Never heard of moringa before? Although this plant was initially discovered for its beneficial properties thousands of years ago, only recently has moringa (sometimes called the Ben oil tree) become known as one of the most impressive herbal supplements to hit the holistic health market. In fact, in 2008 the National Institute of Health called moringa (moringa oleifera) the “plant of the year,” acknowledging that “perhaps like no other single species, this plant has the potential to help reverse multiple major environmental problems and provide for many unmet human needs.” Clearly, moringa benefits are highly touted and deservedly so.
To date, over 1,300 studies, articles and reports have focused on moringa benefits and this plant’s healing abilities that are important in parts of the world that are especially susceptible to disease outbreak and nutritional deficiencies. Research shows that just about every part of the moringa plant can be utilized in some way, whether it’s to make a potent antioxidant tea or produce an oily substance that lubricates and nourishes the skin. Throughout the world, moringa is used for treating such widespread conditions as:
- inflammation-related diseases
- arthritis and other joint pain, such as rheumatism
- allergies and asthma
- constipation, stomach pains and and diarrhea
- stomach and intestinal ulcers or spasms
- chronic headaches
- heart problems, including high blood pressure
- kidney stones
- fluid retention
- thyroid disorders
- low sex drive
- bacterial, fungal, viral and parasitic infections
Moringa is an excellent source of protein, vitamin A, potassium, calcium and vitamin C. Gram for gram, moringa contains:
Two times the amount of protein of yogurt, four times the amount of vitamin A as carrots, three times the amount of potassium as bananas, four times the amount of calcium as cows’ milk, seven times the amount of vitamin C as oranges.
Moringa is known by over 100 names in different languages around the world. This easy-to-grow tropical plant species, native to the Himalayan mountains and parts of India and Africa, comes packed with over 90 protective compounds, including isothiocyanates, flavonoids and phenolic acids. Moringa has gained a reputation for fighting inflammation and combating various effects of malnutrition and aging, earning the nickname “the miracle plant.”
Here are the top six proven moringa benefits to show that nickname is well-deserved.
1. Provides Antioxidants and Anti-Inflammatory Compounds
One of the reasons that the many health benefits of herbal plants like Moringa oleiferaare so impressive is because they contain similar abilities to conventional drugs, only they don’t pose the same level of risk for experiencing side effects. According to a report published in the Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention, moringa contains a mix of essential amino acids (the building blocks of proteins), carotenoid phytonutrients (the same kinds found in plants like carrots and tomatoes), antioxidants such as quercetin, and natural antibacterial compounds that work in the same way as many anti-inflammatory drugs.
Moringa leaves are high in several anti-aging compounds that lower the effects of oxidative stress and inflammation, including polyphenols, vitamin C, beta-carotene,quercetin, and chlorogenic acid. These are associated with a reduced risk for chronic diseases, such as stomach, lung or colon cancer; diabetes; hypertension; and age-related eye disorders.
2. Balances Hormones and Slows the Effects of Aging
A 2014 study published in the Journal of Food Science and Technology tested the effects of moringa (sometimes also called “drumstick”) along with amaranth leaves (Amaranthus tricolor) on levels of inflammation and oxidative stress in menopausal adult women. Knowing that levels of valuable antioxidant enzymes get affected during the postmenopausal period due to deficiency of “youthful” hormones, including estrogen, researchers wanted to investigate if these superfoods could help slow the effects of aging using natural herbal antioxidants that balance hormones naturally.
Ninety postmenopausal women between the ages of 45–60 years were selected and divided into three groups given various levels of the supplements. Levels of antioxidant status, including serum retinol, serum ascorbic acid, glutathione peroxidase, superoxide dismutase and malondialdehyde were analyzed before and after supplementation, along with fasting blood glucose and haemoglobin levels. Results showed that supplementing with moringa and amaranth caused significant increases in antioxidant status along with significant decreases in markers of oxidative stress.
Better fasting blood glucose control and positive increases in haemoglobin were also found, which led the researchers to conclude that these plants have therapeutic potential for helping to prevent complications due to aging and natural hormonal changes. (5) Moringa benefits the libido as well and might work like a natural birth control compound, according to some studies.
Although it’s been used as a natural aphrodisiac to increase sex drive and performance for thousands of years, it seems to help reduce rates of conception. That being said, it can boost the immune system during pregnancy and also increase breast milk production/lactation, according to some studies.
