Moringa has been one of the longest-trending buzzwords in the health and wellness community, and for good reason too. Its formidable resume as a versatile dietary food might surprise you. After all, it is anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antibacterial, hepatoprotective, anti-aging... and the list goes on!
If you’ve ever been interested in what Moringa is good for, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll explore the various benefits of Moringa, which (spoiler alert!) there are quite a few.
What Is Moringa?
Moringa, also known as Moringa oleifera or the Miracle Tree, is an herbal plant well-known for its health benefits. Native to the Himalayan mountains in India, Moringa is richly nutritious:
- Vitamin A (25x more than carrots)
- Iron (3x more than spinach)
- Potassium (3x more than bananas)
- Vitamin C (7x more than oranges)
- Protein (2x more than yogurt)
- Calcium (4x more than milk)
What’s more, this medicinal herb contains several bioactive compounds that can benefit people with diabetes, high cholesterol, or obesity:
- Quercetin can help lower blood glucose levels and blood pressure.
- Chlorogenic acid can help address and treat type 2 diabetes.
- Isothiocyanates can help minimize body inflammation as well as alleviate diabetes and obesity.
- Kaempferol can help improve insulin sensitivity and reduce blood glucose levels.
With an impressive nutritional and antioxidant profile, it’s easy to see why there's a growing demand for Moringa in recent times.
What Is Moringa Good For? 10 Benefits You Should Know About
To help you decide whether you should jump onto the Moringa bandwagon, we list ten key benefits of Moringa that can help jumpstart your journey to optimal health and wellness.
The World Health Organization (WHO) highlights that diabetes is one of the fastest-growing metabolic illnesses, directly causing 1.5 million deaths in 2019. On its own, high blood glucose levels also give rise to other chronic illnesses like heart disease, kidney disease, and tuberculosis.
While pharmacological interventions for diabetes are widely available, they often come with adverse side effects like digestive upsets and nutrient deficiencies. If this sounds like you, consider a natural anti-diabetic remedy like Moringa powder.
A deep body of scientific research confirms Moringa’s effectiveness in alleviating diabetes. Here’s how the herb lowers high blood sugar levels:
- Prevents the breakdown of complex carbs into simple sugars, which in turn, inhibits blood glucose levels from rising
- Stops the intestines from absorbing glucose, preventing the sharp hike in blood sugar levels after a meal
- Enhances the liver’s insulin sensitivity while preventing it from producing more glucose
- Encourages the muscles to take in more glucose than normal, further curbing the rise in blood glucose concentration
Moreover, Moringa possesses anti-inflammatory flavonoids and phenolic compounds that may help mitigate diabetic-related metabolic diseases, such as obesity, high cholesterol, and heart disease.
2. Liver Protection
Aside from being an anti-diabetic agent, the herb may also afford some level of liver protection.
Research shows that daily consumption of Moringa seed extract “reduced liver damage as well as symptoms of liver fibrosis,” courtesy of its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. A similar study also pointed out the hepatoprotective ability of Moringa as it’s found to speed up the healing process of liver damage in rat models.
3. Neurological Functioning
It may interest you to know that Moringa can also help optimize neurological functioning to mitigate your risk of brain disorders.
A 2018 study in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease used rat models to examine Moringa’s effects on Alzheimer’s disease. The results showed that Moringa was found to prevent — and also treat — neurodegeneration.
Another 2013 study also discovered that Moringa leaf extract “improved spatial memory and neurodegeneration” in mice with age-related dementia. The study suggested that the herb’s leaves can be used as a “potential cognitive enhancer and neuroprotectant” for dementia in humans.
4. Mental Health
In a similar line of thought, Moringa may help with mental health issues like depression and anxiety.
A 2015 study in the Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine analyzed the combination of 10 milligrams of antidepressant drug, fluoxetine, and 200 milligrams of Moringa extract in depressed mice models. At the end of 14 days, the study concluded that the anti-inflammatory profile of Moringa may enhance the herb’s antidepressant effect by reducing inflammation-based stress.
Recent scientific evidence also indicates the plant-based bioactives in Moringa (think flavonoids, phenols, and saponins) may be useful in managing anxiety.
Did you know that Moringa has a high fiber content of 6.0-9.6%? Incorporating the herb into your everyday diet may thus help speed up digestion and lower the odds of constipation for better gut and bowel health.
