What is Moringa?

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Most people haven’t heard about Moringa so don’t know what this plant could do for them, but that’s likely to change, as it’s one of the newest superfoods and has real benefits, as you’ll discover, for biohacking.

What is moringa? Moringa is a tropical tree mainly from India and South Asia. Moringa’s
leaves, flowers, seeds and roots have been used, because of the high concentration of
vitamins, minerals and antioxidant properties, as a traditional remedy of a number of
health conditions.

But, there’s much more detail and science based information you should know about moringa, this way you’ll appreciate how it could help you, how you can and should take it, as well its side effects, so you can stay safe.

Moringa is similar in many ways to matcha. The two are not just similar due to their powdery form, they also share similar colour, forms of consumption, and benefits.

These benefits include the potential to reduce inflammation and the likelihood of health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

Moringa comes from the plant species Moringaceae, the tree is widely known as the drumstick tree.

It is native to the tropical and subtropical regions of South Asia and can also be found in Northern India, Africa, Central and Southern America, the Caribbean, Oceania and it’s started to be grown, for commercial reason, in other places too.

Other names for the tree include: horseradish tree, ben oil tree and benzolive tree.

The tree has been used for thousands of years in India, medicinally and nutritionally, but is only just beginning to gain popularity across the rest of the globe.

The tree is sometimes referred to as ‘the miracle tree’ due to the extensive amount of healing properties that it possesses:

● Anti-fungal
● Anti-viral
● Antidepressant
● Anti-inflammatory
● Anti-hyperglycaemic

We will cover these properties in further detail in a later section of this article.

Moringa boasts an impressive nutritional portfolio – especially when compared to popular
alternative products, coffee and green tea:

As you can see from the table above, moringa boasts a large content of calcium, iron and Vitamin E compared to matcha, green tea, and coffee.

Moringa can come in a variety of forms: capsules, powder, and tea are the most common and popular options currently on the market.

With a bitter and slightly sweet taste, a powder can be added to food or shakes with ease. It is recommended that you add anywhere from 2 – 6 grams of powder per serving.

The nutritional values seen in the table are what make moringa so vast in its potential for medicinal applications.

What are some of the things that moringa can supposedly help with?

Look ahead and you’ll discover some of the moringas best potential benefits to you.

Health Benefits of Moringa

Protect against free radicals in your body

Antioxidants such as Vitamin E, Vitamin C as well as Quercetin and chlorogenic acid, all of which moringa contains a large content of all, help to fight against free radicals in your body.

If you have a high level of free radicals in your body this can cause oxidative stress which is linked with heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

One study done in 2014 found that taking 7 grams of moringa leaf powder every day for three months significantly increased blood antioxidant levels.

Lower blood sugar levels and positive effects on diabetes

Building on moringa’s potential to reduce oxidative stress which is linked to diabetes and heart disease – can also help to reduce blood sugar levels, one of the main causes of diabetes and heart disease.

A 2009 study found that moringa reduced blood glucose levels in animals with and without diabetes – no matter the severity.

The study concludes that this evidence “validates scientifically the widely claimed use of (moringa) as an ethnomedicine to treat diabetes mellitus”.

Moringa, with its anti-hyperglycemic, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties has been shown to help prevent and improve some of the complications associated with diabetes. These include complications linked to the retinas and the kidney.

Reduce inflammation

Inflammation isn’t always a bad thing.

In fact, it is the body’s response to infection or injury. The issues with inflammation become apparent once it continues over a prolonged amount of time.

Sustained inflammation has been linked to health conditions such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and obesity.

In studies, moringa has been shown to be a powerful anti-inflammatory agent through its suppression of inflammatory enzymes and boosting the production of anti-inflammatory cytokines.

The study concludes that their findings “support the traditional use of (moringa) as an effective treatment for inflammation-associated diseases/disorders.”

Other studies conclude with the same results and summary that their results “provide further evidence that the roots of Moringa contain an anti-inflammatory principle that may be useful in the treatment of the acute inflammatory conditions.”

Lower cholesterol

High cholesterol is also linked to heart disease, however, plant foods are a great way to combat high cholesterol. Moringa has been shown in many studies to have the same effects as many plant foods in reducing cholesterol.

A study on rats found that moringa had hypocholesterolemic effects.

The results showed that moringa helped to decrease “the high-fat diet-induced increases in serum, liver, and kidney cholesterol levels by 14.35% (115-103.2 mg/100 ml of serum), 6.40% (9.4-8.8 mg/g wet weight) and 11.09% (1.09-0.97 mg/g wet weight) respectively”.

The study concluded that “the leaves of Moringa oleifera have definite hypocholesterolemic activity and that there is the valid pharmacological basis for employing them for this purpose”.

Can potentially help to fight cancer

Through fighting free-radicals with its antioxidant properties, moringa can help to prevent cancer as free-radicals damage cells and DNA which can lead to tumor development.

Moringa’s glucosinolate and quercetin content can help to inhibit the growth of and the cell death of growing tumors.

Further, a 2013 study found that moringa can increase the effects of chemotherapy in human pancreatic cells.

Side Effects and Risks of Moringa

The benefits look attractive, so is there a catch? Are there any serious side effects or risks?

The answer is nothing too serious. The usual ‘check with your doctor before trying anything new whilst on other medication’ and ‘always read the label’ should be put out there.

Moringa is not advised to be consumed by those who are pregnant or attempting to become pregnant as it may contain anti-fertility qualities.

Further, it is not recommended to be consumed by those who are taking the following medications:

Any medications are broken down in the liver – moringa can decrease how quickly this happens which can lead to various issues or complications.

High blood pressure medication – as it has been shown to be useful in lowering blood pressure, taking it alongside other blood pressure-lowering medication could lead your blood pressure becoming too low.

Diabetes medication – look to the blood pressure explanation above and the same applies.

Levothyroxine – this medicine is used to combat thyroid problems, moringa may aid thyroid function and therefore it should not be taken in combination with other thyroid medication.

Conclusion

Moringa’s multiple beneficial properties give it a wide assortment of health benefits which give it the label of ‘superfood’. It is similar to matcha in many ways, looking to the nutritional table above we can see it is packed with iron, calcium, and vitamin-E specifically.

With a high content of iron however, it is important to not overdose on the product.

Other warnings and risks are related to other medications and it is also not recommended to consume moringa whilst pregnant or trying to get pregnant.

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