Moringa oleifera is a plant that has been lauded for thousands of years owing to the oodles of health benefits that it offers. The sacred plant is blessed with abundance of healthy anti-oxidants and bioactive plant compounds which makes it world’s no.1 super food.
The moringa plant is often referred to as “The Miracle Tree” and “Mother’s Best Friend”, because of its unique combination of vitamins, minerals and amino acids that makes it one of the most nutritious plants ever discovered on the planet.
This plant is overflowing with over 92 vitamins including A, B, C, D, E, proteins and minerals including potassium, calcium, iron, selenium, and magnesium. The nutritional quotient per cup of fresh, chopped leaves (21 grams) contains the following:
Protein: 2 grams
Vitamin B6: 19% of the RDA
Vitamin C: 12% of the RDA
Iron: 11% of the RDA
Riboflavin (B2): 11% of the RDA
Vitamin A (from beta-carotene): 9% of the RDA
Magnesium: 8% of the RDA
Just to give a gist of its nutritive portion here is a comparative study of moringa with other foods:
It is found that moringa provides 7 times more vitamin C than oranges, 10 times more vitamin A than carrots, 17 times more calcium than milk, 9 times more protein than yoghurt, 15 times more potassium than bananas and 25 times more iron than spinach. Phew!! Now that’s a lot!!
Preparation of Moringa powder
Moringa powder is prepared by drying the moringa leaves to form a fine powder which is then screened to remove impurities . The amazing part is that once packed, this powder remains fresh for several months, retaining its nutritional value.
Ayurvedic Take on the power of moringa
Ayurveda hails the magic of moringa because of its anti-biotic, anti-trypanosomal, hypotensive, antispasmodic, anti-ulcer, anti-inflammatory, hypo-cholesterolemic, and hypoglycemic activities. It is stated in the Ayurvedic scripts that “it moves like an arrow” in the body because it rapidly penetrates the tissues and has deep absorption and detoxification ability, making its effect on the deep bone marrow tissue swift and effective.
The Nature and Qualities of Moringa
Hot and sharp, but also bitter and pungent
Pacifies vata and kapha and increases appetite
Increases digestive flame
It cleans and clears the ulcers.
Reduces water retention and treats inflammation.
Research on the efficacy of Moringa
Study on Role of Moringa on Gastric Ulcer
A study on Moringa leaf extract concluded that it can be used in the management of gastric ulcer in contrast to the classical antacid, anti histamine or surgical treatment.
Study on Role of Moringa on Muscle cramps and Sleep
Moringa is proved to significantly reduce muscle cramps, decreases body temperature, and enhances sleep.
Benefits to Heart, Cholesterol, Triglycerides, Atherosclerotic Plaques
Moringa has been found to have significant benefits to heart. It has antioxidant activities that aids in the prevention of artherosclerotic plaque formation in artery as well as the lipid lowering property.
Moringa seeds have shown anti-fungal ability and effectiveness against athlete’s foot.
Prevention of Kidney stone
Moringa water extract has shown to prevent kidney stone formation and dissolve already formed stones.
Cancer/Chemo preventative property of Moringa
A study revealed the Chemo-modulatory effect of Moringa oleifera. The discovery of anti-cancer properties of Moringa is path-breaking and has opened many doors for research and study on this.
Blood glucose level and Diabetes
Variable doses of M. oleifera leaves powder and aqueous extract administered orally to test the glycemic control, haemoglobin, total protein, urine sugar, urine protein and body weight. The tests showed positive results indicating its efficaciousness in diabetes.
Moringa during pregnancy and lactation:
About 6 spoonfuls of leaf powder can meet a woman’s daily iron and calcium requirements, during pregnancy. Moringa is a natural galactagogue which is prescribed to lactating mothers to augment milk production.
How to Blend Moringa in your diet
The unmatchable benefits offered by the moringa plant makes it a must-have item in your diet. To enjoy a delicious Moringa drink, simply take half teaspoon of Moringa powder, add a teaspoon of honey, squeeze a little of lemon, mix them together and add water.
Here are some of the creative ways to include this magical potion to get the most of it:
For overall tonic and nutritious benefits a teaspoon of ghee with moringa works wonder.
For metabolic benefits, a teaspoon of honey blended with moringa serves the job.
To help off-set the heat, moringa with a warm glass of milk with some added honey makes an amazing medicine.
Just a spoon of aloe vera with moringa off-setts the heating quality.
Moringa leaf powder can be added to just about anything you eat. It is extremely versatile. Here are 5 of our favourite ways to consume Moringa.
SPRINKLE… onto salads, eggs, roasted vegetables
BAKE… into savoury bread, brownies, muffins & cookies
STIR… into soups, dips, sauces
SHAKE… into apple juice, coconut water & salad dressings
BLEND… into sauces, green juices, smoothies & ice creams
SUGGESTED DOSAGE FOR ADULTS : 3-5 grams twice daily
Dr. Brahmananda Nayak, Medical Director, AyurCentral