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Thread: 18 Science-Based Benefits Of Moringa Oleifera

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    18 Science-Based Benefits Of Moringa Oleifera

    18 Science-Based Benefits Of Moringa Oleifera

    by Kiran Patil

    Moringa, a plant native to India, is rich in antioxidants and nutrients and its powerful health benefits include its ability to protect the liver, fight inflammation, and lower cholesterol. Moringa extract and powder can help give relief from stomach disorders, allergies, and edema.

    Moringa can help treat diabetes, protect the eyes, improve cardiovascular health, enhance bone health, speed wound healing, and boost skin health. It has potent antibacterial and antifungal properties.

    What is Moringa?

    Moringa oleifera, also known as drumstick tree or the “miracle tree”, is a highly valued and versatile plant which belongs to the Moringaceae family. It is a fast-growing, deciduous tree that is native to India and is widely cultivated in tropical and subtropical areas all over Asia, Africa, and South America. It is widely known by many other names, including Horseradish tree and Ben oil tree.

    Although modern science has recently discovered its value, moringa has been imparting a multitude of benefits across various cultures since ancient times. It was valued by the Romans, Egyptians, and Greeks for its medicinal impact on a range of ailments. [1] Today, its usage has been encouraged by various humanitarian organizations to combat malnutrition and its effects in poverty-stricken regions, mainly due to its economic viability and rapid growth. Due to its extraordinary and unmatched range of medicinal benefits, it was named the “miracle tree” during the food crisis in Africa. [2]

    Its tree has a thick, whitish bark with droopy, fragile branches and long, green, oval-shaped leaflets. In Ayurvedic therapy, it is valued for its impressive range of therapeutic uses, commonly attributed to its antifungal, antiviral, antidepressant, and anti-inflammatory properties. In some areas, it is simply known as ‘shigru’.


    Nutrition Facts

    Moringa leaves and pods are a nutritional powerhouse that provides a great range and amount of essential proteins, vitamins, and minerals. [3] It is a rich source of essential amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins. [4]
    According to the USDA, moringa pods also contains a significant amount of vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B6, folate, and ascorbic acid (vitamin C). Its mineral wealth includes calcium, potassium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc. [5] It contains a very low amount of fats and offers no harmful cholesterol.

    The overall nutritive value of moringa is truly beneficial to combat undernutrition, according to a study by Dr. Jed W. Fahey, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, US. [6]

    Health Benefits of Moringa
    Let us look at the amazing benefits of moringa.

    Powerful Antioxidants
    The moringa plant offers a rich blend of powerful antioxidants such as kaempferol, caffeoylquinic acid, zeatin, quercetin, rutin, chlorogenic acid, and beta-sitosterol. [7] [8] These powerful antioxidants found in moringa possess free radical scavenging capacity and have shown its therapeutic value in curing the damage caused by oxidative stress. [9]

    Treats Blood Sugar Levels
    Research studies have demonstrated that treatment with moringa works positively towards the reduction of blood glucose, urine sugar, and urine proteins in diabetic test subjects. [10] Intake of its extract has shown a remarkable improvement in the hemoglobin levels and total protein content of the diabetic subjects. A study by Dr. Majambu Mbikay, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Canada, confirms that its leaves can be used to prevent chronic hyperglycemia and dyslipidemia (high blood lipid levels). [11]


    Reduces Cholesterol
    Moringa is effective in maintaining optimal levels of blood pressure and cholesterol levels in the body. [12] Bioactive components such as isothiocyanate and niaziminin present in it prevent the thickening of arteries and reduce the development of pulmonary hypertension. [13] Studies have confirmed its hypocholesterolemic effects help in reducing a high-fat rise in the liver, kidney, and serum cholesterol levels. [14]

    Treats Edema
    Moringa extracts are beneficial in the treatment of edema. Research studies have confirmed that treatment with drumstick root extract, which possesses anti-inflammatory qualities, has been significantly effective in inhibiting the development of edema. [15] Moreover, these studies suggest that the efficacy of this herb stands equal with the potent anti-inflammatory medicine indomethacin in the treatment of such painful conditions.

    Protects Liver
    Moringa extracts exert a hepatoprotective effect on the liver. [16] A research study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food has validated the effectiveness of its leaves against the liver damage caused by anti-tubercular drugs as well as its stimulating effects in speeding up the recovery process. [17] It helps to restore the levels of glutathione content in the body and prevents radiation-induced hepatic lipid peroxidation. [18] This protective effect is attributed to the presence of phytochemicals such as catechin, epicatechin, ferulic acid, and vitamin C found in drumstick.

