Moringa ‘Drumstick Tree’ – A Plant Ending Malnutrition

Horseradish Tree Family

Moringa oleifera

Moringa has so. many. uses.

Moringa is native to Africa and Asia but cultivated in many parts of the world that are semiarid, subtropical and tropical. It is a part of Ayurvedic medicine in India as an antibiotic, aid in childbirth, treatment of liver diseases, and more. Various countries utilize moringa, such as people in Haiti using it to treat colds and in Africa to treat diarrhea. Other uses of moringa by numerous other countries are:

  • blue colored dye
  • fertilizer for plants
  • gum for making medicine and condiments
  • honey and sugarcane purifier
  • flowers are a rich source of pollen for honey making bees
  • fencing support around gardens
  • decoration
  • disease prevention within soil for the cultivation of other plants
  • pulp for paper
  • mat and rope making
  • tanning hides
  • enhance seed germination

Moringas uses only continue on. The nutritional value of this plant is immense. Most fascinatingly, it is used to fight malnutrition in developing countries. Malnutrition does not only affect developing countries. It also exists in developed countries such as the US and the UK. Recently, this plant is being utilized by numerous organizations to combat malnutrition among people in Africa. In Senegal and Benin, powdered leaves of moringa are offered at health facilities to treat moderate malnutrition in children. It is highly recognized to be a plant that could end malnutrition issues all over the world if properly obtained and cultivated.
In one study, among the four Moringa species, Moringa oleifera is found to have the highest amount of nutrients and antioxidants, which are strongly recommended to be taken in order to relieve symptoms of HIV/AIDS, another epidemic in many countries. Additionally, this study mentions moringa seeds being put into seed kits that are then distributed to farmers, women groups, and other people in Africa. This further emphasizes the importance of spreading moringa given its incredible abilities.

What is the Nutrition Inside Moringa?

This table outlines the power of moringa compared to six, common foods 

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Moringa contains phytochemicals. Phytochemicals are chemicals inside any given part of a plant that can prevent or combat diseases. The phytochemicals in Moringa are:

  • tannins
  • steroids
  • triterpenoids
  • flavonoids
  • saponins
  • anthraquinones
  • alkaloids
  • reducing sugars

These phytochemicals each have distinct disease fighting and health maintaining abilities.

+Plus+

Moringa is an excellent source of:

  • protein
  • vitamins
  • β-carotene
  • amino acids
  • zeatin
  • quercetin
  • βsitosterol
  • caffeoylquinic acid
  • kaempferol

These phytochemicals, vitamins, minerals, and more all contribute to the following:

Blood and Heart Health

Antihypertensive, Diuretic, and Cholesterol Lowering Activities

The leaves are known to ease hypertension, commonly known as high blood pressure. A compound called nitrile is what is within the leaves that have the stabilizing effect on blood pressure. Other compounds within the leaves, such as the nitrile groups, are rare in nature, making moringa even more unique. Not only the leaves but the roots, flowers, gum, and seeds are diuretic, the stimulation of urine production. Diuretics are used to treat conditions such as heart failure, influenza, and some kidney diseases. The leaves also have cholesterol lowering abilities due to the βsitosterol mentioned in the list above. In a study on hypercholesteremic rabbits, the fruit showed to lower cholesterol, low-density lipoproteins, and the lipid profile of the liver, heart, and aorta.


Muscle and Liver Health

Antispasmodic, Antiulcer and Hepatoprotective Activities

The roots and leaves have anti-spasmodic activity in which they block calcium channels, therefore relaxing muscles. This ability is due to certain compounds that are researched for their contribution towards the relief of diarrhea and gastrointestinal disorders. The leaf extract has ulcer-reducing abilities of cold-restraint stress and aspirin-induced ulcers. The quercetin and flavonoids are connected to moringas hepatoprotective activities which are activities that protect the liver. Moringa is found to have blocked two serums, AST and ALT, which indicate serious liver conditions.


Fights Bacteria and Fungus

Antibacterial and Antifungal Activities 

The roots of Moringa are antibacterial in that they are rich in agents that eliminate bacteria, fungus, and other microbes. Pterygospermin, an antibiotic chemical in the plant, is one of the main factors that contribute to the plant’s powerful bacteria and fungus killing abilities. The flowers also have a compound similar to pterygospermin with antibacterial and antifungal effects. The bark has a compound that fights against Staphylococcus aureus. In addition, the juice of the leaves shows to inhibit the growth of pathogens Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus. Other studies have found Moringa to decrease the growth of both gram-positive and gram-negative pathogens and bacteria strains. This further backs the reason people traditionally rub this plant on cuts and skin infections and drink for eye and ear infections.


