Moringa, also called the tree of life, is a medicinal plant. It is used to treat some respiratory diseases, reduce anxiety, lose weight, and even control blood glucose in diabetics. However, there are still a few human studies that prove all its benefits.
Its scientific name is Moringa oleifera, which has a high content of vitamins and minerals such as iron, carotenoids, quercetin, vitamin C, polyphenols, chlorogenic acid, among others, which provide it with a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect. Its most used part is the leaf, which is where the highest concentration of antioxidants is found, which can be consumed either in the form of tea, capsules or powder, and can be bought in natural product stores, herbalists, internet stores, and pharmacies handling.
Moringa has many properties that may have many health benefits, including:
- May increase breathing capacity
According to a scientific study, taking moringa could help relieve symptoms and the severity of asthma attacks. This is because there was an increase in hemoglobin and that the individuals presented improvements in respiratory capacity.
- Could prevent diabetes
Moringa has properties that help regulate oxidative stress due to its antioxidant property, which prevents the damage caused by free radicals to cells and in turn favors the decrease in blood sugar levels.
- Could protect the heart
Being rich in fiber, the consumption of moringa could prevent the absorption of cholesterol in the intestine. Also, this plant has various bioactive compounds such as quercetin and polyphenols that act as antioxidants and reduce chronic inflammation, thus reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
- Could regulate blood pressure
Due to the presence of tocopherols, polyphenols, and flavonoids, moringa could regulate blood pressure due to its vasodilator properties, which help relax blood vessels and improve blood circulation.
- Could promote weight loss
Moringa is a plant rich in fibers and proteins that help increase the feeling of satiety, reducing the amount of food eaten, and promoting weight loss. Also, some studies in animals indicate that it could reduce the amount of fat accumulated in the body, it is still not very clear what the mechanism is, so more studies are necessary in this regard.
- Prevent and fight anemia
Moringa leaves have a high amount of iron, so its regular consumption could favor an increase in red blood cells, hemoglobin, hematocrit, and total iron in the blood, preventing and fighting anemia.
- It could increase the body's defenses
Moringa has antioxidant substances such as polyphenols, vitamin C, and beta-carotenes, substances that stimulate the immune system and help fight infections and microorganisms.
- Has an anti-inflammatory and analgesic effect
Thanks to its bioactive compounds such as isothiocyanates, quercetin, polyphenols, chlorogenic acid, vitamins C and A, moringa could help reduce inflammation in the body, alleviating the symptoms of diseases such as rheumatism, osteoarthritis, or inflammation of the prostate, for example.
- Protect and hydrate the skin
Moringa is a very nutritious plant, as it provides vitamins C, A, and B complex, which promote collagen production, healing, and hydration of the skin, protecting it from damage caused by UV rays.
- May improve digestive system health
The consumption of moringa could prevent and treat the formation of stomach ulcers, it could also help fight constipation and hemorrhoids, not only because of its high fiber content, but also thanks to its vasodilator effect, which improves blood circulation and alleviates the discomfort caused by hemorrhoids.
- Could prevent cancer
Some studies seem to indicate that moringa could have an anti-cancer effect, since it could induce the death of cancer cells, mainly breast cancer and colorectal cancer.
- Maintain visual health
Moringa is rich in beta-carotene, a precursor component of vitamin A, which is important for maintaining visual health since this vitamin is necessary for the production of certain visual pigments to see the spectrum of light.
Moringa's properties include antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antidiabetic, vasodilator, anticholinergic, antirheumatic, antihypertensive, antiobesity, antimicrobial, hepatoprotective, and healing action. Many of these properties are still under study and the results are not conclusive, so it should be used with caution and preferably under medical supervision.
How to take moringa?
Although there is not yet a fully proven scientific dose, some studies suggest that the intake is up to 400 mg per day to provide all the benefits mentioned above.
Moringa tea: Moringa tea is the most widely used form of consumption, because it is quick and easy to make, and can be consumed at any time of the day.
- 10 g (1 tablespoon) of moringa leaves.
- 250 mL of water.
Place the water in a pot over medium heat until it boils, add 1 tablespoon of moringa leaves, cover and let it steep for 5 minutes. Strain and drink 2 cups of tea a day.
The dose will depend on the way the plant is ingested, which includes:
Capsules: 1 to 2 capsules a day of 200 mg per day in conjunction with meals, this varies by brand, so the product labeling should be read, as they may have different concentrations of moringa. So it is important to consult a physiotherapist for guidance on the daily dose to take.
Seeds: in case of consuming their seeds, they should be shelled and ingested with a glass of water, being able to consume 3 grams a day (approximately 2 to 3 seeds per day).
Powder: from 1/2 to 1 teaspoon a day (1 to 3 grams), and can be added to juices, soups, coffee, or yogurts or even prepare a tea with the powder.
Moringa can be used to complement medical treatment, not to replace it. In cases of diabetes and hypertension, it is important to talk with your doctor before ingesting it, because it may be necessary to alter the doses of the medications that are being used in its treatment. It is also important to mention that the specific dose of moringa that should be ingested according to the disease has not been determined either, there is only a general recommendation as a supplement that is the one mentioned above.
How long to take moringa?
Moringa is a plant that is currently in studies, so it should not be ingested for more than 2 to 3 weeks, either in the form of tea, capsules, seeds, or powder, especially if there is no accompaniment from a health professional.