Moringa is one of the herbal industry’s latest darlings, appearing in everything from supplement powders and capsules, to oils and tinctures. While this ancient herb may be attracting a new audience here in North America, it has long been celebrated in the sub-Himalayan regions of India, Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh for its strong, nutritive, and protective abilities when eaten.
The moringa tree (Moringa oleifera) may be native to the sub-Himalayan countries, but it has since spread throughout the world, from parts of Africa and South Asia to South America—all hot, dry climates. This perennial softwood, commonly known as “The Wonder Tree,” manages to thrive in drought-like conditions, sometimes growing as fast as a foot per month and as high as 20-40 feet! As a result of its rapid growth, local communities use this plant to help combat deforestation and erosion, and as an inexpensive and sustainable building material.
When eaten, moringa is said to rival other super foods like kale as a great source of nutrients—something early humans likely learned from animals, who feed off the tree’s roots and branches. At the end of the growing season, when the tree’s oval-shaped leaves are fully developed, local communities use it as a source of vitamins, minerals, and protein when food is scarce, often preparing it like spinach in traditional vegetable dishes. Farmers sometimes use its dried seed pods as fertilizer for their fields and its pulp to filter their water.
As an herbal medicine, moringa has been featured in Ayurveda, Unani, and other healing traditions around the world. Used for many different purposes, moringa strengthening, nutritive and protective abilities make it a go-to herb of many healers throughout its growing regions. Our Moringa with Spearmint & Sage tea taps into this time-honored tradition, harnessing the power of its leaves for a minty lift to contribute to a healthier you,* making this the perfect tea for every day sipping and a tasty palate refresher.
Moringa is a plant that is native to areas of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan. It is also grown in the tropics. The leaves, bark, flowers, fruit, seeds, and root are used to make medicine.
Moringa is used for asthma, diabetes, obesity, symptoms of menopause, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.
Oil from moringa seeds is used in foods, perfume, and hair care products, and as a machine lubricant.
Moringa is an important food source in some parts of the world. Because it can be grown cheaply and easily, and the leaves retain lots of vitamins and minerals when dried, moringa is used in India and Africa in feeding programs to fight malnutrition. The immature green pods (drumsticks) are prepared similarly to green beans, while the seeds are removed from more mature pods and cooked like peas or roasted like nuts. The leaves are cooked and used like spinach, and they are also dried and powdered for use as a condiment.
The seed cake remaining after oil extraction is used as a fertilizer and also to purify well water and to remove salt from seawater.
6 Science-Based Health Benefits of Moringa oleifera
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Moringa oleifera is a plant that has been praised for its health benefits for thousands of years.
It is very rich in healthy antioxidants and bioactive plant compounds.
So far, scientists have only investigated a fraction of the many reputed health benefits.
Here are 6 health benefits of Moringa oleifera that are supported by scientific research.
1. Moringa oleifera Is Very Nutritious
Moringa oleifera is a fairly large tree native to North India.
It goes by a variety of names, such as drumstick tree, horseradish tree or ben oil tree.
Almost all parts of the tree are eaten or used as ingredients in traditional herbal medicines.
This especially applies to the leaves and pods, which are commonly eaten in parts of India and Africa (1Trusted Source).
Below is a photo of Moringa oleifera leaves, powder and capsules:
Moringa leaves are an excellent source of many vitamins and minerals. One cup of fresh, chopped leaves (21 grams) contains (2Trusted Source):
In Western countries, the dried leaves are sold as dietary supplements, either in powder or capsule form.
Compared to the leaves, the pods are generally lower in vitamins and minerals. However, they are exceptionally rich in vitamin C. One cup of fresh, sliced pods (100 grams) contains 157% of your daily requirement.
The diet of people in developing nations sometimes lacks vitamins, minerals and protein. In these countries, Moringa oleifera can be an important source of many essential nutrients.
However, there is one downside: Moringa leaves may also contain high levels of anti-nutrients, which can reduce the absorption of minerals and protein (3Trusted Source,
Another thing to keep in mind is that taking Moringa oleifera supplements in capsules won’t supply a large number of nutrients.
The amounts are negligible compared to what you consume if you eat a balanced diet based on whole foods.
2. Moringa oleifera Is Rich in Antioxidants
Antioxidants are compounds that act against free radicals in your body.
