Moringa tree, or ‘the miracle tree of life’, is a plant with a wide range of medicinal uses and high nutritional value. The nutritional value and amazing health benefits of the plant Moringa Oleifera tree have been recognized and used in many cultures in various parts of the world for hundreds or even thousands of years.
Only recently it has gained popularity in the U.S. and European markets. Moreover, “it was recognized by the National Institutes of Health as the Botanical of the Year for 2007, and praised again in 2011 and 2012.”
This miraculous plant is native to northern India, Pakistan, the Himalayan region, Africa and Arabia, and it is also known as drumstick tree or horseradish tree. Moringa Oleifera tree is a rich source of vitamins, minerals, proteins, beta-carotene, amino acids and various phenolics.
Furthermore, it is also abundant in moringine, moringinine as well as in quercetin, kaempferol, rhammnetin, zeatin, beta-sitosterol, and caffeoylqunic acid.
As stated before, this plant has a wide range of healthy properties, so it “can act as cardiac and circulatory stimulants, possess antitumor, antipyretic, antiepileptic, anti-inflammatory, antiulcer, antispasmodic, diuretic, antihypertensive, cholesterol lowering, antioxidant, anti-diabetic, antihelminitic, antiurolithiati, hepatoprotective, antibacterial and antifungal activities.”
All its parts are high in nutrients and are edible. Moringa leaves are consumed either in the form of fresh salad, drinks, or steamed as spinach. Its flowers are rich in potassium and calcium, and are very nutritious and consumed as food.
The young fruits of Moringa tree can be eaten raw or be prepared the same way as green beans or peas, while fully grown fruits are usually eaten fried.
The fruits of this tree contain around 40% of oil ingredients, which are used to produce cooking oil, also known as Ben oil, which is very similar to olive oil. In addition, Moringa fruits’ peel can serve as a natural replacement for sunscreen lotion.
Although all its parts are beneficial and healthy, the most utilized part of it are its leaves which “seem to be getting the most market attention, notably for their use in reducing high blood pressure, eliminating water weight, and lowering cholesterol.”
These remarkable leaves “contain 7 times the vitamin C found in oranges, 4 times the calcium in milk, 4 times the vitamin A in carrots, 2 times the protein of yogurt, 25 times the iron in spinach, and 3 times the potassium in bananas.”Its leaves are said to contain:
- 1271% of daily dose of iron
- 272% of daily dose of vitamin А
- 22% of daily dose of vitamin C
- 5% of the daily dose of calcium
- 61% of daily dose of magnesium
- 41% of daily dose of potassium
Moreover, a number of studies “show that moringa leaves possess anti-tumor and anti-cancer activities, due in part to a compound called niaziminin.
Preliminary experimentation also shows activity against Epstein-Barr virus. Compounds in the leaf appear to help regulate thyroid function, especially in cases of over-active thyroid. Further research points to anti-viral activity in cases of Herpes simplex 1.
The glucose-modifying, anti-diabetic effects of moringa may prove of great use amidst a virtual epidemic of Type 2 diabetes and obesity. The liver-protective activities of the leaf and its extracts could make it a staple component of bitters formulas and various cleansing preparations.”
This tree abounds in medicinal uses and health benefits, but each part of it can be used for different purposes. The Miracle Trees website lists some of the benefits and medicinal uses of the different parts of this excellent plant.
- Moringa seeds are used for their antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties to treat cramp, sexually transmitted diseases,arthritis, rheumatism, gout and boils. They can also be used as a relaxant for epilepsy. The seeds should be roasted, pounded, mixed with coconut oil and applied to the problem area.
- Moringa seeds contain the potent antibiotic and fungicide terygospermin, so they are effective against skin-infecting bacteria Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
- Seed oil can be used for the same ailments as seeds. Roasted seeds and oil can encourage urination.
Flower juice improves the quality and flow of mothers’ milk when breast feeding.
It is also useful for urinary problems as it encourages urination.
In Haiti, villagers boil Moringa flowers in water and drink the tea as a powerful cold remedy.
Due to high protein and fiber content, Moringa pods can play a useful part in treating malnutrition and diarrhea.
If eaten raw, pods act as a de-wormer and treat liver and spleen problems and pains of the joints.
- Due to high protein and fiber content, eating Moringa food products is good for those suffering from malnutrition.
- Leaves treat fevers, bronchitis, eye and ear infections, as well as inflammation of the mucus membrane.
- The iron content of the leaves is high, and they are reportedly prescribed for anemia in the Philippines.
- Leaf tea treats gastric ulcers and diarrhea.
- Leaves rubbed against the temple can relieve headaches.
- To stop bleeding from a shallow cut, apply a poultice of fresh leaves.
- There is an anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory effect when applied to wounds or insect bites.
- Dried Moringa leaves treat diarrhea in Malawi, Africa.
- Leaf extracts can be used against bacterial or fungal skin complaints.
Moringa Roots, Bark and Gum
The bark and roots of Moringa Tree possess all characteristics described above, but in higher concentration. This means that if used as medicines, much more care should be taken.
- The bark is used as an appetizer and digestive. On the other hand, the alkaloid spirachin (a nerve paralysant) has been found in the roots. Both roots and bark are used in cases of inflammation, for cardiac and circulatory problems and as a tonic.
- In Senegal and India, roots are pounded and mixed with salt to make a poultice for treating rheumatism and articulars pains. In Senegal, this poultice is also used to relieve lower back or kidney pain.
The gum of this potent plant is diuretic, astringent and abortifacient and is used against asthma.
Moringa oil, (Oil of Ben) is used for hysteria, scurvy, prostate problems and bladder troubles.
It is also used to treat stomach disorders by villagers in Oman. They also use it in perfume and hair oil.
Moringa and Siddha
The leaves of this tree are said to be full of medicinal properties by Siddha medicine. Its powerful seeds are used as a sexual virility drug for treating erectile dysfunction in men and also in women for prolonging sexual activity.
Moringa and Ayurveda
Ayurveda considers Moringa as one of the most useful and valuable plants. It makes use of all its parts. The Ayurvedic medicine of India uses Moringa Tree products in numerous health conditions, for treating liver disorders, an aid in childbirth, as a natural antibiotic, and many other uses.