Moringa oleifera is a tree with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Its health benefits may range from speeding up wound healing to managing blood glucose.
Also known as the drumstick tree, the miracle tree, the ben oil tree, or the horseradish tree, people have used moringa for centuries due to its health benefits.
In this article, find out what moringa is, which benefits it might offer, and possible side effects.
Moringa contains many essential compounds, such as:
- vitamin A
- vitamin B1 (thiamine)
- vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
- vitamin B3 (niacin)
- vitamin C (ascorbic acid)
It is also low in fat and contains no harmful cholesterol.
Around the world, many people traditionally use moringa as food and for medicinal purposes.
1. Protecting and nourishing skin and hair
However, more studies are needed, especially those involving humans.
2. Treating edema
Edema is when fluid builds up in body tissues, for instance, because of inflammation. Ear edema can cause tissue swelling around the ear, usually because of an infection.
In one study, applying moringa seed oil reduced skin inflammation in mice with ear edema. This suggests the anti-inflammatory properties of moringa may help treat ear edema, although more research is needed.
3. Protecting the liver
In one study,
4. Preventing and treating cancer
According to some
5. Treating stomach upset
Moringa extracts might help treat some stomach disorders.
- The fibrous pods can benefit digestive health and may help prevent colon cancer.
- Moringa leaves
have showna laxative effect, making moringa a possible option for constipation.
- In one study, moringa reduced stomach acidity by around 85%, suggesting it could prevent peptic ulcers.
- Moringa’s antibiotic and antibacterial properties may help prevent the growth of pathogens that can cause infections.
- Moringa may help prevent ulcerative colitis as its anti-inflammatory effects may protect the digestive system from damage.
6. Fighting foodborne bacterial infections
7. Preventing rheumatoid arthritis
8. Treating mood and nervous system disorders
The antioxidant activity of moringa may protect against disorders that affect the nervous system, such as multiple sclerosis (MS), Alzheimer’s disease, neuropathic pain, and depression.
Scientists believe it may have neuroprotective properties, but they have not yet identified how they work.
9. Protecting the cardiovascular system
10. Treating diabetes
Extracts of moringa leaves may benefit people with diabetes, such as assisting with managing blood sugar and insulin levels and protecting against organ damage. Its properties could help prevent complications and slow disease progression.
More studies are needed to identify how moringa could help manage diabetes.
11. Treating asthma
Moringa contains molecules that may help manage or prevent asthma, bronchial constrictions, and airway inflammation. One study found that the lung function of guinea pigs improved after researchers gave them a moringa extract.
12. Preventing kidney stones
Some traditional remedies recommend taking moringa to prevent kidney stones.
However, more research is needed to support this use.
13. Reducing high blood pressure
Moringa contains substances that may help manage blood pressure.
In one study, a group of healthy participants consumed 120 grams of cooked moringa leaves for a week, while another group did not.
Two hours after eating, those who consumed moringa had lower blood pressure than those who did not.
14. Improving eye health
15. Treating anemia and sickle cell disease
People in some parts of the world have traditionally used moringa to treat and prevent anemia.
Results from laboratory tests have suggested that taking moringa as food or medication could also help manage sickle cell disease.
Moringa extract may help manage various factors related to obesity, research suggests.
Possible benefits for people with obesity
- preventing inflammation
- managing lipids
- lowering cholesterol levels
- protecting the liver
However, there is no evidence that moringa can help with weight loss.
Moringa appears to have few or no side effects. However, anyone considering using moringa should discuss it with a doctor, as it may interact with other medications.
People should always read the label on the extract and follow dosage instructions.
All parts of the moringa tree and its extracts may have health benefits. These range from wound healing to reducing blood pressure.
However, more research is needed to confirm moringa is safe and effective for many of these uses.
As with all supplements, the Food & Drug Administration does not monitor moringa, so a person cannot be sure of the purity or quality of a product. It is essential to purchase supplements from a trustworthy source and to follow any instructions with care.
People should also speak with a doctor first to ensure moringa is safe for them to use. Some supplements can have adverse effects and may interact with medications.