The moringa tree grows easily in semi-arid, tropical and sub-tropical climate and is reported to be beneficial for human beings as its various parts are edible. Some of the most commonly used parts are moringa leaves and seeds. Moringa seeds and roots are used to extract oil and the flowers can be cooked and eaten.
Apart from these, its bark, sap, seeds, oil, leaves, roots and flowers are used in making traditional medicine in many countries.
Moringa leaves are a storehouse of nutrients. They contain seven times more potassium than bananas and twice the amount of protein as that contained in milk. Milk is considered to be an important source of calcium, but moringa leaves contain four times more calcium than milk. They contain four times more vitamin A or beta carotene than carrots. Moringa powder which is prepared by grinding the dried leaves of moringa contain seven times more vitamin C than oranges, 25 times the amount of iron in spinach, 36 times the amount of magnesium in eggs, 50 times more vitamin B3 than peanuts and 50 times more vitamin B2 than bananas.
Moringa Benefits for Health :
The most amazing thing about moringa is that all parts of this plant including its bark, roots, leaves, flowers, seeds, sap and pods are a storehouse of nutrients and antioxidants. Thus, this plant possesses innumerable health benefits and has the capacity of curing several diseases. For this reason, it is referred to as the ‘miracle tree’ and is widely used in traditional medicine. The various health benefits of moringa are as follows.
- The seeds of moringa contain 40 percent edible oil known as Ben oil. This clear, sweet and odourless oil is rich in antioxidants and is similar to olive oil in terms of its nutritional profile. It has an indefinite shelf life as it does not turn rancid like other oils.
- Moringa leaves are the most widely used parts of this plant. These leaves are edible. They contain three times more iron than spinach.
- Moringa contains all the essential amino acids needed by the body. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins which are needed to grow, repair and maintain cells. Human body manufactures 10 to 12 amino acids. The remaining 8 amino acids are known as the essential amino acids which should be provided from everyday diet and moringa contains all of them.
- The Moringa leaves helps in boosting energy levels in a natural manner, which is long lasting. It is also found to heal ulcers, restrict tumours, reduce arthritis pain and inflammation and control blood pressure.
- Daily consumption of moringa as part of the diet improves body’s natural defence mechanism. It is an immune stimulant and it is often prescribed for AIDS afflicted patients.
- It is rich in vitamin A or beta-carotene and acts as an effective weapon against blindness.
- It plays an important role in lactating mothers. Consumption of moringa is reported to cause a dramatic increase in breast milk.
- As it balances the sugar levels, it can be extremely effective against diabetics.
- Increased consumption of junk food in the present scenario can lead to high cholesterol levels. Moringa helps in balancing the cholesterol levels in the body.
- Consumption of moringa leaves stimulates metabolism and cell structure of the body.
- This plant also has several antibacterial properties and hence can be used as a purifier and as a natural detoxifier.
- Moringa seeds mixed in impure water can help in absorbing all the impurities.
- Moringa helps in the removal and excretion of toxic build up by attracting toxins from the blood.
- No side effects of moringa leaves have been reported. Hence, it can be safely consumed by children and adults. Nowadays, it is used in porridge, pastas and breads to increase the nutrient content of meals.
- Moringa supplements are better than most of the multivitamin and calcium supplements available in the market which use synthetic ingredients. Moringa supplements are prepared from moringa leaves and pods which are natural sources of calcium and multivitamins. Their processing method increases the availability and absorption of nutrients by the body.
- Moringa seeds are used in the manufacture of perfumes and aromatherapy oils. The flowers of moringa are used in making herbal tea which contains flavonoids and antioxidants.
- Due to their anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties, moringa supplements facilitate quick healing of minor injuries like bruises, cuts and burns.
- Roots of moringa are used in traditional medicine to control disorders of the circulatory system, for stimulating appetite and to improve the functioning of digestive tract. In addition to these, they can treat sexual dysfunctions, female reproductive tract problems and arthritis.
- According to research, certain elements contained in moringa roots can cure ovarian cancer, kidney stones and inflammations. They improve the overall kidney function by enabling the body to flush out calcium and phosphates from kidneys more efficiently.
Moringa Benefits for Hair :
- Healthy hair improves the physical appearance to a great extent. Health problems or nutritional deficiencies can damage the hair and cause problems like dandruff, split ends and breakage. Hence, proper intake of vitamins and minerals is essential for maintaining healthy hair. Certain vitamins, minerals and amino acids are involved in the formation of keratin protein.
- Moringa Oleifera has a high content of vitamin A, thus promoting hair growth and maintenance. Optimum delivery of oxygen and nutrients from the circulatory system to the hair follicle is vital for proper hair growth. Vitamin A plays an important role in the development of healthy cells and tissues in the body and reduction of hair loss. Deficiency of vitamin A can cause thickening of scalp, dry hair and dandruff.