The moringa leaf is a highly-touted superfood that comes from a family of trees called “Moringaceae” that are native mostly to Asia and Africa. The tree is used in barren countries like Africa to help combat malnutrition.
The most potent is the moringa oleifera, which comes from the foothills of the Himilayas in northwestern India. However, because of its popularity, it’s now grown in tropical regions throughout the world.
It’s moringa olefiera genus of the species that you’ll find sold in health food stores, both online and off. The moringa oleifera is a fast-growing tree species that grows long roots in search of water sources. The leaves can be harvested for health benefits several times a year and have been used for centuries in Asian and Ayurvedic medicine.
Moringa leaf is often dried and ground into powder form for use in teas, foods, tinctures and other forms of medicine. This supplement is a nutritious, powerful food with significant antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. Keep reading to learn more about moringa’s health benefits, side effects, and my recommendations for selecting the best supplements available.
Moringa is packed full of nutrition, along with several other health boosting compounds that are detailed further down the page.
Moringa Leaf Side Effects
The side effects of using moringa are few, and those noted rarely effect those who follow the dosing instruction given on labels.
• Pregnancy: Supplementing with moringa early on in a pregnancy carries the risk of inducing an early abortion. Though it’s believed that supplementing late in a pregnancy and after birth may improve the production of breast milk.
• Anticoagulant: Moringa does help to lower cholesterol and prevent oxidation, effectively thinning the blood. It may intensify the effects of anticoagulant drugs. Though no studies can back this claim as yet.
• Genotoxicity: Rat-based studies have shown that daily doses at 3 – 4 times the recommended dosage listed below may lead to genotoxicity; a known precursor to cancer and other genetic abnormalities.
Moringa Recommended Dosage
As noted, there have been few human studies performed to date to find a reliable upper dosage limit for moringa leaf supplementation. However, 200 mg per kilogram of body weight is currently considered optimal and safe based on preliminary human studies.
That upper dosage limit equates to the following recommendations:
• 150 pound person: 2,200 mg per day.
• 200 pound person: 2,900 mg per day.
• 250 pound person: 3,600 mg per day.
5 Major Benefits of Consuming Moringa Leaf
Many of the studies that have been performed on moringa leaf and its health benefits have been on animals. There’s inconclusive evidence that moringa can help with a number of different ailments such as asthma, arthritis, cancer, constipation, epilepsy, kidney stones, thyroid function, ulcers, and mouth and skin infections. However, there aren’t enough studies to justify its use for those ailments as yet.
Here are 5 proven benefits of consuming moringa leaf every day:
1. Powerful Antioxidant & Anti-Inflammatory
Moringa is a powerful natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. It’s high in carotenoids; the antioxidant compounds found in bright colorful fruits such as carrots, tomatoes, and certain peppers. Carotenoids are essential antioxidants that protect against cancer and are best known for preventing macular degeneration in the eyes as people age.
Moringa also contains other anti-inflammatory compounds such as vitamin C, Quentin, beta carotene, and chlorogenic acid. Each plays a role in preventing the oxidative stress that causes health issues like lung, stomach, and colon cancer – along with hypertension and diabetes – just to name a few. Inflammation and oxidation make us age faster, and taking in more antioxidants like those found in moringa leaf help to slow the process.
2. Potent Detoxifier
The liver has more functions than any other organ in the body. One of its most important duties is to clean toxins out of the blood. Moringa helps to protect and free the body from these toxins by keeping the gut healthy and free of ulcers, while aiding the liver and kidneys in fighting off toxins.
Moringa boosts liver function by increasing glutathione production, thus helping it to clear the blood of toxic metals that are ingested through food, drink, and the air we breathe. As you’ll learn, the liver boosting/protective properties of moringa consumption has widespread effects on overall health including improving blood sugar handling, lowering cholesterol and triglycerides, and lowering the risk of liver diseases such as fibrosis and cancer.
Moringa also boosts kidney function, helping to prevent kidney stones, urinary tract issues, and edema throughout the body.
3. Brain & Mood Booster
Moringa is high in protein and a significant source of tryptophan; an essential amino that increases neurotransmitter activity in the brain. One of the main neurotransmitters that moringa has been found to boost is the feel good hormone serotonin.
Aside from boosting neurotransmitter function, moringa is also one of nature’s best antioxidants. Antioxidants are important to all areas of health, including the brain. Uncontrolled oxidation wreaks havoc on the brain and can contribute to age-related mental conditions like dementia.
