The moringa tree, also known as the drumstick tree or horseradish tree, is one of the fastest-growing trees in the world and is drought-resistant, which means it is remarkably durable to farm.
The "Miracle Tree," as it has been called, is indigenous to South Asia, specifically the Indian subcontinent, and also grows across West and East Africa, Central America and the Caribbean, some parts of South America.
How is moringa traditionally used?
In many cultures, the leaves are mostly eaten raw, boiled, steamed, or roasted. They are also used for the preparation of tea, which is traditionally consumed to prevent diseases and to boost health. For its ease of application, the powdered form is most common and is created by drying and grinding the leaves to preserve their quality. Its high zeatin levels block the degradation of chlorophyll in the leaves so they don’t lose their healing effect.
What are the benefits of moringa?
For those who want to cover their extra daily need for numerous essential vitamins, minerals and trace elements without having to resort to synthetically produced nutritional supplements, moringa is where it’s at.
Moringa is rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, calcium, iron, and protein. It also contains eight essential amino acids, more than 90 nutrients, including 46 different antioxidants (ascorbic acid, carotenoids, flavonoids, and phenolic compounds) and 36 anti-inflammatory compounds (isothiocyanate and phenolic derivatives), which can help boost liver function. And, much like turmeric, it’s been known to help with inflammatory bowel diseases, such as Crohn’s disease.
The leaves contain more vitamin C than oranges, more magnesium than eggs, more vitamin B3 than peanuts and more vitamin B2 than bananas, more potassium than bananas, and more vitamin A than carrots. This means moringa can contribute to everything from better vision and immunity to bone health and skin radiance.
Moringa has also been shown to help stabilize blood sugar and insulin levels in patients with diabetes, as well as help treat symptoms and other medical conditions associated with diabetes.
If you are an expecting mother or currently breastfeed, moringa powder (rather than root or seed) is ancestrally believed to help with the production of breast milk, though it hasn't been extensively. It's rich in three plant sterols that may encourage your body to produce more breast milk. Plus, the baby gets access to all those amino acids and histidine in the plant which can aid their growth and development.
For vegans and lactose intolerant, moringa leaves can provide much more calcium than milk, more protein than yogurt and more iron than spinach.
Moringa can give athletes a boost, too, due to its high content of iron and vitamins A and C, which are responsible for constant and sufficient supply of oxygen to blood and stabilized blood circulation. In addition, numerous amino acids and a high calcium content positively influence the growth of muscle mass, and the antioxidants provide additional protection to the cell tissue during increased physical activity.
Studies suggest that daily consumption of moringa leaves should not exceed 70 grams — or 1 tablespoon, or 6 grams, of moringa powder — to avoid excess iron intake.