High levels of free radicals may cause oxidative stress, which is associated with chronic diseases like heart disease and type 2 diabetes (5Trusted Source, 6Trusted Source).
Several antioxidant plant compounds have been found in the leaves of Moringa oleifera
In addition to vitamin C and beta-carotene, these include
- Quercetin: This powerful antioxidant may help lower blood pressure (12Trusted Source, 13Trusted Source).
- Chlorogenic acid: Also found in high amounts in coffee, chlorogenic acid may help moderate blood sugar levels after meals (14Trusted Source, 15Trusted Source).
One study in women found that taking 1.5 teaspoons (7 grams) of moringa leaf powder every day for three months significantly increased blood antioxidant levels
Moringa leaf extract may also be used as a food preservative. It increases the shelf life of meat by reducing oxidation
3. Moringa May Lower Blood Sugar Levels
High blood sugar can be a serious health problem. In fact, it’s the main characteristic of diabetes.
Over time, high blood sugar levels raise the risk of many serious health problems, including heart disease. For this reason, it’s important to keep your blood sugar within healthy limits.
Interestingly, several studies have shown that Moringa oleifera may help lower blood sugar levels.
However, most of the evidence is based on animal studies. Only a few human-based studies exist, and they’re generally of low quality (18Trusted Source, 19Trusted Source, 20Trusted Source).
One study in 30 women showed that taking 1.5 teaspoons (7 grams) of moringa leaf powder every day for three months reduced fasting blood sugar levels by 13.5%, on average
Another small study in six people with diabetes found that adding 50 grams of moringa leaves to a meal reduced the rise in blood sugar by 21% (21).
Scientists believe these effects are caused by plant compounds such as isothiocyanates
4. Moringa oleifera May Reduce Inflammation
Inflammation is the body’s natural response to infection or injury.
It’s an essential protective mechanism but may become a major health issue if it continues over a long period of time.
In fact, sustained inflammation is linked to many chronic health problems, including heart disease and cancer (23Trusted Source, 24Trusted Source).
Most whole fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices have anti-inflammatory properties. However, the degree to which they can help depends on the types and amounts of anti-inflammatory compounds they contain.
Scientists believe that isothiocyanates are the main anti-inflammatory compounds in mooring leaves, pods and seeds 26Trusted Source, 27Trusted Source).
But so far, research has been limited to test-tube and animal studies. It remains to be seen if Moringa oleifera has similar anti-inflammatory effects in humans.
5. Moringa Can Lower Cholesterol
Having high cholesterol has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease.
Fortunately, many plant foods can effectively reduce cholesterol. These include flax seeds, oats and almonds.
Both animal- and human-based studies have shown that Moringa oleifera may have similar cholesterol-lowering effects (7Trusted Source, 18Trusted Source, 28Trusted Source, 29Trusted Source).
6. Moringa oleifera May Protect Against Arsenic Toxicity
Arsenic contamination of food and water is a problem in many parts of the world. Certain types of rice may contain particularly high levels (30Trusted Source).
Long-term exposure to high levels of arsenic may lead to health problems over time.
For instance, studies have linked long-term exposure to an increased risk of cancer and heart disease (31Trusted Source, 32Trusted Source).
Interestingly, several studies in mice and rats have shown that the leaves and seeds of Moringa oleifera may protect against some of the effects of arsenic toxicity (33Trusted Source, 34Trusted Source,
These results are promising, but it’s not yet known whether this also applies to humans.
What are the benefits?
Moringa is believed to have many benefits and its uses range from health and beauty to helping prevent and cure diseases. The benefits of moringa include:
1. Protecting and nourishing skin and hair
Moringa seed oil is beneficial for protecting hair against free radicals and keeps it clean and healthy. Moringa also contains protein, which means it is helpful in protecting skin cells from damage. It also contains hydrating and detoxifying elements, which also boost the skin and hair.
It can be successful in curing skin infections and sores.
2. Treating edema
Edema is a painful condition where fluid builds up in specific tissues in the body. The anti-inflammatory properties of moringa may be effective in preventing edema from developing.
3. Protecting the liver
Moringa appears to protect the liver against damage caused by anti-tubercular drugs and can quicken its repair process.
4. Preventing and treating cancer
Moringa extracts contain properties that might help prevent cancer developing. It also contains niazimicin, which is a compound that suppresses the development of cancer cells.
