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What is Moringa?

Have you ever wondered if there is a perfect food out there? A food that has almost all of your nutrients but only a few of the calories. Look no further, Moringa could be the answer. Moringa is a tree that is used all over the world for its nutritional properties. Those who harvest its fruits often call it the generous tree. Specifically, this is because it continues to grow its seed filled pods long after the tree can support the weight. The tree itself is very tough. It grows best in tropical climates. However, due to its toughness, it can also survive where little water is present. This is because Moringa has shallow roots. It can also store large amounts of water in its trunk.

Continue reading to learn more about this amazing plant.

Moringa Powder Photo by Allie Smith on Unsplash
Green Powder Photo by Allie Smith on Unsplash

The Story of Moringa

Moringa is a tree that came from South Asia. In fact, it has been used in the Phillipines as a cooking staple for hundreds of years. Since its origin, it has traveled a long way. Moringa has become famous all over the world as a health nut’s dream. Accordingly, Eastern countries point to it as a reason for their long lifespans. Similarly, African countries have started to grow the tree as a possible answer to malnutrition. Not to mention, it has even been featured on shows like Good Morning America for its uplifting quality. As a result of its rapid rise to fame, you can now buy this plant in many different forms.

Origin of Moringa Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash
Origin Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

How to Use Moringa

Surprisingly, It seems like almost every part of the tree has a use.

  • Firstly, the seed pods are used for cooking. They are said to have a unique flavor that tastes great for its nutrient profile. The seeds can also be crushed for their oil or ground into a powder. Use the powder in drinks or smoothies.
  • Secondly, the oil from the seeds is used in cooking. It can also be used as a lubricant. After the seeds are pressed in to a pulp, the pulp is used as a water filter.
  • Thirdly, the leaves can also be used in cooking. Boil and eat them like an other leafy green vegetable.
  • Fourthly, use the juice from the trunk to sterilize cuts.
  • Fifthly, the roots are often turned in to tea.
Moringa Tea People Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash
Tea People Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash

Sadly, boiling this plant strips it of its nutrients. For example, small villages in Africa have used it in cooking for many years. However, they did not know that they weren’t using the tree to its full potential. Visiting doctors saw this and, instead, said to grind the raw beans. This solved the community’s health problems. As a result, vitamin A deficiency in these villages has declined. 

Benefits of Moringa

Locals in the Phillipines say that this generous tree gives the body energy. For this reason, some farm workers recommend one cup of its leaves for a full days worth of energy. Therefore, there is no question that it is a healthy food. In detail, please see below for a list of reasons why it has this effect on the body. 

Health Conscious Moringa Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash
Health Conscious Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash

Health facts

  • High in proteins such as the ones needed for normal daily function and muscle growth.
  • High in antioxidants used for protecting cells from aging. 
  • The leaves have lots of vitamins such as c, b, a, and k.
  • May reduce inflammation
  • Heart healthy; may also help reduce cholesterol.
  • High in iron
  • May also help lower blood sugar and manage diabetes.
  • Can help balance hormones in the body
  • May help with digestive problems like stomach ulcers and kidney stones. 

Supporting Studies  

Most of the studies done on Moringa set out to test the effects of its use on diabetes. Though research has shown promising results, scientists have not proven that it is an effective cure for diabetes. 

Negative Side effects

Nothing is perfect, not even Moringa. Thus, below are a few of the down sides to using it as a supplement.

Moringa Side Effects Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash
Side Effects Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

Side Effects

  • Moringa may cause uterine contractions that can be fatal to a fetus. 
    • Extracts from the plant may also be an obstacle to fertility. 
  • Some studies showed that it can cause damage to organs such as the liver and kidneys in rats.

Where to Find Moringa

Moringa can be found in oil, powder, and also tea form. Surely, there are many places where you can buy it in these forms. Below are a few of those sources and the reviews for each source. 

Moringa Sources Photo by Carli Jeen on Unsplash
Sources Photo by Carli Jeen on Unsplash

Tablets

Ankh Rah Moringa Tablets (Pack of 80) by Ankh Rah Ltd

Ankh Rah is the brand that I use personally. The reviews for this product are my own first hand account after using the product for several weeks.

