Moringa oleifera or commonly called “the drumstick tree“ is one of the mystical plants that can offer a variety of health benefits. The moringa oleifera has been consumed and used as a remedy around the world for a long time.
It originally grows in Africa, the Himalayan region and parts of South-East Asia. Nonetheless, this plant has recently become a big hit in the USA and Europe because of the variety of health benefits and its nutritional value.
Every Part of Moringa can be Used
When it comes to moringa, nothing should be wasted. Every single part of the plant has its uses and applications. Leaves, flowers, seeds, pods, oil and even the roots and bark, have a valuable place in your kitchen and/or medicine cabinet.
The leaves are the most nutritious part of the plant. They can be eaten as spinach or powdered and added to sauces and soups. They represent a rich source of vitamins B, C, K, minerals such as magnesium, calcium, iron, potassium) and proteins.
Moringa leaves have anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial properties and have been used in the past to treat diarrhea.
When applied on the skin, the leaves can stimulate healing of wounds and bites, and help resolve some skin conditions. Moringa leaves are exceptionally good for the treatment of iron deficiency.
Flowers are used in several places around the world in the treatment of urinary tract infections and the common cold.
Immature seed pods
The immature seed pods or also called “drumsticks“ are a rich source of Vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, manganese and dietary fiber.
The seeds have a potent antibiotic effect and are particularly good for fighting Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections.
Their seeds are believed to help with cramps, gouts, arthritis, rheumatism, STDs and boils.
Moringa seed oil
Edible oil can be extracted from mature seeds, and can be used as a food supplement or as a cosmetic product for your skin and hair. It also has a potential as bio-fuel. Moringa oil can be used for the same ailments as the seeds.
The taste of the roots is similar horseradish, thus giving the alternate name to this plant as horseradish tree. The roots are rich in polyphenols and are used as a condiment. However, there is some controversy around the safety of eating moringa root.
The roots and bark contain all the properties in higher concentrations, so more care needs to be taken if they are used as medicines.
The gum is a known diuretic and has been known for its uses in the treatment of asthma.
Why Moringa is a True Superfood
Moringa leaves are full of minerals, vitamins, essential amino acids, and much more. According to the experts, 100g of dry moringa leaves contain
- 15 times the calcium of milk
- 4 times the potassium of banana
- 3 times the vitamin A of carrot
- 12 times the iron of spinach
With moringa’s popularity on the rise, the science on this tree is growing as well. Research brings some promising findings, but more studies are required to establish the effects and potential uses in medicine.
Below is a list of current researches and known treatments with moringa.
- Anti-inflammatory effect
- Antioxidant activity
- Anti-cancer potential
- A role in diabetes prevention
- Analgesic activity
- Liver protector
- Blood pressure and cholesterol levels
Possible Side Effects and Precautions
Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid the use of moringa due to the lack of researches on this plant’s safety.