    Treats Stomach Disorders
    The isothiocyanates present in moringa are effective in the treatment of abdominal disorders such as constipation, gastritis, and ulcerative colitis. Researches have shown that its extracts can be considered as an effective herbal alternative to a range of commercially available antacids and antihistamines. [19]

    According to a study published in the Phytomedicine journal, treatment with moringa leads to reduced ulceration and its efficacy in curing ulcerative colitis is comparable with the commercially available drug prednisolone. [20] It contains antibiotic and antibacterial properties and exerts inhibitory effects on the growth of various pathogens. [21] This includes helicobacter pylori bacteria and coliform bacteria, which can trigger diarrhea. It also helps in combating obesity thanks to its high nutritional and low-fat properties. The impressive content of vitamin B in its leaves aids in digestion and converts the food into energy rather than storing it as fat.

    Skin Care & Hair Care
    Moringa seed oil is beneficial for the skin and hair and is effective against the infection caused by the herpes simplex virus. [22] [23] The healing effects of this herb prevent the development of skin lesions and inhibit the formation of plaque caused by the infecting virus. The hydrating and detoxifying effects of moringa extracts help in neutralizing the effects of harmful pollutants, prevent wrinkles and slowdowns aging. The high protein content of drumstick aids in protecting the dermal cells from damage caused by heavy metals such as mercury and cadmium. For the same reason, it is used in the production of cosmetics and skin care products as well.

    The favorable effects of moringa seed oil for hair care have been appreciated since ancient times. [22] It is highly beneficial in protecting the hair from environmental damage, including ultraviolet radiation. It serves as a valuable conditioner for the scalp, strengthens the roots, and stimulates hair growth too.

    Antibacterial Agent
    It possesses antibacterial, antifungal, and antimicrobial properties, and is effective against the growth of disease-causing microbes. [24] Scientific research has proven that moringa extracts exert a wide spectrum of protective activity against food-borne microorganisms such as Salmonella, Rhizopus species, E. Coli, Enterobacter aerogenes, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus. [25] This defensive activity makes its extracts perfect for sanitation and preservation purposes. Leaves of this plant possess anti-fungal qualities. [26] The inhibitory effects of moringa help in preventing the growth of diseases causing contaminant fungi such as Aspergillus spp. and Penicillium spp.

    Anticancer Properties
    Moringa is an anticancer agent and is highly valued in tumor therapy. A review on the nutritive importance and medicinal application of Moringa oleifera emphasises on the various medicinal properties of moringa, including its anti-cancer property. [27] A research has demonstrated that its extracts possess chemopreventive properties attributed to the presence of the phenolic components quercetin and kaempferol. [28]

    Another study has demonstrated the role of the bioactive compound niazimicin in restraining the development of cancer cells. [29] Drumstick extracts impart chemo-modulatory effects towards preventing the growth of various types of cancers such as ovarian cancer, hepatic carcinogenesis, and skin papillomagenesis by inhibiting the proliferation of malignant cancer cells and inducing apoptosis, also known as programmed cell death. [30]

    Neurodegenerative Diseases
    The effectiveness of moringa has been very valuable in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. Research studies have shown that treatment with its extracts has the potential to alter brain monoamines like norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine, and it extends its protection against monoaminergic deficiencies related to Alzheimer’s disease. [31]

    Improves Bone Health
    Moringa extracts are beneficial for maintaining healthy bones, which is attributed to the presence of essential minerals like calcium and phosphorous. Its extracts possess anti-inflammatory properties and are effective in the treatment of painful conditions such as arthritis, while also helping to heal various bone ailments such as mandibular or jaw bone fracture. [32] [34] [33]

    Boosts Immunity
    The ethanolic extracts of moringa leaf help in stimulating the immune system of the body. It also helps in enhancing the cellular immune response and exerts positive effects on various other immune system values such as total leucocyte count, antibodies, and hypersensitivity reaction.

