What is Moringa?

Moringa_oleifera_pods
Drumstick pods

Moringa is a medicinal tree native to the northwestern region of India, and parts of Africa. It is cultivated widely across other tropical and subtropical regions in India and other countries. The most cultivated species is Moringa Oleifera, popularly known as Drumstick or Horseradish tree

Drumstick has been an integral part of the south Indian cuisine since ages; Sambar being the most popular dish.  Traditionally it has been used to treat problems such as skin infection, anemia, anxiety, asthma, blood impurities and many more.  It has anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic, anti-diabetic, anti-tumor, anti-oxidant properties. 

Nutritional Composition

The leaves of moringa are rich in minerals: calcium, potassium, zinc, magnesium, iron and copper; vitamins such as beta-carotene (Vitamin A), and vitamin B (folic acid, pyridoxine and nicotinic acid), Vitamins C, D & E. 

Phytochemicals (chemical compounds naturally occurring in plants) : tannins, sterols, terpenoids, flavonoids, saponins, anthraquinones, alkaloids, tannins, sterols, terpenoids, flavonoids, saponins, anthraquinones, alkaloids, among others.

Moringa Oleifera
Moringa Oleifera
Image Attribution: pierre jdlf, Moringa, CC BY-SA 3.0

As depicted in the image above, moringa leaf is a nutrient powerhouse.  It has 7 times more vitamin C compared to oranges;  4 times more vitamin A compared to carrots, 4 times more calcium compared to milk and 25 times more iron compare to spinach.

Anti-Cancer Properties

Scientific research has proven that extracts from moringa leaf powder exhibit properties of inhibition of cancer cell proliferation for breast, colorectal cancer, and cervical cancer.Further, extracts from the bark of moringa have shown anti-cancer potential against melanoma (skin cancer), osteosarcoma (bone cancer), leukaemia (blood cancer), prostate cancer and gastric cancers. Extracts of moringa root have been positively tested against brain cancer as well. Moringa has strong anti-cancer potential as it selectively targets cancer cells without any side effects. 

How much can we take ?

Moringa Leaves
Moringa Leaves

Studies indicate that powder of dried moringa leaves can be consumed not exceeding 70 mg per day, without the risk of nutrient overdose. However, there is no recommended dosage of moringa for treatment of cancer.  Typically people have tried with a tablespoon a day.  An 8 gm per day dosage over a period of 40 days was also deemed to be safe in human studies. It is advisable to consult a doctor or a naturopath before taking it for treatment purposes. 

Methods of Consumption

Moringa powder can be prepared at home and preserved for a long time without the loss of nutrients. Dehydrating the leaves under the sun or with household appliances at low temperatures can be done to ensure a continuous supply of nutrients. Alternatively, tea can be prepared by seeping dried moringa leaves in hot water.

Risk of Moringa Consumption

An overdose of Moringa can potentially lead to high accumulation of iron, which may result in upset stomachs / gastrointestinal disorders or hemochromatosis (too much iron in the body). As per the safety studies conducted, per experimental dosages not exceeding 50mg per day, any specific adverse effects have not been reported in any of the human studies. Furthermore, moringa has been in traditional medicinal and dietary use across the world since ages, without the report of ill effects.  However there may be unknown risks as per your existing medical conditions or ongoing medications.

Actions to Evaluate

  1. Include Drumstick Pods in your diet.
  2. If you are perfectly healthy, try include a spoonful of moringa powder occasionally in salads or make tea.
  3. If you are a cancer patient, consult your doctor for a periodic usage of moringa powder as a supplementary alternative
  4. Drumstick trees are pretty common in India. Sourcing of leaves should not be a problem if you want to make the powder at home.  Optionally there are plenty of branded moringa powder and pills available on common e-commerce platforms.

Cheers to good health!

Feedback & Comments

Do you take Moringa? Has Moringa worked for you as a cancer cure?

Please share your insights and experiences with Moringa. We all can benefit from it.

References for Scientific Research

  1. Health Benefits of Moringa oleifera
  2. Moringa oleifera as an Anti-Cancer Agent against Breast and Colorectal Cancer Cell Lines
  3. Moringa oleifera: A review on nutritive importance and its medicinal application
  4. Micro- and Macroelemental Composition and Safety Evaluation of the Nutraceutical Moringa oleifera Leaves
  5. Effect of Moringa oleifera Ethanolic Extract on Cervical Carcinoma Cell Line
  6. Review of the Safety and Efficacy of Moringa oleifera

Other Moringa Reference

  1. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center – moringa oleifera

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Moringa: Anti-Cancer nutrient powerhouse.
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