Moringa: The true “Tree of Life”?

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Moringa oleifera, a small tree native to Nepal, India, and Pakistan, is also known as Horseraddish, drumstick, or ben tree.  It has been used for decades in the East to treat diseases such as anemia, arthritis, diabetes, and liver, kidney and heart diseases.  It also has been know to ease and sometimes cure respritory, skin and digestive disorders.

A brief history of Moringa

Also called Nebedaye (Never Die) in many African dialects, the tree traveled from India to lower China, the Philippines and Southeast Asia before making its way from Egypt to the Horn of Africa, around the Mediterranean and lastly to the West Indies in the U.S.  The plant is native to N. India and has been used since roughly 2000 B.C. as for medicinal purposes, by Ancient Egyptions for skin protection against the unforgiving desert weather, and later by the Greeks.  It is a wonder that Morninga is not on everyone’s spice rack!  [6]

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Image Source: Nanny Moringa

 

How it is used

Moringa is commonly available as a powder, even though supplement capsules are becoming more widely distributed.  The moringa powder can be added to a to a fruit or veggie smoothie, or be consumed as a tea.  In most Eastern cultures the leaves, roots, seeds and flowers are used in cooking as a vegetable or spice, as a cosmetic oil or used in medicine to alleviate/cure ailments.  Moringa oil is also used cosmetically for skin health and happiness!

The (Oh so many) Benefits of Moringa 

The blood-clotting attributes enhance wound healing.

Hidden in its seeds, leaves and roots are elements that reduce clotting time that cuts down the time needed to stop bleeding from cuts and scrapes. [2]. Further, in a study by the Department of Studies in Food Science and Nutrition (and collaborators), by using “protease activity… assayed using casein (milk protein), human plasma clot and human fibrinogen as substrates the department was able to conclude that the “traditional usage of M. oleifera extracts for wound healing.”

It can reduce fibrosis, liver damage and reverse liver oxidation

The oil from Moringa can restore normalicy to liver enzymes levels, increase protein content and reduce oxidatve stress (in liver).  Ben (Moringa) Oil can “be used as a therapeutic regime in treatement of some hepatic disorders.” [3]. Even if you are not diagnosed with a hepatic or liver disorder, the liver is solely responsible for fat metabolism, nutrient processing, fructose metabolism, bile production and blood detoxification.  The liver functions off liver enzymes, so keeping the enzymes in your liver at normal levels is key to a healthy, happy liver.

Moringa supports brain health.

The Alzheimer’s association estimates that “one in eight Americans above age 65 years and half of the Americans above age of 85 years have been presently suffering from this devastative neurodegenerative disorder.”

“[Moreover,] … the number of patients may reach 16 million by 2050.”Alzheimer’s disease (AD) effects not only the individual but loved ones as well.  In a study on the effects induced by plant extracts from different origins was done in 2011 to asses possble methods to alleviate or prevent AD symptoms.  The plants analyzed in this study are as follows:

Yizhi Jianno

Moringa oleifera (Drumstick/Horsraddish/Ben tree)

Ginko Biloba (GinkoMaidenhair tree)

Cassia obtisufolia (Sicklepod)

Desmodium gangeticum (Sal Leaved Desmodium)

Melissa officinalis (Lemon Balm)

Salvia officinalis (Garden sage, common sage)

The U.S. FDA has approved tacrine, donepezil, and rivastigmine as AChE inhibitors to alleviate AD syptoms.  However, for those of us on the quest for the most effective, the natural, and/or most beneficial treatment,  we cannot stop mediocre pharmeceutical grade drug.

[TO READ MORE ABOUT MORINGA’S EFFECTS ON ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE]

Moringa increases antioxidant activity,

by using neuroprotective mechanisms like modifying monomines (neurotransmitters; such as serotonin).  By fighting free radicals with antioxidants, your body wards off cell damage, inflammation, sickness and oxidative stresses (DNA damage).  When tested for antioxidant activity, inhibitions of protein, lipid, and DNA oxidation, Moringa’s leaf extracts (LE) proved to be more efficient than flower extracts (FE) or seed extracts (SE).  [4]

Reduces Blood Pressure

Morninga contains Naicin A1 and A5, Vitamins B3 and B10 as well as the nutrients necessary for nitric oxide production (magnesium, zinc, potassium, calcium and vitamin E).  Nitric oxide is what helps blood flow properly through vessels, so since Moringa contains ingredients that fuel nitric oxide production, it makes it a great combatant to high blood pressure.

