Moringa oleifera is a small to medium-sized tropical tree native to the Indian subcontinent. The tree is easily recognizable from its light colored knotty trunk and highly branched compound leaves. The fruits of the Moringa tree are thin, 1 ½ -2 ft. long pods.
The M. tree has several names in different parts of the world including its common name of “horseradish tree,” since its roots taste similar to horseradish root when raw. In Ayurvedic medicine it is known as shigru.
Although the sparse crown of the drumstick tree offers little shade from the hot sun of the tropics, it is a common fixture in almost every yard and by the wayside. The M. tree have innumerable health benefits. The leaves, flowers and the green pods of Moringa are all edible and are widely use in Indian cuisine.
This miracle tree is beneficial as food because of its ability to grow in a variety of climates, especially subtropical climates. In fact, M. Oleifera grows in virtually all countries where malnutrition is widespread and may be a great part of a comprehensive plan to alleviate malnutrition throughout the world.
Nutritional Value Of Moringa
Moringa leaves and pods are a nutritional powerhouse.It is a rich source of essential amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins. It also contains a significant amount of vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B6, folate and ascorbic acid (vitamin C). The mineral wealth of moringa includes calcium, potassium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous and zinc. It contains very low amount of fats and offers no harmful cholesterol.
Benefits Of Moringa
It contains an immense wealth of healthy components and phytonutrients. In the Philippines, it is revered as mother’s best friend because of its galactogogue properties. Moringa plant offers a rich blend of powerful antioxidants such as kaempferol, caffeoylquinic acid, zeatin, quercetin, rutin, chlorogenic acid, and beta-sitosterol.
The benefits of this tree for medical conditions include the following:
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#1- Liver Protection
Moringa extracts exert a hepatoprotective effect on the liver. Research studies have validated the effectiveness of moringa leaves against the liver damage caused by antitubercular drugs as well as its stimulating effects in speeding up the recovery process. It helps to restore the levels of glutathione content in the body and prevents radiation-induced hepatic lipid peroxidation. This protective effect is attributed to the presence of phytochemicals such as catechin, epicatechin, ferulic acid and vitamin C found in moringa.
#2- Prevent Cancer
It is an anticancer agent and is highly valued in tumor therapy. Scientific research has demonstrated that moringa extracts possess chemopreventive properties attributed to the presence of the phenolic components quercetin and kaempferol.
A study published in PLOS One found that Moringa leaves and seeds were especially effective in fighting breast and colorectal cancer – two of the deadliest cancers today. But other parts of the herb may also protect against many other cancers. For instance, the bark of Moringa contains eugenol which research found prevented prostate cancer.
Another study has demonstrate the role of the bioactive compound niazimicin in restraining the development of cancer cells. Moringa extracts impart chemo modulatory effects towards curing various types of cancers such as ovarian cancer, hepatic carcinogenesis and skin papilloma genesis by inhibiting the proliferation of malignant cancer cells and inducing apoptosis, also known as program cell death.
#3- Balances Blood Sugar Levels
It contains a type of acid call chlorogenic acid, which has been show to help control blood sugar levels and allow cells to take up or release glucose as need. This gives moringa natural antidiabetic and hormone-balancing properties. Aside from chlorogenic acid, compounds present in moringa, have a natural protection against diabetes.
A study that appeared in the International Journal of Food Science Technology found that it had positive effects on blood glucose control and insulin levels in patients with diabetes when eaten as part of a high-carbohydrate meal. The effects of three different plants were test in response to eating meals containing various levels of glucose. The results show that plasma insulin responses were significantly lower when the three plants were includ in the meal compare to when they weren’t, with all three plants having similar effects.
#4- It fights free radicals
Antioxidants fight free radicals, molecules that cause oxidative stress, cell damage, and inflammation. Moringa contains antioxidants called flavonoids, polyphenols, and ascorbic acid in the leaves, flowers, and seeds.
A study found that leaf extracts had higher antioxidant activity, free-radical-scavenging capacity, and higher inhibition of lipid, protein, and DNA oxidation than flowers and seeds. This means it prevents the damage and degradation that free radicals cause in the cells of different organs in the body. Also, it can keep them healthy and functioning at their best.
