These are the amazing medicinal and health benefits of Moringa oleifera (vernacular Sohanjna):
Table of Contents
The Miracle Tree
- Moringa tree has been referred to as the ‘Miracle tree’ for its versatility and experts all over the world believe Moringa to be an ideal plant to combat under-nutrition because of its nutritional benefits and availability.
- It has been estimated that fresh leaves of moringa plant contain.
- 4 times the vitamin A of carrots
- 7 times the vitamin C of oranges
- 4 times the calcium of milk
- 3 times the potassium of bananas
- 2 times the protein of yoghurt
Moringa in Drinking Water Treatment
M. oleifera seed extract is used worldwide, especially in rural areas of developing countries, to treat drinking water. Its seeds contain certain compounds which are carbohydrate-binding proteins that are able to reduce water turbidity because of their coagulant activity and reduce the growth of harmful bacteria such as E.coli.
Moringa May Lower Blood Sugar Levels
High blood sugar can be a serious health problem. In fact, it is the main characteristic of diabetes.
Moringa Fights Ovarian Cancer
There is a 10-fold to 20-fold increase in the follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) level and a 3-fold to 5-fold increase in the luteinizing hormone (LH) level in blood in menopause. Both hormones are known carcinogens for ovarian cancer.
Moringa oil is used in traditional medicines Moringa oil is used in traditional medicine in treating snakebites or wounds. It is also used in hair care products and also as machine lubricants.
Moringa as Biofuel
It is an economical and ecologically responsible alternative to traditional crops which are being used as fuel because it can grow on marginal land, and doesn’t require much maintenance, fertilizer or pest control.
Moringa Treating Neurodegenerative Diseases
The effectiveness of moringa has been very valuable in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. Research studies have shown that treatment with moringa extracts have the potential to alter brain monoamines like norepinephrine, serotonin and dopamine, and it even extends its protection against monoaminergic deficiencies related to Alzheimer’s disease
Moringa and Nephrotoxicity
Moringa extracts exert a protective effect against nephrotoxicity, which refers to the kidney problems caused as a consequence of exposure to certain drugs or toxins.
Studies have revealed that the nephroprotective effect of moringa helps in attenuating renal injuries due to its high antioxidant content. It serves as an effective bio-absorbent and helps in the removal of heavy metals and harmful toxins.
Moringa as Abortifacient
Moringa oleifera possesses anti-fertility qualities. Aqueous extracts of moringa exert estrogenic activity and are beneficial in the prevention of sexual implantation in the body
Moringa and Obesity
Moringa helps in combating obesity thanks to its highly nutritional and low-fat qualities. The impressive content of vitamin B in its leaves aids in digestion and converts the food into energy rather than storing it as fat
Moringa Culinary Use
Moringa is a “miracle tree” and most of its parts, including the leaves, bark, fruits and roots are used as food items.
- Leaves of its tree can be added to salads and are also used in the preparation of sauces and soups.
- Cold-pressed moringa oil is used for cooking and is appreciated for its long shelf life.
- The immature seed pods of the moringa tree, popularly known as drumsticks in India, are used in various dishes.
Moringa and Eye Health
Antioxidant-rich moringa oleifera is beneficial for providing protection against retinal damage.
Scientific studies have provided supporting evidence regarding the retinal-protective effects of moringa in test subjects.
Treatment with it helps in preventing the dilatation of retinal vessels and keeps the retinal vasculature intact. It also inhibits the thickening of capillary membranes and prevents any retinal dysfunction.
Moringa in Sickle Cell Disease
Moringa oleifera is effective in the treatment of sickle cell disease. Recent studies have validated the anti-sickling potential of moringa plant extracts, which is attributed to the presence of zinc and flavonols such as kaempferol, quercitin, and acacetin as well as phenolic acids such as melilotic acid and vanillic acid.
Moringa Eases Hypertension
Moringa is effective in maintaining optimal levels of blood pressure in the body. Bioactive components such as isothiocyanate and niaziminin that are present in it prevent the thickening of arteries and reduce the development of pulmonary hypertension.
Moringa Extracts Beneficial in Edema
Moringa extracts are beneficial in the treatment of oedema. Research studies have confirmed that treatment with moringa oleifera root extract, which possesses anti-inflammatory qualities, has been significantly effective in inhibiting the development of oedema.
Moreover, the studies suggest that the efficacy of moringa herb stands equal with the potent anti-inflammatory medicine indomethacin in the treatment of such painful conditions.
Moringa And Bone Health
Moringa extracts are beneficial for maintaining healthy bones, which is attributed to the presence of essential minerals like calcium and phosphorous.
