The MORINGA tree is also known as the “miracle tree” and there is a good reason. The leaves, fruits, sap, oil, roots, bark, seeds, pods and flowers of the tree have medicinal properties. The leaves of the Moringa tree, also known as ‘drumstick’, are nutritional and are incorporated into many Indian cuisines. Adding them to juices and using them as sautéed vegetables are the most common ways to eat them.
The health benefits of moringa:
- Prevents the formation of cataracts: Researchers, in proposing an alternative approach to treating cataracts, have identified an extract from the stem of Moringa oleifera as a protector against the formation of cataracts.
To validate its use as eye drops in traditional medicine for the treatment of cataracts, the researchers tested its extract on rats induced to develop cataracts in the laboratory. The changes in opacity induced by hydrogen peroxide were observed under the microscope.
Researchers reported that moringa oleifera stem extract attenuates oxidative stress-induced cataract formation in cultured mouse lentils. It was in the 2019 edition of the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
- Protect Against Glaucoma: Researchers have found that moringa oleifera leaf also suppresses pressure buildup in the eye, a precursor to glaucoma, a reversible cause of blindness.
In the study, the researchers stated that the aqueous extract of moringa oleifera leaves can be consumed as a form of adjunctive therapy to control blood pressure and intraocular pressure.
This clinical observational study at the University of Benin Optometry Clinic in Benin City published in the 2018 edition of the Journal of the Nigerian Optometry Association showed that drinking water extract of moringa oleifera leaf has a significant hypotensive effect on intraocular pressure and blood pressure of the three experimental groups.
The effect was dose-dependent and the maximum reduction in blood pressure was at 60 minutes. This preceded the maximum reduction in intraocular pressure which occurred at 90 minutes, after which intraocular pressure and blood pressure increased towards baseline values.
- Increasing the effectiveness of drugs against malaria: Scientists have discovered that moringa oleifera is a drug partner of artemisinin for the treatment of malaria. The combination increases the antimalarial effect of artesunate and as such a low dose of artesunate will be required to treat malaria.
In 2016, Thai scientists tested the effect of Gynostemma pentaphyllum or Moringa oleifera leaf extracts on the effectiveness of artesunate in the treatment of malaria. Writing in the Journal of Tropical Medicine, the scientists concluded, “The addictive effect of these extracts with artesunate is important in the context that provides opportunities to further standardize the new ACT as a possible antimalarial combination.”
- Increase the effectiveness of blood pressure medications: Scientists are aware that taking herbs such as moringa (moringa oleifera) leaf extracts may improve the effectiveness of certain blood pressure medications in controlling blood pressure. blood pressure when used in parallel.
Researchers have found that moringa leaf extracts may enhance the antioxidant and ACE-inhibiting properties of lisinopril, an antihypertensive drug commonly used to relax blood vessels so that blood flows more easily and the heart can pump blood better. blood.
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The 2018 study, published in the journal Oriental Pharmacy and Experimental Medicine, reported a significant decrease in systolic and diastolic blood pressure after administration of moringa oleifera leaf juice.
- Treats malnutrition. Early research shows that adding moringa powder to food for two months helps improve the weight of malnourished children.
- Promotes Wound Healing: In one study, scientists found that the aqueous extract of moringa oleifera leaves has a significant healing effect. A significant increase in wound closure rate, skin breaking strength and other wound healing properties was observed. In 2006, researchers stated in the Indian Journal of Experimental Biology that its healing actions appear to be due to increased collagen deposition as well as better alignment and maturation.
- Stimulates breast milk production: In a study to investigate the effect of moringa oliefera on prolactin levels and breast milk production (baby weight and sleep duration) in postpartum mothers, researchers found suggested moringa oleifera as a supplement for nursing mothers. It has significant effects on mother’s prolactin and baby’s sleep duration.
An analysis of data from five clinical studies shows that moringa moderately increases milk product after one week of use when started on the third day postpartum. But it’s unclear if moringa is beneficial when used for long periods of time.
- Lower blood sugar levels: Interestingly, several studies have shown that moringa oleifera can help lower blood sugar levels. However, most of the evidence is based on animal studies. Only a few human studies exist, and they are generally of low quality.
In 2014, a study published in the Journal of Food Science and Technology on 30 women showed that taking 1.5 teaspoons (7 grams) of moringa leaf powder every day for three months reduced fasting blood sugar by 13.5% on average.
Another small study in 1993 involving six people with diabetes, researchers reported in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition that adding 50 grams of moringa leaves to a meal reduced the rise in blood sugar by 21 %.
While a lot of recent research confirms the medicinal benefits of moringa, many studies are still in the preliminary stages or testing has only taken place on animals rather than humans, so much remains to be done.
Additionally, research shows that while it is generally safe to eat the leaves or young pods and leaf extracts made from powder and water, it may be dangerous to eat the bark or the pulp, especially for pregnant women. The chemicals in the bark can cause the uterus to contract and lead to miscarriage.