Tap into the medicinal benefits of Moringa

Tap into the medicinal benefits of Moringa


Moringa Oleifera is a plant that has been praised for its medicinal values for thousands of years. Almost all the parts of the tree can be eaten or used as ingredients for herbal medicine.
From the leaves of the tree to its seeds, Moringa is said to have over
300 nutritional, therapeutic and medicinal benefits. Little wonder, it is popularly known as the ‘Miracle tree’. In fact, the pseudonym somewhat derives from the healing and therapeutic properties of the plant.
Scientists have said that Moringa pods, bark, flowers, fruits, leaves, roots, and seeds are all useful. The plant is said to contain various valuable nutrients, antioxidants, as well as amino acids which are essentially for many metabolic processes in the body.
Moringa has been used in the last two decades in different parts of the world for the management of various ailments, including diabetes, cancer, poor eye sight, digestion, hypertension, heart diseases and cardiovascular diseases.
Its leaves and seeds were used by some international organisations to combat malnutrition at a time.
Moringa leaves are believed to be loaded with nutrients that remain preserved for many years, when stored appropriately. It should be regarded as the next super food and supplement for healthy living and diet.
Highlighting its benefits, Chair, University of Ilorin Moringa Plantation Management Committee, University of Ilorin, Kwara State, Dr. Ayo Afolabi-Toye , says that Moringa plant products possess protective and prophylactic properties which have been found to be helpful in the prevention and management of some disease conditions.
According to him, research shows that Moringa leaves promote cardiovascular, prostate, and neurological and visual health when used appropriately.
He says a Moringa leaf meal, which can be prepared like the African vegetable and egusi soup, is bound to deliver loads of amino acids, proteins, phenols, beta-carotene, chlorophyll, minerals and fibre, as well as other nutrients that aid many metabolic and energy processes in the body.
Afolabi-Toye who is also the Editor-in-Chief, International Journal of Moringa and Nutriceutical Research, a journal of the International Moringa and Nutraceutical Research Society, adds that its leaves have antibiotic properties which support the immune system of the body.
Still on its antibiotic properties, Moringa oil is popular in the treatment of some infections, including abscesses, athlete’s foot and gum diseases.
Moringa oil is sometimes applied directly to the skin as a germ-killer or drying agent. It is also used topically for treating pockets of infection including gingivitis, snakebites, warts, and wounds.
Moringa is also said to have cholesterol lowering properties, which is important in maintaining the body’s overall well being. It is particularly beneficial for pre-diabetic and diabetic patients.
According to experts, the tree and its other parts contain soluble fibre, anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds which directly and indirectly contribute to lowering blood cholesterol and improving blood lipids profile.
“The leaf of the Moringa Olifera trees, when ground to powder, contains 26 per cent proteins. It is also rich in vitamins, biotin and folic acid.
“Moringa can serve as food, medicine and it is seen as capable of curing all diseases. It is also called the Miracle tree. and the Yoruba of western Nigeria call it ‘Gbogbonse (literally translated in English, it means ‘Able to do all things’)
“A combination of factors, including soluble fibre, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds in parts of the plant, as well as the high proportion of unsaturated fatty acids present within its oil, may be responsible.
“Each of these factors can directly or indirectly contribute to lowering cholesterol in the blood. However, the efficacy of Moringa in lowering blood cholesterol levels and/or improving blood cholesterol profiles will vary with the amount of the product consumed.” Afolabi-Toye explains.
Apart from the leaves, many medicinal benefits abound in eating Moringa seeds, which are developed inside the pods produced by the tree.
Experts say the seeds are full of nutrients, such as vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, as well as iron. It is said to contain more vitamins in comparison with fruits, such as oranges, carrots which are prime sources of vitamins.
The good thing, however, is that it also digests easily.
Afolabi-Toye, however, warned that its use should not be substituted for medication for those on other prescriptions. The expert insists that it should rather be seen as a food supplement, not a herbal supplement that should replace the doctor’s recommendation.
Experts note that although it is safe to ingest its leaves, fruits, nuts and seeds by mouth, it is important to avoid eating the root and its extracts.
Scientists warn that these parts of the plant may contain a toxic substances that can cause paralysis and other serious complications when it is not used appropriately.
Luckily for us, the weather in Nigeria supports its growth. That is why its seeds, leaves and other parts are readily available. However, you must be careful; there are adulterated Moringa products out there.
Just in case you are thinking of how to incorporate this highly medicinal plant into your daily diet, look no further. Moringa leaves can be eaten as vegetables and when grounded, taken as a beverage or tea every other day.


CULLED FROM PUNCHNG