Its extracts possess anti-inflammatory properties and are effective in the treatment of painful conditions such as arthritis, while also helping to heal various bone ailments such as mandibular or jaw bone fracture
Moringa Effective in Urolithiasis
Moringa extracts are effective against the formation of stones in the kidney, bladder and uterus. According to research studies, the administration of moringa root exerted anti- urolithic activity and resulted in a noteworthy reduction in the urinary oxalate levels.
The curative effect of moringa has also shown a reduction in the formation of stone deposits and aids in regulating endogenous oxalate synthesis.
Moringa Anti-fungal Properties
Leaves of moringa oleifera possess anti-fungal qualities. The inhibitory effects of moringa help in preventing the growth of diseases causing contaminant fungi such as Aspergillus spp. and Penicillium spp.
Moringa for Asthma
The benefits of moringa plant extracts also include relief from bronchial asthma and inflammation caused in the airways.
According to research, treatment with moringa helps to reduce the severity of asthmatic attacks and various symptoms such as wheezing, cough, dyspnea and tightness of the chest.
It extends its protective effects against bronchial constrictions and encourages better lung function and respiration.
Moringa as Anti-allergenic Behavior
Extracts of moringa seeds possess anti-allergenic qualities. Scientific research has validated the inhibitory action of moringa on the hypersensitive reactions involved in various allergic diseases, including allergic rhinitis and anaphylaxis.
Moringa Fights Cancer
Moringa is an anticancer agent and is highly valued in tumour therapy. Scientific research has demonstrated that moringa extracts possess chemopreventive properties attributed to the presence of the phenolic components quercetin and kaempferol.
Another study has demonstrated the role of the bioactive compound niazimicin in restraining the development of cancer cells. Moringa extracts impart chemo modulatory effects towards curing various types of cancers such as ovarian cancer, hepatic carcinogenesis and skin papilloma genesis by inhibiting the proliferation of malignant cancer cells and inducing apoptosis, also known as programmed cell death
Moringa and Herpes
It is effective against the infection caused by the herpes simplex virus. The healing effects of moringa herb prevent the development of skin lesions and inhibit the formation of plaque caused by the infecting virus.
Moringa Leaves and Drumsticks Provide Energy Boost
Our body is in constant need of energy just to function normally. The energy requirements of our body for the growth and repair of tissues are met by the food we eat, but as we age, our body faces more cellular damage and becomes less efficient in the regenerative process. This makes us tired and listless.
We often depend on energy boosters like caffeine, but they only provide temporary spurts. Besides, we tend to need ever-increasing doses to get the same effect.
Moringa has a heavy load of antioxidants to reduce cell damage. It also contains high amounts of vitamin, minerals, and most importantly, all the essential amino acids required for the repair and regeneration of tissues. This highly nutritious, wholesome food can provide a lasting energy boost.
Moringa in Treating Gastrointestinal Problems
Adding a handful of Moringa leaves to soups and vegetable dishes is the best way to keep things moving. Moringa leaves have a mild laxative effect.
The high fibre content facilitates easy movement of stomach contents along the digestive tract and relieves constipation.
Moringa can take care of minor digestive problems caused by gastrointestinal worms and microbes. The root extract is a herbal remedy for helminth worms.
Moringa Leaves Increase Breast Milk in Lactating Mothers
Of all the health benefits of Moringa, this is one of the most appreciated in Indian communities, especially in economically weaker sections, because breast milk is the mainstay of infants in the first year of life.
Moringa leaves toasted in a spoonful of butter would be given every day to lactating mothers as part of traditional postpartum care. If any ailments or general fatigue causes a decrease in breast milk production in the following months, Moringa leaves are added to the diet again.
This ensures not only plenty of milk supply but good weight gain and robust health for the infant.
Moringa Helps Control Eczema and Psoriasis
Moringa oil and extracts have an ameliorating effect on skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. The oil is non-irritating and moisturizing.
The anti-inflammatory substances in Moringa help control inflammation while the antiseptic effect protects the skin from secondary infections that exacerbate these conditions.
Moringa Reduces Acne and Blackheads
Ben oil helps in reducing common skin complaints such as acne and blackheads that arise from imbalances in oil secretion by skin glands. They are often worsened by bacterial and fungal infections.
Massage the oil on the face and allow it to be absorbed by the skin pores. The light nature of the oil unclogs the pores and lifts up the dirt and debris.
