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Moringa: Tree of Life or Scam

Updated on October 7, 2017
Gina Welds-Hulse profile image

Natural Health Coach, Herbalist, Aromatherapy Consultant using the power of essential of essential oils to improve health and well-being.

Just one of my Moringa specimens!

My Moringa tree....getting ready to be harvested before the cooler weather hits.
My Moringa tree....getting ready to be harvested before the cooler weather hits. | Source
My moringa tree on September 10, 2016, filled with pods.
My moringa tree on September 10, 2016, filled with pods. | Source

Why I grow my medicine!

Since I was diagnosed with lupus and various other overlapping illnesses several years ago, and nearly suffering cardiac arrest as a result of the numerous medications that I was put on, I have spent countless hours researching more natural remedies that would heal my body. As a result of all my research, I decided to study to be an Herbalist, and became certified about a year later. It was certainly worth it. During that time I went back to my roots of growing up in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands and reminded myself of the herbs that existed just outside in our yard which we used regularly. It was not until I came to college in the USA that I even tried any pharmaceutical, prescribed or OTC.


I grow my own Miracle Tree! Do you?

Imagine for a moment having a tree in your yard that has the potential to meet your nutritional needs, has numerous medicinal benefits, could potentially make water safer to drink, and even save the world from malnutrition.

Don't think a tree like this exists??

Seems too good to be true??

Think again!

It does, and it is called Moringa!

I have 3 in my yard, and I think every yard should have a moringa tree!! It is very easy to grow a Moringa tree.

Do you have a Moringa tree?

Do you have a Moringa tree?

See results

Harvested moringa leaves to be dried and made into tea bags, blended with other herbs such as lemongrass and peppermint.

Moringa leaves picked and ready to be dried.
Moringa leaves picked and ready to be dried. | Source

A Simple Way to Dry Moringa Leaves

Making Moringa Capsules

Have some Moringa!

"Have some Moringa!!"
"Have some Moringa!!"

Ancient remedies

The Moringa tree is magnificent in that all of the parts of the tree has some benefit.

Ancient remedies

According to India's ancient tradition of Ayurveda, there are claims that the leaves of the Moringa tree prevent 300 diseases.

Modern science seems to confirm the basic idea that the leaves of the Moringa tree do have the ability to help numerous ailments.

Scientific research has proven that these humble leaves are in fact a powerhouse of nutritional value.

Gram for gram, Moringa leaves contain:

  • 25 times more iron than spinach
  • 17 times more calcium than milk
  • 4 times more protein than eggs
  • 15 times more potassium than bananas
  • 10 times more Vitamin A than carrots
  • 20 types of amino-acids
  • 46 antioxidants
  • 36 anti-inflammatory compounds
  • more than 90 nutrients
  • an excellent source of minerals like iron, calcium and vitamins A, B, B1, B2, B3, B6, C, E
  • excellent source of macro minerals, trace minerals and phytonutrients
  • a good source of quality protein and dietary fiber

There are numerous species of the Moringa, but the one I will be concerned about, and the one which is cultivated mostly is the Moringa Oleifera.

Great tips on how to ensure you get the best Moringa, plus how to make the leaf powder, and how to use it.

Moringa Flowers

Moringa Flowers

Moringa Oleifera flowers are considered a delicacy in many locales. They are often mixed into other foods, especially salads.

Moringa flowers are great added to or used on

-Lasagna -Omelettes - Stuffing
- Vegetarian Pizza - Lentil Soup - Cooked brown rice
- Herbal teas - Cream of broccoli soup - Cream of spinach soup
- Scalloped potatoes - Tuna salad - Creamed vegetables
- Corn bread - Enchiladas - Scalloped potatoes
-Salad dressing - Split pea soup - Scrambled eggs
- Tossed salad - Greek salad - Pasta dishes
- Vegetable dip - Tamalés - Grilled sandwiches

How To Make Curried Moringa Pods

Moringa Pods

Moringa pods, picture taken at a friend's home in Jamaica
Moringa pods, picture taken at a friend's home in Jamaica | Source

Moringa Pods

I found this great recipe for the moringa pods or drumsticks are they are called in India on Veg recipes of India.

