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You might want to memorize that name. Why? Because it is a plant that may very well change the world in the near future. The interesting part about it though is Moringa Oleifera, or Moringa has been around for tens of thousands of years and used by civilizations for almost that long. Not only does this tree provide a vast array of nutritional value, but it can also: produce fuel, enhance crop growth, produce livestock feed, purify water and produce medicine! In fact the tree is so impressive, that in 2008, the National Institute of Health named it “Plant of the Year,” citing “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.” [citation 1]
From a nutritional standpoint, it contains a unique combination of vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants, amino-acids, phyto-nutrients, proteins, flavonoids and more. We’ll dive more into that later, but first know that Moringa is not new, and there are now 1300+ articles, studies and reports on the subject and the body of research and knowledge is growing. There are over 840 listings on PubMed Alone. [citation 2]
On a side note, this single plant is the whole reason I started learning about alternative nutrition and superfoods. The tree fascinated me so much, that I wanted to learn about other natural substances that were similar. Read on, this one is going to shock you.
What is Moringa Oleifera?
Moringa Oleifera is commonly know all over the world by a variety of names: Moringa, Malunggay, Shevaga, The Drumstick Tree, The Horseradish Tree and a few classics such as “Mothers Best Friend,” “The Tree of Life” and “Natures Medicine Cabinet.” Moringa happens to be the only genus in the family Moringaceae. Moringa Oleifera is one of 12 different types of “Moringa” that grow around the world and arguably the most beneficial.
Why is this tree so beneficial?
- Lets start with the fact that it can grow in soils where many plants can’t. Once the moringa tree grows, it deposits organic matter back into the ground and over time actually can make the ground more fertile!
- The plant produces seed pods. Inside of these seed pods you of course find seeds. You can eat them or plant them for more trees.
- The seeds also serve additional purposes: They contain 50-60% oil. This oil is beneficial for the skin as a moisturizer and some use it to treat cuts and scrapes. The oil is also an extremely clean burning fuel. Imagine the possibilities here for a family that survives off their land.
- Now take it one step further, after the seeds are mashed to produce the oil, the seed pulp itself can be added to water and to help purify the water. The pulp attracts dirt, germs and bacteria and allows it to settle to the bottom with the pulp leaving cleaner water.
- Now we have the leaves (we will go into more detail on the actual nutritional value of the leaves a bit further down the page) and they are extremely nutritious, often used to brew tea or are dried (which actually increases the potency of certain nutritional elements [citation 3]) and milled into a fine powder. This powder been used for many years by international aid organizations to treat malnutrition in third world countries.
- Now you can also take the the left over leaves and stems and grind them up to be added to livestock fodder. Some preliminary studies have shown notable percentage increases in both mass and milk production when this plant is added to the diet. [citation 4, 5]
- The flowers can be eaten and used in teas
- The root is used in Aruyvedic medicine as well as a substitute for horseradish 🙂
- The list goes on and the uses vary depending where you are in the word as the plant is used by some many cultures.
- Additional Citations [citation 6, 7]
Now you can see why this tree was so intriguing.
Where Does Moringa Come From?
Moringa Oleifera is actually native to the Himalayan region of Northwest India, which adds this plant to the ever growing list of “superfoods” coming out of this harsh climate. One cannot help wonder if the necessity for an extremely hardy and adaptable plant in this region contributes to their exceptional nutritional quality, but I digress.
Moringa is now found throughout the world in tropical and sub-tropical regions. It grows best in a sandy based soil, but can also live in very poor soil. This is what makes this tree so amazing is that not only can it grow where others can, but its also an extremely fast growing tree, one of the fastest around. Although the plant can with stand frost, it generally does not withstand a hard freeze. The general rule of thumb for moringa is that you can typically grow it wherever you can grow oranges.
The footage below shows Moringa trees growing wild in Kenya.
What Are The Nutritional Benefits Of Moringa?
First, I think it is of note that when people refer to the nutritional benefits of Moringa, they are most often referring to the leaves themselves. That said, the roots, leaves, flowers, seeds and pods are all used throughout the world as well by many people.
For now, lets talk about the leaves.
According to Producer and Philanthropic organization Kuli Kuli, Gram for gram, the Moringa leaf contains:
- two times the amount of protein of yogurt
- four times the amount of vitamin A as carrots
- three times the amount of potassium as bananas
- four times the amount of calcium as cows’ milk
- seven times the amount of vitamin C as oranges
- [citation 8]
Vitamins & Minerals-
Moringa is a very rare plant in that it contains much of the vitamin and mineral spectrum in including: Vitamin A, B, C E, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc and more. [citation 7]
Protein & Amino Acids-
Dried Moringa Leaves contain not only a respectively large amount of protein for a leafy green, but also, all the essential amino acids. This in combination with the vitamin and mineral spectrum creates a very well rounded, and as we shall discuss, beneficial nutrition source. [citation 7]
The properties of the plant are also said to have a detoxifying effect on the body much like the seeds do in water.
