Moringa (Moringa oleifera Lam.) is a variety of indigenous Indian herbs that have become well-known in tropical and subtropical regions. It is also known as the Horseradish tree, Mulangay, Mlonge, Benzolive, Drumstick tree, Sajna, Kelor, Saijihan, and Marango. Moringa oleifera is a vegetable in the Brassica group and a member of the Moringaceae family. It has a wide variety of nutritional and bioactive compounds, including proteins, essential amino acids, carbohydrates, lipids, fiber, vitamins, minerals, phenolic compounds, phytosterols, and others. Benefits of moringa to treat asthma, blackheads, blood impurities, bronchitis, catarrh, chest congestion, cholera, and many other illnesses.
It is commonly used as an Ayurvedic and Unani medical system for centuries. Moringa has been traditionally used medicinally for millennia and in many cultures around the world. Benefits of Moringa include antipyretic, anti-ulcer, anti-epileptic, diuretic, cholesterol-lowering, kidney-protective, anti-diabetic, and hepatoprotective properties. Additionally, it came to light that every aspect of the Moringa tree including the fruits, seeds, and nutrition, was beneficial. The Trees For Life organization also stated in an article that “every part of the Moringa humanity exists.
- Moringa oleifera is a genus of the Moringaceae family’s. It is fast-growing tropical deciduous plant with thick, tuberous roots, light green leaves, and profuse blooming with elongated, pendulous fruits and seeds.
- Its fruit is a long, woody pod that splits into two leaflets when it is ripe and includes trivalent seeds with longitudinal wings.
- The pinnate leaves of this plant have leaflets that cluster on rachis.
- The blooms grow in axillary panicles, are bisexual, zygomorphic, and have pedicels and auxiliary inflorescences in addition to their five unequal white petals, five sepals, five stamens, and several staminodes.
- The plant has tuberous roots and upright branches. It is a tree with an open crown and a straight stem that can grow to a height of 7–12 m and a diameter of 20–40 centimeters.
It is a northern Indian native medicinal plant, but it is also found in southwest Asia, southwest and northwest Africa, and Madagascar. It is extensively used for ornamental purposes in cities along Mexico’s Pacific coast and plantations in Bolivia, Argentina, and other parts of the globe. M. oleifera can grow anywhere in the globe that is tropical or subtropical and has temperatures between 25 and 35 °C. It needs a total rainfall of 250–3000 mm and sandy or loamy soil with a pH range of slightly acidic to slightly alkaline.
Chemical Constituents that show the benefits of Moringa
Minerals such as calcium, potassium, zinc, magnesium, iron, and copper are abundant in the foliage of Moringa. Vitamins including vitamin A’s beta-carotene, vitamin B’s folic acid, vitamins C, D, and E, as well as nicotinic and pyridoxine acid, are all present in Moringa. Along with reducing sugar, tannins, sterols, terpenoids, flavonoids, saponins, anthraquinones, alkaloids, and anti-cancer substances including glucosinolates, isothiocyanates, glycoside compounds, and glycerol-1-9-octadecanoate, the substance also contains other compounds. Moringa leaves are also minimal in calories so it is beneficial for weight loss. Fibrous beans are useful in treating digestive issues and preventing colon cancer.
Due to a variety of vital compounds found in its leaves, pods, and seeds, moringa is a nutritious plant with a high nutritional value. In reality, moringa claims to have 25 times more iron than spinach and 25 times more calcium than milk, as well as 7 times more vitamin C than oranges and 10 times more vitamin A than carrots. The PUFAs linoleic, linolenic, and oleic acids can control cholesterol. A great substitute for olive oil, moringa seed oil has a PUFA concentration of roughly 76%, according to a study. According to one study, young pods contain approximately 46.78% fiber and approximately 20.66% protein. The amino acid concentration of pods is 30%, leaves are 44%, and flowers are 31%. Palmitic, linolenic, linoleic, and oleic acids are present in comparable amounts in immature pods and flowers.
Health Benefits of Moringa
- Antidiabetic property: Moringa treat both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is mainly characterized by patients’ inability to produce insulin, a hormone that keeps blood glucose levels within the usual range. Flavonoids are responsible for this activity.
- Anticancer property: Moringa have anticancer property because it is natural, dependable, and harmless at known concentrations. According to studies, moringa can act as an anti-neo proliferative substance, which prevents cancer cells from proliferating. Leaf preparations that are soluble or solvent-based have been successfully used as anticancer medications.
- Antioxidant property: Moringa possesses antioxidant activity because they neutralize free radicals that cause oxidative stress. Flavonoids, polyphenols, and ascorbic acid are antioxidants present in Moringa leaves, blossoms, and seeds. According to studies, the plant has a high flavonoid content, which contributes to its high antioxidant capacity.
- Antiulcer property: Moringa can also be used as an antiulcer agent because it reduces acidity in gastric ulcers by 86.15% and 85.13% at doses of 500 mg and 350 mg, respectively.
- Antimicrobial property: Moringa acts as an effective antimicrobial agent. Researchers discovered that Moringa extracts can kill microbes like Bacillus subtilis, Staphylococcus aureus, and Vibrio cholera. The seeds’ abundance of pterygospermin, moringine, and benzyl isothiocyanate accounted for their antibacterial properties.
- Anti-inflammatory property: Moringa heals a wide range of acute and chronic conditions. In vitro and in vivo studies with the plant have suggested that it is helpful in the treatment of inflammation.
Other health benefits of Moringa
- Dementia treatment: Benefits of moringa include curing dementia because it has been scientifically shown to improve spatial memory. Leaf extracts reduce acetylcholine esterase activity, enhancing cholinergic function and memory.
- AIDS treatment: For patients with AIDS, herbalists often recommend moringa. Moringa strengthen the immune system of HIV-positive people. However, more study is necessary to confirm the impact of moringa on antiretroviral medications.
- Boost lactation: Moringa leaves serve to promote lactation in nursing mothers in traditional Ayurvedic treatment. Moringa leaves treat the health of the mother and the unborn child. They have abundant source of protein, vital vitamins, and necessary nutrients.
- Protect the liver: Moringa leaves have many advantages for people with TB because they lessen the side effects of anti-tubercular medications. The leaves hasten the regeneration of liver cells. The leaves contain a lot of flavonoids, which can both prevent and possibly even reverse liver oxidative damage. They raise the liver’s protein amounts. Moringa maintains liver enzyme.