Moringa Controls Skin Wrinkles and Fine Lines
The Ben oil pressed from the seeds of the Moringa tree has a long history of being used as a skin detoxifier and wrinkle remover.
The Egyptians used it in cosmetic preparations as an anti-ageing emollient as early as 1400 BC.
Rich in vitamins A, C and E, and a number of B complex vitamins as well, it is no surprise that the oil has excellent antioxidant property.
Moringa Roots can Improve Kidney Function
Moringa tree is also known as horseradish tree because a spicy condiment similar to horseradish sauce can be prepared from its root. However, the active compounds found in the leaves occur in the root at much higher concentrations; hence, it is mainly used for medicinal purposes.
The diuretic and detoxifying properties of Moringa root extract help improve kidney function and resolve urinary tract infections.
Moringa root extract is used to treat kidney stones since it helps flush out excess calcium from the kidneys. While helping to expel the stones, it can reduce the associated pain and inflammation too
Moringa Stimulates Hair Growth
The abundance of Zinc, and Vitamins A, and E, as well as the amino acids required for the production of keratin, makes Moringa an excellent hair tonic.
Moringa seeds have very high-fat content. The oil extracted from the seeds is known as Ben oil, and it forms 40% of the seed. This edible oil is odourless with a light texture and sweet taste.
A unique feature of this oil is its stability and resistance to oxidation. The main component of Ben oil is a saturated fat called behenic acid, which does not become rancid on keeping, unlike most vegetable oils. This expensive oil is used in many high-quality skin and hair care products.
Moringa Dandruff and Other Scalp Problems
The light texture of Ben oil helps with absorption and is highly moisturizing. It promotes blood circulation and regulates the oil glands in the hair follicles, improving overall scalp health.
Application of the oil, as well as the seed extract, is found to be effective in controlling dandruff and hair loss.
Moringa Gives Relief from Insomnia
Including Moringa leaves and drumsticks in the diet is known to improve sleep. Taking Moringa extract or leaf powder may be just as effective. The amino acid tryptophan found in appreciable amounts in Moringa could be a contributing factor.
It is essential for the production of the neurotransmitter serotonin and the sleep cycle regulating hormone melatonin. Vitamin B6 is another necessary player in serotonin production, and Moringa is rich in that too
Moringa Relief from Rheumatoid Arthritis Provides
Moringa has immune-modulating properties that are particularly useful in treating autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, and psoriasis.
Many herbal preparations for arthritis include Moringa leaves. The anti-inflammatory effect reduces the pain and swelling of the joints.
Moringa Regulates Thyroid Function
Moringa seems to be having a regulatory action on the thyroid gland. For example, people with Grave’s disease or overactive thyroid find significant improvement in their symptoms on regular use of Moringa supplements.
Inflammatory conditions of the thyroid such as Hashimoto’s disease could be resolved without medication if Moringa is consumed regularly.
Moringa Leaves Promote Weight Loss
People taking Moringa leaf extract and leaf powder often report weight loss. This beneficial effect could be due to many factors.
The anti-inflammatory and diuretic effect helps reduce water retention. The high fibre content reduces fat absorption in the gut. The reduction in insulin resistance may prevent excess fat accumulation
Moringa Fights Inflammation
Inflammation can lead to chronic diseases like diabetes, respiratory problems, cardiovascular disease, arthritis, and obesity.
Moringa reduces inflammation by suppressing inflammatory enzymes and proteins in the body, and moringa leaf concentrate can significantly lower inflammation in the cells.
Moringa Reduces Some Diabetes Symptoms
Moringa leaf powder has been effective at reducing lipid and glucose levels and regulating oxidative stress in diabetic patients, which means it lowers blood sugar and cholesterol and improves protection against cell damage.
Moringa Protects the Cardiovascular System
Moringa leaf powder has heart-healthy benefits, particularly in blood lipid control, the prevention of plaque formation in the arteries, and reduced cholesterol levels
Moringa Supports Brain Health
Moringa supports brain health and cognitive function because of its antioxidant and neuro-enhancer activities. It’s also been tested as a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease with favourable preliminary results. Its high content of vitamins E and C fight oxidation that leads to neuron degeneration, improving brain function.
It’s also able to normalize the neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine, and noradrenaline in the brain, which play a key role in memory, mood, organ function, responses to stimulus such as stress and pleasure, and mental health, for example in depression and psychosis.
Moringa Protects the Liver
Moringa contains high concentrations of polyphenols in its leaves and flowers that protect the liver against oxidation, toxicity, and damage.
