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. There are 12 different types of “Moringa” that grow around the world and Moringa Oleifera is arguably the most beneficial amongst them.
First things first, unfortunately adulteration is a rampant practice and a large amount of the Moringa Oleifera supplements on the market are made from cheap Moringa or other varities of moringa that is imported from India and Africa and contains no nutritional value. Now there are some quality organic moringa farms as well, no doubt, but be careful, India and Africa have been known for their lack of quality control.
While more than half of the world population is either overweight or obese, solutions for such problems exist. The natural health supplements industry has done many studies and tried to find out which are the most effective ingredients to cause weight loss without any other side effects.
The history of Moringa dates back to 150 B.C. Historical proof reveals that ancient kings and queens used Moringa leaves and fruit in their diet to maintain mental alertness and healthy skin.
Food scientists have confirmed that moringa plant possesses unique nutritional qualities that hold promise to millions of impoverished communities around the world who are in need of dietary supplements like protein, minerals, and vitamins.
Moringa greens (leaves) are an excellent source of protein which is a unique feature for any herbs and leafy greens in the entire plant kingdom. 100 g of fresh raw leaves carry 9.8 g of protein or about 17.5% of daily required levels. Dry, powdered leaves indeed are an excellent sources source of several quality amino acids.
Fresh pods and seeds are an excellent source of oleic acid, a health-benefiting monounsaturated fat. Moringa, as a high-quality oilseed crop, can be grown alternatively to improve nutrition levels of populations in many drought-prone regions of Africa and Asia.
Fresh leaves and growing tips of moringa are the richest sources of vitamin A. 100 g of fresh leaves carry 7564 IU or 252% of daily required levels of vitamin-A! Vitamin-A is one of the fat-soluble anti-oxidant offering several benefits, including mucosal repair, maintenance of skin integrity, vision, and immunity.
Fresh moringa (drumstick) pods and leaves are an excellent sources of vitamin-C. 100 g of pods contain 145 µg or 235% of daily required levels of vitamin-C. 100 g of greens provide 51.7 µg or 86% of daily-recommended intake values of this vitamin. Research studies have shown that consumption of fruits/vegetables rich in vitamin C helps the body develop immunity against infectious agents, and scavenge harmful oxygen-free radicals from the body.
The greens, as well as pods, also contain good amounts of many vital B-complex vitamins such as folates, vitamin-B6 (pyridoxine), thiamin (vitamin B-1), riboflavin, pantothenic acid, and niacin. Much of these vitamin functions as co-enzymes in carbohydrate, protein, and fat metabolism.
Furthermore, its greens (leaves) are one of the finest sources of minerals like calcium, iron, copper, manganese, zinc, selenium, and magnesium. Iron alleviates anemia. Calcium is essential for bone mineralization. Zinc plays a vital role in hair growth, spermatogenesis, and skin health.
The main benefit to taking moringa oleifera is its’ high nutritional content. In fact, in one average serving of moringa oleifera, you will consume on average,
- 125% daily value of Calcium
- 61% daily value of Magnesium
- 41% daily value of Potassium
- 71% daily value of Iron
- 272% daily value of Vitamin A
- 22% daily value of Vitamin C
In total, there are 90 essential vitamins, minerals, or other necessary nutrients for the human body to operate at its’ maximal efficiency. There are no other superfoods that can claim this amount of nutritional value compared to moringa oleifera, which is why moringa is hands down the most powerful superfood on the planet.
In addition to its’ high nutritional content, here are other proven benefits to taking moringa oleifera on a daily basis:
- Lower blood pressure
- Improved mood
- Improved digestion
- Improved immune system function
- Protects the stomach lining
- Treats stomach ulcers
- Boosts energy levels
- Improves sexual function
- Reduces effects of common auto-immune disorders
Plus MANY MORE!
Moringa, also known as The Miracle Tree, every part of this tree has some positive health effects over the human body. It has been known to prevent more than 300 diseases in the areas where it can be found. It can grow to more than 39 feet high.
More than this, it is one of the most important health ingredients Oriental medicine has been using for generations. The nutritional value and benefits of Moringa Extract is known to be:
- 2 times more protein than an egg
- 15 times more fiber than wheat
- 10 times more Vitamin-A than carrots
- 15 times more Potassium than bananas
- 17 times more Calcium than milk.
