Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 6th 2017 Contents A22 body & soul
guardian.co.tt Wednesday, September 6, 2017
Ever heard about the mystical
miracle plant or the plant referred
to as "the tree of life"? These are
the descriptions given to the re-
markable Moringa plant as a result
of its numerous health benefits.
This mystical plant has been in ex-
istence for hundreds of years. Who
would have ever thought so? I never
would have, until about a few years ago
when I listened to an elderly man give
so much praise to the plant.
He called it God's perfect gift to hu-
manity and talked about how it had
been therapeutically helpful in the
treatment of a number of ailments
ranging from diabetes to high blood
pressure, gout, cancers and many
I decided to read up on this mystical
plant and its several health benefits
and indeed, it's a gift to humanity.
Moringa is a relatively large tree that
is native to North India. It goes by a va-
riety of names, such as drumstick tree,
horse radish tree, or ben oil tree. How
amazing! Almost all parts of the tree
are edible and can be used as ingredi-
ents in traditional/herbal medicines.
The leaves and pods are commonly
eaten in parts of India and Africa.
Moringa, which is botanically known
as Moringa oleifera, is a popular plant
known for its rich antioxidant prop-
erty and its several bioactive content
of plant compounds.
So far, scientists have carried out
various researches on the plant and
have identified part of its many rep-
utable health benefits.
Below are a few health benefits of
Moringa oleifera that are supported
by scientific research.
• It is high content of
Moringa leaves are an excellent
source of nutrients including proteins,
many vitamins and minerals such as
vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin B2, vi-
tamin A, magnesium, calcium, iron,
copper, manganese, zinc and seleni-
um. Iron alleviates anemia. Calcium
is required for bone mineralisation.
Zinc plays a vital role in hair growth,
spermatogenesis, and skin health.
In western countries, dried leaves
are sold as dietary supplements, in
either powder or capsule form. 100 g
of fresh leaves contain about 9.8 g of
protein or about 17.5 per cent of dai-
ly-required levels, as well as 7564 IU
or 252 per cent of daily-required levels
of vitamin A.
Dry, powdered leaves indeed are a
much concentrated source of sever-
al quality amino acids. Compared to
the leaves, the pods are generally low-
er in vitamins and minerals. However,
they are exceptionally rich in vitamin
C. One cup of fresh, sliced pods (100
grams) contains 157 per cent of your
daily requirement for vitamin C. The
diets of people in developing nations
sometimes lack vitamins, minerals
Therefore, Moringa oleifera can
be an important source of the many
lacked essential nutrients. However,
there is one downside. Moringa leaves
may also contain high levels of sub-
stances that interfere with the absorp-
tion of minerals and protein.
The amount of nutrient supply is
negligible when Moringa is taken as
a supplement, compared to when taken
as a food-based diet.
• It is ability to help lower
blood sugar levels:
High level of blood sugar is a major
characteristic of diabetes and can pose
great health risk. Over time, the high
blood sugar becomes a debilitating
factor to many other serious health
problems, including stroke and heart
For this reason, it is important to
keep blood sugar levels within healthy
limits. Several studies have shown that
Moringa may help lower blood sugar
levels. Their effects are caused by plant
compounds like isothiocyanates found
in the Moringa leaves.
• It is rich antioxidant properties:
Antioxidants are compounds that
mop up free radicals in our bodies.
High levels of free radicals bring about
oxidative stress in the body, which may
contribute to chronic diseases such as
heart disease and type2 diabetes. Sev-
eral antioxidant plant compounds have
been found in the leaves of Moringa.
In addition to vitamin C and vitamin
A (beta-carotene), these include:
Quercetin which is powerful an-
tioxidant that helps to lower blood
Chlorogenic acid which helps to
manage blood sugar levels after meals.
It is also found in high amounts in
Moringa leaf extract may also be
used as a food preservative. It increas-
es the shelf life of meat by reducing
• Moringa may help to
Inflammation is the body's natural
response to infection or injury. It oc-
curs as a protective mechanism, but
may become a major health issue when
it persists for a long period of time.
Prolonged inflammation is believed to
be involved in many chronic diseases,
including heart disease, diabetes and
Many fruits, vegetables, herbs and
spices have known anti-inflammatory
effects and Moringa is one of them.
Others may include turmeric and
Moringa leaves, pods and seeds are
the parts known to possess the an-
ti-inflammatory property, which may
be due to isothiocyanate compounds
present in the plant.
However, the research so far has
been limited to only test tube and
animal studies. It has not been fully
confirmed in human studies yet. (The
The miraculous Moringa plant is a cure of several ailments.
Remarkable health benefits of Moringa
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