The moringa, also called the Horseradish Tree, Benzoil Tree or drumstick tree. It is a medicinal plant that has a large amount of vitamins and minerals, such as iron, carotenoids, quercetin, vitamin C, among others, which provide greater antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect.
For this reason, this plant has been used to treat some respiratory diseases, reduce anxiety, lose weight and even control the concentration of glucose in the blood in diabetic people. However, there are still few studies that prove all its benefits and which describe the minimum doses as well as safe it is for human use.
The scientific name of the moringa is Moringa oleifera and, generally, its most used part is the leaf. In 2019, Anvisa banned the sale of any product containing this plant, precisely because of lack of studies demonstrating effective doses and safety of the plant for health.
Moringa health benefits
According to some scientific studies, the moringa can be used in several situations, its main benefits being:
- Increases respiratory capacity, by helping to fight diseases such as asthma;
- Prevent diabetes because it has properties that may help regulate oxidative stress, which reduces blood sugar levels by protecting the bodies cells;
- Protect the heart, as it prevents the absorption of cholesterol in the intestine and formation of fat plaques in the arteries, thereby lowering the risk of cardiovascular diseases;
- Regulates blood pressure, because it improves blood circulation because of its vasodilator effect;
- Helps with weight loss because it has fibers and proteins that help increase the feeling of satiety;
- Prevents and fights anemia, because its leaves have a large amount of iron (105 mg per 100 g of leaf), favoring the formation of red blood cells;
- Increase the body's defenses because it contains substances, such as vitamin C, polyphenols and beta-carotene, which strengthen the immune system;
- It has an analgesic and anti-inflammatory effect due to the presence of isothiocyanates, quercetin and chlorogenic acid, which are substances that help to reduce the inflammatory process, relieving symptoms of rheumatism and prostate inflammation, for example;
- Protects and moisturizes the skin due to the large amount of vitamins such as, complex B, C, E and A that may favor skin healing;
- Improves the health of your digestive system as it prevents and assists in the treatment of stomach ulcers, in addition to helping to fight constipation due to its large amount of fibers;
- Helps to treat hemorrhoids, because it has a vasodilator effect, stimulating blood circulation;
- Improves vision because it consists of beta-carotene, which is a precursor component of vitamin A which, among other functions, is responsible for maintaining vision health;
- Helps to diminish the effects of menopause, because it can help control levels of inflammation and oxidative stress during this period, making hormonal concentration stable during menopause.
The moringa has various proprieties, the main ones being: antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, pain reliever; antidiabetic; vasodilation; anticholinergic, antirheumatic and it's healing action.
Moringa tea is the most widely used form of consuming moringa because it is quick and easy to make and can be consumed at any time of the day.
- 250 mL of water;
- 10 g (1 tablespoon) of moringa leaves.
To make moringa tea you simply add the moringa leaves to the boiling water, cover and let the mixture rest for about 5 minutes. Then strain and drink at least 2 cups of the tea during the day.
Other ways to consume
Although there is still no scientific evidence of the dosage of moringa needed to produce significant effect on the body, some studies suggest that up to 400 mg per day can produced health benefits.
The daily dose depends on how the plant is consumed, other forms of consumption other than tea can be:
- Capsules: It is usually indicated to consume 1 to 2 capsules of 200 mg per day, which should be consumed with meals. However the amount of capsules may vary according to the brand of the product, since each brand has different concentrations of moringa. Therefore, it is important you see a herbalist so that you can know the ideal amount of capsules to take each day.
- Seeds: Moringa seeds can also be consumed, however it is recommended to peel the seeds and consume along with a glass of water, being indicated the consumption of 3 grams per day, which is about 2 to 3 seeds.
- Powder: Powder can be used in a variety of ways and can be added between ½ and 1 tsp in juices, soups, coffee yogurt and even tea.
Although it already has several proven benefits, moringa is still in studies, as it is not yet known how long this plant can be consumed without side effects and the recommended minimum daily amount that is needed to produce the desired health benefits.
The use of this plant should not be longer than 2 to 3 weeks, especially if it being consumed without the guidance of a professional.
Possible side effects
The consumption of moringa can result in some side effects, such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. It is recommended to avoid the consumption of this root and its extracts, as they may contain toxic substances that can cause paralysis and may even lead to death.
Moringa intake is not recommended for pregnant women and infants, as this medicinal plant may interfere with both gestation and breast milk production.