What is Moringa?
Moringa oleifera is the most nutrient-rich plant yet discovered. This humble plant has been making strides in less-developed societies for thousands of years, and significant nutritional research has been conducted since 1970s.
Moringa provides a rich and rare combination of nutrients, amino acids, antioxidants, antiaging and anti-inflammatory properties used for nutrition and healing. It is a plant with surprising water purification capabilities!
It is one of the most useful trees on earth. India is the largest producer of moringa. Every part of the drumstick tree is enriched with varieties of ingredients that contribute to its magical health benefits. Moringa leaves are round shaped with wild leafy flavor and slight bitter taste. Absolutely no negative effects to daily consumption of Moringa leaves have ever been reported.
As a healing plant, Moringa is even more amazing. There is much evidence from around the world, from various traditions and cultures that have used this Miracle Tree for so many ailments and troubles. The leaves have a stabilizing effect on blood pressure and control glucose levels. They are also used to treat anxiety,diarrhea and inflammation of the colon, skin infections, scurvy, intestinal parasites, and many other conditions!
Why is Moringa called the "Miracle Tree"?
Moringa leaves and pods when taken in regularly will nourish the body with necessary vitamins and minerals. All parts of the Moringa tree including leaves, pods, bark, seed, fruits and root has medicinal value. Hence, it was called the 'Miracle Tree'.
About the Moringa Oleifera Tree:
Every part of Moringa Oleifera is useful. Many parts of the tree have traditionally been used for treating many diseases like lung diseases, hypertension, chest infections, everyday aches and pains as well as skin infections.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has undertaken scientific researches on the moringa plant, and has come to the conclusion that it is extremely nutritional and medicinal. The benefits have also been documented in some medical and nutritional journals as well.
Moringa Oleifera is among the popular power greens such as Wheat grass, Spirulina and Barley. Moringa is rich in minerals like potassium, iron, calcium, and sulphur, as well as B vitamins and many amino acids, including all of the essential amino acids. Its nutritional profile is competitive with any beneficial plant on the planet.
The most amazing fact about moringa is that it is a storehouse of nutrients and medicinal chemicals. The various parts of this plant are rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, potassium, iron and protein. It contains a plethora of phytonutrients, eight essential amino acids and other powerful disease fighting antioxidants. According to the Ayurveda, moringa comprises of around 539 compounds capable of preventing 300 diseases. Moringa contains more than 90 nutrients and 46 different antioxidants which make it a powerhouse of nutrition. The table given below provides a gist of the nutritional value of this wonderful plant.
Compared to Common Foods
- One half cup of cooked leaves will meet your daily recommendation for Vitamins A and C.
- One half cup of pods (raw) will supply your Vitamin C requirement for a day
- One ounce of raw leaves contains the recommended daily amount of Vitamin C
- Ounce per ounce it contains 6 to 7 times the amount of Vitamin C in orange juice
- Moringa leaves contain 3 to 5 times more beta-carotene than carrots
- 3 oz of moringa powder contains more than 10 times the recommended daily amount of Vitamin E
- Ounce per ounce Moringa leaves contain over 3 times the iron as found in spinach or roast beef
- Moringa leaves contain 3 times the amount of potassium as bananas
- Ounce per ounce Moringa leaves contain 4 times the amount of calcium found in milk
Vitamins and Minerals
Almost all parts of the Moringa oleifera tree can be eaten or used as ingredients in traditional herbal medicines. The leaves are an excellent source of many vitamins and minerals. One cup of fresh, chopped leaves (21 grams) contains the following:
- Protein: 2 grams.
- Vitamin B6: 19% of the RDA.
- Vitamin C: 12% of the RDA.
- Iron: 11% of the RDA.
- Riboflavin (B2): 11% of the RDA.
- Vitamin A (from beta-carotene): 9% of the RDA.
- Magnesium: 8% of the RDA.
Moringa powder is rich in catechin polyphenols, particularly epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) which is a powerful antioxidant for inhibiting the growth of cancer cells.
