Moringa oleifera, also known as the Drumstick Tree, has been used for centuries because of its medicinal properties and health benefits. All parts of this plant, beside the roots, are edible and have been utilized by humans as a food for hundreds of years.
Moringa is used all over the world in traditional medicine for a long list of health conditions such as skin infections, joint pain, anxiety and so much more.
Botanical Name and Family of Moringa Oleifera
Moringa oleifera is the botanical name for the Drumstick Tree. It belongs to the Moringaceae or Horseradish Tree family and has been referred to as Indian Horseradish, Ben Oil Tree and Miracle Tree.
What Is Moringa Oleifera?
Drumstick is the triangle-shaped seed pod obtained from the Moringa oleifera plant, which is native to India and several other tropical countries. It is considered a rich source of protein, minerals and vitamins and this has led to its cultivation in several impoverished countries to enable its use as a nutritional supplement.
Moringa oleifera is a multipurpose tree native to the foothills of the Himalayas in north-western India and is cultivated throughout the tropic for its medicinal properties that are useful in treating venomous bites, bone health and for improving heart health.
Active Ingredients Found in Moringa Oleifera
The leaves of this plant are a rich source of vitamins B, C and K; they also contain beta carotene, manganese and proteins.
Health Benefits of Moringa Oleifera
Drumstick has been used in the traditional medicine in India, Phillipines, Indonesia and Africa. It has been used in Ayurveda to reduce blood glucose and blood pressure. Studies have shown that drumstick extracts have a hypoglycemic, antioxidant and anti-asthmatic effect.
Leaves of drumstick contain an enzyme that kills the parasite causing amoebic dysentery and are used in amoebiasis. It has also been used for relief from joint pain, arthritis, stomach pain, thyroid problems and epilepsy.
It is considered an aphrodisiac, immune-booster and an agent that increases production of breast milk and semen in men.
How to Use Moringa Oleifera
The seed pods may be cooked as a vegetable and added into stir-fries or gravies. The leaf juice may be extracted; the leaves may also be cooked as a vegetable.
Moringa oleifera is also available in powder and supplemental form but doses are different depending on a person’s health, weight, age and other factors. Speak to an herbal practitioner to find out the correct dosages for you.
Side Effects of Moringa Oleifera
Although the drumstick tree offers a variety of benefits, it has been known to cause side effects if used incorrectly. Although moringa can be used to help increase the milk in lactating mothers, it also has an anti-fertility effect and must be avoided by those seeking to conceive.
Also, the roots and root extracts contain toxic chemicals that can lead to paralysis and even death; so, these must be avoided. Make sure you speak to your doctor before consuming this plant to ensure that moringa would be beneficial for you.
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Agrawal B, Mehta A. Antiasthmatic activity of Moringa oleifera Lam: A clinical study. Indian J Pharmacol. 2008 Jan-Feb; 40(1): 28–31.doi: 10.4103/0253-7613.40486. PMCID: PMC3023118
Gupta R, Mathur M, Bajaj VK, Katariya P, Yadav S, Kamal R, Gupta RS. Evaluation of antidiabetic and antioxidant activity of Moringa oleifera in experimental diabetes. J Diabetes. 2012 Jun;4(2):164-71. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-0407.2011.00173.x. PubMed PMID: 22103446.