Moringa is a fast growing tree found in tropical regions with its botanical name is Moringa Oleifera. Let us explore the wide array of moringa health benefits and its various uses.
Many cultures call it the miracle tree, or cure-all tree, the tree of life, and the tree of immortality.
The great thing about Moringa is it can be consumed in various ways like cooking and juicing the seeds, turning its leaves into a powder which can then be added to drinks like coffee and tea, smoothies, and on a wide variety of dishes.
Almost every part of the tree is usable from roots, bark, leaves, flowers, fruits and even the seeds. Plus, the oil of the moringa seeds can be extracted, which is known as ben oil perfect for topical applications and cooking purposes.
People of different culture call it miracle or tree of life is probably due to its diverse uses from food to medicine. And, in my view why it’s also called tree of immortality because it easy to grow.
While most plants require seeds to be planted, moringa grows either from seeds or through its branch. Growing it almost effortless as you simply cut a branch or stem and use it for growing.
Moringa plant is resilient and can survive a long period of drought. I can still remember when I was little, a drought occurred and almost all the neighboring plants of our moringa trees are already dried up.
In fact, when the rain came, the only plant that quickly sprouted from the ground was moringa. In a matter of days, it was clear it has grown and ready for consumption.
Moringa is also known by different names depending on cultures, and here are the names in which is known for;
- Árbol de las Perlas
- Ben Ailé
- Ben Nut Tree
- Ben Oléifère
- Canéficier de l’Inde
- Chinto Borrego
- Clarifier Tree
- Drumstick Tree
- Horseradish Tree
- Indian Horseradish
- Kelor Tree
- Moringa oleifera
- Moringa pterygosperma
- Moringe de Ceylan
- Paraíso Blanco
- Perla de la India
- Pois Quénique
- San Jacinto
- Shagara al Rauwaq
Rich Nutritional Contents
According to the USDA nutrition report, Moringa has the following nutritional benefits, but first a quick overview of its nutritional benefits that are well-known if you do a quick research on it online.
The Asian Pacific Organization for Cancer Prevention found based on their review (also published at PubMed) that Moringa Oleifera is different from most vegetables as it does not lose or degrade its nutritional contents during cooking.
Moringa, whether it be fresh, cooked, or even stored as dried powder do not lose its nutritional value. When it’s powdered, the better as it can last for months without refrigeration while retaining its nutrients.
They also specify that every 100 grams of dried moringa leaves contain the following nutritional benefits compared to others;
- 17x the Calcium of Milk
- 25x the Iron of Spinach
- 15x the Potassium of Bananas
- 9x the Proteins of Yogurt
- 10x the Vitamin A of Carrots
- 12x the Vitamin C of Oranges
- 4x the protein of Eggs
Moringa Health Benefits
Moringa oleifera is a highly nutritious tree from roots to its flowers and seeds. The most commonly use for daily consumption is its leaves as vegetables, which can be prepared in many ways such as sun or air drying it and turning it into a powder.
Cooking fresh moringa leaves is best done as a soup. As food, it is rich in amino acids, various phenolics, vitamins, protein, and beta carotene.
When it comes to medicinal applications, moringa stands out, as well. It can be used as circulatory and cardiac stimulants, anti-inflammatory, diuretic, antioxidant, antidiabetic, anti-bacterial, antifungal, and used as treatments for various ailments by indigenous people who are living off-grid and out of reach by modern way of treatment.
Numerous cultures across the globe have long been using moringa as a medicinal herb for treating ailments like inflammation, fevers, gout and even dog bites using young moringa leaves and/or roots.
Moringa tree is truly a tree of life. It contains high amount of protein including all 8 essential amino acids, a variety of vitamins and minerals, phytonutrients in large amount, and over 46 potent disease-fighting antioxidants. As a matter of fact, many countries in Africa and Asia are using moringa to combat malnutrition.
Rich in Amino Acids
Moringa leaves contain 18 amino acids in which 8 of them are essential amino acids. This makes the moringa a plant with complete protein, which is very rare in plants.
For vegetarians, moringa is an excellent source of protein and it can be prepared in various ways including juicing, cooking, and even dried or powdered. Vegans who are worried about protein source, moringa is your answer.
Rich In Calcium and Magnesium
Moringa is also rich in both calcium and magnesium. A serving of moringa leaves provides approximately 125% calcium and 61% of magnesium both based on RDI(recommended daily intake).