It’s no wonder that the World Health Organization has been utilizing the Moringa tree for over 40 Years! Western Civilization is starting to wake up, in fact the Moringa Tree was named “Plant of the Year” on Earth Day 2008 by the National Institute for Health (NIH).
In short here is a quote from Monica G. Marcu, Phar.D., Ph.D. stating that Moringa will bring to the westerners table “Concentrated vitamins, minerals, all necessary protein constituents, beneficial fats, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory substances, all in a readily absorbable form and easy to digest = an energy food. Tasty but with very little sugar and salt” Dr. Marcu goes on to state that Moringa is truly a superfood because even in low doses, it can supply all the vital nutrients the body needs with very few calories.
Moringa Supplement Information
Moringa comes in several forms on the market today utilizing mostly the leaves, but also the oil and the seeds in some instances. We will cover the various types of supplementation below and our recommendations for each:
The original Moringa supplement made from the dried leaves of moringa trees. After harvest, the frawns are hung like tobacco and slow dried out of the sun to preserve the nutrients. Once dry, they are milled into this fine powder which can be used to make teas, added into baked goods or sprinkled on top of food or salads. Potent and effective.
Moringa Capsules are, or rather “should,” simply be moringa leaf powder in an easy to consumer capsule form. These can be very handy and a lot less messy if you are traveling or for those who prefer not to taste the powdered form.
You can now find many superfood blends that contain moringa powder. The same rules still apply here. You want to find a trusted company who uses a good source. This is great for people who want to start taking some moringa but also want the effects of other superfoods.
Moringa oil has been used for centuries to moisturize the skin, reduce the signs of aging and treat small cuts bruises and scrapes. Again, the potency and quality of the oil will be largely derived from the quality of the moringa plant itself and the manufacturing process. You will want a “cold pressed” moringa oil as heat can destroy the natural enzymes.
As awareness arises about moringa you are starting to see it listed in high end cosmetics as an ingredient to help slow the signs of aging and moisturize. Before you buy, take a look at the rest of the ingredients and the company itself to determine if the moringa contained within will actually be beneficial to you and good for the planet.
Beware of Moringa Scams
As you can imagine, as more and more people become aware of Moringa and its benefits the flow flow of products onto the market is going to skyrocket. We are already starting to see signs of this in the market place as low quality manufactures are attempting to capitalize on unsuspecting and uneducated consumers.
Unfortunatly right now, a large amount of the Moringa Oleifera supplements on the market are made from cheap Moringa that is imported from India and Africa. Now there are some quality organic moringa farms in India as well, no doubt, but be careful, India and Africa have been known for their lack of quality control, so buy from a trusted source like the one we recommend.
Take a look at a sample photo taken from a manufacturer showing the difference between a low grade moringa and fresher product. If you had to guess, which one looks to have more nutrients?
If you are purchasing any moringa capsule, make sure that it contains only 100% moringa and no fillers or additives. You may also want to verify that it comes in a vegetarian or vegan capsule.
So before you buy a moringa supplement, make sure you do your due diligence on the manufacturer and where they source their moringa from and any other ingredients. It is also of not that there have been several Multi Level Marketing companies springing up of late with Moringa as one of their main ingredients or selling points. It is my assertion that I have yet to see a company such as this that produces a product of quality with sufficient moringa levels sourced from reputable sources. I am open to changing this opinion, if something comes up, but until that time, buyer beware.
Well, there you have it, you now know more about Moringa than 99.9% of the world, I hope you found the information you were looking for and if you are looking for the finest quality Organic Moringa Supplements, be sure to visit our store.
If you enjoyed this article or found it useful, be sure to leave your comments below and share with anyone you think will find it useful.
For even more information on Moringa, be sure to download the Moringa Report below from our good friends over at Trees For Life International.
For those of you looking for our Top Recommended Moringa product, Click Here to buy our Top Moringa Recommendation from Amazon or visit the link below.
Top Recommended Moringa Capsules: The Moringa Project Organic Moringa Capsules
Top Recommended Moringa Powder Product: Organic Veda
Additionally Recommended Products:
Moringa Oil Ogranic Veda Moringa Oil
Superfood Blend w/ Moringa Healthforce Vitamineral Green