Moringa is a tree native to Africa and Asia. It comes under the family of the flowering plants Moringaceae. The species cultivated in India is called Moringa Oleifera, which happens to be the most cultivated and used one. It is found in north-western India, in the foothills of the Himalayas. Moringa is also known as drumsticks in simple terms. It has been used in Indian kitchens for ages and is still used for culinary purposes.
The Moringa tree is a fast-growing deciduous plant. It can reach up to a height of 10 to 12 meters with a diameter of 45 centimeters. The grey bark has white flowers that are small in size, generally ½ inches long. The fruit it bears is long and distinctive, at least 90 cm long. The fruit splits to give a row of blackish oily seeds with papery wings each.
Drumstick or otherwise known as horse radish, Moringa is an important Ayurvedic plant. It is of high nutritional value and has a lot of vitamins and minerals. It has been used to manage and cure several diseases in the past and is helpful in the same today as well.
Moringa is rich in antioxidants. It is known for its anti-inflammatory, aphrodisiac, anti-bacterial, and antimicrobial properties. It was recently declared a superfood because of all these properties that are backed up with scientific research.
Moringa helps in curing Asthma, diabetes, Atherosclerosis, and Arthritis. It is good for the stomach and the digestive system and helps with swelling of the body parts. Moringa drives sexual desire in men and enhances fertility. It is also stated to be good for the psychological health and well-being of a person. Thus, Moringa or drum sticks have rightly received a categorization as a superfood and are highly beneficial for the health.
This article provides all you need to know about the Ayurvedic view of Moringa in detail.
How Did The Word Moringa Originate?
The name Moringa is derived from the Tamil word "murungai," used for the drumstick fruit itself.
For all the properties that it shows, a drum stick is also known as a miracle tree.
Historical Uses of Moringa in Ayurveda
Moringa is one of the most ancient Vedic trees. It has been used in Ayurvedic healing for ages. The Vedas mention Moringa as a healthy food. The Brahmans and Puranas described it as one of the most nutritious foods with healing properties. People also believe that it is one of the favorite foods of Lord Krishna.
One of Ayurveda's principal contributors, Charaka, mentioned Moringa in Charaka Samhita as a plant that is useful in destroying bacteria and parasites. It also helps in removing toxins from the body, according to the great Charaka.
The "Ayurvedic Botanical Dictionary" of 1889 by Sir James Watt mentions how valuable a plant Moringa is. He mentions Moringa oil helping and curing the pain caused by internal problems.
Parts of Moringa Plant Used
Moringa plant overall is a very useful one. The root, bark, resin, flowers, leaves, seeds, and pods are equally well used in Ayurvedic treatment. These have been proved effective and are used for different treatments.
Types of Moringa Mentioned in the Ayurveda
There are about three varieties of Moringa or drum sticks mentioned in the Ayurvedic texts, and they have been used in curing diseases owing to their Roopan or healing properties.
Shyama Moringa is black.
Shveta Moringa is white.
3. Rakta or Madhu Shigru
Rakta or Madhu Shigru is red and comparatively sweet.
Nutritional Value of Moringa
Moringa is rich in vitamins and minerals. It is full of Vitamin A, Vitamin B1 thiamine, Vitamin B2 riboflavin, Vitamin B3 niacin, Vitamin B6, folate, Vitamin C. the mineral-rich fruit contains calcium, potassium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc.
One cup or about 21 grams of Moringa contains:
1. 2 grams of protein
2. 19% of RDA of Vitamin B6
3. 12% of RDA of Vitamin C
4. 11% of RDA of Iron
5. 11% of RDA of Riboflavin
6. 9% of RDA of Vitamin A
7. 8% of RDA of Magnesium
About 157% of the daily requirements of Vitamins can be fulfilled with Moringa or drum sticks.
Ayurvedic Qualities of Moringa
Moringa is Tikta or bitter in Rasa or taste. It has a Katu or pungent effect when eaten. From bitter to pungent, the taste conversion happens after digestion of the fruit.
When eaten, Moringa is lagu or light to the stomach and has a rooksha or drying effect. It has a teekshna or strong and piercing effect on the stomach.
Moringa has ushna veerya or hot potent. This helps in reigniting the Agni or the digestive fire that helps in clearing the stomach problems.
Moringa has a positive effect on the Kapha and Vata Dosha. It balances the doshas by reducing Kapha and Vata in the body.
Benefits of Using Moringa in Ayurvedic Treatment
There have been several scientific studies on Moringa to prove the benefits of the same. Till some time back, we only had evidence from animal studies. However, being a naturally growing substance and being used world-wide, Moringa has been tested on human subjects and has shown a great result.