Turning Moringa Leaves Into Powder
There are two approaches for drying up the moringa leaves; sundry and air dry. Personally, I prefer sun drying especially I’m on a place where we sunlight is abundant.
Below is a video showing the air drying approach for moringa leaves, which after the leaves are dried, it needs to be heated for 2 to 3 minutes medium heat to make the leaves brittle and easy to make it into powder.
With sun drying, after it is taken from the sunlight, it should immediately be put into a blender or grinder while the leaves are still crisp. The crispier the leaves, the quicker the process of powdering it in the blender or grinder.
Uses Of Moringa Powdered Leaves
One the leaves are dried and powdered it can last up to 6 months in storage. Ideal storage should be in an airtight jar and store it just as you would store typical spices like pepper, cinnamon, etc. The moringa powdered leaves have a wide variety of uses including flavoring in dishes, tea, oral supplementation and skin nourishment.
When use on dishes, sprinkle a teaspoon of moringa powder on any dish you want. However, in order to retain most of its nutrients, put the moringa powder when the food is fully cooked just before serving.
Tea is another application of moringa powdered leaves. Take 2 teaspoons of moringa powdered leaves into a cup and add hot water. You can either drink it all or filter it.
If you want to make it appear like a commercial tea by putting the powdered moringa leaves into an empty tea bags that can be obtain from your local store, or order it online at Amazon.
Another popular application of moringa powdered leaves is oral supplementation. Instead of buying supplements, you can take moringa powder daily as a supplement. Simply take a teaspoon and ingest it orally.
Or, if you want to make it more professional, you can put the powder in empty gelatin capsules. These empty capsules can be obtain mostly from medical or drug stores, or order it online at Amazon.
Powdered moringa leaves are also excellent for skin nourishment due to trace mineral content. These days, cosmetic industry are beginning to include moringa extracts in various products like skin care products including creams and lotions. These topical applications target the skin and allow the nutrients to be absorbed for skin rejuvenation.
There are plenty of options to utilize moringa especially when it’s dried and powdered. Now, what if you don’t have access to moringa leaves and want to take it on regular?
But first, make sure you conclude you can’t find fresh moringa and consume it as vegetables, check local farm markets in your area and ask for it. Most of the time, asking one person can lead you to another, and another, until you’ll end up with someone selling or best giving it you for free.
If you did all you can but still couldn’t find moringa in your area, there are moringa supplementation available particularly those sold at Amazon.com. However, before buying moringa pills, make sure to read its description and reviews from other users who have tried it. With that in mind, here are some of the top-selling moringa pills at Amazon.com;
More Published Studies On Moringa Oleifera
- Effect of Supplementation of Drumstick (Moringa Oleifera) and Amaranth (Amaranthus Tricolor) Leaves Powder on Lipid Profile in Postmenopausal Women
- Better water purification with seeds from moringa trees
- Review of the Safety and Efficacy of Moringaoleifera
- Chemical characteristics and fractionation of proteins from Moringa oleifera Lam. leaves
- Antioxidant activity and total phenolic content of Moringa oleifera leaves in two stages of maturity
- More research for moringa olefeira available at PubMed.Gov
Moringa has been a part of nutrition for many cultures around the world. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen it as popular as kale especially online.
Popular online magazines are not even covering moringa, or perhaps they do but it’s rare. Fortunately, I was one of the lucky people who grew up in suburban with first-hand experience about moringa’s potency whether it be as food or medicine.
Everyone in the family eats moringa especially mothers who are breastfeeding, and I’m proud to be one of those who has been breastfed from a mother who maintains a natural diet with whole foods.
Until the day I became a father, me and my wife agreed to breastfed her, and we used moringa as our vegetable for her(my wife) to produce more breast milk for our daughter.
I wish I took videos on those days more than 6 years back because the positive effect of moringa is almost instant. Our daughter is no 6 years old and moringa is a part of her diet, too particularly the powdered moringa where she reminds us always to put it on dishes we cooked.
For those who are ignoring moringa, now is the time to make it a part of your diet. Moringa leaves is very easy to cook and can be integrated to many dishes especially those dishes prepared with coconut milk. I’m juicing it, and we put some on our drinks and smoothies like avocado. The green color is so refreshing and relaxing to drink especially when sprinkled with moringa.
Regular consumption of moringa oleifera leaves either fresh of dried has been linked to improved mood and digestion, boost immune system, lower blood pressure, and since it also contains high dietary fibers, low fat, and calories, it’s perfect for people who are trying to lose weight, as well.