What Is Moringa?
It’s a tropical tree that can survive droughts. Moringa is often called the drumstick tree because of its skinny, foot-long pods. It also goes by mother’s best friend, the miracle tree, the never die tree, and the ben oil tree. You can eat almost all of the moringa, including the seeds, flowers, bark and leaves, however, caution should be taken with consuming flowers, bark and roots. The safest option is to consume the leaves in various forms. Do not use when pregnant.
History of Moringa
There are different types. Moringa oleifera — the most studied one — comes from south Asia and has been eaten there for centuries. Moringa is also common in Africa. It’s been used to treat everything from tumors to toothaches by traditional medicine practitioners. Even further back is the evidence that Moringa oil was used by Egyptian royalty in their daily beauty routines and general wellbeing. All over the world, some ancient culture has used Moringa for various benefits.
Moringa’s peppery, herb-like tasting leaves are often eaten as a vegetable. They’re also dried and ground into a powder used in soups and curries. The powder is great for supercharging smoothies, yoghurt and porridge. Moringa powder is a complete supplement containing everything in terms of minerals, 11 amino acids and vitamins. All vitamins except Vitamin B12. It’s high in protein and can be used as a substitute for meat, fish, and eggs. Moringa leaves have been used to help treat malaria, arthritis, skin diseases, diabetes, all inflammatory diseases and more. Make double sure that the powder you are using is bright green and from a hygienic source.
The white flowers of the moringa tree taste like mushrooms and have amino acids, calcium, and potassium. You can cook, fry, or steep them to make tea. They’ve also been used in traditional medicine to treat tumors and muscle diseases, and to boost your sex drive although very little studies have been done by western medicine to prove these facts or the application of said flowers to a patient’s needs. Avoid unless the person using the flowers know what they are doing.
Moringa bark extract has been used to help treat stomach issues, anemia, diabetes, and other conditions. Studies show it may help fight bacteria, although more studies need to be done on how the bark should be ingested before it can be considered safe. Avoid unless the person using the flowers know what they are doing.
They’re full of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin C, calcium, and potassium. You can eat them raw, or boil or crush them. Moringa seeds can also be pressed into cooking oil. They are high in oleic acid and very potent addition to your beauty routine. The oil is also a very potent anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal agent often used to treat wounds and for massaging. Good quality oil however is the key.
Moringa is a distant cousin of broccoli, kale, and cabbage. The roots can be ground to make a paste that tastes like horseradish. The paste can help with snakebites, toothaches, and malaria. But be careful — the roots and root extracts can be toxic so do not use unless you are absolutely sure how to use it and how much. It can be fatal!
Help or Hype?
Moringa is packed with phytochemicals and antioxidants. It is also an antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory. Moringa users have found it helps with diabetes and cancer due to its blood sugar stabilizing action and ph balancing actions. Most studies have been done very low key on humans as big pharma are not fans of natural aids, but you can ask around and those who know moringa will tell you, it really is a superfood! Note that the UN also uses Moringa in their food parcels, so they have got to use what gets most bang for their buck! And thousands of years can’t be wrong…
Eating large amounts of moringa might be dangerous. Though the leaves give pregnant mothers plenty of vitamins and minerals, the bark may cause uterine contractions. Therefore it is advised that pregnant mothers not take moringa products but lactating mothers can in smaller doses if milk supply is a problem. Studies has proven very successful in increasing milk supply in lactating mothers. Lab studies show that moringa could lead to liver and kidney damage, as well as infertility if consumed in huge doses over a long period of time and without the proper flushing the kidneys with daily consumption of required water intake.
Powder or Pill?
You can buy moringa leaves and seeds. Moringa also comes in powder, liquid, pill, tea, concentrate and oil forms. It all comes down to preference. If you don’t like the taste, then capsules will be better. If you need a milder form for some reason, the tea will be better for you. If you are very active, have an inflammatory disease or suffer from diabetes, you would need a higher dose either in the form of powder or concentrate. Beware that not all concentrates are equal! Enquire as to the strength as some sell a watered down powder mix as a concentrate. This is not the same. A concentrate will have some form of alcohol base used in the extraction process so it will have a little alcohol zing to it. Don’t worry you wont get intoxicated by it. You will just taste the zing as it was used in the process.
In the Kitchen
You can put moringa powder in your stews, soups, yoghurt, smoothies, oatmeal or even guacamole. You can mix it in anything you can handle the taste in. Some clients even add it to their fruit juice. Some take it with their morning coffee. Mix the leaves with basil in pesto. Or add the leaves to your salad for a peppery punch. Your leaves in any food with a saucy base will work wonders for your system.
Moringa seed oil is in some cosmetics. You can even use it to grease machines, although this is a very expensive option. The seed cake — the part of the seed left after oil is taken out — is full of potassium, phosphorus, and calcium. It can be used as fertilizer or even added to animal feed. Some countries even use the seed to purify water. This versatile tree really is the ‘miracle tree’.
Information taken from article on WebMd,, Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on February 24, 2020
SOURCES: University of California Cooperative Extension: “Moringa.” University of California: “Moringa -- the new superfood?” Johns Hopkins Magazine: “Is The Moringa Tree The Next Superfood?” Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations: “Traditional Crops: Moringa.” Missouri Botanical Garden: “Moringa oleifera Lam.” International Journal of Molecular Sciences: “Cultivation, Genetic, Ethnopharmacology, Phytochemistry and Pharmacology of moringa oleifera Leaves: An Overview.” Journal of Public Health in Africa: “Investigation of medicinal plants traditionally used as dietary supplements: A review on Moringa oleifera.” Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center: “Moringa oleifera.”