Moringa plant or the Ben oil tree has been gaining huge popularity as the new age super food owing to tremendous nutrition benefits it offers. It is extensively used as a natural leaf powder supplement in the herbal health supplement market, which is growing at a very fast pace. In terms of value, the herbal supplements market is projected to reach around USD 86.74 Billion by 2022, at a CAGR of 6.8% from 2016 to 2022. Moringa leaves take an impressive share in the holistic health market.
Moringa tree leaves is one of the most important medicinal plant on earth. It is capable of treating more than 300 diseases. Other parts of the tree like bark, seeds, root, fruit and flowers also have immence medicinal values.
What Is Moringa?
Moringa is known by many names in different countries and culture, but the most common names are horseradish tree, ben tree, or drumstick tree. It is a small tropical tree native to the Indian subcontinent and Africa, and comes packed with excellent nutritious value. Out of many variants of the plant , Moringa oleifera has been acknowledged as the “plant of the year” for the health and healing benefits that it offers. (Source) Research has proven that though moringa leaves are powerful for their anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and tissue-protective properties, the other parts of the tree like the bark, roots, flowers, fruits and seeds are also utilized in some way or the other.
What Is The Nutritional Composition Of Moringa Oleifera?
Moringa has been found to possess excellent components of protein, vitamin A, potassium, calcium and vitamin C with a rich flavor resembling to that of a spinach. It is also very high in antioxidants, contains all the 9 amino acids, has more than 30% fiber content and is a rich source of iron. Add to that the anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-aging properties of the plant, and you have one of the world’s most nutrient rich plant extract in your hands!
What Are The Health Benefits Of Moringa Leaves?
Moringa leaves have been used in traditional medicines for treating and curing many ailments such as diabetes, heart disorders, respiratory and skin problems, liver and digestive issues, epilepsy, thyroid disorders, anemia and arthritis. Packed with over 90 protective compounds, Moringa has often said to be a ‘miracle plant’, and rightly so. A dense powerhouse of isothiocyanates, flavonoids , essential amino acids and phenolic acids; coupled with antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties, moringa is deservedly living upto it’s deemed name.
1. Treating Diabetes
Chlorogenic acid present in Moringa has been found to be effective in reducing lipid and glucose levels, thus lowering blood sugar levels. It has also been found that chlorogenic acid allows the cells to release sugar as and when needed, offering natural protection against rising sugar levels.
2. Protects Cardiovascular system
The complex and rare combination of phytonutrients in moringa such as zeatin, quercetin, beta-sitosterol, caffeoylquinic acid and kaempferol have been found to have many heart-healthy benefits. Moringa can effectively control cholesterol levels, prevent formation of plaque in the arteries and boost blood lipid profile. It also helps maintain optimum levels of blood pressure with bioactive compounds like isothiocyanate and niaziminin that keep the arteries from thickening.
3. Improves Brain Health
Moringa contains the amino acid phenylalaine – which helps improve memory and produces chemicals that are required to boost neurotransmitter functions of the brain. This inturn improves the neurological functions and boosts memory. Moringa also offers protection from Alzheimer’s disease. Moringa also has properties that help to facilitate the absorption of iron in the blood, increasing red blood cell count and haemoglobin levels.
4. Nourishes and Protects The Skin
Moringa oil when applied directly to the skin can work wonders in reducing inflammation caused due to acne, and also helps with burns, bites, wounds and treating the abscesses on the skin. Moringa is an excellent hydrating agent for the skin when used regularly and has been known to posses anti aging properties for its ability to restore the natural moisture barrier of the skin. It is also used to treat dandruff and gum diseases, and also eliminates odors. It is increasingly used in perfumes and food manufacturing industries for its property of killing bacteria and pleasant smell.
5. Improves Digestive Health
The high concentrations of polyphenols in moringa leaves and flowers make it a great friend of liver – the organ responsible for detoxification of the blood, bile production, metabolism, and processing the nutrients. Liver damage can be reversed by using moringa leaves powder, and its oil can reduce oxidative stress alongwith increasing the protein content. It also serves as a great appetite stimulant. Be it constipation, gastritis, or conditions like diarrhea, moringa can serve as a great booster to digestive health.
6. Balances Hormones
Various hormones are secreted by various glands and organs, and they play a major role in our overall health. It is a well known fact that most of health ailments can be cured by controlling the levels of hormones or strengthening the endocrine system. Moringa provides the body with valuable antioxidant enzymes and anti-inflammatory compounds that have the potential of slowing the effects of aging, stabilizing the mood, boosting immunity and brain health, and improving digestive system. It also has properties that make it ideal for balancing blood sugar levels. Instead of relying on synthetic hormone treatments, moringa is a natural way to balance your hormones naturally.
7. Anti-inflammatory benefits
Several chronic diseases can be prevented by taking moringa because of the bio active anti-inflammatory constituent of the plant. High in several compounds that work as anti-inflammatory drugs minus the side effects, moringa leaves can effectively reduce the risk for hypertension, cancers of the stomach, lungs and colon, diabetes and eye disorders due to increasing age.
