Moringa Leaves: Its Health Benefits, Side Effects, And Risk

moringa

Moringa Leaf

Moringa oleifera is a type of plant that is recognized globally for its health benefits for several thousands of years. It has enriching antioxidants, antifungal, antidepressant, antiviral, anti-inflammatory properties in the body. Moringa oleifera is also known as the drumstick tree, the ben oil tree, the miracle tree, or the horseradish tree by many people in the world.  

Main Facts About Moringa oleifera

The following are the major facts about this particular plant:

  • It provides the human body with adequate vitamins, proteins, and minerals content.
  • This plant is widely found in India but can also be grown in Africa, Asia, and South America.
  • Moringa plant has some known side effects.
  • It is advisable for you to consult your doctor first before taking any extracts of this plant, especially when taking medication.

Read Also: Moringa Tea: Benefits And Nutritional Facts

Nutritional Value Of Moringa Leaf

Moringa oleifera has numerous medicinal properties and contains adequate nutritional compounds like:

  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Folate and vitamin C (known as ascorbic acid)
  • Riboflavin (B2)
  • Niacin (B3)
  • Magnesium
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Protein
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B1
  • Zinc

Its fats content is very negligible and has no harmful cholesterol.

What Are The Health Benefits Of This Plant?

Moringa is known worldwide for its usefulness on health and beauty and also to prevent and treat many diseases. They include

Nourishing and protection of your skin/hair

This particular plant helps prevent hairs against free radicals and keep it, moist, clean and healthy. It is also helpful in protecting your skin cells from damage as it contains protein. This plant leaves have hydrating and detoxifying elements that are suitable for hair and skin health.  Also, Moringa oleifera can be used in treating sores and any skin infections.

The pods of this plant are low in minerals and vitamins but are extremely rich in vitamin C. Consuming a cup of freshly sliced pods which is usually 100 grams contains about 157 percent of your daily requirement needed by your body.

Consequently, Moringa oleifera has an increase in anti-nutrients that can cause a reduction in the absorption of protein and minerals in the body. When you take a supplement of Moringa oleifera in a capsule form doesn’t provide a large number of nutrients to your body.  

Helps in protecting your liver

Consuming Moringa helps protect your liver against harm caused by anti-tubercular drugs and can hasten its repair effectively.

Treatment of stomach problems

Taking an extract of Moringa can help in the treatment of stomach problems like gastritis, constipation, and ulcerative colitis. Moringa can also help prevent the growth of various pathogens since it has some antibacterial and antibiotic properties. Adequate digestion can also be achieved since it is rich in vitamin B.

The building of strong bones

This plant contains enough phosphorus and calcium, which makes your bones strong and stay healthy. Since it has anti-inflammatory properties, an extract of Moringa can also be useful in treating arthritis and provide a healing effect to damaged bones in the body.

Aids the protection of the cardiovascular system

Cardiac damage can be prevented since extracts of Moringa have strong antioxidants properties thereby improving your heart health effectively. It is also known in lowering your cholesterol level as it reduces your risk of having any heart disease.

Studies being carried out on humans and animals have confirmed that Moringa leaves may help lower cholesterol level. Other plant-based foods like oats, flaxseeds, and almonds can also help lower cholesterol level.

Diabetes treatment

Consuming this plant as a tea helps to lower the amount of glucose in your blood and sugar/protein that may be found in your urine. Some few human-based studies have deduced that Moringa oleifera may aid the reduction of blood sugar levels and they are mostly of low quality.

A study illustrating how 30 women who took 1.5 teaspoons usually about 7 grams of Moringa leaf powder daily for 3 months tend to have their fasting blood sugar levels reduced by an average of 13.5 percent.

Another research shows that a group of 6 people with diabetes discovered that adding 50 grams of Moringa leaves to their meal help lower the rise in blood sugar by 21 percent. Most scientists perceived these effects are due to the presence of the plant compound known as isothiocyanates.

Read Also: 16 Best Proven Foods That Controls Diabetes Effectively Well

Protection against kidney disorders

When you consume an extract of Moringa, your chances of having kidney stones is reduced. The high level of antioxidants in Moringa oleifera helps the toxicity levels in your kidney.

