Moringa Oleifera, also known as the “Tree of Life,” is rightfully named because of its potential to use everything from root to leaf to seed for many health benefits. Moringa is a super hardy, resilient tree that is mostly grown in the tropics of Asia and Africa. It can withstand various weather and soil conditions, and can be harvested year-round, making it one of the most sustainable plants out there.
For a full overview on the Moringa Oleifera tree, click the link.
It can grow almost 10 feet per year in peak conditions, yet will even produce pods filled with moringa seeds in times of drought. It is bursting with antioxidants, vitamins, and amino acids that can help with many health conditions like high cholesterol, high blood sugar, skin conditions, digestive health, and even water purification. The cuttings and branches can be used for animal feed or mulch, so literally nothing is wasted. According to Dr. Axe, in 2008 the National Institute of Health called moringa (moringa oleifera) the “plant of the year,” acknowledging that “perhaps like no other single species, this plant has the potential to help reverse multiple major environmental problems and provide for many unmet human needs.” It is quite an amazing tree!
The top uses of moringa are the leaves, powder, seeds, or oil extracted from the seeds. Moringa leaves can be steeped into a tea or used in cooking for stews and other dishes. The powder can be sprinkled into recipes, used as a tea, or encapsulated to make into a daily supplement. The oil is typically used for skin conditions, such as acne, to prevent scarring, for psoriasis / eczema, rashes, and other skin irritations.
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Moringa Oleifera SeedsMoringa oleifera seeds come from the pods on the moringa tree. An average size moringa tree is about 15-20 feet high, each pod is about a foot in length, and can produce about a dozen seeds. The seeds have two flaps on them, making sure these ‘wings’ enable them to fly away from the mother tree to germinate far and wide. The trees produce seeds annually, yet each harvest can yield hundreds to thousands of seeds. It is quite an amazing tree!
The seeds can be roasted, steamed, or boiled and eaten as a snack and can also be added to many of your favorite recipes for a low-sugar, high-protein, high-omega, high-potassium, high vitamin C health boost. Read on to find out the many benefits of moringa seeds for specific health conditions and overall wellness.
1) Lower Blood Sugar Levels
Diabetes is one of the biggest health problems in our society today. Diabetes affect’s the body’s ability to produce or use insulin (which is a hormone that turns glucose, or sugar, into energy). According to Doctor’s Health Press, a 2014 study published in Acta Histochemica reported that moringa oleifera seeds can lower blood sugar levels in rats. Another study in the Journal of Diabetes found that moringa pod extract helped to increase insulin production and protein levels and reduce blood glucose levels.
Long-term complications of diabetes include damage to the large blood vessels of the heart, brain, and legs and small blood vessels of the eyes, kidneys, and nerves. It can also increase the risk of other conditions like cataracts, glaucoma, and nerve damage in the feet. Along with diet and exercise, moringa is a great addition to lowering blood sugar levels to manage diabetes. Of course, consult your physician before you start any health regimen.
2) Lowers High Blood Pressure and Cholesterol.
High blood pressure, if left untreated, can lead to other health conditions such as heart disease and stroke. Moringa is an herb that actually improves how the heart contracts, making it more efficient and able to pump blood throughout the body. The seed extracts act as heart and circulatory system stimulant to help lower blood pressure naturally. Moringa seeds are also 70% oleic acid, which protects cell membranes from free radicals, reduces blood pressure, and is one of the most common fats in myelin, which is a protective sheath around nerves and the brain. Other foods high in oleic acid are olive oil, grapeseed oil, nuts, avocado, and eggs.
3) Promotes Healthy Skin.
According to Doctor’s Health Press, the moringa seed is about 40% oil, and the cold-pressed extract is often called Ben oil or Behen oil. It has an oleic acid content of 72%, meaning it can penetrate deep into the layers of the skin. Moringa is also high in over 30 antioxidants and vitamins including Vitamin C and Vitamin A, which are important for collagen production. Collagen decreases with age, and these vitamins enhance the firmness and radiance of the skin. Adding a few drops of moringa oil to your moisturizer or eye cream can help decrease these fine lines and wrinkles, and keep you looking your best. According to Trinity Kitchen, moringa is extremely high in the cytokinin plant hormone called zeatins, actually thousands of times higher than most plants studied. Zeatin protects the skin by increasing the activity of antioxidant enzymes that are anti-aging.
4) Purifies Water.
After the oil has been extracted from the seed, there is a ‘seed cake’ that remains that can be used to purify water. The seed cake is placed into the water, and after a period of time acts as a sponge, pulling bacteria, toxins, impurities, dirt, and algae into the cake, leaving behind clean water after it is filtered through a thin cloth. According to Dr. Axe, some studies have shown that 0.2 grams of ground moringa seed can turn one liter of contaminated water into safe drinking water. This is an incredible benefit especially because moringa is often grown in 3rd world countries where clean water is a huge issue. If we could educate the local people how to use this entire plant, it could provide food and nutrients as well as clean water for drinking and daily use.