8. Mood Booster
Moringa comes packed with proteins and amino acid tryptophan that improve the neurotransmitter functions of the brain – including the release of the “feel good” hormone. The increase in serotonin levels can decrease mood swings and keep you feeling good. Consumption of moringa also helps in maintaining optimum thyroid health, which makes ideal to fight depression, fatigue and lack of energy. The high magnesium content of moringa also makes it a wonderful anti-stress supplement.
9. Healing Properties
The extract of the leaves of morings possess some oil that has significant healing properties. Wounds, burns and scars can be healed if this oil is used for cooking or used directly on the skin. Moringa also fights the infection due herpes simplex virus. It also posses blood clotting properties which can help reduce bleeding time from cuts and wounds.
10. Fights Free Radicals
High levels of free radicals in the system can cause chronic heart diseases and type 2 diabetes. Moringa has excellent antioxidants that can help reduce oxidative stress in the body. Prolonged oxidative stress in the body can cause cellular damage, and may significantly contribute to the aging process.
Other top Benefits of Moringa
- Increases the Natural Defenses of the body
- Provides nourishment to the eyes and the brain
- Promotes the Cell structure of the body
- Lowers the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines
- Promotes the normal functioning of the liver and the kidney
- Promotes energy
- Promotes proper digestion
- Acts as an antioxidant
- Takes care of the immune system of the body
- Promotes healthy circulatory system
- It is often used to reduce swelling
- It is also used as aphrodisiac to increase sex drive
- It is great for mothers as it increases the breast milk production
- It acts as astringent and can be used as drying agent for the skin. If applied on the skin directly, it acts as germ killer
- Oil extracted from Moringa seeds are used to prepare hair care products, perfume, foods and lubricants for machines
- Post oil extraction from the seeds, the cake that is left behind is used as fertilizer or in removing salt from sea water
Are There Any Side Effects Of Taking Moringa?
Moringa is considered largely safe when taken by mouth or applied on skin in appropriate doses. However, the roots and its extracts should not be consumed as it may cause certain toxic compounds to react. If you are pregnant or are breastfeeding, it is best to take your doctor’s advice, and if you do happen to take moringa, take it in very small doses; avoiding the root and it’s extracts.
How To Use Moringa?
Moringa can be taken by mouth or applied on the skin. Moringa leave are often used to make tea – just brew some dried moringa leaves in hot water – just like you prepare green tea and drink to good health. You can also dry fresh moringa leaves at room temperature for about 2 weeks and then use these dried leaves to make the very nutritious moringa tea. It is best to use mature leaves for this purpose. If you have moringa powder, dash up a refreshing and energising drink by adding half a teaspoon of moringa powder, add some honey and for that zing, squeeze a bit of lemon in water. Or simply smooth it all up by whipping up a moringa smoothie. You can also add moringa to your meals, but just enough not to spoil the flavours of the dish!
Points To Note When Buying Moringa
Moringa has gained popularity only in recent years, and with the fame the possibility of adulterating moringa cannot be ruled out. The market is flooded with various moringa extracts and it could be combined with toxins or artificial ingredients – so always buy pure moringa oleifera to derive maximum benefits. Also ensure that you stick to limited dosages- that is six grams daily for up to three weeks at a time.
According to the annals of the ayurveda, India’s old tradition of medicines, the leaves of the Moringa Tree could treat at least 300 diseases.
Moringa leaf has no proven bad effects and is absolutely safe and organic. Because of its tolerant properties, it has been given to malnourished little babies in Africa. Athletes all over the world boost their performance abilities by taking huge quantities of the leaf to keep them fit both mentally and physically. It is their secret weapon. Even for senior citizens who are losing their sharpness of mind, the Moringa tree leaf could be a great help. In fact the powder is suitable for people from any age group.
The Moringa leaf is comparatively an unheard name in spite of the fact that it has been found mentioned more than two thousand years before, and the World Health Organization has been observing and utilizing the tree for more than forty years now as a cheap health supplement in the poverty-stricken countries the world over. There is a reason behind this. The selling of all kinds of health supplements, minerals and vitamins is a lucrative business. No big company would ever take the risk of introducing a name that could potentially harm and lower the sale of all other nutritional items. The same holds true for the pharmaceutical companies too. These huge companies would prefer to keep the general public in the dark about the benefits of the Moringa leaf to make big bucks for their own benefits.
Moringa leaf boosts your energy in a natural manner, and is a remarkable source of nutrition. This energy promotion does not happen because of sugar, so it is lasts for a long time. Individuals ingesting it say that their ulcers are healed, tumors restricted, there are reduction in the arthritis pains and inflammations, controlled blood pressure, the skin problems are restored, and finally they have stronger defenses against diseases.
Another property of the Moringa leaf is its soothing ability, because of which it can lower the blood pressure and promotes good sleep. It can also purify water since it has a detoxifying effect. Also a coagulant agent, Moringa can attach itself to hazardous bacteria and other materials, a process that is surmised to occur in the body too. The happy outcome is more sustained energy without any over-activity, balanced hormone and gland system, controlled blood pressure, and a rested nervous system.