That’s what a 2018 study discovered. Mice fed a high-fat diet had a poor gut microbiome as a result of the fat-induced inflammation. Those that were subsequently given 200 milligrams of Moringa leaf extract showed improved gut dysbiosis, thanks to a higher level of the beneficial gut bacteria, Bifidobacteria. Plus, the Moringa-fed mice also had a lower weight gain than the placebo group.
If you’re a nursing mother struggling with a low breast milk supply, Moringa can help, too. This medicinal plant is an herbal galactagogue scientifically proven to naturally boost your breast milk supply.
Moringa’s rich nutritious profile also helps improve the quality of breast milk. Not only does it give your newborn all the nutrients they need to grow up healthy, but it’s also likely that your baby may benefit from stronger immunity once you start supplementing with Moringa.
You’ll also be reassured to learn that unlike fenugreek (another commonly used herbal galactagogue), Moringa has little to no side effects associated with it. Only in some individuals does Moringa trigger a mild laxative effect. Otherwise, this gluten-free galactagogue is generally safe for both mothers and babies.
7. Skin Health
You may have heard Moringa has long been used in skin care. Case in point: The Romans wore it as a perfume while the Egyptians applied it as a skin protectant.
Thanks to the plant’s moisturizing, anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, and skin-cleansing properties, Moringa can be used to:
- Protect the skin against free radical damage from environmental stressors, like ultraviolet (UV) rays and air pollutants
- Dial down skin inflammation and lighten hyperpigmentation, say, acne blemishes and sunspots
- Boost collagen production to minimize the signs of aging, such as fine lines and wrinkles
- Regulate sebum production, which may help with acne breakouts and pore size
- Treat wounds while minimizing scars and infections
As you can see, incorporating Moringa into your everyday routine will only take your overall skin health to the next level.
8. Hair Care
While we are on the topic of beauty, Moringa is also widely used in haircare products, from moisturizing leave-in conditioners to nourishing scalp treatments.
The scientific literature has documented these beneficial effects of Moringa for hair:
- Improve scalp moisture, which can help ease scalp issues like dryness and dandruff
- Keep hair hydrated to prevent split ends, dryness, and dullness
- Strengthen hair fibers to downplay hair breakage and hair fall
What’s more, a 2014 study involving rat models found that 5% of Moringa ethosome showed hair growth activity comparable to the standard hair growth treatment, minoxidil solution, after 30 days. The study also noted no side effects from the use of the herbal plant.
9. Erectile Dysfunction
In men, erectile dysfunction poses a health issue that can affect their quality of life. While there are many drugs to address the problem (say, Viagra), a natural remedy in the form of Moringa exists.
Scientific evidence highlighted that Moringa could be a potential aphrodisiac for humans as a low dose of the herbal extract “improved sexual performance in stress-exposed rats.”
10. Weight Loss
For those who are on a weight loss program, Moringa may be just the supplement to reach your health goals. And no, it isn’t a myth.
Science explains that Moringa leverages a three-way mechanism to help you lose the extra pounds naturally:
- It slows down your body’s ability to build up fats.
- It encourages the production of fat-destroying enzymes.
- It stops glucose production in the liver — lower blood glucose levels indirectly help with weight loss.
If you still need more convincing, the Journal of Molecular Nutrition and Food Research has highlighted the potential of Moringa as “an effective dietary food for the prevention and treatment of obesity.”
How To Incorporate Moringa Powder Into Your Diet
After learning about what Moringa is good for, you’re probably sold on this dietary supplement already. While all the parts of the Moringa plant are edible, it’s best to choose Moringa leaf powder. According to health experts, the Moringa leaves have the “greatest antioxidant activity,” compared to any other part of the herb.
That’s why at Zen Principle, we use Organic Moringa Leaf Powder of the highest quality. As with any health supplement, it’s recommended to consult a licensed healthcare professional first before adding Moringa powder to your diet.
Once you’ve got the green light, it’s easy to incorporate Moringa powder into your favorite drinks and meals. You can add a teaspoon to your morning cup of joe, smoothie, or even plain water. Plus, in powder form, Moringa can be easily added to your cooking and baking recipes for a delicious — and equally nutritious — boost.
Need some inspiration on how to use Moringa powder? Check out our handy guide here.