Almonds and Olivez

Moringa – Nature’s Multivitamin without a Bottle – Here are Five (5) Researched Reasons Why!

Medicinal plants such as Moringa (Moringa Oleifera Lam) have been cherished for years as natural resources due to their purported pharmacological and nutritional properties which can help humans both in the prevention and treating of particular diseases (El Sohaimy et. al., 2015).  The medicinal properties of Moringa are said to be derived from its secondary metabolites which include alkaloids, flavonoids, and resins (Anwar F, et. al. 2007).

The plant, which is purportedly native to India, is now widely used around the world particularly in tropical and subtropical regions.  Its rising popularity has led to its many names, for example, in Brazil, it is called ‘moringa’ or “lírio branco” or quiabo-de-quina,’ while in most other parts of the world it is called ‘drumstick tree,’ or ‘horseradish (Fahey, 2005; Anwar F, et. al. 2007).  However, in Jamaica, we, like in Brazil, simply call it ‘moringa,’ or ‘Meringa,’ in certain circles.  It must be noted though, that there is another version of the plant that is native to Ethiopia and Northern Kenya. This species of Moringa is known as ‘Moringa Stenopetala or what is often called the ‘African Moringa.’ (  However, this species of the Moringa plant is not so widely known or grown in the tropics as its counterpart and close relative Moringa Oleifera.

Moringa has a huge nutritional profile, and as such, is touted as a food source in the African content as well as some countries such as the Philippines and Pakistan (El Sohaimy et. al. 2015). Its nutritional profiles boost over Ninety (90) nutritional chemicals including, proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, and fibers. As such, it can be considered a natural supplement, due to its high nutritional profile. 

In this article, we will be discussing more of its impressive nutritional profile and benefits to the body, its disease-fighting potential as well as provides some DIY tips in making your very own Moringa Powder, especially, if you have access to a tree.  Let’s discuss!

The Discussion

Moringa Oleifera or what is commonly known as the drumstick tree or horseradish tree in some parts of the world is a tree that is considered as both food and medicine due to its vast nutritional components. The tree can be found in India, Sudan, Southern Africa, the pacific island, the Caribbean including Jamaica as well as South America (C.S.T. Araújo et. al. 2013; A.M. Warhurst et. al. 1997).  All the trees though would have slight differences in their nutritional composition. For example, a tree that is grown in India would have a slightly different nutritional profile than one grown in Africa (Asante et. al. 2014). This is due largely to the soil, which ultimately defines its nutrient contents and strength (Dania et al. 2014).  Every part of the tree is said to be edible and contains some amount of nutritional benefits, from its seeds to its leaves.

Some of the famed nutritional properties include its vitamin A content, which is reportedly seven (7) times more than that of oranges, ten (10) times more vitamin A than carrots, seventeen (17) times more the calcium than cow’s milk, nine (9) times more protein than yogurt and if you thought ripe bananas were the main potassium powerhouse, well, moringa has reportedly surpassed it, has it is purported to have Fifteen (15) times more of this mineral as well as Twenty-five (25) times more iron than Popeye’s famous spinach (J.L. Rockwood, et. al. 2013).

Moringa is also said to be high in phytosterols, like Stigmasterol and Sitosterol which are precursors for hormones and reproductive health (T. Mutiara et. al. 2013). These substances increase the production of estrogen which in turn stimulates the mammary glands to produce milk (T. Mutiara et. al. 2013).  As such, the trees are used to treat malnutrition in children that are under the age of four (4) years (T. Mutiara et. al. 2013).  Additionally, it has been purported that just six (6) teaspoons of the powder of the leaves will allow one, particularly pregnant women to meet their daily iron and calcium needs (Gopalakrishnan et al. 2016).

Studies have shown that the seed has a range of phytochemicals which include antioxidants such as vitamin C, B-carotene, tocopherol, vitamin A, phenolic compounds, and even quercetin (Abdull et. al. 2014). The seeds are usually used to make oils which are said to be high in fatty acids such as Oleic acid.  Research has shown that Oleic acid is associated with a reduced risk of coronary heart disease (H.M. Ghazaliand and A.S. Mohammed, 2011; S.J.S. Floraand and V. Pachauri, 2011).  As per the root, it is reported to have both antimutagenic and antioxidant activities (A. Satish et al. 2013).  As such, research suggests that the root bark extract may be potentially beneficial to persons suffering from gastric ulcers as well as gastric mucosal lesions (M.K. Choudhary  et. al. 2013). 

Nonetheless, the leaves, which are one of the most used parts of the tree, are said to be a rich source of both vitamins and minerals, as well as shown strong antioxidant activity, due to its phenolic compounds (J.P. Coppin, et. al. 2013). As such, research indicates that using the powder from the leaves can supply the body with most of the daily required vitamins and minerals.  Therefore, in this article, we will be discussing some of the other benefits of this plant such as its potential anti-diabetes properties, its anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties, its neuroprotective abilities, and its possible, anti-cancer potential.

