There are times when we are privileged to learn of a new food, drug, or treatment that is purported to be great, a solution to add to the numerous advances made in science and medicine.
We then stand alert in anticipation of how this substance may help mankind.
Oftentimes though, the popularity of such options seems to fade into the background over time.
Maybe they just become commonplace, so we don’t hear of them as frequently? Or, maybe we learn that they truly weren’t all we thought they’d be in the way of help or benefit.
Then there are times when a substance comes to light, and it truly astounds us, researchers and everyday folks alike.
And, such is the case for what some are calling the miracle tree, also known as the moringa plant.
This plant has been hailed for its health qualities in West Africa and the Philippines for centuries.
However, its numerous health benefits resurfaced as a topic of interest in a greater way amidst the height of the coronavirus pandemic in the Philippines, being indigenous to the area and known for its immune boosting benefits.
So, let’s take a look and you can decide for yourself: mighty, miraculous, or just moringa?
Me? I must say, with what I’ve seen, I’m already convinced that the mighty moringa plant has well earned its nickname of the miracle tree!
What Is Moringa?
It’s scientific name is Moringa Oleifera. A few nicknames the plant has earned are: drumstick tree (for its appearance) and miracle tree (for its abundant benefits).
It is, however, known as Malunggay to those in the Philippines who have long been familiar with those benefits.
It is considered to be a “food plant with multiple medicinal uses.”
This tree/plant, and its feathery leaves, are actually distant relatives to some common cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, kale, and cabbage.
The flavor of the leaves is described as reminiscent of arugula, with a slightly peppery taste, and those leaves are most often dried and then ground into a powder to be used in soups and stews.
The pods that grow on the plant are said to have a “hint of spice.” And, the seeds are both eaten and boiled to make oil.
Even its flowers are useful, most often in making tea.
The plant is very versatile, being said to have the potential to grow anywhere temps don’t dip below freezing.
It can produce year-round, grows quickly, and is even tolerant to many types of soil.
Natural products chemist, Carrie Waterman, of the University of California, has said “if there were a top 10 list of plants that are going to help feed the world over the next hundred years, I would say moringa should be on that list.”
The Whole Nutrient Package
It is said, “if plants were superheroes, then moringa would be Iron Man.”
And, part of the reason this plant is hailed as such a wonder is due to its intensely dense nutrient content.
The moringa is a veritable powerhouse of nutrition, containing 92 known nutrients, 46 antioxidants, and 36 anti-inflammatories according to Amchara, an alternative and holistic health service.
It is noted for being rich in:
- 18 amino acids
- 9 essential amino acids
- Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, B7, A, C, K, E, D
And, just to put a few of these nutritional values into perspective, the moringa tree/plant contains:
- 2 times the amount of protein found in yogurt
- 3 times the amount of potassium found in bananas
- 4 times the amount of calcium found milk
- 4 times the amount of vitamin A found in carrots
- 7 times the amount of vitamin C found in oranges
But, how do these powerful nutrients translate to health benefits?
Health Benefits Of Mighty Moringa
Like many plants, the moringa has been used for centuries in folk medicine.
And, research now confirms what these folks have known for years, nearly every part of the plant has nutritional and medicinal benefits: “leaf, stem, flower, fruit, seed, seed oil, bark, and root.”
Those who have studied the plant have put forth a more than impressive list of benefits, lending further to the plant’s nickname, “the miracle tree.”
Moringa is known to:
- Improve digestion
- Eliminate both diarrhea and constipation
- Promote detoxification
- Improve healing in wounds
- Reduce signs of aging (lines and wrinkles)
- Increase energy and endurance
- Stimulate hair growth
- Increase mental clarity
- Normalize blood pressure and blood sugar
- Improve vision
- Work as an effective appetite suppressant
- Work as an antidepressant
- Strengthen the immune system
- Balance hormones
- Treat skin infections
- Treat congestion and bronchitis
- Improve anxiety
And, recent studies confirm other benefits as well.
Studies in mice have shown the anti-inflammatory properties of moringa to be effective at promoting weight loss, improving glucose tolerance, and preventing fatty liver disease.
Its high antioxidant levels have been found to reduce inflammation (a key factor in many chronic health conditions).
And, testing in rats has shown moringa to delay the onset of diabetes by 5 months. Researchers say this translates to a 15 year delay in humans, a monumental finding for those predisposed to the disease.
While the plant cannot be called a coronavirus cure, moringa was highlighted in the Philippines as the virus began to wage war on the population.
As its nutritional and medicinal benefits offer a great way to boost the immune system, its use was encouraged in an effort to help fight off corona and other viruses, reduce and lessen the effects of infection, and potentially offer a quick recovery should people succumb to the illness.
Hmmm, maybe this would’ve been easier to list what this plant can’t do?
It’s abundantly clear that the plant dubbed the “miracle tree,” moringa, is truly mighty, combating everything from corona to chronic illness!
And, if researchers like Carrie Waterman are correct, moringa may soon be taking this world by storm, as a source of nutritious food…and impressive medical treatment!
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