Moringa leaves, by weight, contain more calcium than milk, more iron than spinach and more vitamin C than an orange. What else can this nutrient dense ingredient do?
Move over matcha, there is a new “superfood” on the scene: moringa, often referred to as the “the miracle tree” has long been revered for its nutrient density and purported healing abilities. It has been used medicinally for centuries around the world to treat a range of ailments including skin infections, inflammatory disorders and anemia. As a key ingredient of Numi’s new Holistic Balance teasan, here’s what you should know about moringa and how you can incorporate it into your diet:
What is Moringa?
Moringa oleifera, is a tree native to India and tropical and subtropical parts of the world. It is the most widely cultivated species of moringa and is often referred to as ‘horseradish tree’ for its distinct smell.
For years, parts of the tree have been used for nutrition and medicine including its seeds, leaves, oil, sap, bark, roots and flowers. In India, moringa is thought to cure over 300 diseases. In African folk medicine, it has been used to treat pain and inflammation. Moringa oil was used in skin ointments ever since Egyptian times. While most of its incredible medicinal uses have been claimed by cultures and communities based on real life experience, science is slowly but surely substantiating many of its purported benefits.
Moringa: The Miracle Tree
The nutritional profile of moringa alone is enough to classify it as a “superfood.” Some nutritional analyses have revealed that moringa leaves, by weight, contain more calcium than milk, more iron than spinach and more vitamin C than an orange. With its incredible nutrient density, moringa has been used in Ayurveda to help combat symptoms of malnutrition.
Leaves of the moringa tree are often used in supplements and teas – they’re typically dried and sold in capsule or powder form.
Purported benefits of Moringa
The self-reported benefits of moringa are widespread. The following are suggested by some studies looking primarily at the effects of powdered leaf preparations.
• Lower blood sugar
• Reduce inflammation
• Lower cholesterol
• Antioxidant effects
• Anti-microbial effects
More human trials need to be done to determine appropriate recommendations.
How Moringa can be enjoyed
While the taste of moringa on its own is rather bitter, it can seamlessly be incorporated into the foods we eat. Add moringa powder to your morning smoothie or oatmeal and sneak it into baking, soups or stews. Numi features this ancient healing ingredient in one of their new Holistic Herbal Teasans, Balance, the caffeine-free blend that brings harmony and clarity.
Since not enough research has been done in humans on dosage, it is best to begin incorporating moringa in small quantities at a time. Pregnant and breast-feeding women should avoid moringa (due to the lack of research) or consult with your health care professional before choosing to incorporate it.
Want to learn more about the powerful herbs and spices in your tea? Check out Ashwagandha 101 for more from Mia.