Be it a high-risk disease or a low-risk disease, Moringa has been and continues to help Ayurvedic treatment. With anti-diabetic properties, it helps in managing the glucose level and thus the diabetic problem as well. It also shows anti-cancer properties preventing and reducing cancer cases.
Moringa is great for neurotic development and helps in managing several psychological imbalances and problems. It helps in curing stomach ulcers and the problem of diarrhea. It is proven to be good for the respiratory tract, digestive system, thyroid gland, and kidney.
With this, look further for the scientific and Ayurvedic explanation for the same below.
Treating Diseases and Health Problems With Moringa
1. Moringa for Asthma
Moringa has antioxidants that help in removing toxins from the body and also the lungs. It clears the respiratory tract for easy oxygen flow into the body and carbon dioxide out of the body. It thus helps in treating respiratory problems like Asthma and bronchitis.
The problem of Asthma is caused due to imbalance in Kapha and Vata Dosha in the body. Toxins accumulate in the lungs obstructing the respiratory system and, in turn, causing breathlessness. Moringa balances the Vata and Kapha Dosha and lets the toxins or Ama out of the lungs. This helps in the proper functioning of the lungs and the respiratory tracts and eliminates the shortage of breath. Thus, Moringa helps in managing Asthma.
2. Moringa for Diarrhea
Moringa has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. The anti-bacterial properties help Moringa to reduce the bacterial growth in the stomach and intestine. It kills the existing bacterial growth and helps in preventing the same. The anti-inflammatory properties help in reducing the swelling or inflammation in the intestine that causes loose stools. Moringa thus helps in curing Diarrhea.
Diarrhea is called Atisar in Ayurveda. It is said to cause an imbalance in Vata Dosha. This is a result of contaminated or improper food and water. Sometimes it is also caused due to cold or stress. Moringa helps in balancing the Vata Dosha and removing the toxins from the body. It thus helps in curing diarrhea.
3. Moringa for High Blood Pressure
Moringa is an anti-oxidant, due to which it can reduce the blood pressure when it spikes up. It acts as a blood-thinning agent and reduces the risks of severe problems caused due to the blood pressure problem.
High blood pressure is a result of an imbalance in Vata Dosha. It elevates the blood pressure and thickens the blood. Moringa helps in balancing the Vata, thus curing and managing high blood pressure.
4. Moringa for Diabetes
Moringa helps in controlling the blood glucose levels when it elevates. It promotes the secretion of insulin from the pancreatic cells. Being anti-inflammatory and having antioxidants, Moringa helps in reducing lipid peroxidation. Thus, it helps in managing diabetes.
Diabetes is known as Madhumeha in Ayurveda. Due to an increase in Ama or toxins in the body, insulin is not properly produced and secreted. Moringa helps in removing the Ama or toxins and thus also in the production of insulin. Moringa thus helps in curing diabetes.
5. Moringa for Atherosclerosis
Moringa helps manage atherosclerosis. Moringa lowers the high cholesterol levels in the body and prevents the accumulation of bad cholesterol. It has anti-bacterial and antimicrobial properties that help in reducing atherosclerosis.
Due to an imbalance in Pachak Agni or the digestive fire, toxins start to accumulate, increasing the body's bad cholesterol. Moringa helps in improving the Agni or digestive fire and removing the Ama or toxins from the body. This, in turn, results in decreasing the bad cholesterol and increasing the body's good cholesterol. Moringa thus helps in managing the problem of atherosclerosis.
6. Moringa for Swelling
Moringa has anti-inflammatory properties that help in reducing inflammation or swelling, even in the bones.
Swelling occurs due to an imbalance of Vata Dosha. Moringa balances the Vata and thus cures the swelling if applied externally.
7. Moringa for Kidney Stones
Moringa is anti-bacterial and antioxidant. It helps in cleaning the kidney and bladder and regulates the urine flow. With regular urine flow, the risk of kidney stones decreases. The production of urine also helps in the easy removal of already present kidney stones.
Kidney stones or Mutrashmari is a result of an imbalance in Vata Dosha. This causes Sanga or obstruction in the kidney resulting in stones. Moringa helps in easing up the urine flow and thus helps in removing kidney stones.
8. Moringa for Libido
Moringa has aphrodisiac properties that help in increasing the sex drive in men.
Moringa has Vajikarana or aphrodisiac properties that help in increasing the libido in men and curing sexual dysfunction. It helps in the production of sperm. Thus, Moringa helps in increasing libido.
