From Asia to Africa, Moringa Oleifera has taken the world by storm. A study conducted by Global Market Insights projected the Moringa ingredients market from leaf powder to exceed $6 billion by 2025
due to the demand for its usage for dietary supplements.
But what really is this plant all about and what makes it so special?
WHAT IS IT?
Moringa or more commonly known as the horseradish or drumstick tree is native to India but has also grown in many countries in Asia, Africa, and South America.
In the Philippines, Moringa or Malunggay is known as a miracle vegetable. It’s one of the healthiest ingredients you can find in the most popular Filipino soup dishes. In India, it goes by two names. Shobhananjana which in Hindu means a “very auspicious tree” and Shingu or arrow because it is believed to be capable of reaching the body’s deepest tissues quickly.
Its health benefits go from nourishing hair to treating mood disorders. The medicinal properties it has and its usage also range from treating wounds to preventing and treating cancer.
USES AND BENEFITS
Here are the external and internal uses and benefits that support why it’s globally considered as a miracle tree.
It is used as a hand lotion, body scrub, and herbal soap mainly because the oil extract from moringa seeds and leaves contains four times more Vitamin A than that of a carrot and seven times more Vitamin C than oranges. This helps keep the skin’s elasticity and complexion, making it softer and blemish-free.
There are also many facial skin care products such as toners, moisturizers, and face creams that use moringa as the main ingredient becauseoleic acid helps in combating acne buildup when used for cleansing.
Aside from making skin softer, you can also look younger through moringa hair products. It contains zinc, vitamin C and E, and fifteen times more potassium than you can find in bananas.
Multiple hair products like anti-hair fallconditioner, anti-dandruff shampoo, and even hair growth serums have now been developed to counter hair loss, dandruff, and gray hair.
Powdered moringa leaves and oil extract from its seeds and roots have gained traction over the decade especially in the dietary supplement industry. Due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, it’s now commonly ingested as a capsulated superfoodor as tea or coffee.
But it doesn’t end there. The popularity of the horseradish tree has also reached bakeries. More and more pastry chefs have started to incorporate moringa in their desserts and bread staples. Moringa chips, moringa power bars, moringa smoothies, cooking oil, and moringa flavored ice cream are both steadily gaining popularity as well.
Over the past five years, studies concerning the anti-anxiety effects of the miracle tree have turned up with positive results. It showed that the ethanolic extract found in moringa leaves can boost the level of serotonin or the “happiness molecule” and the “feel-good hormone” known as dopamine in your body.
More studies are still being conducted as of late but the results regarding the usage of moringa as a treatment for mood disorders such as depression and anxiety are optimistic.
It can also serve as an herbal alternative for people with problems sleeping due to its high magnesium content.
The main reason for all the hype is its medicinal properties.
The miracle tree has been used by women for centuries because of its leaves. Moringa leaves are known to be a galactagogue, a substance that helps increase the production of breast milk in a woman’s body.
Calcium and phosphorous are among the many nutritional substances found in the tree. These two along with a high content of magnesium can help keep the bones healthy and strong. With its anti-inflammatory properties, moringa might also help in treating arthritis, rheumatism, and joint pains. There are studies currently focused on its effects and uses in bone regeneration as well.
Moringa extracts have been found to be helpful in treating multiple health conditions as well. The antibiotic and antibacterial properties the tree has can help gastritis, ulcerative colitis, and edema. It can also protect the liver against damage from strong anti-tubercular drugs. The kidney can also be protected from developing stones with the plant’s high levels of antioxidants.
It is now also being used to treat diabetes and anemia. It can help in the reduction of the amount of glucose in the blood and improve hemoglobin levels. As it helps the body absorb more iron, the red blood cell count also rises. Moringa also contains compounds that can help in stopping arteries from thickening, leading to fewer chances of blood pressure rising.
Lastly, moringa contains niazimicin, a phytochemical compound that stops the growth of cancer cells.