#5- Supports brain health
Moringa supports brain health and cognitive function because of its antioxidant and neuro-enhancer activities. It’s also been tested as a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease with favorable preliminary results.
Its high content of vitamins E and C fight oxidation that leads to neuron degeneration, improving brain function. It’s also able to normalize the neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine, and noradrenaline in the brain, which play a key role in memory, mood, organ function, responses to stimulus such as stress and pleasure, and mental health, for example in depression and psychosis.
#6- Protects and Nourishes the Skin
Moringa contains natural antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral compounds that protects the skin from various forms of infections. Some of the common ways moringa is used on the skin include: reducing athlete’s foot, eliminating odors, reducing inflammation associated with acne breakouts, treating pockets of infection or abscesses, getting rid of dandruff, fighting gum disease (gingivitis), and helping heal bites, burns, viral warts and wounds.
Moringa Tree Uses
– Super Food Supplement.
As you previously read Moringa is your perfect natural multivitamin/mineral. You can add moringa powder to virtually any food you want to consume. Add it to your meals, your smoothies or drink it as a tea. The leaf powder was deemed safe in human studies, even in larger doses than normal. The powder has a mild flavor, so it makes for a light moringa tea with a slightly earthy taste. Moringa can have laxative effects in large quantities. So a safe dose to introduce it into your food or diet is ½ to 1 teaspoon per day.
Besides being a super food supplement in your daily life, this tree has many other uses, such as:
Moringa is a “miracle tree”. So, most of its parts, including the leaves, bark, fruits and roots are use as food items. Leaves of its tree can be add to salads and are also use in the preparation of sauces and soups. Cold press moringa oil is used for cooking and is appreciated for its long shelf life. The immature seed pods of the moringa tree, are use in various dishes.
Moringa leaves are a great alternative to meat, because of the high protein content, especially for vegetarians. It contains the amino acids arginine and histidine. Those are essential for infants and it is also a boon to combat malnutrition in the under-privileged regions of the world.
-It’s used for Water Purification
M. oleifera extracts possess anti-cyanobacterial qualities and have been praised for their use in primitive water filtration systems. Its seeds work as a coagulant and exert flocculating effects on the clay and microorganisms present in water. Thereby aiding in the removal of harmful pollutants and algae. It is a natural way of purifying and treating water, in contrast to other industrial coagulants such as alumina.
Moringa seed oil has a low tendency to become rancid and is effectively used as a lubricant for fine apparatus such as watches.
-Feed for Farm Animals
Leaves of moringa trees possess excellent nutritional characteristics and are beneficial for cattle feed, both economically and nutritionally. It promotes better milk production and helps to improve the quality of meat.
-Plant Growth Stimulator
Extracts from the leaves contain growth-enhancing properties and promote a better yield of the crop. Use of moringa growth hormone helps in improving the resistance of plants towards pests and diseases. Its extracts have been extensively used in the manufacturing of creams, ointments, oils and moisturizers. The seed cake after the extraction of the oil is commonly use as a fertilizer.
Several studies have shown the effectivity of this miracle tree fertilizer. One study shows how incorporating moringa as a fertilizer has increased crop production by 20-35% in a farm in Nicaragua. Other study shows that moringa leaf and twig extracts can be recommended to be used effectively by farmers as a bio-organic fertilizer for various crops.
How to Make Moringa Fertilizer?
So, this miracle tree can be a great fertilizer. But, do you know how to do it?
In this video, you will se how to make Moringa fertilizer by blending the leaves of three branches with a little water. Because only 100 grams of Moringa leaves have so many nutrients!
Check out how Markus from Denmark, one of RVA’s students, makes 3 liters of Moringa fertilizer out of the leaves of just three branches.
It’s clear to see just how amazing the Moringa plant and its seeds can be for the human body. Whether it’s working to prevent illness, heal and improve health, it really is an amazing superfood out there. But, not only for you, but for your animals and plants as well! So, what are you waiting for? Begin to enjoy all the benefits of this ancient tree today!
Do you have any experience with this miracle tree? Tell us about it in the comment section below. Also, please share this post with all your friends!