Are There Health Benefits to Drinking Moringa Tea?

The moringa tree has several intriguing nicknames. It is called horseradish tree because of the sharp flavor of its roots. People noted the long, thin bean pods and called it drumstick tree. Because of its medicinal uses, some call it the miracle tree. Researchers are looking into its potential health benefits. One of the easiest ways to enjoy this interesting plant is in the form of moringa tea. 

The best-known moringa, Moringa oleifera, grows in the Himalayan foothills. Other varieties are native to Africa. Because it grows rapidly, the moringa tree could be a valuable crop for cultivation in many parts of the world. The beans, root, seeds, and leaves all have practical uses. The leaves are boiled and eaten like spinach and dried for tea. You can also make tea using moringa powder.

Nutrition Information

Moringa tea does not have a lot of nutritive value. One moringa tea bag contains:

  • Calories: 0
  • Protein: 0 grams
  • Fat: 0 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 1 grams
  • Fiber: 1 grams
  • Sugar: 0 grams

Moringa leaves are an excellent source of vitamin C, but they lose most of that vitamin during drying. The dried leaves contain:

Potential Health Benefits of Moringa Tea

Most scientific investigations of moringa are lab investigations or animal studies. More research is needed to prove the health benefits of moringa for humans.

Heart Health

In animal studies, moringa extract has improved heart health. In one study, moringa lowered cholesterol and reduced the formation of plaque in arteries. It acted in a manner similar to a statin drug

Diabetes Control

Moringa tea could help people with diabetes regulate their blood glucose levels. Many studies have shown positive results with animals. Human studies have been less consistent. Some show that moringa consumption can lower glucose levels after meals. Researchers say that differences between moringa varieties and preparation methods could cause differing results.

Cancer Treatment

In a lab study, moringa slowed the growth of human pancreatic cancer cells and improved the effect of chemotherapy drugs. Researchers state that moringa is well-tolerated by lab animals. More studies are needed to prove the effectiveness and safety of moringa for people with cancer.

Brain Health

In an animal study, moringa leaf extract had positive effects on brain chemistry. Researchers concluded that moringa should be investigated as a treatment for Alzheimer's disease.

Protection Against Chronic Disease

The leaves of the moringa tree contain several compounds that can stave off chronic disease. These substances include polyphenols, tannins, saponins, and others. Besides combating heart disease, liver damage, and diabetes, these compounds also fight chronic inflammation.

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Potential Risks of Moringa Tea

Both animal and human studies have shown moringa to be generally safe. Still, moringa products could pose a risk to some individuals. Before you use moringa tea, consider these potential health risks:

Drug Interactions

Moringa can decrease the effectiveness of at least one diabetes drug. It can increase the side effects of other drugs. If you take medications, talk to your doctor before drinking moringa tea.

Pregnancy Concerns

In animal studies, moringa has inhibited reproduction. The bark of the moringa tree has been linked to a risk of miscarriage. Although moringa tea is not made from bark, pregnant women should avoid moringa altogether.

Interaction with Chemotherapy 

Moringa has been shown to boost the effectiveness of certain chemotherapy drugs. Still, those undergoing chemotherapy should not use herbal products unless they ask their doctor first. Herbs can interact with chemotherapy drugs.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD on September 25, 2020

Sources

SOURCES:

Antioxidants: "Bioactive Components in Moringa Oleifera Leaves Protect against Chronic Disease."

BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine: "Moringa Oleifera aqueous leaf extract down-regulates nuclear factor-kappaB and increases cytotoxic effect of chemotherapy in pancreatic cancer cells."

Frontiers in Pharmacology: "Moringa Genus: A Review of Phytochemistry and Pharmacology."

The Indian Journal of Medical Research: "Alteration of brain monoamines & EEG wave pattern in rat model of Alzheimer's disease & protection by Moringa oleifera."

International Tree Foundation: "Moringa: the 'Miracle Tree.'"

Journal of Ethnopharmacology: "The in vitro and ex vivo antioxidant properties, hypolipidaemic and antiatherosclerotic activities of water extract of Moringa oleifera Lam. leaves."

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center: "Moringa oleifera."

National Research Council. Lost Crops of Africa: Volume II: Vegetables, The National Academies Press, 2006.

Nutrients: "Potential of Moringa oleifera to Improve Glucose Control for the Prevention of Diabetes and Related Metabolic Alterations: A Systematic Review of Animal and Human Studies."

Oncology Nutrition: "Herbs and Chemotherapy."

Phytotherapy Research: "Review of the Safety and Efficacy of Moringa oleifera."

USDA Food Data: "Original organic moringa superfood tea bags, organic."

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