Moringa oleifera is the most widely cultivated species of the genus moringa , which is the only genus in the family Moringaceae. English common names include: moringa, drumstick tree (from the appearance of the long, slender, triangular seed-pods), horseradish tree (from the taste of the roots, which resembles horseradish ), ben oil tree, or benz oil tree (from the oil which is derived from the seeds). It is a fast-growing, drought -resistant tree, native to the tropical and widely cultivated in tropical and subtropical areas where its young seed pods and leaves are used as vegetables. It can also be used for water purification and hand washing, and is sometimes used in herbal medicine.
Moringa oleifera is a fast-growing, deciduous tree that can reach a height of 10–12 m (32–40 ft) and trunk diameter of 45 cm (1.5 ft). The bark has a whitish-grey colour and is surrounded by thick cork. Young shoots have purplish or greenish-white, hairy bark. The tree has an open crown of drooping, fragile branches and the leaves build up a feathery foliage of tripinnate leaves.
The flowers are fragrant and bisexual, surrounded by five unequal, thinly veined, yellowish-white petals. The flowers are about 1.0-1.5 cm (1/2″) long and 2.0 cm (3/4″) broad. They grow on slender, hairy stalks in spreading or drooping flower clusters which have a length of 10–25 cm.
Flowering begins within the first six months after planting. In seasonally cool regions, flowering only occurs once a year between April and June. In more constant seasonal temperatures and with constant rainfall, flowering can happen twice or even all year-round.
The fruit is a hanging, three-sided brown capsule of 20–45 cm size which holds dark brown, globular seeds with a diameter around 1 cm. The seeds have three whitish papery wings and are dispersed by wind and water.
In cultivation, it is often cut back annually to 1–2 m (3–6 ft) and allowed to regrow so the pods and leaves remain within arm’s reach.
The moringa tree is grown mainly in semiarid tropical and subtropical areas, It tolerates a wide range of soil conditions, but prefers a neutral to slightly acidic (ph 6.3 to 7.0), well-drained sandy or loamy soil. In waterlogged soil, the roots have a tendency to rot Moringa is a sun- and heat-loving plant, thus does not tolerate freezing or frost. Moringa is particularly suitable for dry regions, as it can be grown using rainwater without expensive irrigation techniques.
TOP POWER BENEFIT OF MORINGA :
Infants and children at growth are recommended World Health Organization WHO consume Moringa leaves. Comparison of gram, Moringa leaf contains : 7 x vitamin C in oranges 4 x calcium in milk 4 x vitamin A in carrots 2 x protein in milk 3 x potassium in bananas.
The organization also named the kelor as a magical tree after a study and found that it served as a low-cost health enhancer for 40 years in the world’s poorest countries. Moringa tree is widespread in the fields of Africa, Latin America, and Asia. National Institute of Health (NIH) on March 21, 2008 said that Moringa tree “It has been used as medicine by various indigenous ethnic groups to prevent or treat more than 300 types of diseases. The ancient Indian ayurvedic medicine tradition shows that 300 types of diseases can be treated with moringa oleifera leaves.
The main benefits of Moringa leaf are :
- Increases the body’s natural resilience, Refreshing eyes and brain, Increase metabolism, Improve body cell structure, Increase natural cholesterol serum, Reduces wrinkles and lines on the skin, Improve normal function of the liver and kidneys, Beautify the skin, Increase energy, Facilitate digestion, Antioxidants, Maintain the body’s immune system, Promotes a healthy circulatory system, Anti-inflammatory, Gives a wholesome sense of well-being, Supports normal body sugar levels.
- Asthma. In an early study, taking 3 grams of moringa twice daily for three weeks reduced asthma symptoms and the severity of asthma attacks in adults, Increasing breast milk production. Early evidence suggests that taking 250 mg of a specific moringa supplement (Natalac) twice daily after childbirth increases breast milk production, “Tired blood” (anemia), Arthritis, Cancer, Constipation, birth control, Diabetes, Diarrhea, Epilepsy, Stomach pain (gastritis), Stomach and intestinal ulcers,Headache, Heart problems, High blood pressure, Kidney stones, Swelling (inflammation), Thyroid disorders, Infections, As a nutritional supplement, Stimulating immunity, Increasing sex drive, Other conditions.
APPLIED TO THE SKIN :
- Athlete’s foot , Dandruff, Warts, Skin infections, Snakebites, Gum disease (gingivitis), Other conditions.
The results of nutritional analysis can be seen that Moringa leaves have excellent potential to complement the nutritional needs in the body. By eating the leaves kelor the balance of nutrients in the body will be fulfilled so that people who eat kelor leaf will be helped to increase energy and endurance of the body. In addition, Moringa leaf is also efficacious to overcome various complaints caused by lack of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A deficiency (impaired vision), lack of Choline (fat deposition in the liver), lack of vitamin B1 (beriberi), vitamin B2 deficiency (skin Dry and chapped), lack of vitamin B3 (dermatitis), vitamin C deficiency (gum bleeding), lack of calcium (osteoporosis), iron deficiency (anemia), protein deficiency (chapped hair and growth disorders in children).
