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Moringa Oleifera — What Is It?

Moringa Oleifera — What Is It?

When it comes to therapeutic plans, Moringa oleifera is a prominent species long mentioned by healers, nutritionists and others over the years.

This particular plant has its own set of unique health benefits. Many of these health benefits have to do with the value of fresh green plants in general, but Moringa oleifera also has its own properties that can support health. So it’s worth looking at the unique use of the Moringa oleifera plant itself, as a dietary supplement that we are just starting to fully understand. 

Vitamins and Minerals

The Moringa oleifera plant is native to North India, and people sometimes call it the “drumstick tree” or “horseradish tree” for its pungent root. Parts of the plant, like the leaves and seedpods, as well as the aforementioned root, are becoming popular as supplements.

Moringa oleifera has 2 grams of protein and 11% of daily iron recommendations in each cup. The same amount has significant amounts of vitamin B6, riboflavin, and vitamin A, as well as magnesium.

As for some of the other vitamins and minerals in this natural plant, scientists have found that Moringa oleifera has quite a bit of both vitamin C and potassium!

For reference, Moringa oleifera has seven times more vitamin C than oranges (one of our most famous vitamin-laden citrus fruits known to ward off scurvy) and 15 times more potassium than bananas.

Moringa Oleifera and Antioxidant Value

Another thing that Moringa oleifera has is a range of antioxidants — key chemicals that can work against chronic disease and the effects of aging on the body.

Antioxidants work by combating elements called "free radicals" that contribute to the body's deterioration over time (that deterioration process is called “oxidization”). Scientists are learning more about how antioxidants help people ward off all sorts of health conditions later in life, in conjunction with fitness and broader good diet practices. 

Moringa oleifera is not the only plant containing antioxidants — they are found in a wide spectrum of fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

However, Moringa oleifera has its own antioxidant value that's often factored into its use in dietary supplements or other therapy.

Moringa Oleifera and Blood Sugar Levels

Moringa oleifera can also be helpful in diabetes treatment, since it has been known to stabilise blood sugar levels in the body.

Excessive sugar and carbohydrate intake can lead to unwanted changes in blood sugar levels. Plant foods, in general, contribute to diabetes prevention in a few key ways. One is by promoting a diet that results in less weight gain. Another is by changing the chemical intake of the body through diet, to ensure that unhealthy eating isn't leading to more blood sugar volatility. Moringa oleifera falls into the category of “green plants” that have this sort of value, where for example, potato foods (especially processed ones) typically add too much starch and carbs to be considered diabetes fighters. 

Moringa Oleifera: Anti-Inflammation Properties

Moringa oleifera can also be generally effective against inflammation in the body. Certain foods and chemical elements have been found to be inflammatory. Refined sugar is one such culprit. Another is peanuts, because of elements called purines that can build up as uric acids in the body. 

On the other hand, Moringa oleifera has been known to be an effective anti-inflammatory addition to diet and herbal therapies. 

Cholesterol Management With Moringa Oleifera

Moringa oleifera can also help people with high cholesterol levels.

Maintaining healthy cholesterol is actually a dance between limiting unhealthy cholesterols, and promoting healthy ones in the body.

Doctors will look at a range of three key cholesterol levels in order to assess overall health. In many cases, they will seek to try to lower a person's triglycerides, partially with dietary changes.

Moringa oleifera can be helpful here as well, and further study may shed light on what foods will help to create that healthy balance. 

Moringa Oleifera and Arsenic Toxicity

Over the years, many people have let down their guard against arsenic, something naturally occurring in certain foods like rice and apples.

But arsenic contamination can lead to sickness if the arsenic is ingested in higher amounts. Moringa oleifera has been shown to be effective in helping with arsenic contamination and associated health problems.

In general, this healthy and efficacious herb is useful in a homeopathic healer’s toolbox.

What Parts of Moringa Oleifera Are Typically Used?

Experts recommend using the leaf extract and seedpods of Moringa oleifera. They often recommend against using the bark or pulp of the plant, and warn that these can be especially dangerous to pregnant women. 

The leaves and seeds can be ground into powder or put in gelatin capsules.

Moringa Oleifera as a Digestive Aid

Some studies have also looked at the use of Moringa oleifera for help with gastrointestinal issues like ulcerative colitis and diarrhea. These two conditions and others generally have to do with bowel and intestine inflammation. 

The idea is that this natural plant can be effective in soothing these internal areas of the body with anti-inflammatory properties.

Nutritionists also point to high vitamin B levels in Moringa oleifera as something that could help aid digestion.

Moringa Oleifera for Women

There have also been some interesting considerations of how Moringa oleifera can be good for women, although again, some disclaimers apply to pregnancy. 

First, Moringa oleifera is rich in iron,  which can help women who tend to lose iron during menstruation, and secondly, the plant is said to have certain mood stabilising properties that may be useful for dealing with hormonal imbalances.

Moringa Oleifera and Hypertension

There's also some evidence that Moringa oleifera may be useful in dealing with blood pressure levels over time.

Hypertension affects a large portion of adults anywhere in the world where a processed diet is common. That means that medicine has a big stake in curbing higher blood pressure levels, and individuals often need to work on staying in a healthy BP range. Family doctors are used to seeing a patient’s blood pressure spiral higher as he or she gets older. A big part of this has to do with food science, and nutritionists are warning that without a good plant-based diet, it will be hard for many people to self-correct for better quality of life and longevity. 

Some theorize that the nitric oxide, which helps with well-functioning blood vessels, may make a difference for some people dealing with higher blood pressure.

In addition, there's some evidence that arthritis sufferers may benefit from using Moringa oleifera. This goes back to the idea of anti-inflammatory properties in a plant, and how those might work for people with various kinds of joint pain and inflammation.

Should You Use Moringa Oleifera?

Among those who understand the modern horticultural uses of various plants, Moringa oleifera is becoming quite a household name in homeopathy.

It's a natural supplement that is making its way into the market, along with other green plants that we are now just figuring out how to harness for their health values.

There is even some suggestion that Moringa oleifera can help with both cancer and heart issues, with the general assumption that the antioxidants and other chemicals in the plant may work against certain kinds of aging in the body.

Few side effects have been reported for Moringa oleifera, and the substance is typically not considered psychotropic, so it's not a controlled substance in most parts of the world.

Those who are looking for effective supplements and natural changes in their health may find that a Moringa oleifera routine fits the bill. Think about how this plant, combined with good fitness activity and a balanced diet, can lead to better health. Always discuss the use of a supplement with medical professionals prior to starting any new routine. Moringa oleifera could be something that has great potential to change our lives for the better. 

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