The Miracle Tree: Moringa Oleifera
Have you ever heard of the Miracle Tree? Perhaps, your answer is “no” because if the majority of the people in the world knew the fact that there is a tree that can cure more than 300 diseases and is extremely nutritious with amazing benefits for health, beauty, climate and even water purification, it would either be too expensive or out of stock but luckily it is not only cheap but is also easily available as it is highly cultivable mainly in South Asia, Africa and also being grown in Latin America, the Caribbean, Florida and the Pacific Islands.
The plant is Moringa oleifera, also known as the Drumstick Tree, the Ben Oil Tree and the Horseradish Tree. It has been used for centuries for treating malnutrition and for other health benefits due to its antifungal, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties. Almost all the parts of the M. oleifera are suitable for either nutritional or commercial benefits.
Facts of Moringa
- It is internationally referred as “panacea” which means “cure to all diseases”.
- Moringa plant is almost entirely edible. The leaves, pods, seeds, flowers and even it roots for several health benefits.
- Each part has substantial nutritional value.
- Moringa is one of the few plant sources of Omega 3s in the world.
- It has few known side effects.
- People taking medications for thyroid, diabetes and pregnant women should consult their doctor before taking Moringa extracts.
WHAT IS IN MORINGA?
Actually the question should be what not? No wonder you will be thinking same if you read it till the end.
Following are the nutritional constituents of leaves, leaf powder, seeds and pods:
|Nutrients||Fresh leaves||Dry Leaves||Leaf Powder||Seeds||Pods|
|Carbohydrates (g)||12.5||41.2||38.2||8.67 ± 0.12||3.7|
|Protein (g)||6.7||29.4||27.1||35.97 ± 0.19||2.5|
|Fibre (g)||0.9||12.5||19.2||2.87 ± 0.03||4.8|
|Fat (g)||1.7||5.2||2.3||38.67 ± 0.03||0.1|
|Magnesium (mg)||42||448||368||635 ± 8.66||24|
|Copper (mg)||0.07||0.49||0.57||5.20 ± 0.15||3.1|
|Vitamin B1 (mg)||0.06||2.02||2.64||0.05||0.05|
|Vitamin B2 (mg)||0.05||21.3||20.5||0.06||0.07|
|Vitamin C (mg)||220||15.8||17.3||4.5 ± 0.17||120|
|Vitamin E (mg)||448||10.8||113||751.67 ± 4.41||–|
Leaves of Moringa
The leaves of Moringa are the most nutritious part of the plant which are extremely rich in antioxidants, fibers, fat, proteins, vitamins and minerals. In fact, dried moringa leaves are said to provide 12 times more vitamin C than oranges, 10 times more vitamin A than carrots, 17 times more calcium than milk, 9 times more protein than yoghurt, 15 times more potassium than bananas and 25 times more iron than spinach. Various amino acids like Arg, His, Lys, Trp, Phe, Thr, Leu, Met, Ile, Val are present.
Fruits or Legumes of Moringa
The pods or legumes of Moringa are specially healthy and tasteful, they contain fiber, lipids, fatty acids, vitamin C and potassium and are a good source of magnesium and manganese.
Seeds of Moringa
Contains Ben oil (oleic acid), antibiotic called pterygospermin, and fatty acids like Linoleic acid, linolenic acid, behenic acid, Phytochemicals like tannins, saponin, phenolics, phytate, flavanoids, terpenoids and lectins. Apart from these, fats, fiber, proteins, minerals, vitamins like A, B, C and amino acids.
Flowers of Moringa
It contains nectar along with calcium and potassium and amino acids.
Roots of Moringa
Alkaloids like morphine, moriginine, minerals like calcium, magnesium and sodium are present. The root bark has medicinal values and is used for dyspepsia, eye diseases and heart complaints. According to some experts, Moringa root and root bark are might be unsafe to be eaten raw.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF MORINGA OLEIFERA?
From health and beauty to the cure and prevention of diseases, this tree is believed to have amazing benefits. Miracle tree for various reasons!