It is absolutely delicious!

Drumstick Masala

INGREDIENTS (measuring cup used, 1 cup = 250 ml)

Grind to a smooth paste:

  • 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • ½ inch ginger, chopped
  • 2-3 garlic, chopped

other ingredients:

  • 4 to 5 medium drumsticks
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds/sabut jeera
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder/haldi
  • ¼ tsp red chilli powder
  • ¼ tsp punjabi garam masala or regular garam masala
  • a pinch of asafoetida/hing
  • 1 to 1.5 cups water
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • salt as required
  • few coriander leaves for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Rinse, peel and chop the drumsticks into 3 to 4 inches pieces long.
  2. Make a smooth paste without adding any water from the onions, tomatoes, ginger and garlic.
  3. Heat oil in a pan. crackle the cumin first. Then add the ground paste.
  4. Be careful when adding the paste. It might splash.
  5. Stir well and then add the turmeric, red chili powder and asafoetida.
  6. Saute stirring often till you see oil leaving the sides of the masala.
  7. Add the drumsticks and stir so that the masala coats them well.
  8. Pour water and season with salt. Cover the pan and let the drumsticks cook till they become tender and well cooked. They should not break and become mushy.
  9. Lastly, sprinkle garam masala and stir. Garnish the drumstick masala with coriander leaves.
  10. Serve drumstick masala with steamed rice or any khichdi.

NOTES

You can adjust the spices as required.

Moringa Seeds

Moringa seeds have the potential to purify water.  This has a lot of significance for many countries where getting clean water is a problem.  By leaving the dried seeds in a bottle of unclean water overnight, between 90-95% of the bacteria can be pur
Moringa seeds have the potential to purify water. This has a lot of significance for many countries where getting clean water is a problem. By leaving the dried seeds in a bottle of unclean water overnight, between 90-95% of the bacteria can be pur
Moringa seeds, dried.  Can be ground into a powder or planted.
Moringa seeds, dried. Can be ground into a powder or planted. | Source

Moringa Seeds

The moringa seeds:

  • contain 40 percent edible oil known as Ben oil, which is clear, sweet and odourless, rich in antioxidants and is similar to olive oil in terms of its nutritional profile.It has an indefinite shelf life as it does not turn rancid like other oils.
  • are used in the manufacture of perfumes and aromatherapy oils.
  • have the potential to purify water

Moringa Roots, Bark and Gum

Roots of moringa:

  • are used in traditional medicine to control disorders of the circulatory system
  • aid with stimulating appetite
  • help to improve the functioning of digestive tract
  • treat sexual dysfunctions
  • treat female reproductive tract problems
  • aid in relieving arthritis symptoms
  • According to research, certain elements contained in moringa roots can cure ovarian cancer, kidney stones and inflammations.
  • improve the overall kidney function by enabling the body to flush out calcium and phosphates from kidneys more efficiently.

Moringa Oil

Source

Moringa Oil

The seeds of moringa contain 40 percent edible oil known as Ben oil:

  • clear, sweet and odourless
  • is rich in antioxidants
  • is similar to olive oil in terms of its nutritional profile
  • has an indefinite shelf life as it does not turn rancid like other oils
  • has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic benefits
  • perfect for treating rashes, burns, minor cuts and insect bites
  • helps with battling fatigue, by providing energy to the body.
  • promotes good sleep
  • has very high levels of vitamin C, helping to boost the immune system, and to keep the skin and body healthy.
  • is great for the hair, helping with split ends, dandruff and keeping the scalp healthy, in general.

Malnutrition throughout the world
Malnutrition throughout the world
Where Moringa grows
Where Moringa grows

Moringa's potential could save millions of lives!

