Category Archives: Moringa
by Michael Ravensthorpe
(NaturalNews) Moringa oleifera is a tree that is native to the Himalayan mountains of northern India. Though it is not well-known in the United States, the tree is treasured in many parts of the world (especially Africa and South America) due to the healing properties of its leaves. In fact, moringa‘s small, light green leaves are so nutrient-dense that the tree has been nicknamed ‘The Tree of Immortality’ and ‘The Miracle Tree’ by the inhabitants of the countries in which it is cultivated. Let’s find out whether these nicknames are deserved.
Moringa‘s health benefits
Rich in antioxidants – Analysis has shown that dried and powdered moringa leaves (which is how moringa is usually sold and consumed) contain 46 antioxidant types, including carotenoids, zinc, selenium, chromium, and all the vitamins (even vitamin B and vitamin K). Moringa leaves also contain 36 anti-inflammatory compounds, including calcium, copper, chlorophyll, omega-3, omega-6, omega-9, and sulfur. All of these antioxidants and compounds occur naturally in the plant, and work together to maximize absorption. For example, the magnesium found in moringa helps us to absorb its calcium.
Nutrient concentrations – Like most superfoods, moringa contains a lot of nutrients. What really sets it apart from others, though, are the concentrations of those nutrients. For example, ounce-per-ounce, dried moringa leaves contain three times more potassium than bananas, 2,500 times more amino acids than green tea, three times more iron than spinach or roast beef, three times more calcium than milk, and 10 times the recommended daily amount of vitamin E.
A complete protein – Moringa leaves are between 30 and 40 percent protein, and contain 18 amino acids. Of these, nine (valine, lysine, leucine, histidine, isoleucine, methionine, threonine, phenylalanine, and tryptophan) are essential amino acids. This makes moringa a ‘complete’ protein source – something seldom found in the plant world. We need protein, of course, to build bones, skin, blood, and cartilage, and to produce hormones and enzymes. Without it, our bodies would biochemically dismantle.
Makes a great oil – Though the moringa tree is best-known for its nutritious leaves, its seeds also have a use: Tthe matured pods can be processed into ‘ben oil,’ a clear, sweet oil that rivals olive oil in antioxidant activity. Ben oil is extremely durable and doesn’t spoil, and has been used for centuries as a perfume base, cooking lubricant, and salad dressing.
Given moringa‘s healthiness, it is unsurprising that regular consumption of its leaves – in cooked or dried states – has been linked to reduced blood pressure, weight loss, improved mood and digestion, healthier skin (some Western cosmetic companies are now adding moringa extracts to their skincare products), and much more. In fact, Ayurvedic medicine claims that over 300 diseases can be treated by consuming moringa leaves. So why not try it out?
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by Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
(NaturalNews) Often referred to as the “miracle tree” because of its uniquely diverse array of nutritional, medicinal, and purifying properties, Moringa oleifera is a little-known, and highly undervalued, “superfood” treasure with incredible potential to greatly improve health and eliminate hunger around the world. This whole food plant contains high amounts of protein, all eight essential amino acids, a full spectrum of vitamins and minerals, and a plethora of phytonutrients and other powerful disease-fighting antioxidants.
Natively found in the southern foothills of the Himalayan Mountains in northern India, Moringa is widely cultivated today throughout Africa, Central and South America, and many parts of Asia. Because of its many valuable uses, and the fact that it grows so quickly and easily in semi-arid, tropical, and subtropical climates, Moringa is quickly becoming a go-to plant for combating malnutrition, treating inflammation, promoting healthy blood flow, and preventing infection, among other things.
Moringa, the multi-purpose superfood with endless health benefits
What is particularly unique about Moringa is the fact that every part of the plant, including its bark, leaves, flowers, and roots serves a unique purpose in promoting human health. Its seeds, for instance, contain up to 40 percent of a non-drying, edible oil known as “Ben Oil” that is rich in antioxidants and similar in its nutritional profile to olive oil. The clear, sweet, odorless oil also has an indefinite shelf life, as it does not turn rancid like many other oils.
“The leaves, flowers, seeds, pods, roots, bark, gum, and seed oil from the Moringa (malunggay) plant are continually being subjected to intensive research and development programs because the various constituents of the Moringa are known to have, among other properties, anti-diabetic, anti-hypertensive, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-viral, anti-parasitic, anti-tumor, and anti-aging activities,” writes Nelly Favis-Villafuerte for the Manila Bulletin about Moringa.
Perhaps the most utilized component of Moringa is its leaves, which can be dried and ground up into a nutrient-dense, tart-flavored powder. According to another report in the Manila Bulletin, Moringa powder contains seven times the amount of vitamin C typically found in oranges, four times the amount of vitamin A in carrots, 36 times the amount of magnesium in eggs, 25 times the amount of iron in spinach, 50 times the amount of vitamin B3 in peanuts, and 50 times the vitamin B2 in bananas. (http://www.mb.com.ph/articles/215853/moringa-the-miracle-plant)
Like Ben Oil, Moringa leaf powder does not spoil, which makes it an excellent long-term survival food. Particularly in third world countries, Moringa powder provides nutritional sustenance at a level unparalleled by most other food plants. And because Moringa seeds can grow to full-size, harvestable trees in as few as 65 days, the Moringa plant is a highly-sustainable source of food that is virtually unmatched in its viability and usefulness.
If you live in U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Hardiness Zones 9, 10, or 11, you can very easily, with very little maintenance, grow your own outdoor Moringa trees at home. If you live in a cooler climate, you can either grow your own Moringa trees indoors or in a greenhouse, or purchase pure Moringa powder, oil, and tea products from various online vendors.
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