3. Helps Improve Digestive Health
Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, moringa has been used in ancient systems of medicine such as Ayurveda to prevent or treat stomach ulcers, liver disease, kidney damage, fungal or yeast infections (such as candida), digestive complaints, and infections. (6)
A common use of moringa oil is helping to boost liver function and therefore detoxifying the body of harmful substances, such as heavy metal toxins. It might also be capable of helping to fight kidney stones, urinary tract infections, constipation, fluid retention/edema and diarrhea.
4. Balances Blood Sugar Levels, Helping Fight Diabetes Moringa contains a type of acid called chlorogenic acid, which has been shown to help control blood sugar levels and allow cells to take up or release glucose (sugar) as needed. This gives moringa natural antidiabetic and hormone-balancing properties. Aside from chloregnic acid, compounds called isothiocyanates that are present in moringa have also been tied to natural protection against diabetes.
A study that appeared in the International Journal of Food Science Technology found that moringa had positive effects on blood glucose control and insulin levels in patients with diabetes when eaten as part of a high-carbohydrate meal. The effects of three different plants (moringa, curry and bittergourd) were tested in response to eating meals containing various levels of glucose. The results showed that plasma insulin responses were significantly lower when the three plants were included in the meal compared to when they weren’t, with all three plants having similar effects.
Separate studies conducted by the Biotechnology Institute at Sadat City University in Egypt have found that antidiabetic activities of low doses of moringa seed powder (50–100 milligrams per kilogram body weight) help increase antioxidant status and enzyme production within the liver, pancreas and kidneys of rats and prevent damage compared to control groups.
High levels of immunoglobulin (IgA, IgG), fasting blood sugar and glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) — three markers seen in diabetics — were also found to decrease as a result of moringa given to rats with diabetes. Results from the study showed that overall, compared to rats not given the herbal treatment, those receiving moringa experienced a return to both kidney and pancreatic health as well as reduced complications of diabetes.
5. Protects and Nourishes the Skin
Moringa contains natural antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral compounds that protect the skin from various forms of infections. Some of the common ways moringa is used on the skin include: reducing athlete’s foot, eliminating odors, reducing inflammation associated with acne breakouts, treating pockets of infection or abscesses, getting rid of dandruff, fighting gum disease (gingivitis), and helping heal bites, burns, viral warts and wounds.
Moringa oil is applied directly to the skin as a drying, astringent agent used to kill bacteria, but at the same time when used regularly it’s known to act like a lubricant and hydrate the skin by restoring its natural moisture barrier. It’s a common ingredient used in food manufacturing and perfumes because it prevents spoilage by killing bacteria, plus it has a pleasant smell and reduces odors.
6. Helps Stabilize Your Mood and Protects Brain Health
As a high protein food and a rich source of the amino acid tryptophan, moringa benefits neurotransmitter functions, including those that produce the “feel good” hormone serotonin. Moringa is also rich in antioxidants and compounds that improve thyroid health, which makes it beneficial for maintaining high energy levels plus fighting fatigue, depression, low libido, moods swings and insomnia.
How to Use Moringa
As you can probably tell by now, moringa can be used in many different ways in order to utilize all the available moringa benefits. Because of the long transport time needed to ship moringa from parts of Africa or Asia where it’s grown, in the U.S. it’s usually sold in powder or capsule form, which prolongs its shelf life.
An interesting characteristic of moringa? It’s said to taste like a mix between horseradish and asparagus. It might not have the most appealing flavor, but it’s a supplement with one of the the richest supplies of vital nutrients in the world, which makes the off-putting taste worth it.
There’s no recommended or required dosage of moringa at this time since it’s only an herbal supplement and not an essential nutrient. That being said, there’s some evidence that the optimum dose for humans has been calculated to be 29 milligrams per kilogram of body weight.
It’s recommended that you start by taking half a teaspoon of dried moringa orally per day for three to five days, increasing your intake slowly over two weeks as you get accumulated to its effects. Most people choose to take moringa every several days but not every single day for long duration of time, since it can can cause laxative effects and an upset stomach when overused.