Antioxidants are compounds that act against free radicals in our bodies. High levels of free radicals cause oxidative stress, which may contribute to chronic diseases like heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Several antioxidant plant compounds have been found in the leaves of Moringa oleifera.
In addition to vitamin C and beta-carotene, these include :
Quercetin: This powerful antioxidant may help lower blood pressure.
Chlorogenic acid: Also found in high amounts in coffee, chlorogenic acid may help moderate blood sugar levels after meals.
Moringa leaf extract may also be used as a food preservative. It increases the shelf life of meat by reducing oxidation
Lower Blood Sugar Levels
High blood sugar can be a serious health problem. In fact, it is the main characteristic of diabetes.
Over time, high blood sugar raises the risk of many serious health problems, including heart disease. For this reason, it is important to keep blood sugar within healthy limits.
Interestingly, several studies have shown that Moringa oleifera may help lower blood sugar levels.
It is effective in lowering LDL cholesterol levels and inhibiting the abnormal formation of blood clots.
Lower High Cholesterol
Cholesterol is an important part of every cell structure and is needed for proper brain and nerve function. In a study, Moringa “malunggay” has shown to play a role in lowering high cholesterol, which when too high, can lead to heart disease including heart attack and stroke. Preliminary research has shown moringa can help reduce LDL (bad cholesterol) levels. Moringa leaves have Zeatin which is a powerful antioxidant and Quercetin which can neutralize free radicals and relieves inflammation. Moringa lower high cholesterol because it has a Beta-Sitosterol a power packed nutrient that blocks LDL “bad cholesterol”, build-up and is an anti-inflammatory agent for your body. Moringa can reduce damage to blood vessels and keeping arteries and veins free of the plaque to the arteries and impeded blood flow to the brain, kidneys, genitals, extremities It also link to gall stones, erectile dysfunction, mental impairment and high blood pressure.Cholesterol is produced by the liver and we consumed it from meat and dairy products while fruits and vegetables are totally free of cholesterol. It is believed that Moringa’s effect on hypertension is tied to Moringa’s ability to >lower high cholesterol. The consumption of the right nutrient food or supplement help lower your high cholesterol level. And Moringa “malunggay”, is the food supplement that lower cholesterol, are easy and convenient to take.
Moringa plant parts have substantial anti-inflammatory activity. For instance, the root extract exhibits significant anti-inflammatory activity in carrageenan induced rat paw oedema. The crude methanol extract of the root inhibits carrageenan- induced rat paw oedema in a dose dependent manner after oral administration. Moreover, n-butanol extract of the seeds of Moringa shows anti- inflammatory activity against ovalbumin-induced airway inflammation in guinea pigs. Amelioration of inflammation associated chronic diseases can be possible with the potent anti-inflammatory activity of Moringa bioactive compounds.
Considering potent anti-inflammatory activity of Moringa plant, it can be surmised that this plant shows profound influence on inflammation associated diseases and resultant symptoms. As a consequence, this plant shows beneficial effects on asthma, pain, and other resultant symptoms.
Moringa contains all the essential amino acids needed by the body. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins which are needed to grow, repair and maintain cells. Human body manufactures 10 to 12 amino acids. The remaining 8 amino acids are known as the essential amino acids which should be provided from everyday diet and moringa contains all of them. The list of essential amino acids and their benefits are given below.
ISOLEUCINE Helps in building protein and enzymes and creation of biochemical components within the body.
LEUCINE Builds protein and enzymes along with isoleucine to enhance body’s energy and alertness.
LYSINE Ensures the absorption of right amount of calcium by the body and aids in collagen formation and production of antibodies, hormones and enzymes. Maintains the balance of nutrients that reduce viral growth.
METHEONINE Provides sulphur to the body and prevents hair, skin and nail problems. Lowers cholesterol levels by increasing liver’s production of lecithin. Helps in reducing liver fat and bladder irritation.
PHENYLALAINE Production of chemicals required to transmit signals between nerve cells and brain, thus reducing hunger pains. It also improves memory.
