Health supplements derived from the Moringa plant are gaining popularity as health trends move towards natural remedies. The consumption of parts of the Moringa is not new. Since ancient times, indigenous tribes in South Asia and Africa have utilised the multiple uses of this tree.
Almost all parts of the tree can be eaten, including the leaves, bark, roots, sap, and even its flowers. There is very little waste and as such, seen as an important source of nourishment. The leaves of the Moringa tree are said to have the most potent healing properties. In our modern times, its leaves are dried and consumed as tea, in powdered form, or in capsules.
Moringa is generally considered safe to eat. However, caution should be exercised over the bark and pulp. This is especially relevant during pregnancy because the bark contains chemicals that may promote uterine contractions and may increase the risk of miscarriage. Those on prescribed medication including blood pressure tablets, diabetes medication, and levothyroxine should also check with their GP, pharmacist, or other health professionals to ensure that moringa is appropriate for their use.
Here are some of the health benefits of Moringa.
Moringa is rich in nutrients and just 10g of Moringa powder can yield:
2.3g vitamin C
2. Rich in Antioxidants
Antioxidant compounds, including nutrients and phytochemicals, help protect cells from the damage incurred by molecules called free radicals. Free radicals are produced by the body when exposed to environmental toxins like pesticides and cigarette smoke. Moringa, and most notably its leaves, are rich in beneficial compounds such as vitamin C and beta-carotene as well as polyphenols, which have antioxidant properties.
3. Reduce Blood Sugar
Some studies have indicated that moringa contains compounds that may stimulate the cells of the pancreas, which are responsible for the secretion of the blood-sugar balancing hormone, insulin.
An interesting study looking at the effects of the leaf powder on postmenopausal women showed that taking 1½ teaspoons of moringa leaf powder every day for three months reduced fasting blood glucose levels by an average of 13.5 per cent. This suggests that moringa may be helpful in addressing some of the physiological changes experienced by mid-life women.
4. Anti-inflammatory properties
Inflammation plays a pivotal role in the development of many chronic illnesses, from obesity and diabetes to arthritis. The root, fruit, and leaves of moringa contain substances that inhibit this inflammatory process.
The liver is essential for maintaining our health and processing nutrients from our diet. Very recent human trials suggest a possible role for moringa as an anti-cancer drug for liver cancer.
6. Boosting Cognitive Function
The rich antioxidant properties of moringa may support cognitive function and be useful in the fight against cognitive decline, as well as conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s. In addition to this, it would appear that the plant may be useful in supporting mood, memory and neurotransmitter balance.
Studies to date in all of these areas look promising, but there’s still much for us to learn about this plant and its many reputed benefits.
*This article does not replace professional medical advice