Moringa oleifera is a perennial plant found in tropical and sub-tropical regions. It is cultivated in India, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan and other Himalayan regions. Moringa oleifera is better known as the drumstick tree, or horseradish tree because its fruit is cylindrical and long.
All parts of this plant—leaves, immature pods, bark, flowers, fruit, seeds, and roots—can be utilized. According to the National Center for Biotechnological Information (NCBI), Moringa has high nutritional value and medicinal potential; different parts of the plant can provide protein, vitamins, beta-carotene and amino acids. The following seven common ailments are what doctors and indigenous peoples have been using this versatile plant to heal for centuries.
Moringa has impressive potential when it comes to treating patients with diabetes. Biomed Research International published a study that revealed that the glucomoringin, phenols, and flavonoids alleviated several symptoms of diabetes. Using a low dose of Moringa, about 50-100 mg, nearly restored the rats’ levels to a normal, healthy state and increased the level of antioxidants in the pancreas and kidney.
Typically, people with hypertension struggle with maintaining a healthy blood pressure which, if left unmonitored, can lead to heart disease. While Moringa does not reduce blood pressure directly, this study found that at night, patients’ heart rates slowed and diastolic function, or the flow of blood through the heart improved. Also, cardiac wall thickness and fibrosis were significantly reduced after taking 750 mg daily of the Moringa seeds.
There are often claims about common herbs said to “cure” cancer, but this one’s no joke. Research has been conducted on Moringa’s ability to inhibit and prevent cancer, and one study found that it can block cancer growth by interfering with the signal transduction cascade—which results in rapid cancer cell growth. The plant is also high in vitamin C and beta-carotene (vitamin A) that protect against free radicals in the body.
According to a study from Science Direct, just 6 spoonfuls of Moringa leaf powder can provide a pregnant woman with enough iron and calcium for their daily nutritional needs, with 25 times more iron than most dark, leafy green vegetables. Authority Nutrition has calculated that the iron contained in the plant provides 11% of the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA).
Headaches are a frequent pain in the neck for everyone. Rather than popping a pill, try a poultice made from the Moringa leaf and rub it on your temples.
Arthritis and other joint pains, like rheumatoid, can be treated with the Moringa plant. According to WebMD, poultices or salves made from the leaves or seeds reduce inflammation, thereby easing the soreness and aching.
Not surprisingly, Moringa helps stimulate the circulatory system. In a study published by NCBI, patients that were given three grams of ground seed kernels from the plant daily saw a significant reduction in their symptoms. The ESR and Hb rates were reduced in patients with bronchial asthma, signifying that a decrease in inflammation may have supported the loss of symptoms.
While currently there is insufficient information on all the possible uses for the Moringa plant, there is promising potential for it in the medical world. Because it is high in nutritional values, be cautious of dosages and always consult a doctor before using it to treat any chronic or preexisting conditions.
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