Well, I thought it was high time that I got around to answering some of those questions in The Phytonutrient Blog – so here goes (in order of those above):
I’m really not sure why we in the West have not been hearing about Moringa for generations because people in Africa, India, and elsewhere have been using it for 1000s of years!
With care, it can grow in the USA – I grow it as an annual in my central Texas (USDA Zone 8b). It grows 9 – 12 feet high in a single year and if the winter is mild enough it will survive the cold and get even better the next year. If we get a hard freeze it dies off and I replant it early in Spring and I am enjoying fresh Moringa leaves very quickly!
As to the question of where to get Moringa – that can be a bit tricky as not all suppliers are honest or trustworthy – I suggest growing your own but if you must buy your Moringa I will provide some links at the end of this post where you can purchase high quality Moringa from reputable dealers I have used myself. The links will help you find Moringa tea bags, Loose Moringa tea, dried Moringa leaves, Moringa supplement capsules, and Moringa Oil.
But First I want to offer you the latest information on Moringa (click the image below to watch a Moringa presentation video I put together!)
Although the sparse crown of the drumstick tree offers little shade from the hot sun of the tropics, it is a common fixture in almost every yard and by the wayside. The Moringa tree is known to have innumerable health benefits, but the natives value it as a great food source. The leaves, flowers and the green pods of Moringa are all edible; and are widely used in Indian cuisine.
Moringa tree is drought tolerant and easily adapts to tropical and subtropical climate, enjoying wide distribution in Asia, Africa and parts of North America. It has been promoted as the Miracle Tree of Africa, thanks to its contribution to fighting malnutrition, checking water pollution and offering seemingly magical cures for a plethora of disease conditions.
Health Benefits Of Moringa:
The most amazing thing about moringa is that all parts of this plant including its bark, roots, leaves, flowers, seeds, sap and pods are a storehouse of nutrients and antioxidants. Thus, this plant possesses innumerable health benefits and has the capacity of curing several diseases. For this reason, it is referred to as the ‘miracle tree’ and is widely used in traditional medicine. The various health benefits of moringa are as follows.
1. The seeds of moringa contain 40 percent edible oil known as Ben oil. This clear, sweet and odourless oil is rich in antioxidants and is similar to olive oil in terms of its nutritional profile.It has an indefinite shelf life as it does not turn rancid like other oils.
2. Moringa leaves are the most widely used parts of this plant. These leaves are edible. They contain three times more iron than spinach.
3. Moringa contains all the essential amino acids needed by the body. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins which are needed to grow, repair and maintain cells. Human body manufactures 10 to 12 amino acids. The remaining 8 amino acids are known as the essential amino acids which should be provided from everyday diet and moringa contains all of them. The list of essential amino acids and their benefits are given below.
5. Daily consumption of moringa as part of the diet improves body’s natural defense mechanism. It is an immune stimulant and it is often prescribed for AIDS afflicted patients.
6. It is rich in vitamin A or beta-carotene and acts as an effective weapon against blindness.
7. It plays an important role in lactating mothers. Consumption of Moringa is reported to cause a dramatic increase in breast milk.
8. As it balances the sugar levels, it can be extremely effective against diabetics.
9. Increased consumption of junk food in the present scenario can lead to high cholesterol levels. Moringa helps in balancing the cholesterol levels in the body.
10. Consumption of moringa leaves stimulates metabolism and cell structure of the body.
11. This plant also has several antibacterial properties and hence can be used as a purifier and as a natural detoxifier.
- Moringa seeds mixed in impure water can help in absorbing all the impurities.
- Moringa helps in the removal and excretion of toxic build up by attracting toxins from the blood.
13. Moringa supplements are better than most of the multivitamin and calcium supplements available in the market which use synthetic ingredients. Moringa supplements are prepared from moringa leaves and pods which are natural sources of calcium and multivitamins. Their processing method increases the availability and absorption of nutrients by the body.
14. Moringa seeds are used in the manufacture of perfumes and aromatherapy oils. The flowers of moringa are used in making herbal tea which contains flavonoids and antioxidants.
16. Roots of moringa are used in traditional medicine to control disorders of the circulatory system, for stimulating appetite and to improve the functioning of digestive tract. In addition to these, they can treat sexual dysfunctions, female reproductive tract problems and arthritis.
17. According to research, certain elements contained in moringa roots can cure ovarian cancer, kidney stones and inflammations. They improve the overall kidney function by enabling the body to flush out calcium and phosphates from kidneys more efficiently.