Moringa, known by various names throughout the world, has enormous potential for benefiting humanity. It could:

  • Improve human health

  • Increase livestock's weight gain and milk production

  • Enhance plant growth and crop yields

Moringa trees have been used to combat malnutrition, especially among infants and nursing mothers. Five NGOs in particular — Trees for Life International, The Christian and Missionary Alliance, Church World Service, Educational Concerns for Hunger Organization, and Volunteer Partnerships for West Africa — have advocated moringa as "natural nutrition for the tropics." One author stated, "the nutritional properties of Moringa are now so well known that there seems to be little doubt of the substantial health benefit to be realized by consumption of Moringa leaf powder in situations where starvation is imminent." Since Moringa thrives in arid and semi-arid environments, it may provide a food source during dry seasons.

To recognise the value of the plant, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations featured M. oleifera as the Traditional Crop of the Month in September 2014.

Want to grow your own Moringa tree? Find out how here.

General Health Benefits of Moringa

1. Boosts Stamina

Moringa is a complete package of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytonutrients. As a result, this supplement is great for boosting your energy and stamina as well as increasing concentration. Students can use it to improve concentration. Athletes can benefit in the form of increased endurance during exercise. Moringa also aids in weight loss because it provides enough energy and vitality to reduce the need for eating to increase energy levels

2. Controls Diabetes

It is extremely beneficial for diabetic patients. Moringa Oliefera capsules or a drink made from moringa powder can be consumed for keeping the level of sugar normal. Thus, it is a cost effective home remedy for diabetic patients

3. Antioxidants

Moringa powder is rich in catechin polyphenols, particularly epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) which is a powerful antioxidant for inhibiting the growth of cancer cells

4. Lowers Cholesterol

It is also effective in lowering LDL cholesterol levels and inhibiting the abnormal formation of blood clots.

5. Controls Blood Pressure

Another benefit of moringa powder is its soothing ability which enables it to lower the blood pressure and promotes good sleep. It is a natural remedy for insomnia as it possesses certain properties that can treat sleeping disorders

6. Detoxifies

It is often used to purify water due to its detoxifying effects. Being a coagulant agent, it can attach itself to hazardous bacteria and other agents. In a similar manner, when consumed, it helps in removing toxins from the body

7. Treats Depression

Moringa leaf powder is effective in treating depression and anxiety as well. You can make it a part of your diet and see the results within a couple of days

9. Good For Pregnant Women And Lactating Mothers

It is particularly beneficial for pregnant and breast-feeding women who are at the risk of suffering from nutritional deficiencies. Around 6 spoons of moringa powder satisfy nearly all of a woman’s daily iron and calcium needs during pregnancy and breast-feeding

10. Treats Minor Infections

Due to its medicinal value, this supplement is used for the treatment of minor bacterial and fungal infections, lowering blood sugar levels, anemia and weight loss.

11. Improves Immunity

In addition to the benefits given above, it improves immunity, provides nourishment to the eyes and brain, promotes metabolism and cell structure; and encourages the normal functioning of liver and kidney.

Moringa and Skin Benefits

Moringa and skin benefits
Moringa and skin benefits

Skin Benefits of Moringa

Moringa plays an important role in skincare as well. Its vast array of nutrients makes it extremely beneficial for your skin.

1. For Glowing Skin

Moringa powder can be used directly as a face pack or can be mixed with fuller’s earth or sandalwood paste and applied on face for smooth, glowing and blemish free skin.

2. Delays Ageing Process

It is an excellent source of antioxidants with high contents of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E and bioflavonoids. Active oxygen radicals cause skin diseases by stealing electrons from normal healthy biological molecules. These nutrients help to block the oxidation of healthy tissue by active oxygen, thus delaying the ageing process and lowering the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

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.

3. Heals Wounds

This powder can also be applied on cuts and wounds. It heals the cuts and wounds fast and offers a clear skin devoid of wound marks.

Moringa and hair

Source

Hair Benefits of Moringa

Having a healthy body is a pre requisite to healthy hair. Health problems or nutritional deficiencies can hinder hair growth and cause several hair problems making your hair damaged and brittle. As stated earlier, moringa powder contains all the essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals conducive to healthy hair. Moringa contains abundant quantities of minerals such as calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, selenium, copper and manganese which are essential for healthy hair.