Five(5) scientific benefits of Moringa Oleifera
  • Anti-Diabetes Properties
  • Anti-inflammatory effects
  • Anti-microbial potential
  • Neuroprotective abilities
  • Anti-cancer potential
1. Moringa and Diabetes

Moringa Oleifera has been found to have a positive impact on both type-1 and type-2 diabetes (Cerf, 2013).  Type-1 diabetes is when the body is unable to produce insulin, which is the hormone that maintains normal blood glucose levels while type-2 diabetes is where the body is resistant to insulin resulting in high blood glucose levels (Cerf, 2013).  Studies have shown that moringa can act as an anti-diabetic agent. One such study was one conducted by (S.M. Divi  et. al. 2012) with rats.

In this study, moringa was found to actually cure Streptozotocin-induced type-1 diabetes and also insulin-resistant type-2 diabetes.  In another study conducted by (A.L. Al-Malki and  H.A. El Rabey, 2015), researchers found that the blood glucose dropped for induced diabetes rats when they were fed with moringa seed powder.  According to the researchers, the flavonoids found in moringa such as quercetin and phenolics have been attributed as antioxidants that appear to have a scavenging effect on the reactive oxygen species in the beta cells (N. Kamalakkannan and P.S.M. Prince, 2006; L. Al-Malki and  H.A. El Rabey, 2015).  Moringa was also found to have some positive effects on some of the ailments that stem from diabetic conditions such as retinopathy, nephropathy, and atherosclerosis.

2. Moringa and Inflammation

Moringa is also purported to have anti-inflammatory effects on the body. This level of anti-inflammatory response was observed in the roots, stems, leaves, and flowers of the plant (C´aceres A, et. al. 1992). In fact, in a study conducted on rats, the root extract was found to reduce the development of paw edema.  Paw edema or paw swelling is a method used to assess the inflammatory responses to antigenic challenges and irritants (Winter et al., 1962; Otterness and Moore, 1988). The results of the study by (C´aceres A, et. al. 1992) were reported to be similar to the effects that would have been obtained with the use of the popular Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drug (NSAID) – Phenylbutazone.

Another study conducted by (Agrawal B and Mehta A, 2008) found that the dried seed powder, when given to participants with both mild to moderate asthma, was found to significantly improve the forced vital capacity, forced expiratory volume, and peak expiratory flow (PEF) without adverse reactions.  According to (, the forced vital capacity (FVC) is the total amount of air that is exhaled when a forced expiratory volume (FEV) test is administered while forced expiratory volume (FEV) measures how much air an individual can exhale during a forced breath. 

As such, the peak expiratory flow (PEF) is the maximum flow received within the first 200 milliseconds of forced expiratory action after inhalation to the total capacity of the lung (Spahn et al. 2008).  It should be noted that both the forced expiratory volume and forced vital capacity are lung function tests with the former (forced expiratory volume) being used to diagnose obstructive lung diseases such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) ( The anti-inflammatory properties of moringa include quercetin, which is said to be able to inhibit certain inflammatory processes (Das N, et al. 2012). Additionally, other bioactive compounds such as flavonoids and phenolic acids may be involved in the anti-inflammatory activity of the plant (Brilhante RSN et al. 2017).

 3. Moringa and Bacteria, Fungi and Viruses

Antimicrobial substance or activity is an agent that kills microorganisms or prevents them from growing. Therefore, medicines used for antimicrobial conditions can be categorized according to the microorganisms they primarily inhibit. For example, antibiotics are generally used against bacteria, and antifungals are used against fungi. Therefore, antibacterial plus antifungal equal antimicrobial (;

Studies have shown that almost all parts of the moringa plant possess properties that are able to inhibit activities on Gram-positive bacteria (i.e. Enterococcus faecalis, methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus) as well as Gram-negative bacteria (i.e. Salmonella enterica, pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli) (Nikkon F et. al. 2003; Bukar A, et. al. 2010, C´aceres A et. al. 1992, Doughari JH,  et; al. 2007; Idris A and Abubakar U, 2016, etc.).  In fact, moringa’s anti-microbial effect of its crude extract has been compared to the antibiotic Streptomycin (6 Peixoto JRO et. al. 2011; Onsare JG et. al. 2013).

Moringa’s anti-microbial activity has been attributed to its bio-compound – Benzyl-isothiocyanath, which has been shown to inhibit bacterial growth (Suarez M et. al. 2003).  Other compounds such as its gallic acid and tannins, which inhibit bacteria such as vibrio spp (Sharma A, et. al. 2009) as well as its phenolic acid compounds such as alkaloids and flavonoids have been shown to have potential inhibitory activities (Doughari et. al.2007; Padla EP, et. al. 2012,  Ndhlala AR et. al. 2014).  