Here are the most common ways to use moringa to get the best moringa benefits possible:
- Dried moringa leaves or powder: It takes roughly seven pounds of moringa leaves to make one pound of dried powder. The leaves are considered the most potent parts of the plant, containing the most antioxidants and available macronutrients. In regard to the concentration of phenolic compounds, amino acids and volatile oils, the stem and root portions of the plant appear to have the least bioactive nutrients compared to the leaves. Look for moringa dried leaves in capsule, powder or tea form, and take them with a meal, rather than on an empty stomach.
- Moringa tea: This type of moringa is made from dried leaves steeped in hot water, just like many other beneficial herbal teas. The most nutrient-dense types are organic and dried slowly under low temperatures, which helps preserve delicate compounds. Avoid boiling the leaves to help retain the nutrients best, and don’t cook with moringa if possible.
- Moringa seeds: Moringa pods and flowers appear to have a high phenolic content along with proteins and fatty acids. These are the parts of the plant used to purify water and add protein to low-nutrient diets. Look for them added to creams, capsules and powders. The immature green pods of the plant are often called “drumsticks” and are prepared similarly to green beans. The seeds inside the pods are removed and roasted or dried just like nuts to preserve their freshness.
- Moringa oil: The oil from moringa seeds is sometimes called Ben oil. Look for it in natural creams or lotions. Keep the oil in a cool, dark place away from high temperatures or the sun.
WILD MORINGA SMOOTHIE
1 - 2 Teaspoons of Skin Gourmet's Moringa Leaf Powder
1 - 2 Tablespoons of Freshly Chopped Kale
1 and a half of a Ripe Bananas
1 Cup of Freshly Cut Pineapple Chunks
1 Tablespoon of Skin Gourmet's Baobab Fruit Pulp
1Whole Fresh Peeled Orange
1 Cup of Water or Better Yet Coconut Water
2 Tablespoons of Skin Gourmet's Cold Pressed Coconut Oil
1/4 of a Peeled Avocado
1. Add all of the ingredients to your blender.
2. Blend until smooth. Enjoy!
Guacamole is by far our most favorite way to eat an avocado! This recipe shows how easy it is to sneak in those healthy greens without anyone being the wiser.
3 Very Ripe Avocados, Peeled, Pitted, with the Pits Set Aside
1/3 Cup of Finely Chopped Red Onion
2 Tablespoons of Fresh Finely Chopped Cilantro
2 Tablespoons Finely Chopped Kale
Juice of1 Fresh Lime
3/4 Tablespoon of Salt (Recommend Ground Himalayan Rock Salt) or Regular Sea Salt
1 Teaspoon of Skin Gourmet's Moringa leaf powder
A Generous Grinding of Black Pepper
Using a mortar and pestle or mixing dish, add in avocados. Mash with pestle or fork until desired consistency.
Add in salt and Skin Gourmet's Moringa Powder (Mix well).
Add the remaining ingredients and combine well.
Garnish with a few cilantro leaves and enjoy!
Bonus tip: Keep the avocado pits immersed in the guacamole to help maintain its freshness, especially if you’re making this dish in advance. Add the pits back in before garnishing with cilantro.
MORINGA COCONUT & CHICKEN CURRY
1 and a Half Cups of Fresh Coconut Milk (Blend coconut flesh and coconut water and then sieve to get the coconut pieces out)
1 Inch ofFresh Ginger
1 Cup of Roughly Chopped Bell Pepper, Green or Red
4 Diced Chicken Breasts
2 Tablespoons of Skin Gourmet's Moringa Powder
1 Fresh and Finely Sliced Onion Bulb
1-2 Tablespoons of Skin Gourmet's Cold Pressed Coconut Oil
2 Crushed Cloves of Garlic
1 Teaspoon of Crushed Black Pepper
3 Quartered Fresh Tomatoes
1 Small Handful of Diced Green Beans
1 Fresh Lime
1 Fresh Chopped Chilli
1 Handful of Roughly Chopped Coriander
Saute the onion in Skin Gourmet's Cold Pressed Coconut Oil until brown.
Add Garlic, add Chicken and fry until lightly browned.
Add the fresh coconut milk coconut and ginger.
Let it boil until halfway done.
Add bell peppers, green beans and tomatoes.
Season with Salt, Lime Juice, crushed pepper and a handful of roughly chopped coriander and chilli to taste.