Pros
  • This package comes with 80 convenient tablets.
  • It contains 100% natural ingredients without fillers.
  • Taking Moringa in this form has been a convenient way to get Iron for the day.
  • I feel a sustained increase in energy throughout the day.
  • My appetite has decreased and is slightly more manageable after taking this product
  • This product is very high in protein with 25g per serving
Cons
  • The tablets have a very earthy after taste that takes some getting used to.
  • Like many supplements, these tablets are high in sodium to maintain freshness.

Powders 

Organic Moringa Oleifera Leaf Powder  by Feel Good Organics

Pros
  • Reduced body pain
  • Increased Energy
  • Helps with mental clarity
Cons
  • Powder does not dissolve well
  • Bad Taste
  • Don’t take on an empty stomach
  • Tough to reseal the bag

OMG! Superfoods Organic Moringa Powder

Pros
  • Helps improve sleep
  • Helps with arthritis pain
  • Product delivery was on time
Cons
  • Bad taste
  • Hard to mix the powder/ doesn’t work well with water and is also not as fine as some other brands.

MAJU’s Organic Moringa Powder

Pros 
  • Good for the immune system as well as at preventing colds
  • Packages arrived on time
  • Helps with arthritis pain
  • Helps with regular bowel movements
  • Powder is very fine and also easy to mix
Cons
  • Sometimes has a dark color which can mean bad quality
  • Mix with something else for a better taste
  • May need to use the product for a while to see results

Teas

Organic Moringa Superfood Tea, 25 Individually Sealed Tea Bags, Mint by Miracle Tea

Pros
  • Enjoyable flavor, mild taste
  • Helps with a variety of ailments
  • More energy
  • Increased breast milk supply
Cons
  • Thin tea bags that rip easily

Global Moringa Tea – Original Organic Moringa Tea (30 Tea Bags) 

Pros
  • Strong brew
  • Reduces pain in the body
  • Users said that it helped them to relax 
  • Helps relieve digestive issues
Cons
  • Bad smell when boiling

The Republic of Tea Organic Moringa Superherb Herbal Tea

Pros 
  • Helps relieve allergies
  • Good taste
  • Settles stomach
Cons
  • Some packaging problems including dented, wet container, open

Oils

Ankh Rah – Moringa Oil | 30ml | 4 PACK BUNDLE

Pros
  • Comes with 4 bottles so you can buy in bulk
  • Includes free delivery.
Cons
  • None of the reviews posted online reported a negative result from using this product.

Moringa Energy Oil – USDA Organic 100% Pure Moringa Seed Oil by Moringa Energy Life

Pros 
  • Helps with dry skin
  • Heals bruises and cuts faster
  • Soaks into the skin well
Cons
  • Smells nutty
  • Some people have not seen results yet

USDA Organic Moringa Oil – Highest Quality, Cold-Pressed, Unrefined, non-GMO – 4 Ounce Glass Bottle with Dropper by Madre Nature

Pros
  • Good for dry skin
  • Not greasy
  • Soaks into the skin well
Cons
  • nutty/natural scent
  • Sometimes gets congealed
  • It seems like the dropper may be broken. It either releases too many drops or too few drops. 

Inn&Co Highest Quality Organic Moringa Oil – 4 fl Oz

Pros
  • Creates a dewy feeling on the skin
  • Good for skin and hair
  • Helps with acne 
Cons
  • The pump on the bottle does not work well
  • The smell is off, not nutty enough

Hype

Does Moringa Help with Weight loss?

Many supplement companies suggest that taking a Moringa supplement can help with weight loss. Unfortunately, there is not enough scientific evidence to support these claims. These claims probably stem from a 2016 study that tested the weight reducing effects of Moringa supplements on mice. Scientists fed these mice a very high fat diet along with Moringa and compared their fat accumulation to a control group of mice who only consumed the high fat diet. The study found that Moringa may be an effective way to prevent and treat obesity and type 2 diabetes in mice. However, these results were never confirmed on humans. Therefore, evidence does not support the claim that Moringa can help with weight loss.

Conclusion

Overall, Moringa is an amazing plant. Due to its nutritious quality, you can purchase it in its many forms without traveling across the world. However, some sources are better than others. If you are thinking about making it a part of your diet, I would suggest doing a little research on the best brands to buy. I hope this article was helpful in your research. Please feel free to comment below with your Moringa experience.

References