Over the last few years, the use of moringa oleifera has become a popular nutritional supplement because of its reported health benefits like lowering blood pressure and reducing inflammation.
Different parts of the plant can be consumed for various reasons. Whether it’s the pods or the leaves, which typically is the most nutritious part of the plant. You can get moringa in capsule or powder form. You can even pour yourself a cup of warm moringa tea for the upcoming chilly winter days. But before you try it, consider the potential drawbacks. As with any natural remedy, it’s a good idea to learn all you can before trying it.
The Benefits of Moringa
Moringa goes by different names, including drumstick tree or ben oil tree. Over the last few years, studies on moringa have become much more common. At the time, the study Review of the Safety and Efficacy of Moringa Oleifera says that more research has been done on how moringa affects lab animals, with human studies just starting. Few side effects have been reported. But it’s important to read the label on the bottle before taking the supplement and follow proper dosing instructions.
Moringa is rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. The leaves contain a small amount of protein, vitamins B2 and B6, vitamin C, iron, vitamin A, and magnesium. The pods also have a high amount of vitamin C. Moringa supplements may be recommended to lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels, including in those with Type 2 diabetes. The plant may also heal wounds faster, though this has only been demonstrated in rats.
Moringa can also help reduce inflammation, which is correlated with a host of health issues. Though evidence for this in humans is still lacking, trials on rats, such as a study published in Avicenna Journal of Phytomedicine, have shown promise. A little inflammation in your body means your body working to protect itself. However, chronic inflammation, or inflammation in multiple locations often signals a problem. It could be a sign that you have a serious health problem, which I touch on in one of my articles.
Scientific Research on Moringa
While there are health benefits to taking moringa, there are also potential risks you should know.
A 2018 study published in the International Journal of Science and Healthcare Research, and a 2016 study published in Food Science and Human Wellness looked at moringa in pregnant women. Both indicated that moringa is safe to take during pregnancy if specific dosing instructions are followed. However, some still point to a 30-year-old study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, where rats who were given moringa showed signs of infertility. However, the researchers in that study stated that the infertility could have been caused by multiple things, not necessarily the moringa. If you’re pregnant and considering taking moringa, consult your doctor to make sure you’re taking the recommended dose and read the bottle carefully.
If you have a thyroid condition, or if you take any medication that is broken down in the liver, including any diabetes or blood pressure medication, moringa may increase the chances of adverse reactions. Liver toxicity may occur, so if you’re already prone to liver sensitivities, taking moringa is not recommended for you.
When it comes down to it, the plant does have benefits that may contribute to a healthy lifestyle. If you’re unsure whether it’s safe for you to take moringa, always consult your doctor. They will know if you have any reason why you should or shouldn’t take the supplement regularly.
If you simply want to ensure that you get the full spectrum of vitamins and minerals you need, consider taking a complete formula like Diamond Nutritionals’ Foundation Vitamin Formula. Check out this article for more on natural ways to reduce inflammation.