The Benefits of Moringa to Human Hair:
Healthy hair improves the physical appearance to a great extent. Health problems or nutritional deficiencies can damage the hair and cause problems like dandruff, split ends and breakage. Hence, proper intake of vitamins and minerals is essential for maintaining healthy hair. Certain vitamins, minerals and amino acids are involved in the formation of keratin protein.
18. Moringa Oleifera has a high content of vitamin A, thus promoting hair growth and maintenance. Optimum delivery of oxygen and nutrients from the circulatory system to the hair follicle is vital for proper hair growth. Vitamin A plays an important role in the development of healthy cells and tissues in the body and reduction of hair loss. Deficiency of vitamin A can cause thickening of scalp, dry hair and dandruff.
19. Moringa plant also contains zinc which stimulates hair growth by enhancing the immune function. Zinc and silica along with vitamin A prevents drying and clogging of the sebaceous glands. Sebaceous glands are responsible for production of sebum. Deficiency of zinc can lead to atrophy of the hair follicles due to the impairment of DNA and protein synthesis. Zinc also influences the conformation of nucleic acids.
20. Vitamin E in moringa is a powerful antioxidant that stimulates blood circulation around the scalp. Proper flow of blood to the scalp helps in the absorption of more nutrients available in the hair follicles.
21. Moringa is a storehouse of all the nutrients required for healthy hair. Hair loss occurs due to the deficiency of vitamin B- especially B6, biotin, inositol and folic acid. Proper blood circulation to the scalp enables hair follicles to grow stronger and healthier. Vitamin C together with vitamin E helps in the improvement of blood circulation in the scalp. It is vital to maintain capillaries that carry blood onto the follicles.
22. Moringa contains abundant quantities of minerals such as calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, selenium, copper and manganese which are essential for healthy hair.
23. Moringa oil is a natural supplement for improving the health and strength of hair and scalp. Regular massage with this oil helps in reducing split ends and dandruff. It supplies rejuvenating vitamins and minerals to the hair follicles and tissues of the scalp
Just like healthy hair, supply of proper nutrients is vital for the maintenance of healthy skin. Moringa is loaded with nutrients like calcium, vitamin A, B, C, D, E; minerals like copper, iron, zinc, magnesium, silica and manganese. Moringa has moisturizing and nourishing properties and an excellent cleansing ability which makes it an active ingredient in skin care products.
24. Moringa has been found to possess anti-ageing properties. The effect of free radicals on human skin causes the appearance of wrinkles and makes the skin aged and less resistant to lines. Moringa has excellent cleansing ability which aids in cleaning the skin cells of free radicals and restoring the vitality and youthful complexion of the skin.
25. Moringa leaves contain about 30 antioxidants that contribute greatly towards healthy skin. Moringa oil is highly absorbable and hence helps in delivering these powerful antioxidants to the skin cells.
26. Moringa leaves also contain sulphur. This mineral is present in every single cell of the body and is the key ingredient for Collagen and keratin. Collagen is an elastic substance that gives flexibility and softness to the skin and keratin is a rigid substance which gives the skin rigidity and strength. These two substances form the majority of skin tissue and are made up of proteins constructed from sulphur.
27. The seed extract of moringa herb is popular in the cosmetic industry due to its therapeutic skincare benefits and skin purifying properties. It possesses the ability to filter out impurities that are deeply rooted within the skin and has an amazing detoxifying and rejuvenating properties. It enhances the fairness of skin by balancing the natural skin color and tone. A paste made from moringa leaves beautifies the skin and can be used as a face mask.
28. The ben oil which is extracted from moringa seeds is used to soften and soothe baby’s’ skin.
29. Moringa seed extract is used in protective creams and has the ability to provide protection against cigarette smoke and heavy metal pollution.
30. It is a powerful cleaning agent and moringa seed powder is used as an active ingredient in deep cleansing creams and lotions. It protects the skin from adhering pollution and smog.
Nutritional Value Of Moringa:
The most amazing fact about moringa is that it is a storehouse of nutrients and medicinal chemicals. The various parts of this plant are rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, potassium, iron and protein. It contains a plethora of phytonutrients, eight essential amino acids and other powerful disease fighting antioxidants. According to the Ayurveda, moringa comprises of around 539 compounds capable of preventing 300 diseases. Moringa contains more than 90 nutrients and 46 different antioxidants which make it a powerhouse of nutrition. The table given below provides a gist of the nutritional value of this wonderful plant.
Moringa Leaves Compared to Common Foods:
Values per 100gm. edible portion
Amino Acid Content of Moringa Leaves:
All values are per 100 grams of edible portion. Chart shows both Fresh Leaves and Dried Leaves totals.
Follow the links below to find many of the Moringa products you will want. I can tell you that I recommend these suppliers of Moringa and I trust that when I order from them I will get what I pay for!