9. Moringa for Arthritis
Moringa has anti-inflammatory properties that help in managing the inflammation and swelling in the bones. As the swelling reduces, the pain gradually goes away. Moringa thus helps in managing arthritis.
An aggravated Vata Dosha caused swelling in the body. This results in pain in joints and inflammation. Moringa helps in reducing the inflammation and cures the pain. Thus, Moringa helps in managing arthritis.
Moringa also helps in
10. Preventing cancer
11. Increasing breast milk production
12. Curing wounds and marks
13. Managing thyroid
14. Curing ulcers
Forms of Moringa in Ayurveda With Recommended Dosage
Moringa can be used in different forms to cure different diseases, conditions, and problems.
1. Moringa Capsules
- Moringa capsules are available in the Ayurvedic stores.
- Take 1 or 2 capsules twice a day with warm water.
2. Moringa Tablets
- Take 1 or two tablets twice a day.
- Take it with warm water.
3. Moringa Powder
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon of Moringa powder
- Use it along with one tablespoon of honey or some warm water.
4. Moringa Juice
- Use not more than 2 to 4 teaspoons of Moringa juice once or twice a day.
- Mix it along with cold or normal water.
5. Moringa Syrup
- 1 to 2 teaspoons of Moringa syrup twice a day.
- Do not drink after consumption.
Types of Ayurvedic Care with Moringa
1. Moringa Capsules
- Take 1 or 2 Moringa capsules twice a day.
- Have it after light meals along with warm water.
2. Moringa Tablets
- Take 1 or 2 Moringa tablets twice a day.
- Have it after light meals along with water.
3. Moringa Powder
- Take ¼ to ½ teaspoon of Moringa powder.
- Swallow it along with warm water.
4. Moringa Juice
- Cut 1 apple, 1 cucumber, 1 cup of blackberries, and chop 1 cup of spinach.
- Add them into a grinder
5. Moringa Syrup
- Take 1 teaspoon of Moringa syrup.
- Take it after light meals.
- Do not drink water for half an hour after consumption.
6. Moringa Tea
- Heat some water till it boils.
- Add ½ to 1 teaspoon of Moringa powder in a cup and add some hot water, enough to cover the powder. Stir the mixture till the powder starts to dissolve.
- Pour the remaining hot water into the cup.
- Enjoy the tea in the morning.
7. Moringa Oatmeal
- In a saucepan, add some rolled out and a cup of almond milk or any plant-based milk of your choice.
- Let it cook over medium heat, stirring so that the granules do accumulate at the bottom.
- Once the oats are soft, add some Moringa powder, 1 teaspoon for one person, and stir again.
- Turn the heat off and serve yourself some warm oats along with dry fruits.
8. Moringa Soup
- Chop some Moringa sticks each into 3 pieces.
- Roast some cumin and fennel seeds in a pan and add a spoon of olive oil.
- Add some curry leaves and ½ a teaspoon of turmeric powder, a pink of salt to taste, and some pepper.
- Pour some water in and let it heat.
- Add the chopped Moringa sticks.
- Let the Moringa melt in the soup.
- Once done, strain the soup and press on the pulp to get out the extra fibers from the Moringa.
- Enjoy the soup.
9. Moringa Latte
- Heat half a cup of water and add Moringa powder to it.
- Stir well until dissolved.
- Add some lemon juice and vanilla extract to it.
- Take a cup of almond milk or any plant-based milk of your choice and whisk the milk to make it foamy.
- Add the foamed milk to the mixture and stir well.
- Enjoy your warm latte with some cookies.
Side Effects of Moringa
Moringa is mostly safe when consumed with the mouth. Some people are allergic to Moringa. If you consume Moringa with allergy, it can cause nausea, vomiting, swelling in the throat, rashes, pain, itching, etc. It is not recommended to consume Moringa if you are allergic to it. In case you happen to consume Moringa by mistake, visit a doctor immediately and take a shot of anti-allergic.
Overdosing on Moringa is also not recommended. It can cause some serious problems. Since Moringa helps in curing diarrhea, it can cause prolonged constipation and can turn severe over time if overdosed with it.
It can reduce blood pressure to cure hypertension. For people already suffering from low blood pressure, it is best to prevent the consumption of Moringa. It can drastically reduce blood pressure and cause serious and severe health problems.
Discomfort caused due to overdose may include:
3. Severe stomach upset
4. Decrease in blood pressure
5. Stomach aches
If you face any of these discomforts or any other, discontinue Moringa's use in any form and immediately visit a doctor. Do not wait for other symptoms to show up.
