- Diet & Weight Loss
How to Lose Weight With Moringa
While weight loss fads come and go – occasionally something comes along that might actually be helpful in fighting the battle of the bulge. Moringa, an herb from the Moringa oleifera plant, which is native to India and Uganda, shows unusual promise.
Also known as Behen, Indian horseradish or the drumstick herb, moringa comes from the leaves, root and willowy branches of the plant, which resembles a tree if allowed to grow to its full height. The leaves of the moringa are commonly harvested, dried and ground into a powder to make supplements that are widely available online or in health food stores. Moringa leaves are also considered an unusually nutritious food when steamed and eaten in the same manner you would eat spinach.
I’m not a scientist, but moringa seems to be working for me so far. Through trial and error, I’ve developed my own moringa weight loss program. I’m not the type to starve myself or radically alter my lifestyle, so moringa had to fit MY lifestyle – not the other way around. In this article, I’m going to share how I use moringa and even how I grow it.
What’s in Moringa?
The very few studies completed so far on moringa indicate that the herb is safe for use by most people and it contains a high density of nutrients. There are no clinical studies, to date, on moringa’s effect on obesity, but anecdotal evidence suggests that the herb speeds up metabolism, takes the edge off voracious appetites, and produces an energetic sense of well-being.
According to the PDR for Herbal Medicines, moringa contains glucosinolates, oleic acid, palmitic acid and phenol carboxylic acids. When prepared as a tea, which is the way I like to use moringa, these constituents produce an aromatic and warming effect.
Quality Moringa Sources
How Does Moringa Help Weight Loss?
The PDR says that moringa is used for gastrointestinal complaints, but it doesn’t specify what type of complaints. It appears to have a stimulating effect on metabolism, which could cause the body to burn calories faster. If I understand the process correctly, the glucosinolates present in moringa breakdown into isothiocyanates in the body, some of which are absorbed in the intestines. This is the same type of activity that results from eating raw cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli.
I can eat a little raw broccoli here and there – but I’m not a big fan, so munching on the veggie probably wouldn’t be the diet for me. In addition to a mild metabolism boost, moringa is high in protein, amino acids and beta-carotene, and it appears to be able to jump-start the circulatory system, which I figured might be beneficial to offset my occasional couch-potato behavior.
Moringa's Oval Leaflets
How to Use Moringa for Weight Loss
After reading dozens of reviews from folks that used moringa and found it beneficial for weight loss, I decided to try it myself. You have to understand that I’m not a person who hurries into anything so I decided to order seeds and grow my own moringa. This was over two years ago and I had to wait until last spring to plant the seeds.
This is my second season for growing moringa, and I detail how to grow it below, but right now, I’d like to share how I use moringa and how it’s helped me drop a few pounds.
I started by picking a few new leaves from my plants and munching on them. They’re not bad tasting, but they don’t taste like chocolate either, so I experimented with additional ways to consume the herb. I dried it – I ground it – I added it to soups and I eventually settled on making my own formula of moringa tea.
You can use the dried moringa herb that Amazon sells, you don’t have to grow your own if you don’t want to wait a few months to start the moringa diet.
Ziga's Active Ingredient is Moringa!
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Making Moringa Tea
I make my moringa tea every night before I go to bed and I put it in the fridge to drink the next morning. I pour 2 cups of boiling water over 2 teaspoons of dried moringa leaves. I use a tea ball infuser, because I don’t want to strain the tea later. I make my tea in a Ball glass canning jar.
After the liquid cools down I put the lid on the jar ( I leave the infuser in the jar) and pop the jar in the fridge.
My Moringa Tea Routine
You can experiment and develop your own moringa tea routine, but this is the one that works the best for me. First thing in the morning, I enjoy two or three cups of coffee. I don’t eat breakfast, and I tried all those diets that said I HAD to eat breakfast because it was the most important meal of the day – but they only had the effect of making me hungrier during the day. My body was telling me that I wasn’t hungry in the morning so why cram more food into my face?
Anyway, I enjoy my coffee and then I get dressed, get the kids dressed and make their breakfasts. About an hour or so later, I usually start to feel a little hungry. I get my moringa tea out of the fridge and remove the infuser ball. I pour the tea over ice in a large glass and add a squirt of liquid Stevia, my favorite no-calorie natural sweetener.
After enjoying my moringa tea – I wait about ten or fifteen minutes before making something to eat. That’s the only time I take moringa during the day. I experimented with taking it in the afternoon and evening, but I was unable to fall asleep quickly at night, and it didn’t seem to have any additional weight loss effect.
Use Only Quality Moringa
Weight Loss Results
I’ve come to the conclusion that all bodies are different and what works for you might not work for me and vice versa, but here are my weight loss results from taking moringa daily.
I kept a log of my diet and exercise habits and during the first two months that I took moringa as a tea in the morning, I lost 13 pounds. That’s not a huge amount, but keep in mind that I didn’t do anything else different other than adding the tea to my morning routine.
After two months, I added a brisk 45-minute walk every day to my routine and I lost 10 pounds in the next three weeks. Bad weather set in after that and I didn’t walk as often so my weight loss slowed down to an average of 1 to 2 pounds per week. Then, I ran out of moringa and didn’t start using it again until recently when my newest crop of moringa started producing leaves.
UPDATE: Okay, my moringa plants totally died when strong straight-line winds came swooping down and knocked the pots over, exposing the roots to the air. I might try growing more next summer but for now - I'm just going to buy the herbal tea and the capsules.
I’m kind of hit-and-miss these days with my moringa tea, mostly because I’ve lost the extra pounds I wanted to lose. If I put on a couple of pounds, however, I’ll go back to drinking the tea for a couple of weeks.
Moringa might have sped up my metabolism but it also curbed some of my cravings, specifically my cravings for sweets and carbs. Usually, I’m a bread and pastries fiend. I like donuts and I love homemade bread, fresh from the oven. When I drink the moringa tea, my cravings for carbs seem to be slightly less. I still enjoy a slice of fresh-baked bread with real butter, but I don’t take a second slice. I can easily pass up the Snickers bar I used to have mid-afternoon and I just don’t crave that bowl of ice cream that I used to crave.
I can’t promise moringa will do the same for you – but I’m very interested in hearing your experiences if you decide to try my moringa tea diet.
Growing Your Own Moringa
I live in the Midwest, so my climate gets too cold to overwinter moringa and my plants will have to come inside this fall. Last year, they died at the first frost before I could put them in pots and bring them in. This year, I planted them in large pots from the start so all I have to do is bring the pots inside and put them in my sunroom.
Right now, they are healthy and still developing upright branches with small oval-shaped leaves. You can order moringa seeds from many places, but I got my best deal on eBay (see the link below).
I soaked the seeds overnight in lukewarm water and then planted them in large pots in well-drained soil. I like to put a few rocks at the bottom of my pots and then add a mix of sand and garden soil on top of that. If your soil is heavy, you can add perlite or just use sterile potting mix.
Cover the seeds to a depth of about ½-inch and keep damp until the seedlings sprout. After that, put the plants in a sunny place and water when the soil dries out. Moringa grows in arid climates so it doesn’t do well when overwatered, but I’ve found that the leaves shrivel if the soil gets too dry.