Moringa oleifera is commonly called Malunggay, or a plant that is often called the drumstick tree, the horseradish tree, the ben oil tree or the miracle tree and is widely cultivated in subtropical or tropical areas.
Moringa has been used for centuries due to its effectivity in terms in medicinal practices and health benefits. It’s widely popular for its large amount of important nutrients and as herbal medicine.
Moringa contains variety of high amount of proteins, vitamins, and minerals. Moringa has many healthful compounds such as Vitamin A, Vitamin B-complex (such as B1, B2, B3, B6, etc.), Vitamin C, Calcium, Potassium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, and Zinc. It also has antifungal, antiviral, antidepressant, and anti-inflammatory properties.
The most widely used part of this miracle tree are its seeds, which have been part of the traditional diet.
The leaves of Moringa is used for extraction in order to make tea or juices and is commonly consumed as vegetable. There are other parts of Moringa that also gives many benefits too such as the pods, flowers and roots.
Here is some list of health benefits of Moringa:
- Lowers Blood Sugar Level – the malunggay leaves tea is one of the most powerful herbal medicine to treat diabetes. A cup of tea could satiate its effectiveness and is achieved by normalizing the level of glucose and lipids while simultaneously regulating oxidative stress in people with diabetes.
- Helps Lower Cholesterol – moringa is one of the many effective plants to lower your cholesterol and helps prevent the risk of heart disease.
- Protects Liver – a regular intake of malunggay leaves tea can help restore the liver enzymes to their normal levels as it increases the protein content in the liver, reduces oxidative stress, and minimize damage because of the high polyphenol concentration it contains.
- Aids Digestion – malunggay leaves tea contain a high amount of dietary fiber making it one of the best herbal remedies to speeds up your metabolism and helps you digest food better as this tea is good for the digestive tract and stomach and prevent digestive problem such as hyperacidity and stomach ulcers.
- Boosts Immune System – malunggay leaves tea can boost your immune system ten times better since the leaves are rich in many nutrients, Vitamin C, antioxidants and antibacterial character that strengthen your immune system to fight contagious disease.
- Fights Diseases – malunggay leaves tea has multiple antioxidants such as flavonoids, beta-carotene, quercetin, chlorogenic acid and Vitamin C that helps to fight, eradicate and prevent the growth of disease cells. The leaves are known to be a natural cure for different diseases such as tumor, prostate disease, skin disease and breast disease. It also contains niazimicin, a compound that helps to suppress the cancer cells development.
- Fights Inflammation – the substances in malunggay leaves such as benzyl isothiocyanate and its anti-inflammatory properties, are helpful to decrease and treat arthritis, rheumatism and different kind of joint pains. It also helps protecting the body against chronic inflammation that can lead to serious diseases in respiratory, cardiovascular and obesity.
- Fights Infection, Bacteria and Fungi – one component in malunggay leaves named isothiocyanate exhibit anti-disease, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. The leaves also contain ptetygospermin that displays anti-microbial characteristics. The leaves are proven effective as a natural herbal remedy for some diseases and for treating wounds.
- Fights Malnutrition – the leaves of moringa contain a high vitamins and calcium, twice the amount of protein than milk, three times the amount of potassium than bananas, seven times more Vitamins C than oranges thus making it the most powerful herbal choice to combat malnutrition.
- Improves Milk Production – malunggay leaves has aphrodisiac properties that stimulates sexual expression and is used to aids in the production of milk in nursing mothers thus also helps in preventing the babies from being malnourished.
- Improve the Reproductive Health – regular consumption of malunggay leaves tea is beneficial for your reproductive health. It can help to increase sperm count and thus improve male fertility. It also contains aphrodisiac properties that can improve your libido and stimulate sex drive.
- Prevents Edema – the anti-inflammatory properties of moringa can help to treat edema by preventing it from developing.
- Cures Common Cold – both the roots and leaves of moringa are used to help treat common diseases such as fever or colds. The leaves have a higher amount of Vitamin C that speeds up the recovery and boost your immune system serving as an anti-bacterial and anti-fungal to fight against diseases.
- Soothe Headache – malunggay leaves has an anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties and is known to fight and treat moderate to severe headaches that comes as a symptoms of flu.
- Treat Eye Problem – malunggay leaves contains vitamins and minerals, such as Vitamin E, that will help you to strengthen your weakened muscle in the eye. The nutrients and minerals present in the leaves will also help your eyes to function properly.
- Promotes Good Sleep – the soothing effect of malunggay leaves tea helps you to relax and by the presence of anti-spasmodic properties it also helps to get rid of anxiety and stress for a clearer and fresher brain.
- Protects and Nourish Skin and Hair – moringa contains protein that is helpful in protecting skin cells from damage. The moringa seed oil is used for protecting hair against free radicals and keep it clean and healthy. It also contains hydrating and detoxifying elements that helps boost the skin and hair.
Most people made their own moringa extract or tea as their home remedy by simply boiling the leaves or its flowers or pods. Usually, it would taste bitter and smells bitter-leafy.
Some preferred the malunggay leaves to be used as a topping for noodles or soup. And some preferred it in capsules, oils, powder and bag teas which is readily available in the market.
But be aware that, the roots of moringa may have health benefits but it also has a different effect than the others, and it could be fatal. The malunggay roots are contraindicated in pregnant woman, it can cause abortion. You should take accurate precaution to get its only health benefits.
However, as research continues, studies show that only few of Moringa oleifera reputed health benefits has been studied scientifically in human than in animals. Further scientific research and clinic studies are needed to provide further acknowledgement of this plant.
It maybe has a numerous mentioned health benefits, still, it is best to consult a doctor before taking moringa extract or any moringa supplements.
- Fatima, Zumaira. PhD. 2018. “20 Amazing Health Benefits of Malunggay Leaves Tea”. 9 February
- Arnarson, Atli. PhD. 2018. “6 Science-Based Health Benefits of Moringa oleifera”. 4 May
- Cadman, Bethany. 2017. “What makes moringa good for you?”. 4 November
- DR HEBEN. “18 Proven Health Benefits of Malunggay Leaves Tea”.
- Whitmer, Michelle. “Moringa Tree: Side Effects & Uses for Cancer Treatment”.
- Valisno, Jeffrey O. 2012. “Super Food”. 16 November
- Specialty Produce. “Malunggay”.