Boil for 5 minutes, and then remove from the heat to simmer down.
Finally stir-in Skin Gourmet's Moringa Powder 5 minutes before serving.
The dish is best served with rice.
Moringa oil is extracted from the seeds of Moringa oleifera, also known as the Drumstick tree. Moringa oil has got a special name, it is Ben oil. It is called so because it has high amounts of behenic acid. Moringa oil has been mentioned as a very useful oil in the medicinal books of Greece and Rome. Even today, this oil is used for a number of industrial applications. It is great for topical use on the skin and the hair. It is also a nice cooking oil with a soft, appealing taste.
Moringa oil is extracted by pressing the seeds of Moringa oleifera. This tree is native to the Himalayan foothills. This tree grows long pods which contain seeds. It is quite nutritious. The nutrition of moringa leaves is even superior to the highly nutritious vegetables like spinach. Its seeds are also quite nutritious as they contain high levels of B vitamins and Vitamin C. The oil can be extracted either by cold pressed method, or by solvent extraction . In olden times, it was extracted using hand pressing.
There are many varieties of Moringa oil, depending on the variety of Moringa tree from which the oil is extracted. Oil taken from different locations has slight differences in nutrition and properties, like India, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Malawi and other parts of Africa. Other species in the genus Moringa are also used to make moringa oil, but they are not Ben oil. This is especially reserved for Moringa oleifera oil.
Moringa oil is also known as Ben Oil, Behen Oil.
Moringa oil exerts many therapeutic properties because of its unique nutrition.
- Antioxidant – Ben oil has strong antioxidant capacity.
- Anti-inflammatory – The oil reduces inflammation both topically and internally.
- Anti-aging – The oil provides nutrition to our skin and relieves aging signs.
- Anti-microbial – It is traditionally used in Sudan to purify water and is shown to reduce bacterial counts.
- Disinfectant – can be used to treat wounds.
- Carrier – It is excellent carrier oil for aromatic compounds.
- Hepatoprotective – Moringa oil protects the liver from damage.
- Emollient – Moringa oil is a great moisturizer for the skin.
- Preservative – This oil resists rancidity and also used as preservative in certain products.
- Exfoliant – drives away dead skin cells.
- Enfleurage – Moringa oil absorbs the aroma of essential oils and other fragrant compounds like herbs, nuts, seeds, spices and chemicals. This makes it the perfect perfume base.
Color, Taste and Aroma
Ben oil is light yellow in color. It is odorless with a mild taste
Moringa seed oil offers many health benefits when used on the skin and also when taken internally.
1. Excellent Moisturizer
Ben oil is one of the best moisturizers for the skin. It should be applied to the skin as a massage oil. It imparts glow to the skin and makes it well moisturized, but not too oiled. This oil is absorbed well into the skin, making it a nice ingredient in many home made cosmetic products. This brilliant moisturization effects is because of very high amount of omega- 9 fatty acid ( oleic acid ) in moringa oil. It also makes the skin quite smooth, because of the behenic acid in it. Behenic acid is used in many products for its ability to smooth the skin and condition hair. This oil slips easily on the skin and spreads well.
2. Other Benefits for Skin
Besides moisturization, moringa oil can do a lot more for your skin.
- Moringa oil pacifies dry skin. It is helpful in dry, irritated skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis.
- Acne – Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, moringa seed oil can be used as a spot treatment for acne. It also aids the body in healing acne scars.
- It adds gloss to the skin, which may be needed sometimes, especially when the weather is dry.
- It can be applied over scars left behind by wounds, scrapes, bruises and burns. Moringa oil mixed with tamanu oil is a powerful scar diminishing formula.
- Fungal infections – Moringa oil can deal with certain fungal infections because it contains anti-fungal activity. One can use it on ringworm, athlete’s foot and jock itch.
- Anti-Aging – Regular application of moringa oil reduces the striking appearance of wrinkles and fine lines on the skin It can be combined with an astringent product like aloe vera or witch hazel to make saggy skin taut.
3. Moringa Oil for Hair
It is just as good for the hair as it is for the skin. Moringa oil is a powerful hair conditioner. It should be used as a hot oil conditioner to deal with nearly any hair related problem. The hot oil treatment leaves the hair well moisturized, the hair roots are nourished, dandruff is washed out and there is much less irritation on the scalp. The best result is the conditioning. Hair is manageable and can be combed nicely. It adds shine or gloss to the hair, making them look beautiful.This effect is because of behenic acid in acid. Moringa oil also strengthens hair roots and as such can help with hair loss. It nourishes weak, damaged hair and reduces the lifelessness in them.
