Moringa – Medicinal Magic?
So over the last couple months, I’ve heard this word thrown around quite a bit in all kind of positive ways. So, as I tend to do, I put it on the list to check out at some later point. That time has come. I believe opportunities pop up at the right moment, and I came home this weekend for mum to remind me to take some Moringa leaves when I was leaving. Remind means I should have known about it beforehand right?
Mum: Remember to take some Moringa leaves when you’re leaving.
Me: Ma, what? You have Moringa? Take the leaves from where?
Mum: The tree outside. Look right there *points outside*. I told you I planted one.
Me: Ummm…No. But ok, I’ll take some. Just tell me what to do with it.
Mum: You can do anything with it. It doesn’t have a taste. You can put it in your smoothies.
Bush medicine with supposed super powers that does not have a taste? BINGO! Sign me up! Based on research, it has a spinachy taste, but I can live with that as well.
Moringa (moringa oleifera) is native to India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan, and basically all the parts of the plant (leaves, bark, flowers, fruit, seeds, and root) are used to make medicine. My mum bought a plant locally (Trinidad) and planted it in our yard. Within a few months it is now at least eight feet tall, and we’re able to use the leaves with all their special medicinal powers. Not bad at all, so it’s an option to consider, once you have the yard space. It’s a tall, skinny plant (my twin perhaps?), so ensure you have sufficient height room available.
It might make more sense to list the things Moringa does not help with, as based on research it’s beneficial for almost everything. The below is not a comprehensive list, but rather what I think are some of the more common health issues it can treat:
- Arthritis and other joint pain (Rheumatism)
- Stomach Pain
- HEADACHE (this is the main one I need because the regularity and intensity of my migraines are too much of late!)
- High blood pressure
- Kidney Stones
- Infections (bacterial, fungal, viral and parasitic)
- Low sex drive (used as an aphrodisiac..who needs oysters!?)
- Natural Birth Control – I needed more information on this so I did some more research – see below.
- Boost the immune system
- Applied topically to treat infection, athlete’s foot, dandruff, gum disease (gingivitis), snakebites, warts, wound
The reason Moringa is so useful in fighting the above issues is due to the below nutritional content (per 100 grams):
1) Vitamin A – Aids in good vision, healthy bone growth, while it supports the immune system, and good skin health. Moringa Leaves contains 6780 mcg (microgram) vs carrots which contain 1890 mcg.
2) Vitamin C – Necessary for the growth, development and repair of all body tissues, amp up that immune system to fight the flu, etc. Moringa Leaves contains 220 mg (milligram) vs oranges which contain 30mg.
3) Calcium – to build and maintain strong bones and teeth. Moringa Leaves contains 440 mg (milligram) vs cow’s milk which contains 120mg.
4) Potassium – essential for the functioning of the brain and nervous systems. Moringa Leaves contains 259 mg (milligram) vs bananas which contains 88mg.
5) Protein – The body needs protein to build and repair tissues, make enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals. Point of reference, hair and nails are mostly made of protein. Moringa Leaves contains 6.7g (gram) vs cow’s milk which contains 3.2g
While it’s probably best to get it fresh (using the actual leaves), let’s be real…it’s not convenient. Even though my mum has a tree, because I don’t live there, it won’t always be accessible. For this reason, you can choose from one of the many available products based on your needs if you decide this is something you want to incorporate into your diet.
1) Moringa powder – This is essentially the leaves in powder form. I have never used any of these before, but the below is an Amazon’s choice product by Kiva Health Food. As always, do your research and go with brands you trust.
2) Moringa capsules – To be used as a supplement. They come in different size capsules, from a multitude of different brands. The below
3) Moringa Oil – Anti-aging, natural glow, fights acne, moisturises scalp, stronger hair, fights dandruff and split ends, etc.
4) Moringa Tea - Contains high levels of antioxidants to fight those disease
5) Moringa Exfoliating Cream Scrub – I’m throwing in this one because once I started researching how many things contain this miracle plant, I was amazed. I even found the below on Amazon from The Body Shop. It’s an exfoliating cream body scrub made with cold pressed Moringa Seed Oil. It’s not very expensive, and I think I want to try it.
Do some research of your own, and see just how many options are available. Happy googling! J
Moringa as a natural birth control:
Apparently, the Moringa root is more potent than the leaves. In the past, the root was used as a permanent contraceptive, and even in some rural parts of India, like West Bengal today, it is still used by women, mainly prostitutes to prevent pregnancy. A study published by the US National Library of Medicine shows that it can cause a fertilised egg to not be able to attach to the lining of the uterine wall. Similarly, if already pregnant, it can cause a miscarriage (root and less potent leaves). Oh, and the root in its natural form should not be ingested on its own, as in addition to preventing pregnancy, it can contain toxins that are lethal. Now, this shook me because it sounds scary right? See how important it is to do research before starting to take anything new…even natural remedies. It might work for one thing, while being detrimental to another aspect of your life. To put this into perspective, there are also other very common herbs which can be used with varying degrees of effectiveness as birth control. These include GINGER, neem, buckwheat, Vitamin C (Not sure how I feel about this, but research it for your own opinions), cinnamon, papaya, and many others not included here because I’ve personally never heard of them (probably not saying much, but that’s the reason).
The reason I went into the details of the effects on current and future pregnancy is that it’s very important to me. I’m a couple months away from thirty, with no kids, so my biological clock is ever ticking (louder with every passing year). It’s the constant millennial woman problem..not being ready for kids, but wanting them at a later date, and hoping that date isn’t too late. So, while I am currently taking regular birth control (pills), I don’t want to do anything to permanently affect my kid bearing chances at a later date. (Yes parents…it’s in the plan for you to have grandkids…rejoice!).
So based on all the information, I am going to try Moringa. I’ll start with using the leaves about three times a week in my smoothies. I’m also going to get the powder, and definitely the oil to use in my hair, because I constantly have breakage, and super dry hair, and I love these natural oils which really do help. I also want to try the tea because I love trying new teas, and I don’t need to convince you of those benefits I’m sure. But..this use will cease as soon as it’s baby making time. The use of this plus all the other herbs I learned about that do not aid in pregnancy will be eliminated, because at that point, I want my age and the odds of sperm that are poor swimmers to be my only deterrent. Now that I know more about this ingredient, I’m so excited to start using it. I have a good feeling, and only time will tell, but you never know until you try! There are no other side effects for use of this plant, so hopefully I see some of the benefits (please no more migraines!). I will definitely keep you posted. In case you guys haven’t realised yet, I have not been the healthiest person most of my life, so I’m only now trying to incorporate better things in my routine. It’ll be trial and error until I find what works best, and I will be taking you on this journey with me, so hopefully we can help each other along.
Men…in case it wasn’t clear, there are no side effects for you using this herb, so you should definitely go forth and bathe in all the goodness it offers.
Have you ever tried any Moringa products?
If so, what has been the reaction?
Will you ever try it?
What are other natural products you’ve used that have been helpful?
Let me know…
Foot Foot Note: This is the start of my Country Cures Series. Living in Trinidad, there is so many amazing natural remedies that our elders swear by, and it’s becoming more popular now. As everyone gets more health conscious and all out scared about the chemicals they’re putting into their bodies, we’re reverting to the tried and true methods of the past. How exciting! So, let me know if there are any plants, remedies, concoctions you have used, or even what you’d like more info about, and I will endeavour to investigate and see if we can’t all become a little wiser and healthier. Together! It takes a village!
In addition to some enlightening convos with some knowledgeable souls, below are the main sites I used for info:
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Light and love and much health benefits!