Super plant Moringa: Check out its health benefits and medicinal qualities

The Moringa tree can also be treated as a food item, medicine, purifying agent and component in herbal products.

Moringa tree
Moringa tree Wikimedia Commons

Need reasons to take the plunge and turn vegetarian? Check out the Moringa oleifera: one of the several plants that urge you to abandon meat and go green in your diet.

The Moringa tree, also known as the drumstick tree, horseradish tree, ben oil tree, and the tree of life, is a drought-resistant South Asian tree species that is extremely useful. It can be consumed in several ways; its leaves, stems, and seeds can be used as food and medicines.

The Moringa tree can also be treated as a purifying agent and component in herbal products. It has been existing in the world for hundreds of years, but its benefits are being newly discovered everyday.

The mystical tree has proved effective in curing ailments like diabetes, blood pressure problems, gout, several types of cancer, and several more.

Where does it grow?

The Moringa tree is native to the Himalayan foothills, and grows primarily in India and Philippines. However, it can be cultivated in most tropical and subtropical regions. It is drought-resistant and does not require much looking after. It is being increasingly cultivated in South and South-east Asia, apart from Africa, Central America, and the Caribbean.

Benefits of Moringa as part of your diet

The Moringa tree can literally be consumed almost whole. Its leaves, seeds, and pods are edible and extremely nutritious. The leaves contain a huge amount of protein, vitamins, and minerals. They also have unique phytochemicals that protect us against several diseases and health conditions.

Moringa leaves can be consumed with salads, eggs, soups, or savoury preparations. The fresh pods can be cooked like green beans and put in soups and curries. The leaf powder can be added as garnish or spice to porridge, smoothies, tea, or shakes. Moringa powder is also sold in the form of capsules and tea blends.

This plant can also be used as a water purifier and food preservative.

Medicinal benefits of the super plant

Moringa plant and its compounds are now used widely as dietary supplements as it contains several nutrients in adequate amount. It is also used to regulate blood pressure and blood sugar.

Studies have shown that Moringa helps lower blood glucose level with the help of isothiocyanates that are found in its leaves. Additionally, it also increases immunity against chronic diseases like heart complications and Type 2 diabetes.

Moringa is also a rich anti-oxidant, which purges the body of toxins. It is also quite effective in reducing inflammation and infections.

The research conducted on the Moringa plant has been confined to laboratories and animals. Its effects have not been fully tested on human beings yet. But scientists believe that this plant has many more qualities that will make it an important part of our diet and lifestyle.