All About Moringa: The Nutrition-Packed “Miracle Tree”
May 05, 2022
While plenty of Apothékary’s farmacy blends are formulated to target specific aspects of our physical and mental health, we also love herbs that seemingly do it all. Moringa is exactly one of those. A favorite plant-as-medicine to incorporate into our daily routine for its rich content of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and amino acids, it can be incorporated into a variety of lifestyles and even support a healthy pregnancy. There is a reason it’s called the “Miracle Tree” and is one of the healthiest foods on the planet.
To learn more about this herb's powerful health benefits, read on.
Moringa is a fast-growing tree native to northern India. From its native habitat, it quickly spread east and westward and is now cultivated in tropical and subtropical regions worldwide. For thousands of years, it has been prized in Asia and Africa for its high nutritional value and multitude of uses as food and medicine. All parts of the moringa plant are edible and nutritious, but the leaves are most widely available and researched.
Moringa is referred to as the “Miracle Tree” and is considered one the healthiest foods on the planet. Moringa is regarded as one of the top ten sustainable plants that can help feed the world over the next century. (No big deal.)
A Nutritional Profile That’s Hard to Top
Moringa leaves are a rich source of protein, vitamins, calcium, potassium, iron, zinc, magnesium, amino acids, and antioxidants. The herb contains a considerable amount of Vitamin A, as much as 10 times the amount as found in your typical carrot. Moringa is also rich in Vitamin B-carotene and Vitamin C. The high vitamin content supports healthy immune function, can boost collagen production, and helps protect our cells from the damaging effects of free radicals in the body. The amino acids and high amounts of protein present in the plant contribute to bone and muscle strength. Up to 25% of the leaf’s weight is made up of essential amino acids and proteins. Lastly, its high levels of antioxidants and phytochemicals contribute to its ability to ease chronic inflammation.
Your Pal for Pregnancy
Moringa has been traditionally used to support the diet during pregnancy and lactation as it is rich in essential minerals, particularly iron and calcium. The iron content per milligram is up to 14 times higher than what’s found in one serving of beef. It also has a long history of use as a galactagogue, helping to increase breast milk production postpartum.
A Multifaceted Remedy Used in Eastern Medicine
Moringa has a long history of use in India and Africa and is said to have been used to support over 300 different conditions. In Traditional Ayurvedic medicine, almost all parts of the herb have been utilized to remedy skin infections, support asthma symptoms, combat anemia, support digestive disorders, and ease a wide array of inflammatory conditions. All parts of the moringa plant are edible and nutritious, but the leaves are most widely available and researched.
Metabolic and Blood Sugar Support
More recently, research has shown Moringa has the ability to help balance blood glucose and cholesterol levels. Through its low glycemic profile and high fiber and protein content, moringa can promote blood sugar stabilization and help reduce food cravings. High sugar foods can lead to spikes and eventual crashes in blood sugar, these spikes can slow down metabolism. Incorporating herbs like moringa can help keep cravings in check while also promoting healthy blood sugar balance. The leaves are also rich in chlorogenic acid, which is a key antioxidant for stimulating fat metabolism. Finally, moringa has shown to be an impressive neuroprotective, working to protect our entire nervous system from damage.
Moringa is an extremely versatile superfood and can be enjoyed in many ways. Its slightly sweet and bitter “green” flavor is reminiscent of matcha green tea. It can be added to a smoothie, sprinkled on your avocado toast, mixed with your favorite latte, or simply taken with a spoonful of ghee or honey.
Casie Giroux is a Community Herbalist with a background in communication sciences, herbal product formulation and creation, sustainable wildcrafting, teaching, and organic farming. She attended the California School of Herbal Studies in Forestville, CA and earned certificates in three progressive programs: Body Systems, Roots of Herbalism, and the Community Herbalist clinical program. When she’s not assisting Apothékary clients with their health and product questions, you can find her growing her own food and medicine, foraging for abundant plants, camping by the water, and cooking up herbal-infused foods.