Health Benefits of Moringa

Medically Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, MS, DO on May 30, 2023
3 min read

Moringa oleifera is a plant native to northern India that can also grow in other tropical and sub-tropical places, like Asia and Africa. Folk medicine has used the leaves, flowers, seeds, and roots of this plant for centuries.

It's traditionally been used as a remedy for such conditions as:

Moringa has many important vitamins and minerals.  The leaves have about as much potassium as a banana, and about the same amount of vitamin C as an orange. It also has calcium, protein, iron, and amino acids, which help your body heal and build muscle.

It's also packed with antioxidants, substances that can protect cells from damage and may boost your immune system. There's some evidence that some of these antioxidants can also lower blood pressure and reduce fat in the blood and body.

So far, much of the research on moringa has used animals as test subjects. We don't know if the results would be the same with humans. Researchers are working to find out exactly how extracts from this tree affect people, but early studies show it may help with:

Rheumatoid arthritis: Moringa leaf extract may lower fluid swelling, redness, and pain.

Diabetes: Several early studies show that insulin-like proteins found in moringa may help lower blood sugar. Plant chemicals found in the leaves might help the body process sugar better, and it may affect how the body releases insulin.

Cancer: In lab tests, leaf extracts slowed the growth of pancreatic cancer cells and helped chemotherapy work better. Other lab studies show that moringa leaves, bark, and roots all have anti-cancer effects that might lead to new drugs.

Memory: Some experts think the antioxidants and other health-promoting plant chemicals may heal stress and inflammation in the brain.

Scientists are also trying to see if it might help with:

Research shows that it's generally OK to eat the leaves or young seed pods, and leaf extracts made from powder and water may also be safe. But it can be dangerous to eat bark or pulp, especially for pregnant women. Chemicals in the bark may make the uterus contract and lead to a miscarriage.

Though you can buy it as a powder, pill, oil, or tea, supplements and powders made from moringa aren't regulated by the FDA  in the same way that "conventional " food and drugs are regulated. That means there isn’t a standard dose you should take for health benefits. And companies don’t have to prove that their product is safe or that it works as advertised.

Don't use it if you're pregnant or breastfeeding. Talk to your doctor before taking moringa or any supplement, especially if you take any medications.

Show Sources


International Journal of Molecular Sciences: “Moringa oleifera Seeds and Oil: Characteristics and Uses for Human Health.”

Journal of Public Health in Africa: Investigation of medicinal plants traditionally used as dietary supplements: A review on Moringa oleifera.”

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

Food Science & Nutrition: “Formulation and nutritional evaluation of a healthy vegetable soup powder supplemented with soy flour, mushroom, and moringa leaf.”

Food Science and Human Wellness: "Moringa oleifera: A review on nutritive importance and its medicinal application."

Frontiers in Pharmacology: "Therapeutic potential of Moringa oleifera leaves in chronic hyperglycemia and dyslipidemia: a review," "Moringa oleifera Leaf Petroleum Ether Extract Inhibits Lipogenesis by Activating the AMPK Signaling Pathway."

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

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center: “Moringa Oleifera.”

American Journal of Hypertension: “Cardiac Protective Effects of Moringa oleifera Seeds in Spontaneous Hypertensive Rats.”

Integrated Medicine Research: “In vivo anti-arthritic and anti-nociceptive effects of ethanol extract of Moringa oleifera leaves on complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA)-induced arthritis in rats.”

Lupus Science & Medicine: “75 Moringa oleifera lam ameliorates adjuvant induced arthritis via inhibition of inflammatory mediators and down-regulation of mmp3 and mmp-9 proteins.”

Drug and Chemical Toxicology: "Ameliorative effects of Moringa oleifera leaf extract on levofloxacin-induced hepatic toxicity in rats.”

Pharmaceutical Biology: "Effect of Leaves and Fruits of Moringa oleifera on Gastric and Duodenal Ulcers.”

Journal of Dietary Supplements: “Investigation into the mechanism of anti-asthmatic action of Moringa oleifera.”

Indian Journal of Experimental Biology: "Evaluation of aqueous leaves extract of Moringa oleifera Linn for wound healing in albino rats.”

PLoS One: “Isothiocyanate-enriched moringa seed extract alleviates ulcerative colitis symptoms in mice.”

Nepal Medical College Journal: "Control of coliform bacteria detected from diarrhea associated patients by extracts of Moringa oleifera."

Journal of Young Pharmacists: “Effect of Moringa oleifera Leaves Extract Against Hematology and Blood Biochemical Value of Patients with Iron Deficiency Anemia.”

New Biotechnology: “Insulin-like plant proteins as potential innovative drugs to treat diabetes-The Moringa oleifera case study.”

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.”

PLoS One: “Moringa oleifera as an Anti-Cancer Agent against Breast and Colorectal Cancer Cell Lines.”

Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention: “Moringa oleifera Root Induces Cancer Apoptosis More Effectively than Leave Nanocomposites and Its Free Counterpart.”

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