Protection against arsenic toxicity

Although, this has not been proven in humans as most studies are carried out on mice and rats. Arsenic contamination of water and food are prevalent in many parts of the world. Continuous exposure to high levels of arsenic may result in chronic health problems with time. A study has attributed long-term exposure of arsenic to an increased risk of heart disease and cancer.

Another study deduced that the effects of arsenic toxicity can be protected in mice and rats while using the leaves or seeds of Moringa oleifera.

Suitable for eye health

Consuming Moringa leave may help improve your eye health effectively. It also helps stop the dilation of retinal vessels, avert the thickening of capillary membranes, and stop the growth of retinal dysfunction in the eye.

Treatment of edema

Moringa anti-inflammatory properties help prevent the development of edema. Edema is a painful condition where fluids accumulate in some tissues in the human body.  

Treatment and prevention of cancer

Consuming extracts of Moringa leaves help to prevent the development of cancer from occurring. Since it contains a compound known as niazimicin, the development of cancer cells can be suppressed easily.

Read Also: Moringa Tree For Cancer Treatment: Side Effects & Benefits 

Protects the body against bacterial diseases

Since Moringa leaves have antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antifungal properties, consuming it may help prevent infections that might be caused by Rhizopus, Salmonella, and Escherichia coli. Why not consume extracts of Moringa to enable your body to stay healthy against any bacterial infection.

Improves your mood

Taking an extract of Moringa may help in the treatment against anxiety, depression, and fatigue.

moringa

Healing of wounds

When you consume an extract of Moringa, your open wounds may heal effectively and also reduces your chance of having scars on your body.

Treatment of asthma

Some severe asthmatic attacks have been reduced when you consume an extract of Moringa leaves. This plant helps protect your body against bronchial constrictions. Consuming Moringa oleifera has been found to help improve breathing and proper functioning of the lungs.

Helps lower high blood pressure

The presence of niaziminin and isothiocyanate in Moringa leave helps prevent arteries from thickening, which might lead to an increase in blood pressure.

Treatment of sickle cell disease and anemia

If you are deficient in iron, why not consume an extract of Moringa leaf to help increase the formation of red blood cell? This plant extract may aid the prevention and treatment of sickle cell disease and anemia effectively.

Read Also: Acute Myeloid Leukemia: Symptoms, Causes, And Treatment

Side Effects Of Moringa oleifera

Its side effects are not rampant but before consuming it, make sure you consult your doctor for optimum advice.

This plant has some anti-fertility qualities and as such shouldn’t be consumed by a pregnant woman.

Always adhere to the required dosage and instruction written on its label.

Risk Of This Plant

You have to be careful of the following medications:

Any medications that can easily be broken down by the liver

Consuming any Moringa extract might reduce the rate at which this occurs resulting in several complications or side effects.

Medication associated with high blood pressure

When you take any Moringa extract together with drugs that lower blood pressure may drastically reduce your blood pressure.

Levothyroxine

This medication is useful in treating problems associated with the thyroid. It is advisable never to take any thyroid medication alongside Moringa extract to avoid chronic complications.

Medications associated with diabetes

Diabetes medications help lower blood sugar level but if taken together with Moringa extract, it might make your blood sugar level to be extremely low.

Is Moringa Leaf Useful In Weight Loss?

Studies have shown how Moringa extract helps reduce and regulate weight gain in mice since it contains adequate vitamin B.

The following are the reasons why Moringa oleifera is useful in weight loss:

  • It helps to reduce weight gain
  • This plant helps prevent inflammation
  • Reduces fatigue thereby improving your energy levels
  • Lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels
  • Help in the conversion of fats into useful energy
Few Kinds Of Research Associated With Moringa Leaf

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not look into the health benefits of this plant as this is why its purity or quality can’t be guaranteed. You are advised to ascertain the claims made by the manufacturers, whether it is safe to consume, and if the potential side effects are good to go with.

Most of the studies to back up the various health benefits of this plant is in its preliminary stages while others performed the tests on animals only as none has been carried out on humans. This is why more work needs to be done to support the above facts as some recent researches have backed up the above benefits but only on animals.

Summary

Moringa plant is predominantly grown in India and has been used for thousands of years as traditional medicine. Only a few health benefits of this plant have been scientifically studied.

Consequently, Moringa oleifera is a highly nutritious plant that is suitable for people who are deficient in essential nutrients. Despite knowing it may help lower cholesterol level and blood sugar level never take it without first consulting with your doctor to avoid chronic complications.

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