22 March 2016
Everyone is talking about Moringa Leaf Powder, so what is it and how do I use it?
The Moringa Leaf Tree is a small tree native to North India and goes by a variety of names, such as drumstick tree, horse radish tree, or ben oil tree. Whatever its preferred name it is a plant that has been praised for its health benefits for many years and today is more popular than ever. Here is why:
It’s Highly Nutritious. Almost all parts of the Moringa oleifera tree can be eaten or used as ingredients in traditional herbal medicines. The leaves and pods are eaten raw in India and some parts of Africa and provide an excellent array of vitamins and minerals and because of this, the dried leaves are being sold as dietary supplements in Western countries.
The leaves are considered are a source of antioxidents which are compounds that act against free radicals in our bodies. High levels of free radicals cause oxidative stress, which may contribute to chronic diseases. Antioxidents like vitamin C, beta-carotene and Quercetin which has been shown to help lower blood pressure.
Another interesting benefit is blood sugar stabilisation. High blood sugar can be a serious health problem. In fact, it is the main characteristic of diabetes. In one study, 30 women took seven grams of moringa leaf powder every day for three months. This reduced fasting blood sugar levels by 13.5%. These effects are caused by plant compounds found in Moringa leaves, such as isothiocyanates.
We also know that while inflammation is a protective mechanism in the body it may become a major health issue when it goes on for protracted periods of time. Moringa leaves, pods and seeds have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties as well, which may also be due to isothiocyanates.
While many plant foods (such as flaxseeds, oats and almonds) can effectively reduce cholesterol, both animal and human studies have shown that Moringa oleifera may have similar cholesterol-lowering effects (8, 19, 29, 30). By keeping Cholesterol levels down we reduce our risk of heart disease.
In summary Moringa leaves are also highly nutritious, and could be particularly beneficial for people who are lacking in essential nutrients. It has also been used to treat various different conditions and diseases, but only a few of the health claims have been studied scientifically.
How do I eat Moringa leaf powder?
The dried leaf powder can be added to just about anything you eat and it is extremely versatile. It takes roughly 3 kg’s of fresh Moringa leaves, to make 0.5 Kgs of Moringa leaf powder. Some people eat between 1 teaspoon and 1 tablespoon daily, others choose to include more than that. It will depend on your how you are feeling about your diet and whether you are managing to nourish yourself well. The powder can be used as a tea, added to beverages, sprinkled on food or taken in capsules. It can also be added to soups or stews. The taste of the powder is strong, so the amount that is palatable may depend upon the strength of the flavour of the soup or stew. Some flavours seem to blend well with Moringa powder (like peanut or lemon) and some don’t. Experimentation is still the best way to find out what tastes good and what doesn’t.
There is no “best time” to take the powder – except to take it with food/meal as you will absorb the nutrients in the powder more efficiently this way. If you start the day with a smoothie then add it to the smoothie or health drink.
The important thing is to listen to your body at all times!