Moringa’s amazing nutritional properties and health benefits have long been known in the areas where it naturally grows, and are now widely recognized as a part of allopathic and alternative medicine. Its uses are so broad that, if you’re wondering whether Moringa is something you should be looking into, it can be hard to know where to start. This guide will give you an overview of why Moringa has come to been regarded as a superfood. Read on to learn about its properties and applications, as well as how you can incorporate it into your own diet and health regime for all-around well-being.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1:: What is Moringa?
Chapter 2:: Moringa’s Nutritional Properties and Health Benefits
Chapter 3:: Ayurvedic Medicine and Moringa
Chapter 4:: Mainstream Medicine and Moringa
Chapter 5:: Mental Wellbeing and Moringa
Chapter 6:: Moringa for your Beauty Regime
Chapter 7:: Incorporating Moringa into your Diet
Chapter 8:: References
Moringa (moringa oleifera) is a plant or tree which grows in dry, hot climates. The name ‘Moringa’ is thought to come from the word for ‘drumstick,’ because of the characteristic shape of the young seed pods which are used in many traditional recipes. The Moringa is a fast growing plant which can develop into a tree within a few years.
Originating from subtropical parts of the world, it prefers to grow in a warm, dry climate. As awareness of its health benefits has increased, attempts have been made to cultivate it in more temperate parts of the world.
Although Moringa has been grown with some success in parts of the U.S., it cannot survive freezing temperatures. Luckily, Moringa is readily available in a wide range of formats and supplements are available for those who would like to integrate it into their daily lives without having to grow a tree!
A wide range of health benefits are attributed to Moringa, but its status as a superfood and medicine is well deserved. In many parts of the world, the Moringa forms an important part of people’s diets. The flowers, fruit, seed pods and leaves of the plant are cooked and eaten in a variety of ways. The leaves in particular contain a wide range of nutrients including vitamins A, B, and C, potassium and calcium, as well as a range of other beneficial constituents explored further below.
 Moringa’s status as a superfood is undisputed, with many celebrities including actress Christina De Rosa  and supermodel Lily Cole  using Moringa to maintain their health and success. It is also bringing major health benefits to developing parts of the world, where food and clean water may be in short supply.
As well as providing a highly nutritious and quickly grown source of food, the ground leaves can be used as soap and the seeds even processed to filter impurities from drinking water. Moringa truly is a miraculous plant which is used in many ways, but it is the wide range of healthful nutrients it contains in amazingly high concentrations, which make its appeal universal.
Moringa delivers several important vitamins which are critical for human health. Vitamin A is vital for maintaining the immune system and supporting various organs of the body including the skin and nose and helps keep your eyesight sharp in low light. Vitamin C helps to look after the cells we are made up of so that the body can fight off infection and heal from injury.
B vitamins are widely recognized as vital for good physical and mental health and cover a range of nutritional needs, from maintaining the nervous system, to aiding the proper digestion of food so that as much energy as possible is absorbed. B vitamins also look after the skin and have a role in the production of hemoglobin so that the blood carries oxygen effectively.
They also support the metabolizing of fat, and processing of other nutrients. By including Moringa in your lifestyle, you will therefore be encouraging your body to use its own natural resources to keep itself healthy. You will also be naturally supported in maintaining a healthy weight and preventing many common and preventable diseases.
Moringa is also an important source of calcium, which is well known for its role in the development and ongoing health of our bones. Osteoporosis, a condition which affects bone density, is a common health problem thought to affect a quarter of older women in the U.S. Ensuring you have adequate calcium in your diet can help prevent pain, bone breakages, and resulting disability which osteoporosis causes amongst the elderly.
It is not generally recommended to take calcium supplements to maintain bone density, so making sure it is present in your diet by consuming natural products is particularly important.
 The nutrients present in Moringa are so rich, that the plant’s nutritional benefits are retained even when it is not available naturally. Incorporating prepared Moringa into your lifestyle is a natural way to ensure that you are receiving the vitamins your body relies upon.
Moringa has long been used in traditional medicine, including the Hindu system of Ayurveda (meaning knowledge of life.) The holistic approach of Ayurvedic medicine, combined with its focus on balance and plant-based medicines, has led it to be widely regarded in the West as an important alternative approach to maintaining health and promoting physical and spiritual well-being.
Moringa has been an important part of Ayurvedic remedies since its ancient beginnings, especially in the treatment of circulatory and digestive problems. Different parts of the Moringa tree are also used to treat diarrhea, aid fertility, heal abscesses and support weight-loss.
Preparations based on Moringa are also found useful for relieving headaches and treating diabetes. These traditional uses of Moringa have inspired modern practitioners and individuals to look closely at what this amazing plant can offer.
The use of Moringa in traditional medicine is so widespread that allopathic medicine has also started paying attention to its potential for treating a wide range of conditions.