Many parts of moringa are edible, with regional uses varying widely :
- Immature seed pods, called “drumsticks” , Leaves , Mature seeds , Oil pressed from seeds ,Flowers.
Nutritional content of 100 g of fresh Moringa oleifera leaves (about 5 cups) is shown in the table (right; USDA data), while other studies of nutrient values are available. The leaves are the most nutritious part of the plant, being a significant source of B vitamins , vitamins C, provitamins A, as beta carotene, viyamin K, manganese and protein, among other essential nutrients. When compared with common foods particularly high in certain nutrients per 100 g fresh weight, cooked moringa leaves are considerable sources of these same nutrients. Some of the calcium in moringa leaves is bound as crystals of calcium oxalate. though at levels 1/25th to 1/45th of that found in spinach, which is a negligible amount.
The immature seed pods, called “drumsticks”, are commonly consumed in South Asia. They are prepared by parboiling, and cooked in a curry until soft. The seed pods/fruits, even when cooked by boiling, remain particularly high in vitamin C (which may be degraded variably by cooking) and are also a good source of dietary fiber, potassium, magnesium and manganese.
The seeds, sometimes removed from more mature pods and eaten like peas or roasted like nuts , contain high levels of vitamin C and moderate amounts of B vitamins and dietary minerals.
Seed oil :
Mature seeds yield 38–40% edible oil called ben oil from its high concentration of behemic acid. The refined oil is clear and odorless, and resists rancidity. The seed cake remaining after oil extraction may be used as a fertilizer or as a flocculent to purity water. Moringa seed oil also has potential for use as a biofuel.
The roots are shredded and used as a condiment with sharp flavor qualities deriving from significant content of polyphenols.
MORINGA SIDE EFFECTS & SAFETY :
Moringa is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth and used appropriately. The leaves, fruit, and seeds might be safe when eaten as food. However, it’s important to avoid eating the root and its extracts. These parts of the plant may contain a toxic substance that can cause paralysis and death. Moringa has been used safely in doses up to 6 grams daily for up to 3 weeks.
There isn’t enough information to know if moringa is safe when used in medicinal amounts.
Special Precautions & Warnings :
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: It’s LIKELY UNSAFE to use the root, bark or flowers of moringa if you are pregnant. Chemicals in the root, bark, and flowers can make the uterus contract, and this might cause a miscarriage. There is not enough information available about the safety of using other parts of moringa during pregnancy. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Moringa is sometimes used to increase breast milk production. Some research suggests it might do this, however, there isn’t enough information to know if it is safe for the nursing infant. Therefore, it is best to avoid moringa if you are breast-feeding.
Top 10 moringa benefit Health & Beauty Benefits :
Moringa has become popular as a natural leaf powder supplement, although the pods, roots, bark, flowers, seeds, and fruits are also edible.
It’s used as a traditional remedy for many ailments, and here are 10 scientifically backed health benefits of consuming the moringa leaf :
1. It’s nutrient-packed.
Moringa is a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. It contains significant amounts of vitamin A, C, and E; calcium; potassium; and protein.
2. 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, keeping them healthy and functioning at their best.
3. It fights inflammation.
Inflammation can lead to chronic diseases like diabetes, respiratory problems, cardiovascular disease, arthritis, and obesity. Moringa reduces inflammation by suppressing inflammatory enzymes and proteins in the body, and moringa leaf concentrate can significantly lower inflammation in the cells.
4. It helps reduce some diabetes symptoms.
Moringa leaf powder has been effective at reducing lipid and glucose levels and regulating oxidative stress in diabetic patients, which means it lowers blood sugar and cholesterol and improves protection against cell damage.
5. It protects the cardiovascular system.
Moringa leaf powder has heart-healthy benefits, particularly in blood lipid control ,the prevention of plaque formation in the arteries, and reduced cholesterol levels.
6. It 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.
7. It protects the liver.
Moringa contains high concentrations of polyphenols in its leaves and flowers that protect the liver against oxidation, toxicity, and damage.
Moringa can reduce liver damage and fibrosis and reverse oxidation in the liver. Moringa oil can also restore liver enzymes to normal levels, reducing oxidative stress, and increasing protein content in the liver.
The liver is responsible for blood detoxification, bile production, fructose metabolism, fat metabolism, and nutrient processing, and it can only fulfill these functions with the aid of liver enzymes, so it’s vital they stay at normal levels. For instance, lower levels of hepatic enzymes can impair its ability to filter the blood.
8. It contains antimicrobial and antibacterial properties.
Moringa has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties that fight infections. It’s been effective against types of fungi that cause infections on skin and strains of bacteria responsible for blood and urinary tract infections and digestive problems.
9. It enhances wound healing.
Moringa has blood-clotting properties in its leaves, roots, and seeds that benefit wound healing and can reduce clotting time, which means it reduces the time it takes for scratches, cuts, or wounds to stop bleeding.
How to Use It :
You can add moringa powder to your smoothie 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.
But you might want to stay clear of seed extract consumption, as they have shown a level of toxicity in immune cells. Moringa can have laxative effect in large quantities, so a safe dose to introduce it into your food or diet and avoid digestive problems is ½ to 1 teaspoon per day.