Moringa (Moringa oleifera) is an herb widely known for its nutritional value. All parts of moringa – the leaves, fruits, roots, bark and flowers – are edible and contain key nutrients.
It goes by different names in different countries: Filipinos call it “malunggay,” Thais call it “ma-rum,” Indians call it “saijan,” and many Africans call it “nebedaye” which means “never die.” Moringa’s African name is apt, as its resilience to drought and poor soil makes it an important source of both food and medicine in the continent’s poor areas. The United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization lauded moringa as an excellent source of green vegetable sustenance when little food is available due it its fast-growing and drought-tolerant nature.
Due to its high nutrient content, moringa is used to augment the nutritional requirements of malnourished children. Its protein is easy to digest and its high vitamin A content can help improve immunity and vision, promote skin health and aid in bone growth. Moringa is also a galactogogue, which helps nursing mothers produce more breast milk, as previously noted. Here Ravi Teja Tadimalla, StyleCraze.com, reflects on health benefits of moringa:
“Moringa is often called the drumstick tree. It has been used for millennia for its powerful antioxidant and bioactive compounds.
Moringa oleifera, as it is scientifically called, contains essential amino acids, vitamins, and minerals and offers great medicinal benefits (1).
Science has uncovered the goodness of moringa in great detail. In this post, we will explore how it can benefit your health.
What are the health benefits of moringa?
Moringa is replete with important antioxidants that fight oxidative stress and related diseases. The plant can fight inflammation and may aid the treatment of cancer and diabetes. It may also strengthen bones and improve brain health.
Can Fight Inflammation
Moringa was also effective in blocking certain cytokines that promote inflammation in the human body. The extracts of moringa seeds also have anti-inflammatory properties (5).
The anti-inflammatory properties of moringa may also help relieve rheumatic pain (6).
The most potent of the phytochemicals in moringa that fight inflammation include flavonoids and isothiocyanates. Their anti-inflammatory potential is so intense that studies emphasize their ability to prevent or treat inflammatory conditions like diabetes, cancer, and arthritis (7).
May Aid Diabetes Treatment
In certain rat studies, moringa seed powder was found to exhibit antidiabetic properties. Moringa contains fiber, which can help reduce blood glucose levels. Fortification of a diabetes diet with moringa was found to lower fasting blood glucose levels (8).
In another study, women who took 7 grams of moringa leaf powder every day for three months observed a reduction in their fasting blood glucose levels (9).
Another small study showed that including moringa leaves in the diet may lower blood sugar levels. The participants of the study saw a 21% decrease in blood sugar levels (10).
Treating diabetic rats with moringa seed powder restored the histology of both the kidneys and the pancreas, thereby improving the symptoms. It is possible that these effects could be observed in humans as well (11).
May Promote Heart Health
Moringa improved cardiac diastolic function in hypertensive rats. It also reduced fibrosis (the scarring of connective tissue) in one of the ventricles (12).
Moringa also helps lower cholesterol levels, which can help improve heart health. In a study, the plant was found to increase the excretion of fecal cholesterol (13).
Moringa pods are replete with polyunsaturated fatty acids, including linoleic, linolenic, and oleic acids. These have the ability to lower cholesterol. Moringa seed oil contains 76% PUFAs, and it can be an ideal substitute for olive oil (14).
Moringa leaf extract may also lower blood pressure levels. This extract reduced oxidative stress and relieved vascular dysfunction in hypertensive rats (15). This effect can potentially ward off heart disease.”
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