Several studies have also shown moringa’s anti-fungal activity against certain strains. For example, the seed extract has been shown effective against – Mucor species and Rhizopus species, which the pod has been shown to be potentially effective against Alternaria sp. Colletotrichum sp, Candida albicans sp. While the root extract against strains such as Calbicans as well as the Aspergills flavus (Nikkon et al. 2003; Bukar A, et. al. 2010; etc).

Other parts of the plant such as its leaves are also shown to have potential effects against other fungal species such as the Dermatophytes Trichophyton rubrum, Epidermophyton floccosum (Chuang et. al. 2007; Padla et. al. 2012). Its leaves were also shown to be effective against certain Candida species such as C. famata, C. tropicallis and C. cifern (Rocha et. al. 2014).  Additionally, the seed extract was shown to have inhibitory effects against dengue virus type 2 (Sujitha et. al. 2015).  Nonetheless, despite all of these studies, more research is still reportedly warranted to evaluate Moringa’s full anti-viral potential (Brilhante et. al. 2017).

4. Moringa and its  Neuroprotective Potential

Studies by researchers such as (K. Baker et. al. 1998; W. Kirisattayakul et. al. 2013) have shown Moringa’s possible positive neuro-protectant effect, particularly on Cerebral Ischemia. Cerebral Ischemia is a situation that occurs when blood flow is obstructed to the brain.  This situation can lead to reperfusion and lipid peroxidation, which then can result in reactive oxygen species. Reactive oxygen species are highly reactive chemicals formed from oxygen (Hayyan et al. 2016).  The antioxidants found in Moringa were shown to reduce the reactive oxygen species and as such, protecting the brain (K. Baker et. al. 1998; W. Kirisattayakul et. al. 2013).   

Research also indicates that the leaf has been used to treat dementia, as it has been shown to promote spatial memory (Gopalakrishnan, et. al.2016).  Moringa’s positive effects on memory were shown in a study by (C. Sutalangka, et. al. 2013) who opined that the leaf extract was shown to decrease the acetylcholine esterase activity, which in turn improve cholinergic function as well as memory.

5.  Moringa and Cancer

Cancer is a very common disease that is said to be the leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for almost Ten (10) million death in 2020 (Ferlay et al. 2020). Breast, lung, and colon cancer accounts for most of the cases.  While there are no specific reasons for cancer development, factors such as smoking, lack of exercise, and exposure to radiation have been cited as leading causes (Nair, et. al. 2005).

While only a few in vitro studies are available to evaluate the anti-cancer potential of Moringa Oleifera, existing research does indicate its possible positive effect in the fight against this deadly disease.  One such study was one conducted by (Guevara et. al.1999) with compounds that were taken from its ethanol seed extract. The results showed that compounds from the seeds such as 4- (x- rhamnosy-loxy) – benzyl isothiocyanate, niazimicin among others were potent tumor inhibitors.

Why Moringa is considered ‘Nature’s Multivitamin?’

As discussed in the previous sections, almost, if not all of the parts of the Moringa plant have been shown to have potentially positive effects on one’s overall health and thus the ability to thwart some of the most life-threatening conditions.  However, most times, to maintain good health or supplement our diets, we are often advised to purchase nutritional supplements. 

Did you know that Moringa has an impressive profile of most of the essential vitamins and minerals that can help to provide the body with the foundational nutrients that it need naturally, without any known side effects?  Well, it is! Here is a composition of the nutrients of its leaves, seeds, and pods – vitamin A, B1, B2, B3, B7, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Copper, Iron, Sulfur, Zinc, and Fiber.  It also has a good amount of macronutrients such as carbohydrates, proteins, and fats (Mbikay, 2012; Fuglie, 2005, A.L. Al-Malki, H.A. El Rabey,  2015; moringa leaf

Research denotes that Moringa has more than Ninety (90) nutritional chemical compounds including proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, and dietary fiber (Moyo et. al.2011; Makkar HPS and Becker K, 1996; Richter 2003; Ferreira et. al. 2008, etc).  No wonder it is used in the Tropics as a source of food to overcome malnutrition, especially for infants and children in general (Fahey, 2005; Fuglie, 2001).  So while the plant is said to be used in some regions as medicine or for the treatment of particular conditions (Bakre et. al. 2013), it is also used as a supplement in some countries (B. Mendieta-Araica et al. 2011; J.O. Popoolaand et. al. 2013).  

Additionally, Moringa is said to have at least Nineteen (19) amino acids. These include essential amino acids such as Arginine, Histidine, Lysine, Tryptophan, and Valine, etc as well as non-essential amino acids such as Alanine, Aspartate, Glycine, Tyrosine, etc. (Fuglie, 2001; Mensah et. al. 2012;  Moyo et. al. 2011; Richter et. al. 2002, etc).

