Nine Science-Based Health Benefits of Moringa Oleifera

Nine Science-Based Health Benefits of Moringa Oleifera
Posted on September 27th, 2022.

MORINGA tree is also known as the ‘miracle tree’ and there is a good reason. The leaves, fruit, sap, oil, roots, bark, seeds, pod and flowers of the tree have medicinal properties. The leaves of the Moringa tree, also known as the ‘drumstick tree’, are nutritional and are incorporated in many Indian cuisines. Adding them to juices and using them as stir-fry vegetables are the most common ways in which they are eaten.

 The health benefits of moringa:

  • Prevents cataract formation: Researchers, in providing an alternative approach to treat cataracts, have identified an extract of the moringa oleifera 

To validate its use as an eye drop in traditional medicine for the treatment of cataracts, the researchers tested its extract on rats made to develop cataracts in the laboratory. The changes in the opacity induced by hydrogen peroxide were observed under a microscope.

The researchers said the moringa oleifera stem extract alleviates cataract formation induced by oxidative stress in cultured mouse lenses. 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 build-up in the eye, a precursor for glaucoma, a cause of reversible cause of blindness.

In the study, researchers said moringa oleifera leaf water extract may be consumed as a form of adjunct therapy in controlling blood pressure and intraocular pressure.

This clinic-based observational study at the University of Benin Optometry Clinic in Benin City published in the 2018 edition of the Journal of the Nigerian Optometric 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, thereafter intraocular pressure and blood pressure rose toward baseline values.

  • Increase malaria drug effectiveness: Scientists found moringa oleifera as a partner drug of artemisinin for treating malaria. The combination increases the antimalarial effect of artesunate, and as such a low dose of artesunate will be required in treating malaria.

In 2016, Thai scientists tested the effect of Gynostemma pentaphyllum or moringa oleifera leaf extracts on the effectiveness of artesunate in treating malaria. Written in the Journal of Tropical Medicine, the scientists concluded: “the addictive effect of these extracts with artesunate is important in the context that offers opportunities to further standardise new ACT as a possible antimalarial combination.”

  • Boost hypertension drug effectiveness: Scientists are aware that taking herbs such as moringa (moringa oleifera) leaf extracts can enhance the effectiveness of some hypertension medications in controlling blood pressure when these are used alongside.

Researchers found that moringa leaf extracts could improve the antioxidant and ACE inhibitory properties of lisinopril, a commonly used antihypertensive medication to relax blood vessels so blood flows more smoothly and the heart can pump blood better.

The 2018 study, in the journal, Oriental Pharmacy and Experimental Medicine reported a significant decrease in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure after administrating moringa oleifera leaves juices.

  • Treats malnutrition. Early research shows that adding moringa powder to food for two months helps improve weight in malnourished children.
  • Supports wound healing: In a study, scientists found that the water extract of moringa oleifera leaves has a significant wound healing effect. A significant increase in wound closure rate, skin-breaking strength, and other wound healing properties was observed. In 2006, the researchers said in the Indian Journal of Experimental Biology that its healing actions seem to be due to increased collagen deposition as well as better alignment and maturation.
  • Boosts breast milk production: In a study to investigate the effect of moringa oliefera on the levels of prolactin and breast milk production (baby’s weight and sleep duration) in postpartum mothers, researchers suggested moringa oleifera as a supplement for nursing mothers. It has significant effects on the mother’s prolactin and the sleep duration of the baby.

An analysis of data from five clinical studies shows that moringa moderately increases milk product after one week of use when started on postpartum day three. But it’s not clear if moringa is beneficial when used for longer periods of time.

  • Lower blood sugar levels: Interestingly, several studies have shown that moringa oleifera may help lower blood sugar levels. However, most of the evidence is based on animal studies. Only a few human-based studies exist, and they’re generally of low quality.

In 2014, one study published in the Journal of Food Science and Technology in 30 women showed that taking 1.5 teaspoons (7 grams) of moringa leaf powder every day for three months reduced fasting blood sugar levels by 13.5%, on average.

Another small study in 1993 that involved six people with diabetes, researchers said 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 many recent research to back up the moringa’s medicinal benefits, many of the studies are still in the preliminary stages or the tests have only taken place on animals as opposed to humans, so there is plenty more to be done.

Also, research shows that although it’s generally safe to eat the leaves or young seed pods, and leaf extracts made from powder and water, it can be dangerous to eat bark or pulp, especially for pregnant women. Chemicals in the bark may make the womb contract and lead to a miscarriage.

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