It’s being hailed as a so-called ‘superfood’ primarily because its leaves are very rich in antioxidants, including vitamin C, beta-carotene, quercetin, and chlorogenic acid (chlorogenic acid, has been shown to slow cells’ absorption of sugar, and we all know sugar is one of our worst enemies). As noted in the Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention, “The leaves of the moringa oleifera tree have been reported to demonstrate antioxidant activity due to its high amount of polyphenols. Moringa oleifera extracts of both mature and tender leaves exhibit strong antioxidant activity against free radicals, prevent oxidative damage to major biomolecules, and give significant protection against oxidative damage.”
There has been hundred studies done on moringa, that prove its capabilities.
According to a report published in the Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention, moringa contains a mix of essential amino acids (the building blocks of proteins), carotenoid phytonutrients (the same kinds found in plants like carrots and tomatoes), antioxidants such as quercetin, and natural antibacterial compounds that work in the same way as many anti-inflammatory drugs.
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.”
Moringa is so rich in vitamins, to the extent that it is one of the richest plant sources of Vitamin ever discovered. Moringa contains Vitamin A (Beta Carotene), Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Vitamin B6 Pyrodixine), Vitamin B7 (Biotin), Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid), Vitamin D (Cholecalciferol), Vitamin E (Tocopherol) and Vitamin K. Vitamin A is most needed by the body to maintain perfect vision and to maintain strong cardiovascular health. The calcium absorption by the body works well only with the presence of Vitamin D.
Around the world Moringa is the subject of legends and praise, awe and respect – so much so that it is also called “Miracle Tree,” “Mother’s Best Friend,” and “Never Die.”
Although, hundreds of research prove the benefits of Moringa, Below you can find a selection of abstracts from scientific articles published about Moringa Oleifera:
Moringa oleifera: A food plant with multiple medicinal uses.
Anwar F, Latif S, Ashraf M, Gilani AH.
Department of Chemistry, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad-38040, Pakistan.
Moringa oleifera (Moringaceae) is a highly valued plant, distributed in many countries of the tropics and subtropics. It has an impressive range of medicinal uses with high nutritional value. Different parts of this plant contain a profile of important minerals, and are a good source of protein, vitamins, beta-carotene, amino acids and various phenolics. The Moringa plant provides a rich and rare combination of zeatin, quercetin, beta-sitosterol, caffeoylquinic acid and kaempferol. In addition to its compelling water purifying powers and high nutritional value, M. oleifera is very important for its medicinal value. Various parts of this plant such as the leaves, roots, seed, bark, fruit, flowers and immature pods act as cardiac and circulatory stimulants, possess antitumor, antipyretic, antiepileptic, antiinflammatory, antiulcer, antispasmodic, diuretic, antihypertensive, cholesterol lowering, antioxidant, antidiabetic, hepatoprotective, antibacterial and antifungal activities, and are being employed for the treatment of different ailments in the indigenous system of medicine, particularly in South Asia. This review focuses on the detailed phytochemical composition, medicinal uses, along with pharmacological properties of different parts of this multipurpose tree.
PMID: 17089328 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE] Bioresource Technology. 2007 Jan;98(1):232-6. Epub 2006 Jan 6.
Anti-fungal activity of crude extracts and essential oil of Moringa oleifera Lam.
Chuang PH, Lee CW, Chou JY, Murugan M, Shieh BJ, Chen HM.
Institute of Bioagricultural Sciences, Academia Sinica, Taipei 115, Taiwan, ROC.
Investigations were carried out to evaluate the therapeutic properties of the seeds and leaves of Moringa oleifera Lam as herbal medicines. Ethanol extracts showed anti-fungal activities in vitro against dermatophytes such as Trichophyton rubrum, Trichophyton mentagrophytes, Epidermophyton floccosum, and Microsporum canis. GC-MS analysis of the chemical composition of the essential oil from leaves showed a total of 44 compounds. Isolated extracts could be of use for the future development of anti-skin disease agents.
PMID: 16406607 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE] J Med Food. 2002 Fall;5(3):171-7.
