Contributed by Dori Cranmore RN
The Moringa Oleifera tree can be found in tropical areas in Asia, South America and Africa. The tree has bright green leaves and is covered with white flowers that turn to long flat seedpods. The tree is also known as the “Drumstick Tree” or “Tree of Life”.
The leaves, bark, flowers, fruit, seeds and root are all used to make medicines. The leaves retain many of the vitamins and minerals when dried, and because it is so easy to grow, it is used to fight malnutrition in India and Africa. They believe it is a sacred plant with powers to protect both the living and the dead.
Moringa is the super green that is more nutritious than kale! A 3oz. serving of fresh moringa provides more iron than the same serving of kale, spinach or swiss chard. It also has vitamins A, B-1, 2, 3, 12, C, D, E and K, folic acid, potassium, calcium, magnesium, dietary fiber and antioxidants. The proteins, vitamins and minerals act as antioxidants to help protect cells from damage and aid in the body’s retention of iron. Moringa also provides a complete protein with all nine essential amino acids.
Gram-per-gram, moringa has 2 times the amount of protein as yogurt, 4 times the vitamin A of carrots, 3 times the potassium of bananas, 4 times the calcium of milk and 7 times the vitamin C of oranges.
It is commonly used for anemia, arthritis and joint pains, asthma, cancer (studies show anti-cancer benefits for breast, ovarian and colorectal), constipation, diabetes, diarrhea, seizures, stomach pain/ulcers, headaches, heart problems, high blood pressure, kidney stones, fluid retention, mood enhancer, thyroid disorders, bacterial/fungal/viral and parasitic infections, to increase sex drive, reduce swelling/inflammation, birth control, boosting the immune system and increases breast milk production (uses per WebMD). Moringa helps the brain release serotonin which can help balance mood, memory and the stress response. Applied to the skin, it has been used for treating infections/abscesses, athlete’s foot, dandruff, gum disease, snakebites, warts and wounds.
In conclusion, since moringa is a vegetable, there aren’t really any negative effects to eating moringa leaf powder, and its nutritional benefits are numerous. You should eat/drink as much as you are comfortable with - 1tsp. to 1Tbsp. daily will be enough for your body to reap the benefits.
Dori Cranmore RN is the owner of All About Herbs, Inc. This information is provided for educational purposes only and not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease. (907) 376-8327