Moringa can reduce liver damage and fibrosis and reverse oxidation in the liver. Moringa oil can also restore liver enzymes to normal levels, reducing oxidative stress, and increasing protein content in the liver.
Moringa as Anti-bacterial
Moringa has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties that fight infections. It’s been effective against types of fungi that cause infections on skin and strains of bacteria responsible for blood and urinary tract infections and digestive problems.
Moringa Enhances Wound Healing
Moringa has blood-clotting properties in its leaves, roots, and seeds that benefit wound healing and can reduce clotting time, which means it reduces the time it takes for scratches, cuts, or wounds to stop bleeding.
Moringa Extract Lowers Serum Cholesterol
Mainstream medicine is starting to recognize some of the health benefits of Moringa, one among them being its capacity to reduce cholesterol. Many traditional medicine systems of Asia have been using the extract of Moringa leaves and root as heart tonics.
These herbal preparations have been shown to reduce serum cholesterol and the formation of atherosclerotic plaques.
Moringa as a Cleaning Agent
It is a powerful cleaning agent and moringa seed powder is used as an active ingredient in deep cleansing creams and lotions. It protects the skin from adhering pollution and smog.
Moringa and Cigarette
Moringa seed extract is used in protective creams and has the ability to provide protection against cigarette smoke and heavy metal pollution.
Moringa Better for Baby’s Skin
The ben oil which is extracted from moringa seeds is used to soften and soothe baby’s’ skin.
Moringa used in Cosmetics
The seed extract of moringa herb is popular in the cosmetic industry due to its therapeutic skincare benefits and skin purifying properties. It possesses the ability to filter out impurities that are deeply rooted within the skin and has an amazing detoxifying and rejuvenating properties.
It enhances the fairness of skin by balancing the natural skin colour and tone. A paste made from moringa leaves beautifies the skin and can be used as a face mask.
Moringa and Keratin
Moringa leaves also contain sulphur. This mineral is present in every single cell of the body and is the key ingredient for Collagen and keratin.
Collagen is an elastic substance that gives flexibility and softness to the skin and keratin is a rigid substance which gives the skin rigidity and strength. These two substances form the majority of skin tissue and are made up of proteins constructed from sulphur.
Moringa and Healthy Skin
Moringa leaves contain about 30 antioxidants that contribute greatly towards healthy skin.
Moringa oil is highly absorbable and hence helps in delivering these powerful antioxidants to the skin cells.
Moringa as Anti Age Factor
Moringa has been found to possess anti-ageing properties. The effect of free radicals on human skin causes the appearance of wrinkles and makes the skin aged and less resistant to lines.
Moringa has an excellent cleansing ability which aids in cleaning the skin cells of free radicals and restoring the vitality and youthful complexion of the skin.
Moringa and Hair Healthy
Moringa oil is a natural supplement for improving the health and strength of hair and scalp. Regular massage with this oil helps in reducing split ends and dandruff.
Moringa contains abundant quantities of minerals such as calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, selenium, copper and manganese which are essential for healthy hair.
It supplies rejuvenating vitamins and minerals to the hair follicles and tissues of the scalp.
Skin Benefits Of Moringa
Just like healthy hair, the supply of proper nutrients is vital for the maintenance of healthy skin.
Moringa is loaded with nutrients like calcium, vitamin A, B, C, D, E; minerals like copper, iron, zinc, magnesium, silica and manganese.
Moringa has moisturizing and nourishing properties and an excellent cleansing ability which makes it an active ingredient in skin care products it an active ingredient in skincare products
Moringa and Hair Loss
Moringa is a storehouse of all the nutrients required for healthy hair. Hair loss occurs due to the deficiency of vitamin B- especially B6, biotin, inositol and folic acid.
Proper blood circulation to the scalp enables hair follicles to grow stronger and healthier. Vitamin C together with vitamin E helps in the improvement of blood circulation in the scalp. It is vital to maintain capillaries that carry blood onto the follicles.
Vitamin E in Moringa
Vitamin E in moringa is a powerful antioxidant that stimulates blood circulation around the scalp. Proper flow of blood to the scalp helps in the absorption of more nutrients available in the hair.
Moringa as antioxidant
Moringa and Circulatory System Roots of moringa are used in traditional medicine to control disorders of the circulatory system, for stimulating appetite and to improve the functioning of the digestive tract.
In addition to these, they can treat sexual dysfunctions, female reproductive tract problems and arthritis.
Courtesy & References:
- By Mr Allah Dad Khan Visiting Professor University of Agriculture Peshawar, Pakistan
- 7 Miraculous Benefits of Moringa (Sohanjna)
- The Conversation