Hepatoprotective activity of Moringa oleifera on antitubercular drug-induced liver damage in rats.
Pari L, Kumar NA.
Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Science, AnnamalaiUniversity, Annamalai Nagar, Tamil Nadu – 608 002, India.
Moringa oleifera (Moringaceae), commonly known as “Drumstick,” is used in Indian folk medicine for the treatment of various illness. We have evaluated the hepatoprotective effect of an ethanolic extract of M. oleifera leaves on liver damage induced by antitubercular drugs such as isoniazid (INH), rifampicin (RMP), and pyrazinamide (PZA) in rats. Oral administration of the extract showed a significant protective action made evident by its effect on the levels of glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase (aspartate aminotransferase), glutamic pyruvic transaminase (alanine aminotransferase), alkaline phosphatase, and bilirubin in the serum; lipids, and lipid peroxidation levels in liver. This observation was supplemented by histopathological examination of liver sections. The results of this study showed that treatment with M. oleifera extracts or silymarin (as a reference) appears to enhance the recovery from hepatic damage induced by antitubercular drugs.
PMID: 12495589 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE] J Med Food. 2003 Fall;6(3):255-9.
Antioxidant action of Moringa oleifera Lam. (drumstick) against anti tubercular drug induced lipid peroxidation in rats.
Ashok Kumar N, Pari L.
Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Science, Annamalai University, Annamalai Nagar-608 002, Tamil Nadu, India.
The protective effect of Moringa oleifera Lam. (Moringaceae) on hepatic marker enzymes, lipid peroxidation, and antioxidants was investigated during antitubercular drug (isoniazid, rifampicin, and pyrazinamide)-induced toxicity in rats. Enhanced hepatic marker enzymes and lipid peroxidation of antitubercular drug treatment was accompanied by a significant decrease in the levels of vitamin C, reduced glutathione, superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione peroxidase, and glutathione S-transferase. Administration of Moringa oleifera extract and silymarin significantly decreased hepatic marker enzymes and lipid peroxidation with a simultaneous increase in the level of antioxidants. We speculate that Moringa oleifera extract exerts its protective effects by decreasing liver lipid peroxides and enhancing antioxidants.
PMID: 14585192 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE] J Ethnopharmacol. 2003 Jun;86(2-3):191-5.
Hypocholesterolemic effects of crude extract of leaf of Moringa oleifera Lam in high-fat diet fed wistar rats.
Ghasi S, Nwobodo E, Ofili JO.
Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria, Enugu.
The leaves of Moringa oleifera Lam (Moringaceae) are used by the Indians in their herbal medicine as a hypocholesterolemic agent in obese patients. The scientific basis for their use in hypercholesterolemia was therefore examined. It was found that administration of the crude leaf extract of Moringa oleifera along with high-fat diet decreased 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 effect on the serum cholesterol was statistically significant. No significant effect on serum total protein was observed. However, the crude extract increased serum albumin by 15.22% (46-53 g/l). This value was also found to be statistically significant. It was concluded that the leaves of Moringa oleifera have definite hypocholesterolemic activity and that there is valid pharmacological basis for employing them for this purpose in India.
PMID: 10661880 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]
Many scientific journals, newspapers articles and books have also been written about Moringa oliefera. Below you will find a small selection of extracts.
Moringa Tree can cure the ill, purify water and feed the hungry
“Scientifically speaking, Moringa sounds like magic. It can rebuild weak bones, enrich anaemic blood and enable a malnourished mother to nurse her starving baby. Ounce for ounce, it has the calcium of four glasses of milk, the Vitamin C of seven oranges and the potassium of three bananas. Sounds like your Power Bar, you say? Well, consider this: A dash of Moringa can make dirty water drinkable. Doctors use it to treat diabetes in West Africa and high blood pressure in India.”
Mark Fritz, Los Angeles Times
A food plant with multiple medicinal uses
“The Moringa plant provides a rich and rare combination of zeatin, quercetin, beta-sitosterol, caffeoylquinic acid and kaempferol.”
“Various parts of this plant act as cardiac and circulatory stimulants, possess antiinflammatory, antiulcer, antispasmodic,, antihypertensive, cholesterol lowering, antioxidant, antidiabetic, hepatoprotective, antibacterial and antifungal activities.”