    Immunosuppressive Properties
    The seeds of moringa possess immunosuppressive properties. Deliberate immunosuppression is required to inhibit the activation of the body’s immune system in order to prevent the rejection of certain treatments, particularly organ transplants and autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. A research published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology demonstrated that the immunosuppressive action of drumstick seeds helps in ameliorating the production of antibodies to allow new organs and transplanted material to settle safely in the body. [35]

    Protects Cardiovascular System
    Moringa extracts are helpful in the prevention of myocardial or cardiac damage, due to the presence of powerful antioxidants. They exert antidiabetic effects in the treatment of diabetes mellitus. Research studies conducted on this subject have provided supporting evidence that proves the antiperoxidative and cardioprotective effects of moringa therapy. [36] Treatment with it helps in inhibiting the increase in lipid peroxidation in the myocardial tissue and aids in maintaining a healthy heart.

    Relieves Asthma
    The benefits of moringa plant extracts include relief from bronchial asthma and inflammation caused in the airways. [37] The extracts of moringa seeds possess anti-allergenic qualities. Scientific research has validated the inhibitory action of moringa on the hypersensitive reactions involved in various allergic diseases, including allergic rhinitis and anaphylaxis. [38] According to research, treatment with the vegetable helps reduce the severity of asthmatic attacks and various symptoms such as wheezing, cough, dyspnea, and contraction of the chest. It extends its protective effects against bronchial constrictions and encourages better lung function and respiration. [39]


    Prevents Stone Formation
    Moringa extracts are effective against the formation of stones in the kidney, bladder, and uterus. According to research studies, the administration of its root exerted anti-urolithiatic activity and resulted in a noteworthy reduction in the urinary oxalate levels. [40] The curative effect of moringa has also shown a reduction in the formation of stone deposits and aids in regulating endogenous oxalate synthesis.

    Protects against Kidney Problems
    Moringa extracts exert a protective effect against nephrotoxicity, which refers to the kidney problems caused as a consequence of exposure to certain drugs or toxins. Studies have revealed that the nephroprotective effect of moringa helps in attenuating renal injuries due to its high antioxidant content. It serves as an effective bio-absorbent and helps in the removal of heavy metals and harmful toxins.

    Has Anti-fertility Effects
    Moringa possesses anti-fertility qualities as well. [41] Aqueous extracts of moringa exert estrogenic activity and are beneficial in the prevention of sexual implantation in the body.

    Heals Wounds
    Aqueous extract of moringa possesses significant wound healing properties. Research studies have provided supporting evidence regarding the healing effects of moringa in the treatment of wounds with respect to skin-breaking strength, wound closure rate, and reduction in the scar area. [42]


    Improves Eye Health
    Antioxidant-rich moringa is beneficial for providing protection against retinal damage. Scientific studies have provided supporting evidence regarding the retino-protective effects of moringa in test subjects. Treatment with it helps in preventing the dilatation of retinal vessels and keeps the retinal vasculature intact. It also inhibits the thickening of capillary membranes and prevents retinal dysfunction.

    Relief from Anemia & Sickle Cell Disease
    Moringa extracts are beneficial in the treatment of anemia and sickle cell diseases. [43] Studies have provided supporting evidence regarding the fact that treatment with moringa aids in facilitating the absorption of iron, increasing the red blood cell count and helping to maintain normal blood parameters. Recent studies have also validated the anti-sickling potential of moringa plant extracts, which is attributed to the presence of zinc and flavonols such as kaempferol, quercetin, and acacetin, as well as phenolic acids such as melilotic acid and vanillic acid. [44]

    Other Benefits

    Moringa helps in improving sensory perception and memory. It possesses anti-epileptic properties and helps in combating depression, anxiety, and fatigue. The anti-inflammatory properties and high vitamin content of moringa are valuable for treating scurvy and catarrhal conditions. [45] It is useful for the regulation of thyroid hormones and is effective in curing skin infections and sores. [46] In the Philippines, it is referred to a mother’s best friend because of its galactagogic properties.

    Where to Buy Moringa?
    Moringa powder, its extract, and moringa capsules are available in online stores, pharmacy outlets, as well as in the health section of supermarkets. The powder can be used to make a light, refreshing moringa tea. It is always advisable to check with your doctor before adding herbal supplements to your diet. Drumstick, the fruit of the tree, and its leaves can be got at Asian stores, local Indian markets, or sometimes, if you are really lucky, you may have a tree growing in your backyard!

    Moringa is a “miracle tree” and most of its parts, including the leaves, bark, fruits, and roots are used as food items. Leaves of its tree can be added to salads and are also used in the preparation of sauces and soups. Cold pressed drumstick oil is used for cooking and is appreciated for its long shelf life. The immature seed pods , popularly known as drumsticks in India, are used in various dishes.

