Overview

Moringa is a plant native to India and other countries. It contains proteins, vitamins, and minerals, making it useful to fight malnutrition.

Moringa is an important food source in some parts of the world. It can be grown cheaply and easily, and retains much of its nutritional value when dried. As an antioxidant, it seems to help protect cells from damage. Moringa might also help decrease inflammation and reduce pain.

Moringa is used for asthma, diabetes, breast-feeding, and many other purposes, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

Uses & Effectiveness ?

Insufficient Evidence for

  • Asthma. Early research shows that taking 3 grams of moringa twice daily for 3 weeks reduces the severity of asthma symptoms and improves lung function in adults with mild to moderate asthma.
  • Diabetes. The effect of moringa on diabetes control is unclear. Some early research shows that taking moringa tablets along with a type medicine called sulfonylureas does not improve blood sugar control as measured by hemoglobin A1C levels. But it does seem to reduce fasting and post-meal blood sugar levels compared to taking sulfonylureas alone in people with diabetes. Other research also shows that ttaking moringa drumstick leaves with meals might also reduce post-meal blood sugar levels in people with diabetes not taking medications for diabetes.
  • HIV/AIDS. Early research shows that taking moringa leaf powder with each meal for 6 months might increase body mass index (BMI) but does not appear to improve immune function.
  • High levels of cholesterol or other fats (lipids) in the blood (hyperlipidemia). The effect of moringa on lowering cholesterol levels is not clear. Early research of poor quality shows mixed results. Additional research is needed.
  • Breast-feeding. Research regarding the effects of moringa for increasing breast milk production is mixed. Some early research shows that moringa increases milk production after one week of use, while other early research shows no benefit. It's also not clear if moringa is beneficial when used for longer periods of time.
  • A condition caused by a poor diet or the body's inability to absorb nutrients. Early research shows that adding moringa powder to food for 2 months helps improve weight in malnourished children.
  • Symptoms of menopause. Early research shows that adding fresh moringa leaves to food for 3 months improves menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and sleeping problems in healthy, postmenopausal women.
  • Vitamin A deficiency. Early research shows that adding moringa powder to infant cereal doesn't improve vitamin A levels in infants with low levels of vitamin A.
  • A mild form of gum disease (gingivitis).
  • Athlete's foot (Tinea pedis).
  • Birth control.
  • Cancer.
  • Certain infections (opportunistic infections) in people with HIV/AIDS.
  • Constipation.
  • Dandruff.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Headache.
  • Heart disease.
  • Heart failure and fluid build up in the body (congestive heart failure or CHF).
  • High blood pressure.
  • Increasing sexual desire in healthy people.
  • Infection of the intestines by parasites.
  • Kidney stones.
  • Low levels of red blood cells in people with a long-term illness.
  • Obesity.
  • Osteoarthritis.
  • Overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism).
  • Seizure disorder (epilepsy).
  • Skin infections.
  • Snakebites.
  • Stomach ulcers.
  • Swelling (inflammation) of the stomach (gastritis).
  • Warts.
  • Wound healing.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate moringa for these uses.

Side Effects

When taken by mouth: Moringa is likely safe when the leaves, fruit, and seeds are eaten as food. Moringa leaf and seeds are possibly safe when used as medicine, short term. Products containing moringa leaf have been used for up to 6 months. Products containing moringa seed have been used for up to 3 weeks. Moringa root and root bark are possibly unsafe. The roots and root bark contain toxic substances.

When applied to the skin: There isn't enough reliable information to know if moringa is safe or what the side effects might be.

Special Precautions and Warnings

When taken by mouth: Moringa is likely safe when the leaves, fruit, and seeds are eaten as food. Moringa leaf and seeds are possibly safe when used as medicine, short term. Products containing moringa leaf have been used for up to 6 months. Products containing moringa seed have been used for up to 3 weeks. Moringa root and root bark are possibly unsafe. The roots and root bark contain toxic substances.

When applied to the skin: There isn't enough reliable information to know if moringa is safe or what the side effects might be. Pregnancy: It is possibly safe to use moringa leaves in pregnancy during the second trimester. But it's possibly unsafe to use the root, bark, or flowers of moringa when pregnant. Chemicals in the root, bark, and flowers might make the uterus contract. In traditional medicine, the root and bark were used to cause miscarriages. There isn't enough reliable information to know if other parts of moringa are safe to use when pregnant. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Breast-feeding: Moringa leaf is possibly safe to use while breastfeeding for up to 4 months. There isn't enough reliable information to know if other parts of moringa are safe to use when breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Children: Moringa leaf is possibly safe when taken by mouth, short-term. Moringa leaf has been used with apparent safety in children for up to 2 months.

Hypothyroidism: Using moringa might make this condition worse.

Interactions ?

    Moderate Interaction

    Be cautious with this combination

  • Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) substrates) interacts with MORINGA

    Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver. Moringa might change how quickly the liver breaks down these medications. This could change the effects and side effects of these medications.

  • Levothyroxine (Synthroid, others) interacts with MORINGA

    Moringa might decrease how much levothyroxine the body absorbs. Taking moringa along with levothyroxine might decrease the effects of levothyroxine.

    Minor Interaction

    Be watchful with this combination

  • Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs) interacts with MORINGA

    Moringa might lower blood sugar levels. Taking moringa along with diabetes medications might cause blood sugar to drop too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely.

Dosing

Moringa is an important food source in some parts of the world. 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.

Moringa is also available in supplements. Moringa leaves and seeds have most often been used by adults in powders or extracts, in doses of 6-10 grams by mouth daily. Speak with a healthcare provider to find out what dose might be best for a specific condition.

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CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version.
© Therapeutic Research Faculty 2020.