Health Benefits Moringa Plant (Moringa oleifera)
Moringa plant which is popularly known as the “miracle plant” or “multipurpose tree”, it’s also known with the biological name Moringa oleifera. The name is derived from the Tamil word Murungi. Here, in Africa (Nigeria) we refer to it as Zogelea. Primarily, it grows in tropical, subtropical and semi-arid climate. It is used in traditional Indian medicine for centuries. I have used this plant for some time now and I can tell you it’s a multipurpose medicinal plant you can afford to overlook.
Moringa plant is overflowing with proteins, vitamins such as A, B, C, D and minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron and selenium. 100g of fresh Moringa leaves have 8.3g protein, 434mg calcium, 404mg potassium, 738µg, vitamin A and 164mg of vitamin C. Thus, it contains 13 species from tropical and subtropical climates that range in size from tiny herbs to massive trees. The moringa leaves are rich in essential amino acids (20 essential amino acids) which are rarely found in plants. It’s a good source of cholesterol which helps in fighting against various cardiovascular diseases. For breastfeeding mothers moringa leaves can be taking to stimulate breast milk production.
Also, the dry leaves can be pound with a mortar and pistil to get it into powdered form which can be taking as tea or sprinkled on your meal to add nutrient(s). When taken as tea its helps manage blood glucose, stimulate blood pressure, aids a good night sleep and also a good source of energy, unlike other power drinks you have in various markets today. Thus, moringa does not contain caffeine.
It’s also used in treating gastrointestinal problems, headache, inflammation, anemia, fever, eye infection, bronchitis, poor nutrition, inner ear infection, skin infection. I usually take this when I am feeling a little headache or chest pain and I get relief well. The seeds of moringa plants are edible in both dry and fresh forms. Studies, till date have shown moringa olifera provide relief in many medical conditions such rheumatism, gout, sexually transmitted diseases, urinary infection and epilepsy to mention but a few.
Modern medicine uses moringa oleifera to treat fungal infection due its natural antibiotic content, and anemia due to its high iron content. Moringa seeds powder can be used for water purification. After the oil is cold-pressed, what is left can be successfully used to remove dirt particles and harmful bacteria from dirty river water thus, make it safe for drinking. This method is much safer and healthier than using aluminum sulfate and other chemicals traditionally used in purify drinking water.
Moringa, also has its place in agriculture, to supplement animal feed and act as a fertilizer to boost the soil fertility. However, because of its rich content in natural oil, it is considered as a potential biofuel materials. From the seeds comes Moringa oil for body massage due to its light texture and it has exceptional high cooking properties, oxidative stability and pleasant taste. It also has some healing properties for skin allergies, irritations, wounds, blemishes, and stretch marks. In modern time, it’s used in making soaps, shampoos, perfumes, and other skin care products.
Moringa oleifera flowers are creamy white with yellow stems. It blooms from the month of April to September annually. It is edible, mixed into salads or fried in fat and eaten as a snack. Another way is to make a delicious tea with it. In traditional medicine these flowers are brewed into a very strong tea or pressed into juice to treat urinary infection, cold symptoms, as a supplement for breast-feeding women to increase the milk flow, support weight loss because it contain strong diuretic, and also strengthening the liver function. Recent studies have shown Moringa flowers are considered to be useful in treating impotence in men, lack of sexual desire, and other sexual dysfunctions.