Moringa Oil has been successfully used as an age defying skin-care product.

Since the LE (leaf extract) containers over 40 active antioxidants (See chart below) which cleans your body of unhealthy cells, brings youth to deficient skin tissue, and rids skin of pollutants, Moringa Oil has been praised as one of the “best natural skin health products in the world“.

Collagen and elastin production keeps your skin firm and healthy. Both require Vitamin A for production, luckily, Moringa has a ton of Vitamin A to keep your skin wrinkle-reduced, tight and moisturized!

Not only does it keep your skin healthy, but the Biotin (B7) in Moringa keeps your hair and nails strong and healthy by promoting rapid growth.

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(WOW RIGHT?)

GUESS WHAT? It’s also a Mood-booster!

Since Morniga contains Tryptophan, it makes it a natural mood-booster.  Tryptophan is required for serotonin and niacin production.

“This all-natural supplement helps relieve stress and improve your mood, making for a healthier you. The secret is in the tryptophan it contains, an amino acid your body requires for serotonin and niacin production; you know, those feel-good hormones. The combination of the tryptophan, calcium and protein in moringa oleifera makes it a virtual powerhouse of happiness.” [7]

Improves not only your health, but your pet’s health too!

“Each of the six nutrients – proteins, carbohydrates, fat, vitamins, minerals and water – plays a vital role in the pet’s health. Moringa works well as a health supplement for your pets too.” [6]

In conclusion, Moringa LE (Leaf Extract) should become a supplement in everyone’s medicine cabinet, a spice in all kitchen cupboards, and something to sprinkle into Fluffy’s bowl every once in a while.  The benefits of Moringa stretch on and on as it is known as the “Tree of Life” in most African Cultures.

Stay tuned to this article, as I plan on continuing my research on the benefits of Moringa and will update this page with new and exciting benefits that I find!

Want to know more?

To learn how to grow your own Moringa tree, follow this LINK.

There are over 400 names for Moringa, follow this LINK to learn them all!

 

SOURCES:

[1] http://nopr.niscair.res.in/bitstream/123456789/7883/1/NPR%206(4)%20347-353.pdf

[2]. Pharmacognosy Res. 2012 Jan-Mar; 4(1): 44–49. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3250039/#__ffn_sectitle) doi: 10.4103/0974-8490.91034.  PMCID: PMC3250039.  A Satish, Sudha Sairam, Faiyaz Ahmed, and Asna Urooj.  Department of Studies in Food Science and Nutrition, University of Mysore, Mysore, Karnataka, India

Address for correspondence: Dr. Faiyaz Ahmed, Department of Studies in Food Science and Nutrition, University of Mysore, Mysore – 570 006, Karnataka, India. E-mail: ni.oc.oohay@90demha_zayaf  Received 2011 Jul 1; Revised 2011 Sep 4; Accepted 2011 Dec 22.

[3] J Food Sci. 2012 Jul;77(7):T124-30. doi: 10.1111/j.1750-3841.2012.02698.x.

Edible oils for liver protection: hepatoprotective potentiality of Moringa oleifera seed oil against chemical-induced hepatitis in rats.  Al-Said MS1, Mothana RA, Al-Yahya MA, Al-Blowi AS, Al-Sohaibani M, Ahmed AF, Rafatullah S.  2012 Institute of Food Technologists  PMID: 22757719. DOI: 10.111/j.1750-3841.2012.02698

[4] Agricultural Microbiology, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, Aligarh Mushlim University, Aligarh 202 001, India.

[5] Pharmacognosy Res. 2012 Jan-Mar; 4(1): 44–49.

[6]  http://myhealthfood2u.com/moringa?tab=2

[7] http://millennialherbs.com/Moringa

 

 

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