Precautionary Guide While Using Moringa
1. Moringa while Pregnancy
It is not advised to take Moringa while you are pregnant. Moringa acts as a blood-thinning agent that promotes blood flow and prevents clots. It acts as an antifertility and anti-implantation agent. Moringa can cause miscarriages and must be avoided by pregnant women.
2. Moringa while Breastfeeding
Moringa is good for women who are breastfeeding. It increases milk production, which lets the baby be fed adequately. Hence, Moringa is good for people who are breastfeeding.
3. Moringa with Allergies
If you are allergic to Moringa, you might see side effects such as nausea, vomiting, rashes, swelling, pain in the throat, and swelling and pain in the tongue. In such a case, visit a doctor immediately and prevent further consumption of Moringa even by mistake.
4. Moringa with Children
Moringa is generally safe to be consumed by children. It has no side effects on them. However, if a child complains about any discomfort related to allergic reactions, discontinue Moringa's use immediately and visit a doctor.
5. Moringa with Low Blood Pressure
Moringa is used as a cure for hypertension or high blood pressure. For this reason, it reduces blood pressure. Supposedly, a person already suffering from low blood pressure or hypotension consumes Moringa; he or she is affected by lowering the blood pressure even more. This can cause an adverse effect on health and can also result in organ failure. Do not consume Moringa if you are suffering from low blood pressure or hypotension.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How much is Moringa safe to eat per day?
- You can consume about 500 milligrams of Moringa leaves, 3 grams of Moringa seeds, or 1 cup of cooked fresh Moringa per day. It can be taken in powder form at 1 to 2 teaspoons. Moringa tea can be drunk twice a day. Capsules and tablets are recommended to be eaten twice a day as well.
2. What are the uses of Moringa seeds or drumstick seeds?
- Moringa seeds are a good source of Vitamins and Minerals. The seeds are rich in fiber. For the same reason, it has a lot of benefits. Moringa seeds are good for eyesight. It provides strength to the retina and prevents any damage to the eyesight. It has antioxidants that help remove toxins from the body, thus lowering cholesterol, regulating the flow of oxygenated blood, and preventing any damage to the kidney, stomach, and digestive tract. It acts as an anti-carcinogen agent, which helps in preventing cancer cells from growing in the body. The seeds are also good for the skin and remove pimples and wound marks. Moringa seed powder is also used in relieving headaches.
3. Does Moringa purify water?
- Yes, Moringa purifies water. To do so, follow the following steps:
a. For this, you need dried Moringa pods.
b. Remove the seeds along with the whitish cover and crush or grind them into a powder texture.
c. Mix it in a cup of water and strain the mixture. This gives a milky kind of fluid.
d. Pour the mixture into water and stir for some time.
e. Cover the lid of the vessel with water and leave it for an hour or two.
f. You will notice the impurities settle down along with the milky fluid leaving pure and filtered water.
4. How to store Moringa seeds?
- You must store Moringa seeds in a cold, dry place. You can put them in an airtight container and put it in the refrigerator. The seeds remain fresh for about a week. If you do not store the seeds in a cold place, it is best to consume it within a day or two.
5. Is Moringa good for the liver?
- Yes, Moringa is good and is proven to be good for the liver. Being rich in antioxidants, it removes the Ama or toxins from the liver, hence purifying it. The anti-bacterial properties help in stopping the growth and development of bacteria in the liver. Being anti-inflammatory, Moringa helps in reducing any swelling or inflammation in the liver. Moringa reduces the levels of enzymes in the liver and prevents the accumulation of fatty acids in it. Moringa thus prevents liver diseases and is good for the liver.
6. Does Moringa lower the cholesterol level?
- Yes, Moringa lowers the cholesterol in the body. Being rich in antioxidants removes Ama or toxins from the body and reduces the level of bad cholesterol in the body, and increases the good cholesterol. Being anti-inflammatory, it reduces any swelling and clears the accumulation of toxins. It drives the Agni or the digestive fire that helps in easy secretion or clearing of the stomach. Balancing the Vata and Kapha Dosha by reducing them, Moringa helps in controlling the levels of cholesterol.
7. Is Moringa good for sleep?
- Yes. Moringa acts as an anti-depressant. It promotes the desire to sleep when eaten. With this property, Moringa helps reduce anxiety and stress. Moringa also helps in curing insomnia.
8. Can Moringa make you bloat?
- No. Moringa has a light nature when digested. It cools the stomach while also driving the Agni. Moringa does not cause bloating.
