of water. Moringa also has antibiotic and anti-bacterial characteristics and exerts inhibitory effects on the progress of different pathogens in a natural way. In a study, it was confirmed that moringa extracts can be inhibitory against many pathogenic bacteria. Moringa leaves also have antifungal characteristics against pathogenic fungi.

In addition, the potential benefits are many and due to its very low components of antinutritional substances, there do not seem to be enough arguments against the consumption of the plant. Therefore, Moringa oleifera is a very attractive option to be cultivated, as well as a nutritious and beneficial food that could be marketed in a wide range of samples. There is still a long way to go, but knowledge about this plant and its benefits are increasing in our community.

NaijaXtreme.

Isaac , Ibadan Nig

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