Moringa (DRUMSTICK TREE) Overview Information
Moringa is a plant that is native to the sub-Himalayan areas of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan. It is also grown in the tropics. The leaves, bark, flowers, fruit, seeds, and root are used to make medicine.
Moringa is used for “tired blood” (anemia); arthritis and other joint pain (rheumatism); asthma; cancer; constipation; diabetes; diarrhea; epilepsy; stomach pain; stomach and intestinal ulcers; intestinal spasms; headache; heart problems; high blood pressure; kidney stones; fluid retention; thyroid disorders; and bacterial, fungal, viral, and parasitic infections.
Moringa is also used to reduce swelling, increase sex drive (as an aphrodisiac), prevent pregnancy, boost the immune system, and increase breast milk production. Some people use it as a nutritional supplement or tonic.
Moringa is sometimes applied directly to the skin as a germ-killer or drying agent (astringent). It is also used topically for treating pockets of infection (abscesses), athlete’s foot, dandruff, gum disease (gingivitis), snakebites, warts, and wounds.
Oil from moringa seeds is used in foods, perfume, and hair care products, and as a machine lubricant.
Moringa is an important food source in some parts of the world. Because it can be grown cheaply and easily, and the leaves retain lots of vitamins and minerals when dried, moringa is used in India and Africa in feeding programs to fight malnutrition. The immature green pods (drumsticks) are prepared similarly to green beans, while the seeds are removed from more mature pods and cooked like peas or roasted like nuts. The leaves are cooked and used like spinach, and they are also dried and powdered for use as a condiment.
The seed cake remaining after oil extraction is used as a fertilizer and also to purify well water and to remove salt from seawater.
How does it work?
Moringa contains proteins, vitamins, and minerals. As an antioxidant, it seems to help protect cells from damage.
TAKEN BY MOUTH
- Asthma. In an early study, taking 3 grams of moringa twice daily for three weeks reduced asthma symptoms and the severity of asthma attacks in adults.
- Increasing breast milk production. Early evidence suggests that taking 250 mg of a specific moringa supplement (Natalac) twice daily after childbirth increases breast milk production.
- “Tired blood” (anemia).
- Birth control.
- Stomach pain (gastritis).
- Stomach and intestinal ulcers.
- Heart problems.
- High blood pressure.
- Kidney stones.
- Swelling (inflammation).
- Thyroid disorders.
- As a nutritional supplement.
- Stimulating immunity.
- Increasing sex drive.
- Other conditions.
- Athlete’s foot.
- Skin infections.
- Gum disease (gingivitis).
- Other conditions.
Moringa (DRUMSTICK TREE) Side Effects & Safety
Moringa is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth and used appropriately. The leaves, fruit, and seeds might be safe when eaten as food. However, it’s important to avoid eating the root and its extracts. These parts of the plant may contain a toxic substance that can cause paralysis and death. Moringa has been used safely in doses up to 6 grams daily for up to 3 weeks.
There isn’t enough information to know if moringa is safe when used in medicinal amounts.
Special Precautions & Warnings:Pregnancy and breast-feeding: It’s LIKELY UNSAFE to use the root, bark or flowers of moringa if you are pregnant. Chemicals in the root, bark, and flowers can make the uterus contract, and this might cause a miscarriage. There is not enough information available about the safety of using other parts of moringa during pregnancy. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Moringa is sometimes used to increase breast milk production. Some research suggests it might do this, however, there isn’t enough information to know if it is safe for the nursing infant. Therefore, it is best to avoid moringa if you are breast-feeding.
Moringa (DRUMSTICK TREE) Dosing
The appropriate dose of moringa depends on several factors such as the user’s age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for moringa. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.