    Moringa leaves are a great alternative to meat, because of the high protein content, especially for vegetarians. It contains the amino acids arginine and histidine which are essential for infants and it is also a boon in combating malnutrition in the underprivileged regions of the world. [47]

    Its extracts have been extensively used in the manufacturing of creams, ointments, oils, and moisturizers.

    Word of Caution

    It is a highly nutritious plant and is generally safe for consumption. However, its usage for therapeutic relief should only be considered after consultation with a medical professional. Also, the roots and bark of moringa have an abortive effect and are not recommended during pregnancy.

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    My website: https://www.theherbsofthefield.com/

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  3. #2
    Moringa Benefits Hormonal Balance, Digestion, Mood & More
    By Jillian Levy, CHHC



    Never heard of moringa before? Although this plant was initially discovered for its beneficial properties thousands of years ago, only recently has moringa (sometimes called the Ben oil tree) become known as one of the most impressive herbal supplements to hit the holistic health market.

    In fact, in 2008 the National Institute of Health called moringa (moringa oleifera) the “plant of the year,” acknowledging that “perhaps like no other single species, this plant has the potential to help reverse multiple major environmental problems and provide for many unmet human needs.” (1) Clearly, moringa benefits are highly touted and deservedly so.

    To date, over 1,300 studies, articles and reports have focused on moringa benefits and this plant’s healing abilities that are important in parts of the world that are especially susceptible to disease outbreak and nutritional deficiencies. Research shows that just about every part of the moringa plant can be utilized in some way, whether it’s to make a potent antioxidant tea or produce an oily substance that lubricates and nourishes the skin. Throughout the world, moringa is used for treating such widespread conditions as: (2)

    inflammation-related diseases
    cancer
    diabetes
    anemia
    arthritis and other joint pain, such as rheumatism
    allergies and asthma
    constipation, stomach pains and and diarrhea
    epilepsy
    stomach and intestinal ulcers or spasms
    chronic headaches
    heart problems, including high blood pressure
    kidney stones
    fluid retention
    thyroid disorders
    low sex drive
    bacterial, fungal, viral and parasitic infections

    Moringa is an excellent source of protein, vitamin A, potassium, calcium and vitamin C. Just how strong is moringa? According to Kuli Kuli, an organization that harvests moringa plants in Africa and makes them accessible to customers in the the U.S. and other western nations, gram for gram, moringa contains:

    two times the amount of protein of yogurt
    four times the amount of vitamin A as carrots
    three times the amount of potassium as bananas
    four times the amount of calcium as cows’ milk
    seven times the amount of vitamin C as oranges

    6 Proven Moringa Benefits
    Moringa is known by over 100 names in different languages around the world. This easy-to-grow tropical plant species, native to the Himalayan mountains and parts of India and Africa, comes packed with over 90 protective compounds, including isothiocyanates, flavonoids and phenolic acids. (3)

    Moringa has gained a reputation for fighting inflammation and combating various effects of malnutrition and aging, earning the nickname “the miracle plant.” Here are the top six proven moringa benefits to show that nickname is well-deserved.

    1. Provides Antioxidants and Anti-Inflammatory Compounds
    One of the reasons that the many health benefits of herbal plants like Moringa oleifera are so impressive is because they contain similar abilities to conventional drugs, only they don’t pose the same level of risk for experiencing side effects. According to a report published in the Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention, moringa contains a mix of essential amino acids (the building blocks of proteins), carotenoid phytonutrients (the same kinds found in plants like carrots and tomatoes), antioxidants such as quercetin, and natural antibacterial compounds that work in the same way as many anti-inflammatory drugs. (4)

    Moringa leaves are high in several anti-aging compounds that lower the effects of oxidative stress and inflammation, including polyphenols, vitamin C, beta-carotene, quercetin, and chlorogenic acid. These are associated with a reduced risk for chronic diseases, such as stomach, lung or colon cancer; diabetes; hypertension; and age-related eye disorders.