4. Liver health
Moringa oil has been identified to improve liver health in people whose liver has received damage due to toxicity. The liver , when it gets damaged releases certain signals regarding the damage. This is monitored using serum ALT and AST levels. This study shows that internal consumption of moringa oil lowered ALT and AST levels in liver damaged by a toxin. As a result, moringa oil can be used to lower the markers of liver damage in people whose liver is damaged by some toxins, viruses like hepatitis B, or certain medication. 
5. As a Rheumatic Oil
Moringa oil is a nice rheumatic oil. It is applied to painful, arthritic joints. It can be use directly, or used as an oil pack, just like castor oil packs. It is effective at reducing swelling and inflammation, which provides relief from the pain in the joints. This can also be used in gout.
6. Management of Hysteria
Moringa oil can be used to calm down hysteria and uncontrolled emotional instability. This is a traditional use for the moringa seed oil.
7. Boosts Gum Health
Massage moringa seed oil onto the gums. It might seem a bit awkward, but its is not irritating as the oil has a mild taste. It relieves gum inflammation and is also helpful in scurvy.
These are some home remedies using moringa oil.
- Sleep Aid – Massage the head with moringa oil with about 3 – 4 drops of lavender essential oil. It reduces irritability and sleeplessness.
- Exfoliating Oil – Mix olive oil and moringa oil in equal amounts. Add some sugar cubes to the oil and rub it on the skin.
- Nail Softener – If one has really strong, powerful nails then they may cause trouble if they become dry and grow awkwardly. Soap them in moringa oil to make nails soft so that they can be easily cut.
- Homemade Perfume – Add favourite essential oil to moringa oil to make home made perfume. Use 2 – 3 drops of this as a perfume.
Moringa seed oil has had lots of uses since it was first extracted. These are some of the prominent industrial and home uses for the Ben oil.
- Soap – Moringa oil is used in soapmaking because of its skin cleansing and moisturizing property.
- Perfume Base – Perhaps the best natural perfume base of all oils. Moringa oil was preferred by people of ancient civilizations. It was used as base for perfumes. Even today, this remains one of the most important commercial application of moringa oil.
- Oiling Machinery – Moringa oil is a preferred oil for lubricating small machine parts, like watches.
- Cooking oil – Moringa oil is a nice cooking oil. It is used for deep frying and sauteing. Its smoke point is about 200 ° C which is good for deep frying purpose. Moringa seed oil is preferred as a salad oil in many places.
Raw & Unrefined Moringa Seeds
For Skin: Vitamin A present in the moringa seeds is extremely helpful in maintaining the integrity of our skin. Being an effective antioxidant, it saves our skin cells from the harmful effects of the free radicals and keeps them healthy. Vitamin A also promotes the collagen formation and enhances the firmness of our skin, so that we can fight against premature aging (wrinkles, sagging, etc.)
For Hair: The antioxidant properties of the moringa seeds benefit our hair too, as they can keep our internal system healthy and take care of the overall health of our tresses. The antioxidant vitamin C can improve the circulation of blood throughout our scalp, which stimulates our hair follicles and helps them absorb more nutrients. As a result, our hair becomes nourished and strong.
Vitamin A and zinc present in the moringa seeds are known to promote hair growth considerably. Vitamin A takes care of our scalp and hair tissues by nourishing, repairing and maintaining them in a proper way, while zinc boosts our immune system and keeps the sebaceous glands on our scalp unclogged. Thus, both of these nutrients can accelerate the growth of our hair effectively.
How to Eat Moringa Seeds:
1. Fried in Skin Gourmet’s Cold Pressed Coconut oil (or any other oil) and lightly salted
2. They can be "popped" like popcorn (beware of the amount consumed in one sitting)
3. You can add them to soups, stews, casseroles, and sauces or add them to bread mixes, muffin mixes, or corn bread mix.
4. Moringa seeds can be eaten like nuts and added to cereals and trail mixes. When mixed with grains and hemp seeds, the Moringa will give you a boost of energy