Prevents and Treats Cancer
Various studies have shown that moringa can be used as an anti-neoproliferative agent, to inhibit the growth of cancer cells.
Protects and Nourishes Hair and Skin
Moringa seed oil contains vitamins A, B, antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids that enhance the hair growth, balances the oil production in scalp and keeps them clean and healthy. It also moisturizes and protects the skin and delays the signs of aging.
Makes Bones Healthier
It contains calcium and phosphorous, which makes bones healthier and stronger. Moringa extract can also provide relief in joints pain and can heal the damaged bones.
Improves Vision and Eye Health
Moringa is rich in Vitamin A and anti-oxidants: Carotenoids; Beta-carotene that improve vision and may stop the dilation of retinal vessels, prevent the thickening of capillary membranes, and inhibit retinal dysfunction.
Reduces High Blood Pressure
Moringa contains niaziminin and isothiocyanate compounds that help to stop arteries from thickening, which can cause blood pressure to rise. Also, the presence of high amount of potassium makes moringa is an excellent addition to a diet for preventing high blood pressure.
Several studies have shown that moringa can act as an anti-diabetic agent. It helps to decrease the amount of glucose in the blood as well as sugar and protein in the urine.
Protects against Kidney Disorders
iIt contains high levels of antioxidants that reduce toxicity levels in the kidneys and are linked to reduction in the progression of kidney diseases.
Treats Anemia and Sickel Cell Disease
Moringa helps a person’s body absorb more iron increasing their red blood cell count. The plant extract is very helpful in treating and prevent anemia and sickle cell disease. It has been reported to contain a rich store of elements like zinc, which possesses antisickling activity, as well as organic acids. Drumstick leaves are also rich sources of flavonols and Phenolic acids which could be responsible for exhibiting antisickling activities.
Helps in Wound Healing
Extract of moringa has been found to heal wounds as well as reduce the appearance of scars.
Aids in Digestion
Moringa extracts also provide relief from constipation, ulcerative colitis and gastritis. The high vitamin B levels aid in digestion. The antibiotic and antibacterial properties of moringa may help inhibit the growth of various pathogens.
Treats Mood Disorders
According to the study, M. oleifera possesses antiepileptic and anxiolytic effects possibly mediated via GABA mimetic action thus helpful in reducing epilepsy, anxiety and depression.
The Alkaloid Moringine found in this plant functions like ephedrine and is useful to treat asthma and relaxation of bronchioles. It aids in better lung function and breathing overall.
The anti-inflammatory properties of moringa are effective in preventing edema from developing. Moringa treats varicose veins, peripheral edema, pulmonary edema, and might be effective for macular edema for diabetes.
Protects Liver Function
Moringa is well established as a powerful anti-inflammatory agent. It does not only reduce liver damage but also protects against hepatitis, restore liver enzymes and prevent liver injury. It causes hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis run smoothly, which in turn helps the liver run smoothly.
Fights against Bacterial Diseases
Due to its antibacterial, antifungal, and antimicrobial properties, moringa extracts combat infections caused by Salmonella, Rhizopus, and E.coli etc.
Moringa seeds act as a natural flocculent and coagulant for clarifying the turbid water.
Effect on the Climate
It has been reported that carbon dioxide absorption rate of Moringa oleifera is twenty times higher than that of general vegetation.
How to eat Moringa oleifera?
The best and easy way to consume moringa is to drink it, by stirring its powder in water, mixing in smoothies, making moringa tea, sprinkling it into soups and salads or can be added in the baking items. Moringa capsules and tea are also available.
In conclusion, there is a great potential for Moringa tree to improve the livelihoods all over the world. Therefore, planting this tree will mitigate the impacts of climate change and making it the part of our diet will treat the most of our health issues. Besides its usefulness and medicinal properties it is still underutilized and underexploited in most of the parts of the world, In order to discover and utilize full uses of this miracle tree, market development strategies, strong policies, and researches are still required.