Curious about what the “drumstick tree” can do you for you? We’ll break down the facts, the benefits, and the best ways to make moringa work for you!
What is Moringa?
Moringa oleifera, a plant that grows in the Himalayas in North India, has been used in traditional medicine for thousands of years. Scientists have just begun to study the medicinal benefits of moringa.
What are the Benefits?
Moringa is incredibly nutritious, packed with vitamins and minerals, including iron, riboflavin, magnesium, and vitamins A, B6, and C. It’s also rich in antioxidants, which may protect your cells against free radicals, which may contribute to cancer, heart disease, and other health problems and chronic illnesses.
Great For Skin & Hair
Moringa is full of vitamin A, which is one of the best vitamins for the skin. It can be found in lots of skincare products, and when applied to the skin, it can help breakouts, hyperpigmentation, and even fine lines and wrinkles. It’s also full of calcium and protein, which are great for your skin, hair, nails, and even your bones.
May Help Lower Blood Sugar
High blood sugar can contribute to diabetes, as well as heart disease. While most of the evidence is from animal studies, moringa has shown to potentially help maintain healthy blood sugar. However, in several small studies in humans, taking moringa helped lower both fasting blood sugar (after not eating) and rises in blood sugar after a meal. This may be due to the insulin-like proteins found in the plant. Normal blood sugar levels can also be a vital part of maintaining a healthy weight.
Has Healing And Antibiotic Properties
Scientific research has shown that it has antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antifungal properties, which may fight against various infections. These properties were tested against several different types of bacteria — Bacillus cereus (which can be found in foods and in the environment), Staphylococcus aureus (also known as a “staph infection”), E. coli (also can be found in foods), as well as several others.
Treats Respiratory Conditions
In a scientific study, ground moringa seeds were given to patients with bronchial asthma. After several weeks, symptoms and severity of asthma attacks had greatly improved.
In one study, moringa was shown to be helpful in treating inflammatory conditions. Inflammation can lead to issues such as heart disease and brain disease, such as dementia. Stress can also be a major contributor to inflammation, which the plant may help our bodies and minds to help deal with.
Can Lower Cholesterol
Studies in both animals and humans have shown that it may be able to help lower “bad” cholesterol, which can lead to heart disease. Many foods and supplements derived from plants are great for lowering cholesterol levels, and moringa appears to be another one.
May Prevent Cancer
Research has only been conducted on animals thus far, but multiple studies have shown that it may be beneficial in both treating and preventing cancer. Several studies showed that moringa killed cancer cells cultivated in a lab, while others limited tumor growth and promoted cancer cell death.
Treats Depression & Anxiety
Moringa has long been used to help our bodies combat and deal with stress more easily. Scientific studies show that it may have antidepressant properties, including reducing depression caused by inflammation. It also showed that it may be even more effective when used in combination with prescription antidepressants. It also may help to balance cortisol levels in the body, which can cause anxiety and panic attacks. (Obviously, talk to your doctor before adding this plant or any others to your mental health regimen, especially if you are on medication!)
Increases Energy & Decreases Fatigue
Moringa can give help with energy, in part due to its high iron content. It’s a great protein boost post-workout due to its high nutritional content and can help ease fatigue.
Even More Health Benefits:
- Balances hormones, including postmenopausal and thyroid hormones
- Treats edema
- Reduces blood pressure
- Increases red blood cells
- Treats anemia
- Protects kidneys
- High in protein
- Aids digestion
- Good for bones
How To Take
Moringa can be taken in a capsule or in powder form. We like Organic India Moringa Capsules and Kuli Kuli Organic Moringa Powder, available at Thrive Market. For the powder, start with about half a teaspoon and work your way up to 1-2 teaspoons a day. You can add it to any sort of food that would be tasty with green, spinachy seasoning, such as a salad or tomato juice. Moringa also works well in smoothies, particularly in those with greens or veggies. For an even simpler approach, Kuli Kuli makes a Moringa Greens & Protein smoothie mix in vanilla flavor.
Before Taking Moringa
Talk to your doctor before starting any supplement or vitamin plan to make sure it’s a healthy choice for you. In particular, if any of the following apply to you:
- If you are taking Synthroid or Levothyroxine: Compounds in moringa may help adjust thyroid levels, so it’s important not to take in combination with thyroid medication without talking to your doctor first.
- If you are taking any medications for diabetes or blood sugar: Talk to your doctor prior to taking moringa if you are already on medication that may affect your blood sugar. Taking it along with diabetes medication could potentially make your blood sugar too low.
- High blood pressure medication: Since moringa may lower your blood pressure, you definitely want to make sure it is okay to take in combination with any blood pressure medication to make sure your blood pressure does not get too low.
- Any medications that are taken to break down by the liver: Moringa can affect how your body breaks down these medications, so be sure to talk to your doctor first.
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