With over 90 different nutrients and 46 different antioxidants moringa is one of the richest known natural sources of vitamins and minerals and well deserves to be cited as the “tree of life”.
The reasons for including moringa oleifera in our diet are many. The plant is native to India and has a high nutritional value and numerous medicinal benefits. Also called the “miracle tree”, most of its parts, including leaves, bark, fruits and roots are used as food, are full of an incredible amount of nutrients: protein, calcium, beta-carotene, vitamin C, potassium … etc. It contains very low amount of fat and does not offer any harmful cholesterol.
It has an enormous medicinal potential, for a long time almost all parts of this plant have been used for various diseases in ayurvedic and unani medicine for centuries. In Ayurvedic therapy moringa is valued for its impressive range of therapeutic uses, commonly attributed to its anti-fungal, anti-viral, anti-depressant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Because it possesses essential amino acids, it is an excellent source of protein for vegetarians and vegans.
Moringa oleifera is traditionally used for
- Stimulate the body’s defenses
- Detoxify the body
- Increase energy levels
- Controlling weight and digestion
- Promoting healthy skin
- Relieving headaches
- Prevents hair loss
Health benefits and medicinal uses of moringa
Moringa in medicinal powder
Moringa oleifera is one of the most valuable and useful plants for our health. Discover its many benefits.
Moringa, considered a natural antibiotic, is a plant with multiple uses and medicinal benefits. Its anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-cancer, cardiovascular, and hepatoprotective properties make it useful in the treatment of various diseases.
It is rich in phytonutrients that are effective in helping to build a strong immune system, essential in the fight against disease. It helps in improving cellular immune response, total leukocyte count and antibody count.
Moringa also contains antibiotic and antibacterial properties, and exerts inhibitory effects on the growth of various pathogens naturally. In one study it was confirmed that moringa extracts can be inhibitory against many pathogenic bacteria. Moringa leaves also possess antifungal qualities against pathogenic fungi.
Several bioactive compounds with significant anti-tumor activity have been found in the moringa plant, which may be helpful and of great value in tumor therapy. Some scientific studies have shown that moringa extracts possess properties that inhibit the proliferation of malignant cancer cells.
Moringa is also popular as a natural remedy for lowering blood sugar levels, being especially beneficial for diabetics. Animal research studies have shown that treatment with moringa works positively in reducing blood glucose, urine sugar, and urine protein.
Thanks to the isothiocyanates and flavonoids present in the moringa leaves with anti-inflammatory properties, it is effective in reducing inflammation, so it is traditionally used to treat stomach ulcers and other inflammation-related ailments.
The isothiocyanates present in moringa are effective in the treatment of abdominal disorders such as constipation, gastritis and ulcerative colitis. Moringa leaf tea treats gastric ulcers and diarrhea. Drinking moringa tea is also effective as an aid in colds.
Moringa has also been used for the treatment of asthma. One study showed a significant decrease in the severity of asthma symptoms and an improvement in breathing.
Moringa has also been shown to be effective in protecting the liver and speeding up its recovery in case of illness.
Moringa is also used to improve and stabilize blood pressure.
The antioxidant power of moringa oleifera
One of the main attractions of moringa is its outstanding antioxidant power. Using the test method known as ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) moringa has a value of around 50,000 units per 100g, making it the plant with the highest ORAC value currently known.
Antioxidants stand up to free radicals and protect our cells against aging and degenerative diseases.
Moringa also has a great antibacterial power that is especially concentrated in the dust of its seeds. A powerful natural weapon to fight infections, which has increased the popularity of this complete plant in the poorest and most food-insecure populations.
A plant rich in amino acids, vitamins and minerals
Although it is still somewhat unknown, moringa is a real source of health that carries in its leaves, roots, flowers and seeds a contribution of antibacterial, antioxidant and mineralizing properties that are worth taking into account.
For those seeking to increase their intake of amino acids and proteins of plant origin in moringa will find a good ally. This plant classified as a superfood is a good supply for the body of direct protein to improve the skin and our cartilage tissues, thanks to the concentration of essential amino acids present in its leaves. Vegetarians and especially vegans would increase their protein intake by adding moringa to their diet.
Moringa also adds a large amount of minerals such as potassium, iron or calcium, a key element in controlling blood pressure and strengthening bones. Moringa also contains generous amounts of magnesium, a mineral that works in synergy with calcium and is beneficial for maintaining healthy bones, as magnesium helps to absorb calcium, especially good at protecting against osteoporosis and other bone diseases.
The iron content of moringa leaves is high so it has been used to treat patients with anemia caused by lack of this mineral, without the side effects of iron pills.
Moringa is also rich in vitamin A preventing eye diseases.
Moringa: a key ally against skin aging
The dry leaves of the moringa are a great gift for the skin because of their nourishing effects and their rejuvenating capacity. Many cosmetic companies already include this plant among the components of their products because of its strength to keep the appearance of wrinkles and expression lines at bay, in addition to its ability to promote cellular structures.
Moringa extracts are widely used in the manufacture of creams, ointments, oils and moisturizers. Moringa seed oil is beneficial to the skin and is used in the production of cosmetics and skin care products. It has moisturizing and detoxifying properties that help neutralize the effects of harmful pollutants, prevent wrinkles and delay premature aging.
Moringa seed oil for hair health has been appreciated since ancient times. It is a fantastic hair conditioner, strengthens the roots, and stimulates hair growth.
Moringa oil is also used topically for the treatment of fungal problems, arthritis, and is an excellent moisturizer for the skin.
Contraindications and Side Effects of Moringa
Used properly, moringa consumption is safe and has no severe contraindications.
The uses of moringa are well documented in both Ayurvedic and Unani medicine.
The leaves, fruits and seeds can be safe when consumed as food. However, it is important to avoid consuming the root and its extracts without a prescription from a health care practitioner.
As always, special caution should be taken in case of pregnancy and lactation: avoid their use without a prescription and the control of a health professional.
Moringa roots and bark have an abortive effect and are not recommended for ingestion during pregnancy.
Moringa against malnutrition in developing countries
Known as one of the most complete plants, moringa has also contributed to the fight against malnutrition in famine-stricken countries. Its nutritional properties due to its high content of protein, vitamins, minerals and fibre, its good taste and the possibility of using practically all parts of the plant make it a basic component in the diet of certain areas such as Haiti, Senegal or Mali, where its cultivation is key.
As it is a small-sized tree, it is cultivated all over the world due to its multiple uses. As the plant grows quickly and is a valuable source of nutrition its cultivation is attractive to more impoverished regions such as Senegal and India.
Moringa is also a natural form of water purification and treatment, helping in the removal of pollutants and harmful algae.
How to consume moringa
There are a thousand and one ways to eat moringa. The fresh leaves have a flavor similar to radish. You can eat it in a salad, mixed in smoothies, or steamed. For optimal nutrient retention, it is advisable to consume the leaves shortly after harvest.
Another option is to use moringa powder, either as a supplement or added to smoothies, soups and other foods for extra nutrition. It can be used in the form of tea, or added to your drink. The taste of the powder is strong so the acceptable amount may depend on your palate.
Excess heat destroys all the enzymes and some of the vitamins, so you should never cook it for too long.
Moringa pods contain almost 40 percent edible oil, which can be used to treat stomach disorders. They are also used in perfumes and hair oils.
Both moringa tree oil and leaf powder have a low shelf life, making them excellent survival foods.
Before buying moringa oleifera products, check that they are of the highest quality, that the percentage of the product is as high as possible, and that there are no mixtures of additives. Better products containing 100% moringa oleifera.
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