    2. Balances Hormones and Slows the Effects of Aging
    A 2014 study published in the Journal of Food Science and Technology tested the effects of moringa (sometimes also called “drumstick”) along with amaranth leaves (Amaranthus tricolor) on levels of inflammation and oxidative stress in menopausal adult women. Knowing that levels of valuable antioxidant enzymes get affected during the postmenopausal period due to deficiency of “youthful” hormones, including estrogen, researchers wanted to investigate if these superfoods could help slow the effects of aging using natural herbal antioxidants that balance hormones naturally.

    Ninety postmenopausal women between the ages of 45–60 years were selected and divided into three groups given various levels of the supplements. Levels of antioxidant status, including serum retinol, serum ascorbic acid, glutathione peroxidase, superoxide dismutase and malondialdehyde were analyzed before and after supplementation, along with fasting blood glucose and haemoglobin levels. Results showed that supplementing with moringa and amaranth caused significant increases in antioxidant status along with significant decreases in markers of oxidative stress.

    Better fasting blood glucose control and positive increases in haemoglobin were also found, which led the researchers to conclude that these plants have therapeutic potential for helping to prevent complications due to aging and natural hormonal changes. (5) Moringa benefits the libido as well and might work like a natural birth control compound, according to some studies.

    Although it’s been used as a natural aphrodisiac to increase sex drive and performance for thousands of years, it seems to help reduce rates of conception. That being said, it can boost the immune system during pregnancy and also increase breast milk production/lactation, according to some studies.

    3. Helps Improve Digestive Health
    Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, moringa has been used in ancient systems of medicine such as Ayurveda to prevent or treat stomach ulcers, liver disease, kidney damage, fungal or yeast infections (such as candida), digestive complaints, and infections. (6)

    A common use of moringa oil is helping to boost liver function and therefore detoxifying the body of harmful substances, such as heavy metal toxins. It might also be capable of helping to fight kidney stones, urinary tract infections, constipation, fluid retention/edema and diarrhea.



    4. Balances Blood Sugar Levels, Helping Fight Diabetes
    Moringa contains a type of acid called chlorogenic acid, which has been shown to help control blood sugar levels and allow cells to take up or release glucose (sugar) as needed. This gives moringa natural antidiabetic and hormone-balancing properties. Aside from chloregnic acid, compounds called isothiocyanates that are present in moringa have also been tied to natural protection against diabetes.

    A study that appeared in the International Journal of Food Science Technology found that moringa had positive effects on blood glucose control and insulin levels in patients with diabetes when eaten as part of a high-carbohydrate meal. The effects of three different plants (moringa, curry and bittergourd) were tested in response to eating meals containing various levels of glucose. The results showed that plasma insulin responses were significantly lower when the three plants were included in the meal compared to when they weren’t, with all three plants having similar effects. (7)

    Separate studies conducted by the Biotechnology Institute at Sadat City University in Egypt have found that antidiabetic activities of low doses of moringa seed powder (50–100 milligrams per kilogram body weight) help increase antioxidant status and enzyme production within the liver, pancreas and kidneys of rats and prevent damage compared to control groups.

    High levels of immunoglobulin (IgA, IgG), fasting blood sugar and glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) — three markers seen in diabetics — were also found to decrease as a result of moringa given to rats with diabetes. Results from the study showed that overall, compared to rats not given the herbal treatment, those receiving moringa experienced a return to both kidney and pancreatic health as well as reduced complications of diabetes. (8)

    5. Protects and Nourishes the Skin
    Moringa contains natural antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral compounds that protect the skin from various forms of infections. Some of the common ways moringa is used on the skin include: reducing athlete’s foot, eliminating odors, reducing inflammation associated with acne breakouts, treating pockets of infection or abscesses, getting rid of dandruff, fighting gum disease (gingivitis), and helping heal bites, burns, viral warts and wounds. (9, 10)

    Moringa oil is applied directly to the skin as a drying, astringent agent used to kill bacteria, but at the same time when used regularly it’s known to act like a lubricant and hydrate the skin by restoring its natural moisture barrier. It’s a common ingredient used in food manufacturing and perfumes because it prevents spoilage by killing bacteria, plus it has a pleasant smell and reduces odors.

    6. Helps Stabilize Your Mood and Protects Brain Health
    As a high protein food and a rich source of the amino acid tryptophan, moringa benefits neurotransmitter functions, including those that produce the “feel good” hormone serotonin.