University of Agriculture, Faisalabad
PubMed ID: 17089328
Anti-fungal activity of crude extracts and essential oil of Moringa oleifera
“GC-MS analysis of the chemical composition of the essential oil from leaves showed a total of 44 compounds. Isolated extracts could be of use for the future development of anti-skin disease agents.”
Institute of Bioagricultural Sceinces, Academia Sinica, Taipei 115, Taiwan, ROC.
PubMed ID: 16406607
Moringa, Natures Medicine Cabinet “It is a remarkable tree whose leaves, pods and flowers have 7 times the Vitamin C found in oranges, 4 times the Vitamin A of carrots, 3 times the iron of spinach, 4 times as much calcium as milk and 3 times the potassium of bananas.” Stanford Holst
Moringa oleifera (The Kelor Tree)
“Although few people have heard of it today, Moringa could soon become one of the world’s most valuable plants.”
U.S National Academy of Sciences Noel Vietmeyer
The in vitro and ex vivo antioxidant properties, hypolipidaemic and antiatherosclerotic activities of water extract of Moringa oleifera Lam.
“The results indicate that this plant possesses antioxidant, hypolipidaemic and antiatherosclerotic activities and has therapeutic potential for the prevention of cardiovascular diseases.”
Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University
PubMed ID : 18249514
Hypocholesterolemic effects of crude extract of leaf of Moringa oleifera in high-fat diets.
“It was found that administration of the crude leaf extract of Moringa oleifera along with high-fat diet decreased 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.”
“This value was also found to be statistically significant. It was concluded that the leaves of Moringa oleifera have definite hypocholesterolemic activity”
Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, University of Nigeria, Enugu.
PubMed ID: 10661880
Barminas, J.T .;Charles, Milam; Emmanuel, D. “Mineral composition of non-conventional leafy vegetables.” Plant Foods for Human Nutrition 53.1 (1998): 29-36.
Ching, L.S.; Mohamed, S. “Alpha-tocopherol content in 62 edible tropical plants.” Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 49.6 (2001 Jun): 3101-5.
Freiberger, C.E.; Vanderjagt, D.J.; Pastuszyn, A., and others. “Nutrient content of the edible leaves of seven wild plants from Niger.” Plant Foods for Human Nutrition 53.1 (1998): 57-69.
Geervani, P.; Devi, A. “Influence of protein and fat on the utilisation of carotene from drumstick (Moringa oleifera) leaves.” The Indian Journal of Medical Research 74.0 (1981 Oct): 548-53.
Girija, V.; Sharada, D.; Pushpamma, P. “Bioavailability of thiamine, riboflavin and niacin from commonly consumed green leafy vegetables in the rural areas of Andhra Pradesh in India.” International Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research 52.1 (1982): 9-13.
Hosken, Fran. P., ed. “Stopping Malnutrition in the Tropics with the Moringa Tree.” Women’s International Network News 26.2 (2000): 47-48.
Lockett, Cassius; Calvert, Christopher; Grivetti, Louis. “Energy and micronutrient composition of dietary and medicinal wild plants consumed during drought. Study of rural Fulani, Northeastern Nigeria.” International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition 51.3 (2000): 195-208.
Makkar, H.P.S.; Becker, K. “Nutrients and antiquality factors
in different morphological parts of the Moringa oleiferan tree.” The Journal of Agricultural Science 128.3 (1997):
Nambiar, V.S.; Bhadalkar, K.; Daxini, M. “Drumstick leaves as source of vitamin A in ICDS-SFP.” Indian Journal of Pediatrics 70.5 (2003 May): 383-7.
Nambiar, V.S.; Daxini, M.; Bhadalkar, K. “Nutritional and Sensory Evaluation of Dried Drum-stick Leaf (Moringa oleifera) Recipes.” Indian Food Packer 57. Part 6 (2003): 156-161.
Nambiar, Vanisha S.; Seshadri, Subadra. “Bioavailability trials of beta-carotene from fresh and dehydrated drumstick leaves (Moringa oleifera) in a rat model.” Plant Foods for Human Nutrition 56.1 (2001): 83-95.