Preventing Tumor and Cancer Growth

Antitumor and Anticancer Activities

Moringa leaves have been researched for their antitumor activity by inhibiting tumor-inducing antigens, such as the Epstein-Barr virus-early antigen. Another study found the bioactive compound niazimicin to inhibit two-stage mouse tumorigenesis. Not only niazimicin but also compounds like βsitosterol and benzyl isothiocyanate have antitumor properties. The study also found a reduction in papilloma and 50% reduction in tumor promotion in mice. Not all tumors are cancerous, yet some have the potential to be and research in reducing their growth and size show promising for the fight against cancer. Niazimicin is found to be a chemopreventive agent and effective on hepatic carcinogen metabolizing enzymes. This study found high doses of moringa decreased the number of tubular adenocarcinomas. The fatty acids are thought to contribute to its effects in inducing apoptosis, or cell death, of cancerous cells in colon carcinogenesis. It also found Moringa to be potent against lung and liver cancer cell lines and even showed 95% inhibition in neuroblastoma cancer cell lines. The plant’s phytochemical structures play a major role in protecting against the damage caused by carcinogens.


Reduce Inflammation

Anti-inflammatory and Anti-diabetic

Inflammation has been proven to be reduced internally and externally with the utilization of Moringa along with treating hyperglycemia. The seeds, in particular, show effective in the reduction of inflammation. Hyperglycemia is the excess of glucose in the blood plasma which results in high blood sugar levels. When the hormone insulin is underproduced, the amount of sugar in the blood is not properly regulated. Research shows people with diabetes have more inflammation compared to non-diabetic people. Internal inflammation plays a role in the development of type 2 diabetes and, in reverse, diabetes contributes to the persistence and development of that inflammation.


Rich Source of Nutrition

Anti-oxidant and Amino Acids

Research reported Moringa to contain antioxidant phenolics, vitamins A, C, and E and found to be significantly higher than vegetables that are known to be full of antioxidants, such as strawberries, hot peppers, carrots, and soybeans. This study states there are high levels of β-carotene, protein, vitamin C, calcium, and potassium, in addition to the antioxidant compounds ascorbic acid, flavonoids, phenolics and carotenoids that also improve shelf-life. The study continues to state that moringa is the ideal dietary supplement due to its rich content of oestrogenic substances, β-sitosterol, iron, phosphorus, copper, α-tocopherol, riboflavin, nicotinic acid, folic acid, pyridoxine and amino acids methionine, cystine, tryptophan, and lysine.


Weight Loss

Anti-obesity

A study was conducted on groups of rats both fed high-fat diets but one with Moringa extract in order to evaluate the antiobesity effects of the plant. The research found the rats fed a high-fat diet with Moringa were remarkably thinner than the groups of rats fed the exact same high-fat diet without the plant extract. The results suggest this plant can prevent and reduce weight gain as well as maintain current weight. It is a promising supplement that can fight against the obesity epidemic affecting both developing and developed countries.


The leaves, roots, seed, bark, fruit, flowers and immature pods of Moringa are all used towards something in one way or another.

If Health Benefits Weren’t Enough…

Moringa purifies water

Moringa seeds are powdered and poured into dirty water for water treatment. Electrical charges between muddy particles and powder result in the mud and dirt to settle to the bottom of the water due to gravity force. The powder settles mud and carries 90% of bacteria and viruses with it to the bottom. These coagulant properties are all natural and just as effective as synthetic coagulants. Moringa seeds can reduce polluted water by 92-99%, soften water, and correct pH. It reduces 50% of zinc and chromium, 60% of cadmium, 80% of lead, and 90% of copper in the water in order to make it more drinkable for humans. This water purifying plant is less expensive than synthetic cleaners and vital for local farmers and people living in areas without drinking water.

 

* The statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information contained in this website is intended for education, entertainment and information purposes only. This information is not intended to be used to diagnose, prescribe or replace proper medical care. The plant described herein is not intended to treat, cure, diagnose, mitigate or prevent any disease.