Moringa oleifera tree in a few words
Among the thirteen kinds of Moringa trees, Moringa oleifera is the most famous. This tree grows originally in subhimalayan regions, but it is now widely cultivated in several semi-arid, tropical and subtropical regions. All parts of the tree have been used for thousands of years for their various virtues. Those were first discovered in India, where ancient texts describe it as a medicinal plant. Nowadays, Moringa oleifera is a very common tree in many southern countries, where it is mostly used as food and as a medicinal plant, even though the tree has still much more potential (fertilizer, pesticide, water purifier, potential biofuel…). Researches about its uses are made on the international level.
Moringa oleifera leaf powder in a few words
Consumed as a freah vegetable in many countries, Moringa oleifera leaves are a very rich source in various minerals, vitamins, and proteins, which is an unsual fact for a plant. Grinded into a powder, they become a concentrate of nutrients, convenient for preservation and exportation. The United States, followed by Europe, started to have access to this plant from the late 90′ by importing it mostly as leaf powder. Leaf powder is also found in other parts of the world, as for example in drugstores in Thailand, where the virtues of Moringa oleifera are well known.
It is a natural and efficient food supplement that contributes to general health and well-being. Thanks to its various essentials nutrients, and to its detoxifying and antioxidant effect, Moringa leaf powder increases the energy, helps to clean the body, strengthens the immune system and helps against physical and mental weariness. It helps to maintain low levels of blood pressure, sugar and cholesterol. Scientific experiments on this plant are lead throughout the world in researches against different health issues, such as diabetes or cardio-vascular diseases, for example.
More about the virtues of Moringa oleifera leaf powder
The Moringa oleifera tree is both a food rich in nutrients and a medicinal plant in the countries where it is cultivated. However, as far as we are concerned, the Moringa oleifera leaf powder has to be seen as a food supplement and not as a medical treatment. We will also mention its medicinal properties, while insisting on the fact that it is not a medicine and that it does not, in any case, replace a doctor’s opinion.
Moringa and general health
Taking Moringa oleifera leaf powder on a regular basis gives to the body a great deal of essential nutrients and of antioxidants, while helping the body to eliminate toxins (also thanks to its diuretic effect). Therefore, it contributes to the general health of the body (the good functioning of organs, digestion, blood system…), increases the energy and strengthens the immune system. In short, including Moringa oleifera to your daily diet can help you to positively influence you health, energy and well-being!
Moringa and healthy diet
It can help those whose diet does not bring all essential nutrients to benefit from a balanced diet. Moringa oleifera leaf powder can for example help vegetarians to have the proteins essential to their health. It can help those who can not always have a healthy and balanced diet, may it be because of a lack of time or any other reason. It can also help breast-feeding mothers to increase their milk production.
Moringa, sugar and diabetes
Moringa oleifera leaves positively affect the sugar level in the body. It has been proved that eating them lowers the sugar level in the blood within three hours. It is an easy and natural way to act against today’s diet, often too rich in sugar, and to prevent the possible health issues that can come from it. Of course, even if taking Moringa oleifera leaf powder helps to balance sugar levels, it does not stand in for a balanced diet! A teaspoon of Moringa does not “cancel” a bunch of candies!
Moringa oleifera leaves are used in some folk medicines to treat diabetes and related health issues. Several scientific researches were made on rats with type 2 diabetes with very good results. Eating Moringa oleifera does not, in any case, stand in for a medical treatment, however it can be an interesting and natural “plus” for people affected by the disease.
Moringa, fatty acids and cardiovascular system
Several researches have showed the beneficial effects of Moringa oleifera leaves on the cardiovascular system : lowering and stabilisation of high blood pressure, lowering of cholesterol, lowering of lipid level in the blood, loss of body and heart’s weight, heart and blood system stimulation, anti atherosclerosis effect (acting against the clogging of arteries). It is used in phytotherapy in India to lower obese patients’ cholesterol level.
Moringa, stress and nervous system
Testimonies describe beneficial effects of a regular intake of Moringa oleifera leaf powder for people suffering of stress and/or lack of sleep, by helping to appease the nervous system and deepening sleep. Those effects have been scientifically studied and proved using Moringa oleifera root extracts, but not leaves.
