In recent years the global healthcare community including the World Health Organization has taken a renewed interest in a very old remedy: the Moringa plant, dubbed “the miracle tree” for its healing properties.
Originally grown in the sub-Himalayan regions of India, the small-but-mighty Moringa tree is now cultivated all over the world including Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, and South America. It has been described as the most nutrient-rich plant known to humankind, and all parts of the tree are used in traditional herbal medicines, particularly the nutrient-dense leaves and pods. The annals of Ayurvedic Medicine, from one of the world’s oldest healthcare systems, cite Moringa as a cure for over 300 diseases. Ancient Roman historians noted the excellent health and strength of the Mauryan Warriors of India, whose daily consumption of Moringa leaf extract aided their endurance in battle: they became the first army to halt the campaign of Alexander the Great.
When the World Vegetable Center in Taiwan tested 120 food species, Moringa topped all in nutritional value. The Moringa plant is an excellent source of amino acids and antioxidants, and its leaves contain nine times the protein found in yoghurt, 17 times the calcium in milk, 15 times the potassium in bananas, and 25 times the iron in spinach. It has anti-ageing, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties. The potential health benefits of Moringa are numerous, and while more studies are needed, evidence suggests Moringa can lower blood sugar levels, reduce cholesterol, treat asthma, protect against liver damage, nourish hair and skin, treat stomach disorders such as constipation, and reduce depression, anxiety and fatigue. The WHO has recommended Moringa as a means to counter malnutrition, and when children in southwestern Senegal took a leaf powder they saw improved health, while pregnant women recovered from anaemia, had babies with higher birth weights, and produced more breast milk.
While no single herb can substitute for a varied and balanced diet, it’s clear any nutrition regimen can benefit from the addition of this hardworking superfood. Those living with diabetes and other health issues cited above should discuss the advantages of a Moringa-supplemented diet with their healthcare practitioner.
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