If someone told you to start every morning with moringa (Moringa oleifera)-perhaps a cup of tea or as a supplement-your response may be: What is moringa and why would I want to start every day with it? I’m going to answer both questions because the health benefits of this tree, that is native to India, are impressive and definitely worth knowing.
The good news is that you don’t need to travel to India to reap the benefits of moringa. In fact, the tree grows quite well in various other places throughout the world. Its leaves, which you can eat raw if you want to, taste somewhat like spinach and are also mildly bitter and hot at the same time. They are like a little party in your mouth! If you prefer the pods, they are like green beans only sweeter. Although the majority of the antioxidants are found in the leaves and pods, you can also benefit fro the seeds, bark, sap, flowers, and roots.
What are the health benefits of moringa?
Moringa has four major “anti” abilities: antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and anti-viral. For this and other reasons, moringa is sometimes referred to as the “wonder tree” or the “miracle tree.” These and other qualities are enough to make a cup of moringa tea a great way to greet your day. Moringa is also available in the form of capsules, leaf extract, oil, and powder.
What are the health benefits of starting your day with moringa?
- It is a great source of vitamins, minerals, and other components, including vitamin A, thiamin (vitamin B1), riboflavin (B2), folate, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc. In addition, moringa is very low in calories and cholesterol.
- The anti-inflammatory properties of moringa may prevent the development of edema, a painful condition in which fluid accumulates in certain tissues of the body.
- Moringa contains a compound called niazimicin, plus has other properties, that may help prevent the development of cancer.
- Stomach complaints, such as gastritis, ulcerative colitis, and constipation, may be relieved with moringa extracts because of their anti-bacterial and antibiotic properties
- The anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-microbial properties of moringa can be instrumental in fighting infections caused by bacteria, fungi, and other pathogens, such as E. coli and Salmonella
- The calcium and phosphorous in moringa contribute to bone and teeth health.
- Moringa can help take the bite out of pain and arthritis, according to a number of animal studies.
- Animal studies suggest moringa extract may help relieve symptoms of depression.
- A recent review explains how moringa helps protect against various chronic diseases, including but not limited to fatty liver, heart disease, diabetes/insulin resistance, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol
Good “moringa” to you. Cheers!
Cadman B. What makes moringa good for you? MedicalNewsToday 2017 Nov 4
Kaur G et al. Evaluation of the antidepressant activity of Moringa oleifera alone and in combination with fluoxetine. Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine 2015 Oct-Dec; 6(4): 273-79
Mahdi HJ et al. In vivo anti-arthritic and anti-nociceptive effects of ethanol extract of Moringa oleifera leaves on complete Freund’s adjuvant (CFA)-induced arthritis in rats. Integrative Medicine Research 2018 Mar; 7(1): 85-94
Martinez-Gonzalez CL et al. Moringa oleifera, a species with potential analgesic and anti-inflammatory activities. Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy 2017 Mar; 87:482-88
Stohs SJ, Hartman MJ. Review of the safety and efficacy of Moringa oleifera. Phytotherapy Research 2015 Jun; 29(6): 796-804
Vergara-Jimenez M et al. Bioactive components in Moringa oleifera leaves protect against chronic disease. Antioxidants (Basel) 2017 Nov 16; 6(4): pii:E91