The Tree of Life: Moringa Benefits

I first encountered Moringa Oleifera from a health guru, who happens to be a very close friend, when she made potato salad and included these delicious green oval-shaped leaves. As we ate in her garden, she started telling me what these super greens do for the body. I was astounded by the nutrient density of this unassuming ancient tree. 

I have been using it for a year now and I have been a fan since. I was so passionate about Moringa so much I started shipping them to family members in America and they have seen marked improvement with their immune system, energy levels, high blood pressure, and arthritis. I have had the leaf and powder form, and i still get the benefits! I want to share with you the uses, benefits, drawbacks, and how you can incorporate in your daily routine. 

Moringa was typically found where there is topical weather but since its discovery, it has been grown all around the world. You can access this super-food online (seeds, capsules, teas and powder), herbal medicine shops (capsules, tea and powdered), Asian marketplaces (fresh leaves), and health stores (capsules, tea and powdered).

The leaves are an excellent source for vital vitamins and minerals. Just from one cup of chopped leaves you can get:

  • 2 grams of protein
  • 11% of the RDA of iron
  • 8% of the RDA of Magnesium
  • 19% of the RDA of vitamin B6
  • 12% of the RDA of vitamin C
  • 11% of the RDA of Vitamin B2
  • 9% of the RDA of Vitamin A

The dried leaves (or powder) is even higher in minerals and vitamins except for vitamin C. The higher potency found in the dried form is in a much higher concentrate. You can compare these nutrients, here.

The pod has lower amounts in vitamins and minerals in comparison with the leaves. However, they have an abundance of vitamin C. One cup of freshly sliced pods gives you 157% of your RDA for vitamin C.

Additionally, moringa contains nine of your essential amino acids, 18 amino acids, more than 90 nutrients, high in fiber, 36 anti-inflammatories and 46 different antioxidants which make it excellent as an almost complete food for full nourishment.

Uses

Moringa-Oleifera-TreeIt has been nick-named the “Tree of Life” because every part of this tree can be eaten or used in natural medicine to fight back almost any ailment.    

The pods can be used in cooking or eaten like nuts. The leaves are edible fresh, they are used in medicine, cooked like spinach, or dried for ingestion.

The roots are can be eaten, made into a sauce like you would with horseradish, and used as a medicinal purposes.

The seeds can be pressed to make oil for cooking, lubrication and in natural homemade hair/beauty products. Even the flowers can be eaten in a salad!

Benefits

Here is a non-exhausted list of benefits that has been proven by science:

  • Increases energy levels – I would recommend not taken at night as it can keep you awake!
  • Improved digestion – It alkalizes the digestive system that stops inflammation in the stomach, protects the stomach ining, treats ulcers and the fiber helps clean out the tract.
  • Improved immune system function – full of vitamin c and antioxidants.
  • Improved mood and brain function – Vitamin and minerals improve mental functioning and balances serotonin, dopamine and noradrenaline in the brain .
  • Lower blood pressure – Thanks to the antioxidants like Quercetin and Chlorogenic acid.
  • Lowering blood sugar levels – These effects are caused by plant compounds found in Moringa leaves, such as isothiocyanates.
  • Reduces cholesterol – This has been attributed to the antioxidants that reduces plaque build up in the blood.
  • Fights free radical – It is the flavonoids, polyphenols, and ascorbic acid that protects cells from being damaged and inhibits free radical scavenging activity.
  • Reduces inflammation –  it suppresses the inflammatory enzymes and proteins in the body as well as in the cells.
  • Protects against toxicities in the liver – Moringa contains a high concentrations of polyphenols.
  • Fights infection- it has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties

Drawbacks

In large quantities, it has a laxative effect. If you take from 1/2 teaspoon to 1.5 tablespoons a day then you should be fine and free from running to the toilet too often. I introduced morgina slowly into my diet with half a teaspoon then 1 teaspoon before shifting to 1 heaped tablespoon. 

Also, some moringa sites say that moringa could be a natural contraception (but the jury is out on this still) so do not take if trying for a baby or pregnant to avoid any complications, just to be on the safe side. Also, avoid using the root, bark, and flowers as the chemicals can make the uterus contract, and this might cause a miscarriage. However, it is safe to take when breast feeding as it may help with increased milk production.

How To Eat Daily

If you use the fresh leaves then have that in salads, juice and blend in it smoothies. It is delicious on its own or cooked with other greens.

 If you take as a powder, the smell is very invasive as it hits your nostrils and throat every time you open the container but it just smells like chlorophyll. For upto a teaspoon intake, you can drink with warm or hot water as a tea in the morning. The taste is very earthy. You can add a bit of a natural sweetener to disguise the taste. Also, you can have it as a snack in yogurt or with a natural peanut butter, yummy! For upto a 1.5 heaped tablespoon , I strongly recommend it in a soup, stew to dilute the taste or put in a smoothie in the morning if you want that energy boost straight away.

Do you have a herb that you recommend for a long and healthy life? Let us know in the comments. May you have a long and wonderful life.

 

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