moringa benefits

Moringa oleifera , unknown to most until recently, is now considered one of the largest and most important Superfoods in circulation, capable of bringing many benefits to our health.

It is no coincidence that in the countries where this plant grows spontaneously, Moringa is known with the names of “tree of life” and “miraculous tree”.

Which is understandable when we learn that Moringa contains a unique combination of vitamins, minerals and amino acids that make it one of the most nutritious plants ever discovered, with countless beneficial properties for our health.

A concentrate of nutrients

Moringa is a plant of the Moringaceae family native to northern India, but it also grows spontaneously in other tropical and subtropical places, such as Asia and Africa. 

Folk medicine has been using this plant for centuries.

Each part of the Moringa is edible and has healing properties. The most used part for food and even curative purposes are the leaves, but the flowers, seeds, bark and even the roots can also be consumed.

One of the reasons why Moringa is called “the tree of life” is because of its very high nutrient content . A detail that makes it a precious resource in those third world countries where many people are still dying of hunger.

In fact, Moringa contains:

  • proteins (between 27 and 30%), represented by 20 amino acids (all of which are essential);
  • vitamins (Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin K);
  • mineral salts (in particular calcium, iron, manganese, phosphorus and potassium);
  • fatty acids (of which 44% omega3 as alpha-linolenic acid);
  • plant sterols (beta-sitosterol);
  • flavonoids (quercetin);
  • isothiocyanates (moringina);
  • fibers .

Moringa is also extremely rich in chlorophyll , containing 4 times more than wheatgrass, which is one of the largest known sources of chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is purifying, antioxidant and very useful for treating forms of anemia.

The benefits of Moringa

moringa plant

The use of Moringa in medicine was already widespread millennia ago both among the ancient Egyptians and in Ayurveda (Indian medicine), where the whole plant was made and still is widely used.

In India, in 2000 BC , some descriptions of Moringa as a medicine already appear. Since 150 BC the leaves of this exceptional plant have been used by ancient kings and queens for both diet and to promote blood circulation, mental alertness and skin health.

The Green Heart Heritage Foundation reports that Moringa was consumed as fresh food throughout the Indian subcontinent (leaves and pods) and extracts from the leaves drunk as tea throughout the day.

Today, thanks to research, numerous properties that were already known have been deepened and confirmed and new ones have been discovered, which our ancestors did not know existed.

Let’s find out together.

1. Anti-diabetic properties

One of the peculiar characteristics that have emerged from the studies carried out on Moringa oleifera is its ability to reduce the sugars present in the blood (glycaemia).

Beyond some less significant studies carried out in vitro, or on animals [ 1 , 2 , 3 ], there are some studies conducted on people that seem to promise very well on the anti-diabetic efficacy of this plant.

This study [ 4 ] was conducted on a total of 50 subjects, divided into two groups based on fasting blood sugar levels. They were classified as normal or hyperglycemic.

Of the 50 subjects, 25 were normal and 25 were hyperglycemic. Each subject was asked to ingest Moringa oleifera leaf extract in the dose of 500 mg along with a regular breakfast.

Two hours after intake, blood sugar levels were re-measured.

Overall, there was a mean change in blood glucose of +14.12 for the normal group and -17.96 for the hyperglycemia group.

The study showed that Moringa leaf extract has hypoglycemic effects in hyperglycemic subjects, while in normal subjects the blood sugar increases after breakfast, as normal.

Another study in 30 women showed that taking 1.5 teaspoons (7 grams) of powdered moringa leaves every day for three months reduced fasting blood sugar levels by 13.5% on average. 5 ].

Another small study of six people with diabetes found that adding 50 grams of Moringa leaves to a meal reduced the rise in blood sugar by 21% [ 6 ].

2. Cardioprotective properties

moringa leaves

From the studies carried out it emerged that Moringa can have significant beneficial effects for the health of our cardiovascular system [ 7 ].

The aqueous extract of Moringa oleifera leaves has strong antioxidant activities with protective properties against the formation of arteriosclerotic plaques in the artery and the lipid-lowering activity of the extract has been demonstrated in rabbits fed a diet rich in cholesterol.

But that’s not all, further studies also showed that:

  • it acts like Simvastatin in reducing cholesterol, triglycerides and inhibiting the formation of atherosclerotic plaques. [ 8 ];
  • strengthens cardiac function, prevents structural damage and prevents the increase in lipid peroxidation in the myocardium [ 9 ]

3. Antibacterial properties

The antibacterial properties of Moringa are probably the ones most recognized by researchers.

In the 1950s, as many as 3 Indian universities identified in Moringa a compound that they called pterygospermine , capable of dissociating, giving rise in vivo to two molecules of benzyl isothiocyanate : the latter was a compound already known at the time for its antibiotic properties .

The group of researchers did not stop at the identification of pterygospermine, but studied its antimicrobial activity, starting a series of subsequent studies that led to confirm the activity of Moringa against a series of bacteria and fungi, including the ben known Helicobacter Pylori , cause of gastritis and duodenal ulcers and predisposing factor for stomach cancer [ 10 ].