THREONINE Forms an important part of collagen, elastin and enamel proteins. Assists metabolism, prevents fat build up in the liver and boosts digestive and intestinal tracts.
TRYTOHYAN Supports the immune system and alleviates insomnia. Reduction of anxiety, depression and migraine symptoms. Decreases the risk of artery and heart spasms as it reduces cholesterol levels along with lysine.
VALINE Promotes a sharp mind, coordinated muscles and calm mood.
Healthy hair improves the physical appearance to a great extent. Health problems or nutritional deficiencies can damage the hair and cause problems like dandruff, split ends and breakage. Hence, proper intake of vitamins and minerals is essential for maintaining healthy hair. Certain vitamins, minerals and amino acids are involved in the formation of keratin protein.
1. Moringa Oleifera has a high content of vitamin A, thus promoting hair growth and maintenance. Optimum delivery of oxygen and nutrients from the circulatory system to the hair follicle is vital for proper hair growth. Vitamin A plays an important role in the development of healthy cells and tissues in the body and reduction of hair loss. Deficiency of vitamin A can cause thickening of scalp, dry hair and dandruff.
2. Moringa plant also contains zinc which stimulates hair growth by enhancing the immune function. Zinc and silica along with vitamin A prevents drying and clogging of the sebaceous glands. Sebaceous glands are responsible for production of sebum. Deficiency of zinc can lead to atrophy of the hair follicles due to the impairment of DNA and protein synthesis. Zinc also influences the conformation of nucleic acids.
3. Vitamin E in moringa is a powerful antioxidant that stimulates blood circulation around the scalp. Proper flow of blood to the scalp helps in the absorption of more nutrients available in the hair follicles.
4. Moringa is a storehouse of all the nutrients required for healthy hair. Hair loss occurs due to the deficiency of vitamin B- especially B6, biotin, inositol and folic acid. Proper blood circulation to the scalp enables hair follicles to grow stronger and healthier. Vitamin C together with vitamin E helps in the improvement of blood circulation in the scalp. It is vital to maintain capillaries that carry blood onto the follicles.
5. Moringa contains abundant quantities of minerals such as calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, selenium, copper and manganese which are essential for healthy hair.
Just like healthy hair, supply of proper nutrients is vital for the maintenance of healthy skin. Moringa is loaded with nutrients like calcium, vitamin A, B, C, D, E; minerals like copper, iron, zinc, magnesium, silica and manganese. Moringa has moisturizing and nourishing properties and an excellent cleansing ability which makes it an active ingredient in skin care products.
1. Moringa has been found to possess anti-ageing properties. The effect of free radicals on human skin causes the appearance of wrinkles and makes the skin aged and less resistant to lines. Moringa has excellent cleansing ability which aids in cleaning the skin cells of free radicals and restoring the vitality and youthful complexion of the skin.
2. Moringa leaves contain about 30 antioxidants that contribute greatly towards healthy skin. Moringa oil is highly absorbable and hence helps in delivering these powerful antioxidants to the skin cells.
3. Moringa leaves also contain sulphur. This mineral is present in every single cell of the body and is the key ingredient for Collagen and keratin. Collagen is an elastic substance that gives flexibility and softness to the skin and keratin is a rigid substance which gives the skin rigidity and strength. These two substances form the majority of skin tissue and are made up of proteins constructed from sulphur.
4. The seed extract of moringa herb is popular in the cosmetic industry due to its therapeutic skincare benefits and skin purifying properties. It possesses the ability to filter out impurities that are deeply rooted within the skin and has an amazing detoxifying and rejuvenating properties. It enhances the fairness of skin by balancing the natural skin color and tone. A paste made from moringa leaves beautifies the skin and can be used as a face mask.
5. The ben oil which is extracted from moringa seeds is used to soften and soothe baby’s’ skin.
6. Moringa seed extract is used in protective creams and has the ability to provide protection against cigarette smoke and heavy metal pollution.
7. It is a powerful cleaning agent and moringa seed powder is used as an active ingredient in deep cleansing creams and lotions. It protects the skin from adhering pollution and smog.