Introduction to Moringa Oleifera
Moringa Oleifera is a species of the genus Moringa native to the southern foothills of the Himalayas in Northwestern India and many parts of Africa with adaptability to tropical, semiarid and sandy conditions. India is the leading producer of Moringa Oleifera with an annual production of 1.3 tons of fruit per year.
Moringa can grow up to 4 meters and its fruits are characterized by 0-25cm long drumstick shaped pods that have seeds inside and grow on slender, hairy stalks in drooping flower clusters. The Moringa flowers are bisexual, surrounded by five thinly veined cream petals.
Its versatility are as unique as its many names it’s known by such as horseradish, drumstick tree, clarifier tree and mother’s best friend in East Africa – for a very good reason because virtually all the parts of Moringa tree are beneficial from the immature seed pods called “drumsticks,” the mature seeds for oil pressing, and flowers, which makes Moringa Oleifera a Superfood!
The Moringa leaves are by far the most nutrient-dense part of the tree. The leaves are a great source of:
- Essential nutrients
- B Vitamins and vitamins K, C
- Provitamin A as beta-carotene
The immature seed pods (Drumsticks) are high in dietary fiber, vitamin C, Potassium, Manganese, and Magnesium.
The seeds from mature pod contain vitamin C, dietary fiber, and B vitamins and when pressed, they yield an edible oil called Ben Oil from its high concentration of Behenic Acid – which has many uses such as:
- A great cooking substitute to other oils.
- Making perfumes, lubricants and scented candles
- It helps fight free radical damage to the skin and eyes
- As an antiaging and rejuvenating oil for tired, dull skin
- As an anti-inflammatory to treat skin conditions like eczema, dermatitis, and psoriasis, and protect from sunburn.
Moringa Oleifera Benefits
- Moringa roots are either dried or used fresh as a condiment
- Pure Moringa leaves will aid weight loss
- Lowers blood sugar levels
- Lowers inflammation
- Coagulation Ingredient
- Combat Iron deficiency
Other traditional uses of Moringa Oleifera are:
- Water Purification
- Moringa High-grade Oil for food cooking, cosmetics, hair and skin conditioner.
- Combat malnutrition in lactating mothers
Powerful Nutritional Facts of Moringa Oleifera
- Moringa is considered to have 28g per 100g of dry powder. The highest protein content than any other plant protein, which is pretty impressive as it can easily compete with high-value animal protein.
Moringa also High in Branched chain amino acids BCAA which is rarely found in plant protein, which is required for muscle growth during exercises. This is great news for endurance athletes and bodybuilders who rely on protein supplements!
- As mentioned earlier, Moringa powder is very high in vitamins, minerals, and plant calcium. These essential nutrients are vital for every bodily function such as boost the immune system, convert food into energy, grow, heal, maintain, and repair cellular damage, skeleton system, and organs. They also prevent blindness caused by vitamin A deficiency, Scurvy, and rickets caused by vitamin C and D respectfully.
- Moringa Oleifera is high in powerful antioxidants. They counteract with unstable molecules such as free radicals that cause oxidative stress and can be damaging to the cell membranes and DNA. In addition to vitamin C and beta-carotene, other antioxidants plant compounds that are found in Moringa Oleifera are
- Chlorogenic acid which helps in moderating blood sugar levels
- Quercetin, particularly powerful antioxidant helps in lowering blood pressure.
- Moringa Oleifera contains Zeatin – Scientifically known to influence the growth and development of plants through a process known as cell-division. The Moringa tree can grow several feet in a very short amount of time, these effects have been linked to the effects of Zeatin.
This is particularly interesting as far as the human skin is concerned. Zeatin is known to have antiaging properties that slow down the aging process! Studies carried out have shown Zeatin prevents the growth of cell debris and improves the ability of the skin to respond to oxidative stress without affecting the process of cell-division! So we can gladly welcome eternal youth by using Moringa daily.
Uses of Moringa Oleifera
Moringa Oleifera is very rich in antioxidants and bioactive plant compounds that can be credited for its health benefits. Moringa is especially beneficial to people living in developing countries that may lack sufficient vitamins, minerals, and proteins.
- When used sparingly, Moringa Leaves are used for their purgative qualities. This is helpful when it comes to cleansing and also to relieve the straining associated with constipation. It is also used to kill intestinal worms.
- Moringa leaves are used in developing countries to treat anemia and stimulate milk production in breastfeeding mothers.
- It can be used to treat inflammation of the mucous membrane, eye and ear infection, fever, bronchitis, and scurvy.
- Traditionally, a poultice is made from crushing fresh Moringa leaves and applied to reduce glandular swelling. Its leaves and buds can be rubbed directly on the temples as a remedy for headaches and migraines.
- The juice from Moringa leaves can be used to control blood pressure, stabilize glucose levels on diabetics and treat anxiety and related conditions.
- Moringa juice is high in diuretic properties. Commonly used for flushing out excess salt and fluid build-up in the body, which helps in lowering blood pressure, making it easier for the heart to pump. It is also recommended for people with gonorrhea as it increases urination.
- A mixture of Moringa juice, honey, and coconut milk is known to treat diarrhea and colitis.
It is only fair to mention that Moringa Oleifera has one downside. It contains antinutrients that hinder the absorption of minerals and proteins. Used as a dietary supplement, Moringa is sold as capsules and in powder form. Consuming it in capsules may require you to take it in large amounts in order to benefit from its nutrients. That is why it is recommended to take the organic, GMO-free Moringa Oleifera in powder form. Always consult a professional for advice on dosage.