    Moringa is also rich in antioxidants and compounds that improve thyroid health, which makes it beneficial for maintaining high energy levels plus fighting fatigue, depression, low libido, moods swings and insomnia. (11)

    Moringa Nutrition Facts
    Moringa is a unique plant because almost all parts of it — leaves, seeds, flowers/pods, stem and roots — can be used as a source for nutrition and its other medicinal properties that fight free radical damage. The most popular medicinal use of moringa, both traditionally and today, involves drying and grinding down the tree’s antioxidant-packed leaves to unlock the most moringa benefits.

    Moringa leaves are loaded with numerous nutrients, including antioxidants, protein, calcium, beta-carotene, vitamin C and potassium. Because it provides a concentrated source of vitamin A, moringa is given to thousands of children in third-world countries every year suffering from life-threatening vitamin A deficiency, which is linked to impaired immune function. (12)

    With an exceptionally high nutritional value, moringa can be used to obtain important trace minerals, protein and phenolics. The plant contains a rare and unique combination of disease-preventing phytonutrients, including: zeatin, quercetin, beta-sitosterol, caffeoylquinic acid and kaempferol — proven anti-inflammatories with strong medicinal values. Numerous studies have shown that these compounds are protective of the heart, natural circulatory stimulants, and possess antitumor, anti-epileptic, anti-ulcer, antispasmodic, antihypertensive and antidiabetic effects.

    To take advantage of this, moringa leaves are used to brew tea by steeping the dried, preserved leaves in hot water, which releases their special chemical compounds — very similarly to how green tea is made. Dried moringa leaves are also ground to create a long-lasting powder, or potent extracts are taken from the leaves to be used in the formation of concentrated moringa capsule supplements.

    Aside from the valuable leaves, the pods of the moringa tree also contain seeds that hold a healing type of oil. Oil from moringa seeds can be used to cook with or put directly onto the surface of the body. Several popular uses of moringa oil are to help retain skin’s moisture, speed up wound healing, and soothe dry or burnt skin.

    Another interesting use of the seeds is for water purification. Combining moringa seeds with water helps impurities cling to the seeds so they can be removed, leaving behind better quality water that’s lower in toxins. Salt also seems to bind to moringa, which is beneficial for producing fresh-tasting water. Some studies have shown that 0.2 grams of ground moringa seed can turn one liter of contaminated water into safe drinking water due to the coagulating actions of certain ingredients in the seeds that absorb bacteria, adding water purification to the list of moringa benefits.

    Moringa vs. Matcha
    Both of these superfoods have several things in common. They provide antioxidants, fight inflammation, slow down aging, protect brain and heart health, and increase immune function in various ways. The two are similar in terms of their appearance and uses, since both are made into potent powders or teas, but have some notable differences when it comes to their nutrient profile.

    While comparable in terms of calories, gram for gram moringa has more fiber, protein, calcium, sodium, vitamin C and vitamin A than matcha does. (13) One of the biggest differences between moringa and matcha green tea is in regard to amino acid concentration. Moringa leaves are a surprisingly great source of protein since they provide nine essential amino acids required for human protein synthesis: histidine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan and valine. This is one reason why organizations like the World Health Organization rely on moringa to supplement low-calorie diets and prevent deficiencies.

    In matcha defense on the other hand, matcha tea (which contains roughly 15 times more active ingredients than any other conventional green tea) provides numerous antioxidants and high doses of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a type of powerful catechin that belongs to the flavonoids subcategory of polyphenols known to protect brain health. Moringa is not known to provide EGCG, which means both plants used together can have even more benefits than moringa benefits or matcha green tea benefits alone.

    History and Uses of Moringa
    There are actually believed to be at least a dozen different varieties of the the moringa tree, but one (moringa oleifera) is by far the most utilized. This species of the moringa tree — a fast-growing, tall, leafy plant that produces flowers or pods — has been used by health authorities around the world to help combat symptoms of malnutrition for several decades now. And prior to moringa benefits being proven in scientific studies, it was used extensively in traditional medicine practices like Ayurveda medicine for over 4,000 years!

    A noteworthy characteristic of the moringa tree is that it’s capable of growing in depleted or dry soils where many other types of beneficial plants or trees cannot survive. This is precisely why certain undernourished populations living in third-world countries, such as Somalia or India, have benefited from moringa during times of famine.

    Aside from providing important nutrients, moringa is used to help restore fertile soil, in forest restoration efforts, to filter water, produce an oil that benefits the skin, and also in the manufacturing of certain medications or supplements. The plant can be grown yea- round and as it progresses through its life cycle it actually helps replenish diminished minerals and other substances. Even as it decomposes, the moringa tree helps provide a way for populations to better grow other sources of food in difficult landscapes with barren soil.