4. Chemo-preventive and anticancer properties

Some studies are focusing on its anticarcinogenic properties of this plant, due to the presence of high concentrations of isothiocyanates and glucosinolate metabolites.

Of particular interest is the study conducted and published by Shama Ahmad of the University of Alabama in Birmingham [ 11 ] and disseminated by the site Plos One which deals, in fact, with the online dissemination of scientific research.

To verify the possible interaction of Moringa on the proliferation of cancer cells, some parts of the plant were considered, i.e. leaves, seeds and bark.

Specifically, the study was conducted on breast and colorectal cancers .

The analyzes carried out have shown the actual presence of natural bioactive compounds with high antitumor activity .

The discovery of these experiments was the actual finding of a reduced survival of diseased cells when subjected to extracts of Moringa leaves.

These extracts inhibit the activity of a particular protein responsible for the functionality and proliferation of diseased cells. Furthermore, the studies have shown a reduced mobility with regard to the primary tumors studied, namely breast and colorectal tumors.

Ultimately, the results obtained by researchers from the University of Alabama, to which reference is made, would agree with other research conducted on the properties of Moringa leaves and bark.

According to the latter, the substances contained in them act as antitumor both on the mobility of cells and on the formation of new proliferation colonies for the pathologies under study, namely breast and colorectal cancer .

5. Anti-inflammatory properties

moringa slimming

Inflammation is the body’s natural response to infection, or injury.

It is an essential protective mechanism, but it can become a serious health problem if it persists for a long period of time, increasing the risk of developing cardiovascular, cancer and autoimmune diseases.

Studies, up to now carried out only in vitro, have shown a high anti-inflammatory activity by isothiocyanates and quercetin contained in the leaves, seeds and pods of Moringa [ 12 , 13 ].

6. Other properties and benefits of Moringa

Those listed above are the properties that have collected the most scientific evidence, but they are not the only ones.

  • A help in sex life : Stress can distort your sex life, increasing cortisol and decreasing dopamine which drastically reduces libido. In animal studies, Moringa has been found not only to lower [ 14 ], but can also naturally increase the rate of testosterone [ 15 ]. This is demonstrated by this study [ 16 ] conducted on laboratory mice, moringa extract improved the sexual performance of “stressed” rats, reducing cortisol and increasing testosterone.
  • Liver protective: Moringa contains high concentrations of polyphenols with hepatoprotective properties and preliminary research conducted on animals has shown that Moringa consumption reduces the symptoms of liver fibrosis [ 17 ] and protects against liver damage [ 18 ].
  • Improves Digestion : Moringa leaf powder contains around 30% fiber, most of which are insoluble, which can help improve intestinal transit. Moringa’s anti-inflammatory properties have been shown to help with digestive disorders, such as colitis [ 19 ], and a recent mouse study found that Moringa may help improve gut flora [ 20 ].

A great ally in the fight against malnutrition

Since the late 1990s , the World Health Organization (WHO) has promoted Moringa as a food supplement to combat the problem of malnutrition [ 14 ]: all parts of the plant are edible and rich in nutrients (leaves, roots, seeds , bark, buds, flowers and fruits).

The most interesting part of the plant are the leaves, which as we have already said are extremely rich in vitamins, minerals and amino acids, fatty acids and antioxidants. In many countries, Moringa leaves are recommended for pregnant or lactating women and for newborns in areas at high risk of malnutrition [ 15 ].

In the Philippines, Moringa is known as “Mothers’ Best Friend” for its ability to increase milk supply in breastfeeding women .

Research conducted in Burkina Faso in 2013 found significant weight gain in malnourished children after administration of a powdered dry extract of Moringa leaves, compared to the control group [ 16 ].

In another research conducted in India a dry extract of Moringa leaves (15 to 30 g per day for 2 months) was administered to children with grade I or II of malnutrition: 70% of children in stage II of malnutrition passed to the first (less severe) and 60% of those at the first stage benefited from a significant improvement from the previous nutritional deficiency [ 17 ].

How to take Moringa

In countries where Moringa grows spontaneously, the leaves are collected and eaten fresh, or dried, ground into powder and added to food. The seeds are mainly used to produce a very nutritious oil, while the roots which have a faint taste of horseradish, are dried or grated fresh.

On the market there are mainly dried and powdered Moringa leaves. Moringa powder can be added to foods, yogurt, smoothies, or other drinks.

A good tea can also be prepared with Moringa powder, but the heat would destroy some of the active ingredients. So the ideal is to take it raw.

Where to buy Moringa

If you are looking for certified organic Moringa powder, you can buy it directly online on our website .

moringa powder

Side effects and contraindications

According to the studies carried out, the leaves, as well as the seeds and young pods of Moringa are generally well tolerated and have no particular side effects.

Moringa is not recommended during pregnancy . In particular, it is not recommended to take extracts, teas and decoctions made with the bark, which contain substances that can stimulate the contraction of the uterus and lead to a miscarriage.

The use in breastfeeding is also not recommended by doctors, although there are studies showing that taking Moringa leaves increases milk supply.

NB : All the information published on this site is for informational purposes and should not be considered as advice, or medical prescriptions, or of any other nature.