9. What are the uses of Moringa Leaves?
- Moringa leaves are rich in minerals, vitamins, amino acids, and other nutrients. It regulates the blood flow and promotes the flow of oxygenated blood in the body. It prevents any damage to the pancreatic cells and promotes insulin production. Being anti-inflammatory, it also helps in reducing any swelling or inflammation.
Moringa leaves help in fighting skin problems and pain in the joints. It balances the Vata Dosha and acts as a Roopan or a healing agent. Being a Deepan or appetizer, it has Pachan or digestive properties as well. Hence, Moringa leaves are highly beneficial for human health.
10. Does Moringa help with weight loss?
- Yes. Moringa has a light or laghu nature indigestion. It makes you full and reduces the untimely cravings for sugar and snacks. Thus, it reduces the intake of artificial sugar and unhealthy food. Being rich in antioxidants removes toxins from the body, making the secretion process simple and easy. Thus, Moringa helps in managing weight and promotes weight loss.
11. Can Moringa oil increase hair on the head?
- Yes, Moringa oil promotes the growth of hair. Moringa oil balances the aggravated Vata Dosha, thus also preventing and curing the problem of hair fall. Thus, Moringa is good for hair.
12. What is the best way to consume Moringa powder?
- Moringa powder is generally made out of the leaves or the seeds. You can consume 3 to 5 grams of Moringa powder a day.
Moringa powder is most effective if swallowed simply along with some water. You can also mix it in water and drink the Moringa water. If you do not like the bitter taste, you can add it to a spoon of honey and swallow it in one go.
13. Can Moringa be taken while on homeopathic medicines?
- Yes. Moringa is a naturally grown product. It has no side effects or reactions, along with homeopathic medicines. You can consume Moringa while on homeopathic medicines unless you have low blood pressure or are pregnant.
14. Can Moringa be consumed while on supplements?
- Yes. You can consume Moringa while on supplements. However, if you are consuming more than one supplement, you must seek your doctor's advice before consuming Moringa.
15. Can Moringa be consumed while on allopathic medicines?
- There is no studied evidence on the question of consuming Moringa while on western medicines. You can seek the advice of your doctor if you want to consume Moringa. Even if you consume it, make sure that you do not consume it before 30 mins of the consumption.
16. Does Moringa increase sperm count?
- Yes, Moringa is said to increase the sperm count. It increases libido or the sex drive in men and also increases fertility.
17. What does Moringa powder taste like?
- Moringa powder tastes somewhat like spinach. It has a bitter and pungent taste. It has a strong effect on digestion.
18. Can I take Moringa leaves in place of dietary supplements?
- Moringa is rich in vitamins, minerals, fibers, antioxidants and requires mild acids. Being naturally grown, it does not have any side effects or a chemical reaction. It is rich in proteins, several vitamins, etc. You can get 24% of the daily intake of fiber just with Moringa leaves. It is a good supplement for dietary supplements.
19. Can Moringa cause stomach upset?
- Moringa can cause stomach upset in the way of constipation. It helps in reducing the problem of diarrhea by holding the stomach. If you take Moringa in excess, it can cause your stomach to bind up and thus cause constipation.
20. In what kind of place Moringa trees grow the best?
- Moringa trees are good to grow in semi-arid to tropical and even subtropical regions. It can grow on a wide range of acidic soil types. It grows in soil that is equal to or more than pH 6.3 in value. The soil should be well-drained and sandy. The roots can rot in wet soil. It needs heat and sun to grow and does not grow in cold or freezing places. Moringa's highest quality grows at an altitude of 2000 meters with less than 800 millimeters of rainfall.
21. Does Moringa make bones healthy?
- Yes, Moringa does make the bones healthy. It is rich in calcium and phosphorus. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that help in reducing any swelling in the bones. Moringa thus helps in making the bones healthy and strong.
22. Who should not take Moringa?
- Anyone who is suffering from the following problems is prohibited from taking Moringa:
a. Low blood pressure
It is also advised for pregnant women to be away from Moringa as it makes the blood thinner and prevents clots. This can result in miscarriages.
23. Can Moringa cure asthma?
- Yes, recent research has proven that taking Moringa every day can cure asthma. The seeds of Moringa help in oxygenating the blood easily and the same in the body.
24. Can Moringa reduce the pain during menopause?
- Yes. Moringa can improve the symptoms of menopause. A healthy diet can reduce the pain and fasten the cycle. It helps in improving at least 3 months of the same.