For diabetes and hyperglycemia in particular, research suggests that the hypoglycemic effect of Moringa extract is ‘comparable to that of the anti-diabetic drug Glipizide.’ Patient trials have shown that tablets consisting of the powdered Moringa leaf encourage tolerance of glucose amongst diabetic adults.
 Moringa has also been shown to have general health benefits for everyone, such as limiting the uptake of cholesterol. It would seem that, besides treating serious conditions, the use of Moringa can actually prevent diseases and illness from developing.
Trials have even shown that Moringa could protect and repair the liver from damage, such as that caused by paracetamol. These properties are thought to be down to the combination of unique and complex nutrients present in Moringa.
The vitamins, ions, proteins and other beneficial constituents seem to have a compound effect which provides more health benefits than would be gained by taking the same nutrients individually.
A recent review of the vast range of medical research which has been conducted into Moringa argued for the fact that it does have medicinal benefits, but suggested that the reasons for this are not exactly understood and more studies are needed into exactly how it should be used before it can be generally prescribed in hospitals.
 Luckily, Moringa is readily available to everyone in a variety of fresh and prepared formats in the form of supplements, food, and other preparations. This means that its health properties can be enjoyed by everybody, as they have been through traditional diets and medicine throughout history and many parts of the world.
Stress has become a regular part of modern life for many, and Moringa is gaining a reputation for helping combat the physical and psychological impact stress has on our lives. With fast-paced working environments, busy family lives and the constant stimulation of technology, we are bombarded by more potentially stressful information than ever before.
Amongst the variety of amino acids present in Moringa, Valine is particularly associated with clarity of thought and a peaceful mind. By supporting cognition and working against poor sleep and anxiety, Valine supplies a natural boost to your mood. Moringa is also known for its energizing properties.
A simple cup of tea brewed from some dried Moringa leaves should leave you feeling restored and ready for whatever life might throw at you. A slice of ginger can be steeped with the tea, which might also be sweetened if you find the taste unusual. There is no caffeine present in Moringa, so its energizing and mood improving qualities can also help you tackle that coffee addiction!
There are obviously many ways in which Moringa promotes good mental health, but it seems to be the plant’s overall total combination of vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants which make it so powerful. The number of benefits to the metabolism and mind, which its unique mixture of nutrients provides, can help protect your natural balance and well-being well into the future.
Moringa contains many nutrients which support the repair and renewal of human cells, making it an ideal ingredient not just for your physiological health, but also your appearance.
This isn’t just about looking good. When you look fresh and well, your confidence and physical health are likely to improve too. Besides the high levels of vitamins and anti-oxidants such as manganese, which naturally occur in Moringa, there are other vital nutrients in the plant which are particularly suited to maintaining good skin, hair and nails.
The full range of amino acids present in Moringa are particularly important for how you feel when you look in the mirror. Lysine and Threonine help the formation of collagen, which is vital to maintaining good elasticity in the skin and potentially delaying the onset of wrinkles.
Methionine contains sulfur, which can promote good nail health. Lack of methionine has also been associated with the graying of hair, so ensuring you include this amino acid in your diet could have important preventative effects against many signs of aging.
With its natural combination of amino acids and anti-oxidants, it’s no wonder that high-end brands and luxury spas have started using Moringa in their products and treatments.
It makes particular sense to use Moringa in a face mask, which allows the skin time to absorb all of the goodness contained in the plant. You can make a simple mask yourself with ingredients you probably have in your kitchen already.
Dilute a little honey with some warm water to a smooth consistency, and add a little lemon juice. Finally, stir in a good spoonful of Moringa powder, or dried and crushed Moringa leaf. Apply the mixture to warm cleansed skin whilst you relax in the bath before gently washing off.
Cooking with fresh Moringa is a great way to get a natural boost of nutrients and health benefits into your diet, without having to buy supplements or add other preparations into your health regime. You should be able to find fresh Moringa leaves at your local Asian market, but don’t worry if you can’t find one. There are ways to use dried Moringa in your diet too.
Moringa leaves can be used in place of lettuce or spinach in a salad, but bear in mind that they can have quite a peppery bitter taste. Dried Moringa leaves and powder can also be used in cooking and smoothies, but adjust your quantities to account for the extra strength and potency Moringa has in powdered form. Here is a selection of great traditional and modern Moringa recipes to try:
A hearty omelette with fresh ingredients: http://www.moringamatters.com/moringa-omelette.html
Nutritious Indian recipes using Moringa: https://www.treesforlife.org/our-work/our-initiatives/moringa/how-to-cook/recipes-from-india
Cooking with dried Moringa leaves: http://moringafarms.com/recipes/cooking-dried-moringa-leaves/
8. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3290775/, Jaiswal D, Kumar Rai P, Kumar A, Mehta S, Watal G, Effect of Moringa oleifera Lam. leaves aqueous extract therapy on hyperglycemic rats (2009 Jun 25) J Ethnopharmacol 123(3):392-6
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