4. Reduces Diabetes Complications
Moringa contains two particular compounds that have shown promise in helping control blood sugars. First, the superfood contains high levels of isothiocyanates which protect against oxidation; preventing the inflammation that can lead to diabetes.
Next, moringa leaf contains chlorogenic acid (CGA) which has been proven to help control blood sugar levels by regulating how the various cells in the body store and release glucose, including those cells found in the liver. In fact, studies have shown CGA to increase enzyme activity and antioxidant status in the liver, kidneys, and pancrease when consumed regularly.
CGA also helps increase lipid metabolism in the blood. High blood lipid levels are a major problem for diabetics and pre-diabetics, and often leads to bigger problems down the line, such as heart disease.
It’s important to note that most studies performed on moringa and diabetes have been on rats, so far. Several key diabetic markers are shown to be reduced when moringa is given to diabetic mice including immunoglobulin, HbA1c, and fasting blood sugar levels.
5. Improves Cardiovascular Health
The combination of antioxidants discussed so far can have a significant effect on cardiovascular health by reducing the oxidation responsible for the most common type of preventable cardiovascular disease called “atherosclerosis.”
Atherosclerosis occurs when plaque begins to build on the walls of the arteries due to oxidation causing those walls to become inflamed, providing the perfect environment for oxidized lipids to stick to and accumulate on them. Moringa also contains high levels of quercetin, which has been shown to lower blood pressure in people who suffer from hypertension.
Finally, moringa contains other nutrients needed to maintain cardiovascular function and health such as iron and magnesium. An iron molecule makes up the center of every red blood cell in the body, allowing oxygen to bind to them and be carried wherever needed. Magnesium helps control blood pressure and heart rate, and is often deficient in most western diets.
1.Kiva Organic Moringa Leaf Powder (View on Amazon)
Kiva Organic Moringa powder is one of the biggest sellers on the market currently. Only the most nutrient dense leaf is used, no pods. This is a raw, organic powder that’s sourced from select sustainable farms who hand-picked their moringa leaves and use low heat production equipment to dry and grind the product into powder.
All Kiva products are single-sourced, so you never have to worry you’re consuming a supplement that’s traveled from place to place before being processed. One of the best on the market right now and introductory priced for a limited time.
2.Zen Principal Organic Moringa Leaf Powder (View on Amazon)
Hand picked, naturally processed, and never freeze-dried, Zen Principal knows a thing or two about providing the best moringa powder to their customers. The moringa used in this product is sourced from the foothills of the Himalayas, which some people say is the only place to get the most vitamin and antioxidant rich moringa.
Once the leaf is sourced, it’s sent to a USFDA register organic facility, where it’s tested, bagged and sent direct to retailers.
3.Organic Veda Moringa Leaf Powder (View on Amazon)
Organic Veda Moringa is a USDA certified organic product. All the moringa leaves used are hand-picked and naturally processed using current ISO standards. All Organic Veda products are fair trade friendly.
Organic Veda owns their own farms, ensuring their moringa is a single-sourced product. This company was the front-runner in bringing their south Indian moringa to the marketplace decades ago, and are among the most trusted names in the industry today.
4.Zen Principal Organic Moringa Capsules (View on Amazon)
Zen Principal only offers organic products to their customers. The company sources their moringa from small organic farms located in the foothills of the Himalayas. Everything is hand-picked and cured, and never freeze-dried.
While you’ll spend a little more buying organic, for some people it’s a must. For others, knowing your moringa is sourced organically is worth spending a few bucks more for the peace of mind. Save up to $10 by buying 180 capsules at a time.
5.Only Natural Moringa Pure Capsules (View on Amazon)
Save money buying this non-organic moringa supplement. Only Natural is one of the highest rated natural health product manufacturers in the world. Each 1000 mg serving delivers all the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants you’ll ever need, without the need to mess around with powders or teas.
Simply take with meals and rest assured you’re getting all the benefits listed above from moringa Oleifera leaves and pods.
It’s important to be mindful of the fact that moringa hasn’t been studied extensively on human beings. This, even though the benefits listed earlier have been noted by countless who’ve taken it throughout the years. Moringa is generally considered safe and regarded as a superfood with the potential to prevent and reverse many modern health problems.
Moringa leaf is on the recommended supplement list of many naturopathic healthcare professionals including Doctors Joseph Mercola and Axe; both highly respected online and offline authorities on the subject of superfoods and nutrition in general. Be sure to follow the instruction on the label and stop taking it if any side effects occur while supplementing with moringa leaf supplements.