Now more than ever it’s increasingly important to support our good health in every way we can. Diet, exercise, mental health, and more, are components of proper care for each of us. The more well-rounded our health is, the better we’re protected against the germs and pathogens that might do us harm.
Many people turn to herbs and supplements to support and enhance their immunity, and to assist their body in fighting off the everyday germs that cross their path. Moringa is one that’s worth looking into, as it’s loaded with good-for-you benefits that will not only keep your body running like a top, but literally make it an inhospitable environment for infections to flourish.
What Is Moringa?
Used in medicine for centuries and native to North India, moringa oleifera is a medium to large tree that is also commonly referred to as a miracle tree, drumstick tree, ben oil tree, or horseradish tree. I’m particularly fond of the “miracle tree” moniker because this tree’s leaves, flowers, roots, and seeds are all packed with miracle working magic. So it’s quite an appropriate name. Traditionally moringa has been used to treat:
- Bacterial, viral, and fungal infections
- Joint pain
- Heart issues
Nutrition Facts About Moringa
The various parts of the moringa tree contain:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B1 (thiamine)
- B2 (riboflavin)
- B3 (niacin)
- Folate and ascorbic acid (vitamin C)
One cup (21 grams) of fresh, chopped leaves contains:
- Protein: 2 grams
- Vitamin B6: 19% of the RDA
- Vitamin C: 12% of the RDA
- Iron: 11% of the RDA
- Riboflavin (B2): 11% of the RDA
- Vitamin A (from beta-carotene): 9% of the RDA
- Magnesium: 8% of the RDA
Though its nutrition profile overall is a bit less impressive than the leaves, the pod is packed full of vitamin C. One cup (100 grams) of fresh, sliced pods contains a whopping 157% of the RDA.
What Moringa Does In The Body
Moringa contains a variety of vitamins, minerals, and proteins, and has very few known side effects. Upset stomach is the most common; moringa is powerful so it may be appropriate to start with a low dosage and work up to more. This was the case for me.
Thanks to its antibacterial, antifungal, and antimicrobial properties, moringa is believed to combat infections caused by Salmonella, Rhizopus, E. coli, and more.
Moringa can be particularly valuable as we age because with time we become more susceptible to infections. Women (and men too) may find that they are always experiencing kidney infections all of a sudden, with no history of them. UTIs are also somewhat common in the over 40 set. There are a variety of reasons this can happen but I think one of the most prevalent is that as we age, everything becomes thinner and more permeable. Just as our skin ages, our “internal plumbing” does too. So infections can crop up through no fault of our own, it’s just that some bacteria got out.
I have experience where this is concerned, but since I added moringa to my daily routine, I have not had one problem for a couple of years now.
The magic of moringa can also:
- Make bones healthier, thanks to calcium and phosphorous, both of which help keep bones healthy and strong. This in hand with moringa’s anti-inflammatory properties, can help to treat arthritis and may also play a role in healing bone damage.
- Maintain a healthy heart and protect the cardiovascular system with powerful antioxidants that may help prevent cardiac damage.
- Protect against kidney disorders, and development of stones in the kidneys, bladder or uterus. The high levels of antioxidants in moringa are believed to aid toxicity levels in the kidneys.
- Treat asthma and assist with better lung function and breathing. Moringa can help reduce the severity of asthma attacks and protect against bronchial constrictions too.
- Relieve digestive issues like constipation, gastritis, and ulcerative colitis. Moringa’s antibiotic and antibacterial properties are believed to help inhibit the growth of a wide variety of pathogens. Its high vitamin B content helps with digestion.
- Treat and prevent cancer, in part thanks to niazimicin, a compound that suppresses the development of cancer cells.
… the list of ways the miracle tree benefits the human body is at least a mile long.
Who Should Not Take Moringa
Almost every aspect of the moringa tree is generally regarded as safe, but it can be dangerous to eat the bark or pulp, and that goes double for people who are pregnant. It’s possible for chemicals in the bark to make the uterus contract, causing a miscarriage. For this reason moringa is contraindicated for those who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
As noted above, moringa can cause stomach upset so it’s important to start out with a low dosage. It may also be important for you to consult with a medical professional on daily dosage. Because plant supplements are not regulated by the FDA, there is no recommended daily allowance for them. And that’s fine because this plant (like many plants) is particularly powerful, you may want to use more or less of it. If you’re on other medications, it may interfere. If you have any doubts at all about introducing moringa into your diet, do reach out to a trusted medical professional for guidance.
Moringa is one medicinal plant that’s worth knowing more about, particularly in the world we’re living now. Put this bad boy in your corner, and all day every day it will fight the good fight for your immunity.
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