    How to Use Moringa
    As you can probably tell by now, moringa can be used in many different ways in order to utilize all the available moringa benefits. Because of the long transport time needed to ship moringa from parts of Africa or Asia where it’s grown, in the U.S. it’s usually sold in powder or capsule form, which prolongs its shelf life.

    An interesting characteristic of moringa? It’s said to taste like a mix between horseradish and asparagus. (14) It might not have the most appealing flavor, but it’s a supplement with one of the the richest supplies of vital nutrients in the world, which makes the off-putting taste worth it.

    There’s no recommended or required dosage of moringa at this time since it’s only an herbal supplement and not an essential nutrient. That being said, there’s some evidence that the optimum dose for humans has been calculated to be 29 milligrams per kilogram of body weight.

    It’s recommended that you start by taking half a teaspoon of dried moringa orally per day for three tofive days, increasing your intake slowly over two weeks as you get accumulated to its effects. Most people choose to take moringa every several days but not every single day for long duration of time, since it can can cause laxative effects and an upset stomach when overused.

    Here are the most common ways to use moringa to get the best moringa benefits possible:

    Dried moringa leaves or moringa powder: It takes roughly seven pounds of moringa leaves to make one pound of dried moringa powder. The leaves are considered the most potent parts of the plant, containing the most antioxidants and available macronutrients. In regard to the concentration of phenolic compounds, amino acids and volatile oils, the stem and root portions of the plant appear to have the least bioactive nutrients compared to the leaves. Look for moringa dried leaves in capsule, powder or tea form, and take them with a meal, rather than on an empty stomach.

    Moringa tea: This type of moringa is made from dried leaves steeped in hot water, just like many other beneficial herbal teas. The most nutrient-dense types are organic and dried slowly under low temperatures, which helps preserve delicate compounds. Avoid boiling the leaves to help retain the nutrients best, and don’t cook with moringa if possible.

    Moringa seeds: Moringa pods and flowers appear to have a high phenolic content along with proteins and fatty acids. These are the parts of the plant used to purify water and add protein to low-nutrient diets. Look for them added to creams, capsules and powders. The immature green pods of the plant are often called “drumsticks” and are prepared similarly to green beans. The seeds inside the pods are removed and roasted or dried just like nuts to preserve their freshness.
    Moringa oil: The oil from moringa seeds is sometimes called Ben oil. Look for it in natural creams or lotions. Keep the oil in a cool, dark place away from high temperatures or the sun.

    Potential Moringa Side Effects & Concerns
    Because it’s completely natural and free from chemical additives (when you buy a pure, high-quality brand), moringa taken by mouth or used on the skin seems to be very well-tolerated and unlikely to cause side effects. Leaves, fruit, oil and seeds from the moringa tree have been consumed safely for thousands of years, but today there are various forms of moringa supplements or extracts sold, so it’s important to buy the purest kind you can find.

    It’s possible for moringa to be combined with synthetic ingredients, fillers and toxins in certain supplements, so read ingredient labels carefully. Follow dosage directions carefully, taking up to six grams daily for up to three weeks at a time (which has been shown to be safe according to studies). (15)

    During pregnancy or when breast-feeding, it’s best to avoid moringa extract, root or high doses of supplements since not enough research has been done to show it’s definitely safe. It’s possible that chemicals within the plant’s root, bark and flowers can lead to contractions of the uterus, which can cause complications during pregnancy. Use moringa under the care of a health care professional or functional doctor if pregnant or breast-feeding to air on the safe side.

    Final Thoughts on Moringa Benefits
    In 2008 the National Institute of Health called moringa (moringa oleifera) the “plant of the year,” acknowledging that “perhaps like no other single species, this plant has the potential to help reverse multiple major environmental problems and provide for many unmet human needs.”
    Moringa benefits include providing antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, balancing hormones and slowing the effects of aging, improving digestive health, balancing blood sugar levels and helping fight diabetes, protecting and nourishing the skin, and helping stabilize mood and protect brain health.
    There are actually believed to be at least a dozen different varieties of the the moringa tree, but one (moringa oleifera) is by far the most utilized.
    The most common forms of moringa are drive moringa leaves or powder, moringa tea, moringa seeds, and moringa oil.
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