Moringa and ulcer
Testimonies tell us that Moringa oleifera leaf powder can heal stomach ulcer. Scientific experiments showed that it can heal gastric lesions caused by acidity as well as preventing the development of gastric and duodenum ulcers.
Moringa and cancer
Experiments have showed that it can be of help in preventing cancer, in fighting cancer (within a medical treatment!), and in putting up with chemotherapy. Some of its constituents, such as niazimicin, have been proved to have anti-cancer properties and are still under study.
Studies on rats have showed that Moringa oleifera leaves can have a positive action in regulating hyperthyroidism.
Studies have proved that consuming Moringa oleifera leaves can have protective effects on the liver.
Various part of the tree, including the leaves, have been proved to have antibiotic and anti-fungus properties against some bacterias and fungus.
More about the nutrients of Moringa oleifera leaf powder
We can find so many pieces of information about the nutritive values of Moringa oleifera leaf powder on the web, that it is easy to lose track ! The range can go from a few vitamins to impressively long lists of nutrients (so much that we wonder if some really exist…!)
Actually, it is true that nutrients and their quantity will vary between two powders ; because of the soil, the climate, the quality of drying and of the packaging, etc…
We compiled two sources of information to create this chart* :
*The first source is from Lowell J. Fuglie's book, one of the first to have used Moringa oleifera powder in Africa. Analyses were conducted by Campden & Chorleywood Food Research Association and were sponsored by CWS and the Department of Engineering at the University of Leicester. We chose this source as it is the most widely used, and is often taken up in serious books ans articles.The second one is a study by Mélanie Broin, sponsored by the Centre Technique de Coopération Agricole et rurale (CTA) ACP-UE. In her study, Mélanie Broin collected a vast range of data and calculated their average values. We chose this source as we think it offers a valuable comparison to Fuglie's data, and allows to picture the actual variations that can exist between different powders.
How to use Moringa oleifera leaf powder
It is best to take it with a meal, but it is important not to cook it (as it would diminish its nutritional value). Moringa oleifera leaf powder is a food (or a food supplement), it is not a medicine : it is best to consume a little bit of it regularly as prevention instead of taking big quantities of it on a small period of time as a medicine. However, it can help increasing energy and the body’s defenses during an illness or a recovery (but again, particulary if taken regularly).
It can be added to any meal (after they have been cooked, since heating the powder too much would make it lose some nutrients) or to drinks, according to one’s taste. It will not be tasted in spicy dishes. If you are interested in traditional recipes (using fresh leaves, fruits, flowers or seeds), click on the link to our sources page below.
How much ?
During the first 3 to 5 days : It is advised to start with little intakes (1/2 or 1 teaspoon per day), in order to let the body get used to it.
During the 2 following weeks : Increase to 1 or 2 teaspoons per day according to your needs (you can go up to 3 teaspoons if you are very active and healthy).
Later on : Regulate your intake according to your needs and to your body reactions. Only regularity is the key ! Some people take it every day, some every two or three days ; some people take 1 teaspoon per day, others 2 or 3. It is up to you to feel what suits you best !
When you want and as many times as you want, but always with some food and without exceeding the recommended daily dose.
Do not take too much, too soon ! It can cause nausea, dhiarrea, flatulences, and hot flushes.
It can have a laxative effect if one takes too much of it and/or on an empty stomach. It is not advised to take a lot of it outside meal time. To get the laxative effect, 2 teaspoons on an empty stomach should be enough.
The powder slightly thickens the blood : if you are undergoing an anticoagulant treatment or if you are pregnant, consult your doctor before taking Moringa oleifera.
Contains oxalic acid ; contained in many types of food (especially rhubarb, sorrel, spinach, …), it fixes calcium but it can be toxic in very high quantities. For healthy people, it is naturally eliminated by urine, but it should be avoided by those who have oxalemia, oxalic urolithiasis, renal failure, kidney stones, tendency to have cystisis or gout.