A great variety of medicinal plants—and their leaves, bark, roots, and flowers—have been used for centuries, but here we are learning more about some of them today. Are we behind the times, or has our industry just seriously amped up its search for new alternatives and new frontiers? Honestly, I think formulators, as well as consumers, are in search of new complements to their nutritional regimens.
One of those incredible superfood herbal nutrients is Moringa. Loaded with super nutrient benefits, Moringa has been used in many Eastern cultures for centuries. It comes from theMoringa oleiferatree, which is a native grown tree in India, but can be found in other countries including Asia and Africa, as well as in other tropical and subtropical climates. It is also known as the Drumstick Tree, the Miracle Tree and the Tree of Life.
InHealth benefits of Moringa oleifera,the authors explain that this herbal plant is used as food and an alternative medicine around the world. “Moringa oleiferacontains essential amino acids, carotenoids in leaves, and components with nutraceutical properties, supporting the idea of using this plant as a nutritional supplement or constituent in food preparation. An important factor that accounts for the medicinal uses ofMoringa oleiferais its very wide range of vital antioxidants, antibiotics and nutrients including vitamins and minerals” (1).
Moringa powder is made from dried and ground Moringa leaves. The flavor is neutral, or enjoyably mild, making it a welcome addition in many foods and cooking preparations. It is great in dips, hummus, even guacamole. Many people bake with it, and it can be added to stir fry, mashed potatoes, sauces and gravies, smoothies, yogurt, pudding, and even to your morning coffee.
Moringa, because of its high protein, fiber, and nutritional content, is a great choice to enhance low calorie and nutrition-lacking diets around the world. Many consumers, including vegans and vegetarians, are attracted to its nutritional benefits, protein content, and variety of uses.
History has shown us a variety of traditional uses for Moringa, and many of these have been used for hundreds of years, including hormonal support, libido enhancement, energy boosting, lifting mood, supporting brain health, and helping to soothe allergies, asthma, and headaches. This is just a short modified list of uses around the globe.
The most common form is powder, or powdered capsules made from the dried Moringa leaves, but oils and tinctures are also available. Moringa is generally safe, but as always one should consult with a healthcare practitioner, especially if taking medications.
NOTE: WholeFoods Magazine is a business-to-business publication. Information on this site should not be considered medical advice or a way to diagnose or treat any disease or illness. Always seek the advice of a medical professional before making lifestyle changes, including taking a dietary supplement. The opinions expressed by contributors and experts quoted in articles are not necessarily those of the publisher or editors of WholeFoods.