1. Aids In Keratin Formation

Certain vitamins, minerals and amino acids contained in moringa powder support the metabolic pathways involved in the formation of keratin protein which is vital for healthy hair. It also contains the amino acid Methionine which supplies sulphur to your hair, thus preventing hair loss.

2. Aids Improved Hair Growth

Optimum supply of oxygen and nutrients from the circulatory system to the hair follicles is vital for hair growth. Being high in vitamin A, moringa powder encourages hair growth and maintenance. It also works with silica and zinc to prevent drying and clogging of the sebaceous glands which are involved in producing sebum. Deficiency of vitamin A can cause thickening of scalp, dry hair and dandruff.

3. Stimulates Hair Growth

Moringa leaf powder also contains zinc which stimulates hair growth by enhancing the immune system. Zinc deficiency can result in atrophy of hair follicles due to impairment of DNA and protein synthesis.

4. Provides Nutrients To Hair Follicles

Moringa powder is rich in vitamins. Deficiency of B vitamins, particularly B6, biotin, inositol and folic acid causes hair loss. On the other hand, Vitamins C and E improves scalp circulation, thus making more nutrients available to the hair follicles to grow stronger and healthier hair. Vitamin C is required for maintaining capillaries that carry blood to the follicles.



Moringa Tea

I like to use 1 tsp. of the dried moringa leaves to a cup of hot water, with a tsp. of lemongrass, and some ginger powder, sweetened with some raw honey or stevia to taste.

You can play around with the recipe until you find a blend that you love!

Moringa Smoothie

1 cup coconut milk, or almond milk or your choice of nut milk, 1 tsp. of moringa powder or dried leaves, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. turmeric, 1/4 cardamom, 1/2 frozen banana, 1/2 granny smith apple. You can also add spinach or kale, I like to add ginger, nutmeg and other spices to my smoothie.

Blend and enjoy!

Moringa and its implication for lupus treatment

Its strong anti-inflammatory properties could be good for rheumatism, joint pain, arthritis, edema and lupus. It is regarded safer than NSAIDS and does not have the undesired side effects that come with pharmaceuticals.

As a lupus patient, I am thrilled to be able to go into my backyard and harvest my own moringa products.

Concluding words

Looking at the benefits of Moringa , it is imperative to include it in our diets and daily regime. With its antioxidant, purifying and detox properties it is the skin’s best friend. Always do a patch test before applying any new product on your skin like ben oil and the paste of moringa leaves. Moringa is an easy and delicious way to reap the benefits.

Medicinal potential of Moringa is enormous and difficult to cover in a single article, despite this current article provided glimpses of Moringa applications for performing appraisal of this promising nutrition and medicinal plant. Although, many bioactive compounds have been discovered from Moringa, still the knowledge is in infancy, in term of its total reserve. Perhaps, future rigorous studies directed towards the detection, and commercialization of Moringa bioactive compounds can lead to the development of remedies for several ailments. Thus, it can also prove the validity of traditional utility of Moringa in various folklores.

Disclaimer:

These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA.

How To Dry Moringa Leaves Using A Paper Bag

Have you tried Moringa?

Have you tried Moringa?

See results

UPDATE: Moringa Liquid Fertilizer For Plant Growth

Recently I have been experimenting with making a liquid fertilizer using Moringa leaves. I figured that if it had such benefits for the human body, imagine what it could do for the plants and vegetables.

Moringa Liquid Fertilizer For Plant Growth

© 2015 Gina Welds Hulse

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    • Gina Welds-Hulse profile image
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      Gina Welds Hulse 11 months ago from Rockledge, Florida

      Hi Shauna. Sorry I took so long to respond. I was just going through my hubs and realized that you commented. Yes, Moringa is an amazing tree. I recently just planted another one. I trimmed back the fully grown one that I have after it was damaged during Hurricane Matthew, but it has come back beautifully. We don't seem so far apart. Who knows....maybe one day we can get together and I can introduce it to you in person... a cup of Moringa tea with some ginger cookies.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 13 months ago from Central Florida

      Wow, moringa sounds amazing! Funny, I've never heard of it until I read your article on how to grow a moringa tree.