Arango, Árbol de las Perlas, Drumstick Tree, Horseradish Tree, Miracle Tree, Moringa oleifera, Tree of Life, Tree of Immortality
North Western Himalayas, India
Nearly every part of the Moringa tree is said to have a benefit whether ingested or used as a topical treatment. Many colloquial local names have been given to this tree to illustrate its multi-purpose qualities in helping the body in one way or another. Many cultures use the seed, bark, leaf and root for their nutritional and health giving properties. Listed below are some of these uses.
The leaves of the moringa tree are brimming with essential vitamins and minerals, it is thought that moringa has more nutrition in the leaf than any other plant yet known.
Moringa contains 45% complete protein (meaning it contains all of the 9 essential amino acids) making this an excellent source of protein for vegans. Proteins are the building blocks of life used to make enzymes, hormones, neurotransmitters, muscles, tendons and skin – without protein our bodies would biochemically dismantle.
Moringa is high in the vitamins A, E and C – a potent antioxidant combination. Everyday stress, pollution and processed foods can lead to the formation of free radicals - these are rogue atoms or atomic groups which have lost at least one electron and are forced to steal electrons from neighbouring molecules in the hope of stabilising themselves which can cause havoc in the body – these antioxidant vitamins have the ability to safely seek out and neutralise free radicals. Vitamins A and C are also well known in their role of supporting a healthy immune system.
Moringa benefits the brain due to its high levels of B vitamins - these are extremely important in brain health, protecting the integrity of the blood/brain barrier and helping to make various feel good hormones which keep morale up and stress down.
Moringa is also extremely rich in essential minerals; calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium and phosphorus – these are vital for various processes in the body including supporting a healthy bone structure, protecting the central nervous system and maintaining normal blood pressure.
Possibly the first mention of Moringa in world literature comes from the Ayurvedic text the Charaka Samhita dated to around 800 BC. Although this might be the first written evidence, it is thought that the history of Moringa use stretches much further back to the period of the ancient Egyptians and Greeks before spreading into Roman society. According to academics the Moringa tree has been used for a multitude of reasons throughout history. Some of these uses include domestic cleaning agents from the juices of the leaves, blue dye made from the bark, fertilizer made from the seed-cake, tannin from the bark and gum for the tanning of animal hides, green manure from the leaves, tree gum from the trunks of the trees and, of course, medicine.
Moringa benefits are derived from the plant’s high concentration of bio-available nutrients. It contains high levels of Vitamin A, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Vitamin K. Dried Moringa leaves also contain high levels of the minerals Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, Phosphorus and Iron.
There are 9 essential amino acids, all of which are present in dried Moringa Leaf Powder: Isoleucine builds proteins and enzymes and it provides ingredients used to create other essential biochemical components in the body. Leucine works with isoleucine to build proteins and enzymes which enhance the body's energy and alertness. Lysine ensures your body absorbs the right amount of calcium. Methionine primarily supplies sulphur to your body. Phenylalanine produces the chemical needed to transmit signals between nerve cells and the brain. Threonine is an important part of collagen, elastin, and enamel proteins. Tryptophan supports the immune system, alleviates insomnia, and reduces anxiety, depression, and the symptoms of migraine headaches. Valine is important in promoting a sharp mind, coordinated muscles, and a calm mood. Histidine is used to develop and maintain healthy tissues in all parts of the body, particularly the myelin sheaths that coat nerve cells and ensure the transmission of messages from the brain to various parts of the body.
Ayurvedic texts note that Moringa shouldn’t be taken by women during the menstrual period. Also those with a sensitive stomach should use sparingly as Moringa adds heat to the stomach.