What is Moringa Oleifera?
The Miracle of Moringa Tree Leaves (Moringa Oleifera), commonly called the ‘drumstick tree”, and ‘horseradish tree’ is native to India but has been planted around the world and is naturalized in many locales. Moringa is one of the most powerful health-enhancing plants. While many things found in Nature can have one or two health benefits, Moringa has many. India’s ancient tradition of ayurveda medicine sites 300 diseases that are treated with the leaves of the Moringa tree. Recent scientific research has proven that these humble leaves are in fact a powerhouse of nutritional value.
Moringa leaf is best known as an excellent source of nutrition and natural energy booster. This energy boost is not based on sugar, and so it is sustained. Moringa is also soothing. It helps lower blood pressure and is a sleep aid. Its detoxifying effect may come from Moringa’s ability to purify water. Moringa acts as a coagulant attaching itself to harmful material and bacteria. It is believed that this process is taking place in the body as well.
While the continued use of Moringa for food and medicinal purposes by cultures in separate and distant parts of the world attest to its beneficial effects, Moringa is a recent “discovery” of modern science. The leaves of Moringa Oleifera are nature’s multi-vitamin providing 7 x the vitamin C of oranges, 4 x the calcium of milk, 4 x the vitamin A of carrots, 3 x the potassium of bananas, and 2 x the protein of yogurt. On top of that, science is proving Moringa to be a power house of nutrients; 90 are known to date, with the possibility of more yet to be identified. If that were not enough, Moringa has no known impurities, with no adverse reactions ever recorded.
Medicinal Qualities of Moringa Leaves
- Juice from the leaves is believed to have a stabilizing effect on blood pressure and is used to treat anxiety. It is believed to control glucose levels in cases of diabetes.
- Mixed with honey and followed by a drink of coconut milk 2 or 3 times a day, leaves are used as a remedy for diarrhea, dysentery and colitis.
- Leaf juice, sometimes with carrot juice added, is used as a diuretic. Eating leaves is recommended in cases of gonorrhea because of the diuretic action.
- Leaves and buds are rubbed on the temples for headache.
- A poultice is made from fresh leaves and applied to reduce glandular swelling.
- Leaf juice is used as a skin antiseptic.
- Leaves are used to treat fevers, bronchitis, eye and ear infections, scurvy, and catarrh (inflammation of the mucus membrane).
- Leaves are considered to be anthelmintic ( able to kill intestinal worms).
- Leaves are used as a purgative.
- Eating leaves is believed to increase a woman’s milk production and is sometimes prescribed for anemia.
Better Protein Than Soy
Moringa is considered to have the highest protein ratio of any plant so far identified, with the protein in Moringa being comparable in quality to that of soy. Food scientists once believed that only soy had protein comparable to meat, dairy, and eggs. Now they have added Moringa to that very short list. Some even consider Moringa protein better than soy protein as it is non-allergic. Proteins are digested into smaller units known as amino acids. Moringa contains 18 of the 20 amino acids required by the human body including all eight of the essential amino acids found in meat products. (Meat is a luxury most people around the world cannot afford). The body cannot manufacture those eight essential amino acids and must get them through the food we eat. Moringa is one of very few plants that contain all eight.
More Impressive Than Olive Oil
Oleifera is a Latin term meaning oil containing. The Moringa oil, known as ben oil, (due to the high concentration of behenic acid contained in the oil) is extracted from the seeds. Moringa Oleifera seeds contain 35-40% oil by weight and can yield more oil per hectare than sunflower or peanuts. The oil has more impressive attributes than olive oil. It is used in cooking and cosmetics; and because it won’t spoil and turn rancid, it is also used as a preservative and machinery lubricant, even being used as a lubricant in fine watches. What’s left after the oil has been extracted from the seeds is called seed cake, which is used as feed to increase milk production in cows.