Is Moringa safe to use daily?

Research has shown no adverse effects of moringa in any of its human studies that have been conducted up to June 2015 (Stohs and Hartman, 2015).  In fact, many different variations are still used over the world both as food and as medicines with no reported ill effects (Stohs and Hartman, 2015).  However, more specific animals have found no adverse effects of up to 2000 mg/kg for up to Twenty-one (21) days (Stohs and Hartman, 2015). Nonetheless, a methanol extract of the seeds was shown to have acute toxicity with doses of 4,000 mg/kg while mortality was recorded at 5,000 mg/kg.  Adverse effects were absent at concentrations lower than 3,000 mg/kg.  

As such, the researchers concluded that the methanol extract of the seed was safe for nutritional use at appropriate doses as described (Aji bade et al. 2013). Other noted side effects include – diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, insomnia, acidity, and even flatulence in some people as well as increase red blood cells (  

To conclude, human, animal and in vitro studies have shown that various preparations of the leaves, including aqueous extract, appear to be safe at commonly utilized doses (Stohs and Hartman, 2015).

Who should not take Moringa?

Moringa may possibly be unsafe for pregnant women as it contains chemicals in the root, bark, and flowers that might make the uterus contract. While there is not enough evidence of the safety of the others parts when pregnant, it is best to just avoid it during pregnancy. Additionally, while it is sometimes used to increase breast milk production for breastfeeding mothers for up to several days, it is recommended that it be avoided during this time as not enough information is available for breastfeeding mothers. For children, research has shown that the leaf, taken short-term (up to 2 months) did not seem to have any adverse effect.  However, it is recommended that children avoid taking moringa (no particular part was stated).

Possible Interactions

Moringa might interact with certain medications, for example, Levothyroxine, which is used for low thyroid function. Studies have shown it to reduce the effectiveness of Levothyroxine when taken together.  Also, medications that are broken down by the liver may interact with moringa which might increase the effects or side effects of some of these medications.  Additionally, if you have diabetes or high blood pressure, moringa might lower blood sugar as well as blood pressure.  So it is always best to talk to your healthcare provider before taking moringa, especially if you are on medications (

How to make your own DIY Moringa Powder using the Leaves

Making your own Moringa leave powder can be an economical way to enjoy the many benefits of this potent plant, especially, if you have access to a tree. In this case, pick as many of the branches that you can or want. Wash them thoroughly and place them to dry on a clean, smooth surface on a clean towel or paper towel (I usually use paper towels). Let them dry indoors at room temperature. This may take a few hours or up to a day, depending on where you live. When the leaves are dried, remove them from the stem and blend in a high-speed blender (I use my Nutribullet). 

Blend the leaves to powder. Strain the powder in a Bowl. You can opt to strain a couple of times so as to remove any rough pieces. Then store in a container (I use a mason jar), which I label. The rough parts after straining, I place in another smaller container and use to bowl tea at times. There you go, your own, fresh Moringa Powder.  Moringa powder can last for a long time, so I usually keep mine on the kitchen counter in a dark place. I have been making my own moringa powder for years now. In fact, I have never purchased it, and usually make enough to share.

How to use your Moringa Leave Powder

You can use the powder in many ways, some of the most common ways include – Adding it to smoothies, tea (bowl the water and add a teaspoon, pour in your teacup, then drink as is or add your preferred sweetener), add to baked products, pancakes, etc. Sprinkle on vegetables or add to some of your other favourite foods.

Illustrative Summary

Here is a summary of the Five (5) Scientific Benefits of MORINGA OLEIFERA.

Moringa Scientific Benefits -

Let’s Sum Up!

Moringa Oleifera is a plant that is used worldwide as both a medicine and food, particularly in the tropics where it is used to treat malnutrition in children and infants. This is due largely to the plant’s impressive nutritional profile, one which includes vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, B1, E, calcium, iron, magnesium, and zinc among others.  It is also comprised of potent compounds which act as antioxidants giving the plant a ‘superfood like status.

These include quercetin, phenolic acids, and other flavonoids. Some of the benefits of consuming moringa include its anti-diabetes and inflammatory properties, its anti-microbial and cancer-fighting properties as well as its neuroprotective potential, especially as it relates to memory and overall brain health.  Nonetheless, while it is considered safe, especially the leaves, which are said to have most of the antioxidant properties, certain precautions must be maintained for persons on medications or pregnant and breastfeeding mothers. Additionally, it is always best to consult with your healthcare provider before taking moringa.

Nonetheless, this is certainly one of those plants that you want to keep handy and have in your regular rotation so as to support and enhance your overall health and wellness. So, know that you have been brought up to date with this very nutritious plant, what will you do about it?  Have you used it before or are you an avid user?  Share it with us nuh!

Here are some other great posts on overall health and wellness:

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