5. Treating stomach complaints
Moringa extracts might help treat some stomach disorders, such as constipation, gastritis, and ulcerative colitis. The antibiotic and antibacterial properties of moringa may help inhibit the growth of various pathogens, and its high vitamin B content helps with digestion.
6. Fighting against bacterial diseases
Due to its antibacterial, anti fungal, and antimicrobial properties, moringa extracts might combat infections caused by Salmonella, Rhizomes, and E. coli.
7. Making bones healthier
Moringa also contains calcium and phosphorous, which help keep bones healthy and strong. Along with its anti-inflammatory properties moringa extract might help to treat conditions such as arthritis and may also heal damaged bones.
8. Treating mood disorders
Moringa is thought to be helpful in treating depression, anxiety, and fatigue.
9. Protecting the cardiovascular system
The powerful antioxidants found in Moringa extract might help prevent cardiac damage and has also been shown to maintain a healthy heart.
10. Helping wounds to heal
Extract of moringa has been shown to help wounds close as well as reduce the appearance of scars.
11. Treating diabetes
Moringa helps to reduce the amount of glucose in the blood, as well as sugar and protein in the urine. This improved the hemoglobin levels and overall protein content in those tested.
12. Treating asthma
Moringa may help reduce the severity of some asthma attacks and protect against bronchial constrictions. It has also been shown to assist with better lung function and breathing overall.
13. Protecting against kidney disorders
People may be less likely to develop stones in the kidneys, bladder or uterus if they ingest moringa extract. Moringa contains high levels of antioxidants that might aid toxicity levels in the kidneys.
14. Reducing high blood pressure
Moringa contains isothiocyanate and niaziminin, compounds that help to stop arteries from thickening, which can cause blood pressure to rise.
15. Improving eye health
Moringa contains eyesight-improving properties thanks to its high antioxidant levels. Moringa may stop the dilation of retinal vessels, prevent the thickening of capillary membranes, and inhibit retinal dysfunction.
16. Treating anemia and sickle cell disease
Moringa might help a person’s body absorb more iron, therefore increasing their red blood cell count. It is thought the plant extract is very helpful in treating and preventing anemia and sickle cell disease.
Therefore, it is rightly called ‘miracle moringa’. The moringa powder is extracted from the leaves that are sun-dried, crushed and finally ground. Interestingly, the moringa leaves contain three times more iron than spinach. They are also very rich in Vitamin A. You may have never used it before, but we’re giving you seven reasons why you should be.
(Drumstick or moringa: 3 South Indian recipes for cooking super food)
1. Aids weight loss
Moringa is high in fiber which helps in keeping you full for longer. The leaves contain an antioxidant called chlorogenic acid that acts as a natural fat burner and also helps in balancing the blood sugar levels which is linked to your metabolism. It is known to reduce glucose levels in the body which also makes it good for diabetics.
2. Gives instant energy
Moringa powder is highly nutritious and full of minerals and antioxidants. Your body gets energy from the food you eat and most of it is used for repairing the normal wear and tear of cells that occurs. Therefore, moringa powder is great to give you a sudden boost of energy. It is also rich in iron and magnesium that help in fighting tiredness and fatigue.
3. Flushes out toxins
Moringa powder helps in the faster elimination of toxins from your body and supports your liver in doing so. It makes your body more resistant to toxins while the antioxidants help in fighting free radicals to keep your system clean.
4. Good for skin and hair
Moringa leaves are full of Vitamin A which helps in supporting supple skin. It is also a great source of all the essential amino acids that help in the formation of keratin protein needed for longer and thicker hair. With a considerable amount of antioxidants, moringa powder also possesses anti-ageing properties
5. Improves digestion and gut health
Moringa powder is packed with fiber that regulates your digestive functions and relieves constipation. Moringa leaves also have a mild laxative effect. Moringa is known for its strong anti-inflammatory properties and may help in treating stomach ulcers and infections.
6. Fights insomnia
Moringa contains amino acid tryptophan that is required for the production of the neurotransmitter serotonin and the sleep cycle regulating hormone melatonin. Being rich in protein, it acts as a great mood boosters by stimulating the feel good hormones in the body.
Moringa powder contains seven times more potassium than bananas and twice the amount of protein as in milk. Imagine that! It is rich in minerals like calcium, iron and manganese and vitamin A, E and K.