5) Increases Energy.
We all know Popeye ate spinach for energy, well guess what? A single serving of moringa has three times the amount of iron than spinach! About 70% of your body’s iron is found in the red blood cells of your blood called hemoglobin and in muscle cells called myoglobin. If you don’t have enough iron, your body can’t make enough red blood cells to carry oxygen to your entire body. A lack of red blood cells is called iron deficiency anemia, which can cause fatigue, dizziness, dry skin and hair, and even fainting.
6) Promotes a Healthy Digestion.
Moringa is high in fiber, which acts like a scrubber inside your colon. Debris and food waste don’t get stuck in the wall of your digestive tract, and you can have healthy, daily bowel movements. Constipation causes all sorts of things like bloating, weight gain, and even sleep and mood changes.
7) Anti-viral / Anti-bacterial / Anti-fungal.
According to allthingsmoringa.com moringa leaf powder has 46 types of antioxidants, 18 amino acids, 10 times the vitamin A of carrots, 15 times the potassium of bananas, and 17 times the calcium of cows milk. Antioxidants prevent free radical damage in tissues, which damages cells, weakens the immune system, and accelerates aging. As well as having a ton of nutrients to keep your body working at its best, the flowers and leaves contain pterygospermin, which is a natural antibiotic / antiseptic / fungicide. Moringa can both prevent illness, but also treat infections and illnesses such as sore throats, fever, bronchtitis, psoriasis, swollen glands, jaundice, urinary tract infections, ear and eye infections, skin infections, cholera, tuberculosis, and many, many more. Some researchers have found moringa to have anti-carcinogenic properties by promoting apoptosis, or cell death, of damaged or cancerous cells.
8) Highest Plant Protein Ever.
Moringa is about 40% protein. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. According to the USDA, moringa leaves contain all 9 essential amino acids, which are the 9 of 20 amino acids that we cannot produce ourselves in our bodies, and we need to get from food. About 15% of the mass of the average person is made of proteins materials, forming the structure of our muscle, cartilage, ligaments, skin, and hair. Protein molecules not only make up the structure of our bodies, but are responsible for many of the functioning as well. Having an accessible and sustainable protein source for people all over the world is a huge benefit.
9) Protects and Benefits your Eyes.
Moringa is super high in lutein, which is a carotenoid known to promote healthy eye function and prevent macular degeneration. For a healthy adult, the recommended dose is 5-20mg, and 100g of moringa has more than 70mg. Other foods high in lutein are carrots, spinach, kale, broccoli, peppers, and tomatoes. A combination of all these foods with moringa can be a great lutein-rich soup or stew.
10) Promotes Liver Function / Detox.
Moringa is high in chlorophyll, which you can think of as the red blood cell of the plant world. Chlorophyll is known as a superfood for its antioxidant, anti-cancer, and overall health benefits. It improves liver function and detoxification, and is great for digestion and skin health. According to Healthy and Natural World the Journal of Food Science found that moringa seed oil contains compounds which helps clear free radicals that can lead to liver disease. The oil was used successfully to repair liver damage from hepatitis, and can be used for other liver disorders. Moringa boosts liver function to detoxify heavy metals that can accumulate in the body from environmental toxins, food, and other health and beauty products. Liver function is vital to overall health and longevity.
11) Decreases Inflammation.
Moringa has powerful natural anti-inflammatory properties, which can help with anything from injuries and joint pain, to inflammatory conditions such as lupus, fibromyalgia, and crohn’s disease. Many people say inflammation is the major cause of disease and aging. If we can reduce and manage the levels of inflammation in our bodies, we would live longer and healthier lives. According to Healthy and Natural World the journal Inflammation found that moringa seeds can reduce inflammation in chronic diseases, and other studies have found it helpful in rheumatoid arthritis by suppressing the immune systems overreactive response that causes inflammation.
According to Healthy and Natural World, there was a study published in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology confirming that extracts from moringa seeds, leaves and fruit have powerful antioxidant properties. Antioxidants combat free radical damage, which is a chain reaction that damages a cells DNA, proteins, and membranes. Free radical damage can lead to fine lines and wrinkles, dehydrated skin, among other damage to skin and internal tissues. Fueling your body full of antioxidants makes it easier for your body to prevent cell damage and promote youthfulness.
Moringa truly fits the “miracle tree” hype. There are so many amazing health benefits, along with the sustainability aspect of being able to use not only the seed, but the oil, leaves, branches for animal feed, and even purifying water.
Let us know how moringa has helped you, and we will continue to update the article on recent studies and added health benefits.
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Best in Health,