Moringa oleifera is a deciduous plant that grows fast and reaches heights of 10-12 meters. It has a trunk diameter of 45 cm. With whitish-grey bark with droopy, fragile branches and tripinnate leaves, this plant has bisexual, fragrant flowers that have five unequal, thin veined, yellowish-white petals. In this article, we will talk about moringa benefits and side effects.
The flowers are 1-1.5 cm long and 2 cm broad. The drooping flower clusters are 10-25 cm in length. Flowering occurs from April to June. The fruit has a three-sided brown capsule 20-45 cm in size and contains globular seeds 1 cm diameter with three whitish, papery wings.
The common name for this plant is horseradish tree. People also call it the drumstick tree because of the stick-like appearance of its pods.
Botanical name or family
The scientific name of this plant is Moringa Oleifera. It belongs to the Moringaceae family.
Geological places where Moringa oleifera tree grows
It is native to the Indian subcontinent. It grows in all the places in India and Pakistan.
Moringa benefits and medicinal uses
Moringa oleifera has found use as a food and medicinal item for more than 4000 years. For one, it contains the essential amino acids our body needs on a daily basis. We use the flowers, leaves, fruit, bark, and seeds to make medicines.
Supports wound healing
Moringa leaves, roots, and seeds have blood clotting properties. This helps wounds heal faster by reducing the clotting time. So, if you get scratches, heat blisters, or cuts they heal faster if you take moringa leaves often.
Good for reducing symptoms of asthma
Regular intake of moringa leaves twice daily, helps to reduce the symptoms of asthma. This is one of the best moringa benefits.
Improve brain health
Moringa helps stimulate brain health. Use Moringa oleifera in your daily meal twice or thrice a week to get the most benefit.
The immune system in our body helps us fight diseases and stay healthy. Drumstick tree has the ability to stimulate the immune system and make us more dynamic. This is one of the best Moringa oleifera benefits.
Good antimicrobial – antibacterial property
The drumstick tree has good antimicrobial properties. Since it fights bacteria, we can use it as mouthwash. Take 1 spoonful of the powder of leaves of the drumstick tree and mix it in a glass of water. Gargle your mouth with this every morning to keep your breath fresh.
Protect the cardiovascular system
The property of reducing cholesterol in the blood and good support for the digestive system helps augment the cardiovascular system. It resists the changes to the system and thereby protects it. This is one of the effective moringa benefits.
Destroy free radicals
The drumstick leaves powder shows strong action against free radicals. It acts on the free radicals that damage the healthy cells of the body. By destroying the free radicals, it helps keep the body free of damage and destruction. This protects the body from infections and diseases.
Reduce diabetes symptoms
Regular users of moringa will have better control over their blood sugar levels. This is due to the high fibre content and the action of vitamin B12 that finds extensive use in treating neuropathic diabetes. People who have a shortage of vitamin C face problems with the secretion of insulin needed to convert the sugar in the blood.
Moringa oleifera has significant amounts of both vitamin C and vitamin B12. This is one of the best moringa health benefits.
Good for liver
Studies have shown the protective action of moringa leaf powder on the liver when subjected to the action of anti-tubercular drugs. This hepatoprotective action stimulates the good health of the person by restoring the glutathione content in the body.
It also prevents the hepatic liquid peroxidation brought about by radiation. The chief chemicals responsible for this action are epicatechin, vitamin C, catechins, and ferulic acid.
Helps relieve anemia
The high level of iron in the Drumstick leaf powder helps in the production of the red blood cells in the body. This helps relieve anemic symptoms.
Improve the health of bones
Due to the presence of minerals such as phosphorus and calcium, Drumstick tree helps augment the health and growth of bones. It has good anti-inflammatory properties that relieve the conditions such as arthritis.
Useful for arthritis
Arthritic patients will find the use of moringa useful because it has the property of fighting inflammation. Use moringa leaf powder often in your diet or add them to your smoothie to get the best benefit. This is one of the time tested moringa benefits.
Good cancer-fighting properties
Drumstick tree has good value in tumour therapy. The extracts of the moringa plant contains the phenolic compounds kaempferol and quercetin. These chemicals have chemopreventive properties.
In another study, you could see the prevention of the development of cancer cells through the action of the bioactive compound niazimicin. The moringa also demonstrates various types of chemo-modulatory effects to different cancers such as papillomagenesis and ovarian cancer.
The Moringa oleifera prevents the proliferation of the cancer cells and stimulates apoptosis otherwise known as programmed cell death. This is one of the best moringa benefits.
Helpful for treating neurodegenerative diseases
Moringa has found use in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases due to its ability to alter brain monoamines such as norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin. It gives protection against monoaminergic deficiencies such as those that lead to Alzheimer’s disease.
Moringa oleifera nutrients facts
You find plenty of vitamins and minerals other than essential amino acids and fibre. It provides 80% of our daily need of iron and 60% of our daily need of calcium. Besides this, it also provides magnesium, copper, phosphorus, sulphur, and potassium. If you take 100 grams of dried moringa leaves it has the following:
- Proteins – 9 times that of yogurt
- Vitamin A – 10 times that of carrot
- Vitamin C – 12 times that of oranges
- Potassium -15 times that of banana
- Calcium – 17 times that of milk
It contains all the essential amino acids.
Side effects of Moringa
You can take Moringa extract 6 grams daily for three weeks without a problem. One must take care not to eat the root and all extracts of the root. This may contain a toxic substance that may cause paralysis and even death.
Pregnant women must avoid the use of flowers, the root, and the bark as they make the uterus contract. This might result in a miscarriage.
Though people use moringa to increase milk production, there is not enough evidence to show that it is safe for the infant. So, one should not use moringa when you are nursing. Moringa oleifera health benefits are countless. Use this herb as per your need.