Pankaja, N.; Prakash, J. “Availability of calcium from kilkeerai (Amaranthus tricolor) and drumstick (Moringa oleifera) greens in weanling rats.” Die Nahrung 38.2 (1994): 199- 203.
Sena, L.P.; VanderJagt, D.J.; Rivera, C., and others. “Analysis of nutritional components of eight famine foods of the Republic of Niger.” Plant Foods for Human Nutrition 52.1 (1998): 17-30.
Seshadri, S.; Nambiar, V.S. “Kanjero (Digera arvensis) and
Drumstick Leaves (Moringa oleifera): Nutrient Profile and Potential for Human Consumption.” World Review of Nutrition and Dietetics 91.0 (2003): 41-59.
Siddhuraju, P.; Becker, K. “Antioxidant Properties of Various
Solvent Extracts of Total Phenolic Constituents from Three Different Agroclimatic Origins of Drumstick Tree (Moringa oleifera Lam.) Leaves.” Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 51.8 (2003): 2144-2155.
Sreenivasan, Jyotsna. “The Drumstick Tree: A Natural Multi-vitamin.” E 11.3 (May/Jun 2000): 17-18.
Subadra, Seshadri; Monica, Jain; Dhabhai, D. “Retention and Storage Stability of Beta-carotene in Dehydrated Drumstick Leaves (Moringa Oleifera).” International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition 48.6 (1997): 373-380.
Abuye, C.; Omwega, A.M.; Imungi, J.K. “Familial tendency and dietary association of goitre in Gamo-Gofa, Ethiopia.” The East African Medical Journal 76.8 (1999 Aug): 447-51.
Abuye, C.; Urga, K.; Knapp, H., and others. “A compositional study of Moringa stenopetala leaves.” The East African Medical Journal 80.5 (2003): 247-252.
Caceres, A.; Saravia, A.; Rizzo, S.; Zabala, L.; De Leon, E.; Nave, F. “Pharmacologic properties of Moringa oleifera.
2: Screening for antispasmodic, antiinflammatory and diuretic activity.” Journal of Ethnopharmacology 36.3 (1992 Jun): 233-7.Caceres, A.; Cabrera, O.; Morales, O., and others. “Pharmacological properties of Moringa oleifera. 1: Preliminary screening for antimicrobial activity.” Journal of Ethnopharmacology 33.3 (July 1991): 213-6.
Dangi, S.Y .; Jolly, C.I.; Narayanan, S. “Antihypertensive Activity of the Total Alkaloids from the Leaves of Moringa oleifera.” Pharmaceutical Biology 40.2 (2002): 144-148.
Faizi, S.; Siddiqui, B.S.; Saleem, R., and others. “Fully acetylated carbamate and hypotensive thiocarbamate gly- cosides from Moringa oleifera.” Phytochemistry 38.4 (1995): 957.
Faizi, S.; Siddiqui, B.N.; Saleem, R., and others. “Isolation and Structure Elucidation of New Nitrile and Mustard Oil Glycosides from Moringa oleifera and Their Effect on Blood Pressure.” Journal of Natural Products 57.9 (1994): 1256-61.
Ghasi, S.; Nwobodo, E.; Ofili, J.O. “Hypocholesterolemic effects
of crude extract of leaf of Moringa oleifera Lam in high-fat diet fed wistar rats.” Journal of Ethnopharmacology 69.1 (2000): 21-26.
Mekonnen, Y . “Effects of Ethanol Extract of Moringa stenopetala Leaves on Guinea-pig and Mouse Smooth Muscle.” Phytotherapy Research 13.5 (1999): 442-444.
Mekonnen, Y .; Yardley, V.; Rock, P., and others. “In Vitro Antitrypanosomal Activity of Moringa stenopetala Leaves and Roots.” Phytotherapy Research 13.6 (1999): 538-9.
Mekonnen, Yalemtsehay; Drager, Birgit. “Glucosinolates in Moringa stenopetala.” Planta Medica 69.4 (2003): 380-382.
Morton, Julia F . “The Horseradish Tree, Moringa pterygosperma (Moringaceae) — A Boon to Arid Lands?” Economic Botany 45.3 (1991): 318-333