Moringa Leaves Matcha Alternatives

Moringa vs Matcha

Posted by Stephany Morgan

First Published: January 2020. Updated & expanded: August 2020

Today I'm taking a detailed look at how how these two antioxidant-rich powdered differ in terms of different health measurements. Including, moringa vs matcha for:

  • Blood sugar level moderation
  • High blood pressure prevention
  • Inflammation reduction
  • Healthy weight loss
  • Increased energy levels

But first, I'll give a quick intro to these two superfoods and a summary table of moringa and matcha's health benefits. 

What are moringa and matcha?

For those new to these teas, moringa is a tree native to India (Moringa olifera) and is considered to be an adaptogen superfood thanks to its rich nutrient, antioxidant and vitamin content. It is often used to address malnutrition by NGOs - that's how super it is. Its leaves are ground into a fine powder that can be used for tea and cooking. Read a full introduction to moringa here and to adaptogens here. 

Matcha is also a powdered tea, but made from Japanese tea leaves from the tea bush (Camellia sinensis sinensis). The tea bushes are shaded for a few weeks before harvest, leading to an increased production of plant chemicals (caffeine, antioxidants, flavonoids, etc) which contribute to matcha's powerful color, unique flavor and higher antioxidant levels than normal green tea. Read my full introduction to matcha here. 

Both moringa and matcha powders are blended into hot water, rather than steeped, so you are drinking the actual leaf.


Now that's covered, down to business: Remember this chart below from my piece The Dark Truth About Matcha Tea? I compared several different teas with matcha and how they all stack up. Today I am going to look at how matcha compares with moringa, as moringa is used as a direct substitute for matcha. 

Here's the summary, and below I break it down and explain each area:





Antioxidants (ORAC levels)

Read about ORAC here



Complete plant protein 

Read about Moringa protein here



Blood glucose level moderation

Read more below

Yes (significant: improves insulin sensitivity)

~Yes (limited to starchy foods)

Prevents high blood pressure

Read more below


Initially increases blood pressure due to caffeine

Reduces inflammation

Read more below



Weight loss effects

Read more below




Read about caffeine here



Provides energy

Read about adaoptogens here

Yes, due to being an adaptogen

Yes, due to caffeine

Matcha Ceremony, Matcha v Matcha


Matcha vs Moringa Antioxidants

Some notable catechins in matcha are Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), Epigallocatechin (EGC), and Epicatechin-3-gallate (ECG). EGCG is abundant in matcha. More on EGCG can be found here.

EGC blocks inflammation. It helps prevent fat accumulation in the liver by regulating lipid clearance. It supports waste removal and regulates the body’s ability to “clean out” damaged cells (autophagy). It also has antiviral activity against influenza A and B. ECG protects against neuronal degeneration and may reduce inflammation due to the Hepatitis C virus.

Moringa contains 46 antioxidants, some being: quercetin, beta carotene, chlorogenic acid, and moringin. Quercetin is a powerful anti-inflammatory and it modulates immunity. It improves disease resistance and is anti-carcinogenic. Beta carotene converts to vitamin A in the body.

It helps reduce cancer risk and aging signs, supports immunity, and reduces risk of heart disease. Chlorogenic acid has anti-inflammatory properties, particularly in the brain. It reduces oxidative damage in the brain and can improve memory. Moringin is anti-inflammatory, and has anti-cancer properties.

Matcha has an ORAC level of 1384, whereas moringa's is 1575. (ORAC is a measure of antioxidant levels that allows comparison between foods, teas, etc.) You can see a chart of ORAC (antioxidant) levels in the teas sold at here.


Moringa: The Complete Plant Protein

Check out my Moringa as a Complete Protein article for all the details! Spoiler: Moringa contains a whopping 17 amino acids, and all 9 essential amino acids, making it one of the very rare complete proteins in the plant world and ideal for vegans.

Matcha, on the other hand, doesn't contain any protein. For the matcha protein shakes you see around the net, they usually have added manufactured powders which often have other less than ideal effects.


Matcha and Tea Sweet, Matcha v Matcha


Matcha & Moringa Moderation of Blood-Glucose Levels

For matcha to reduce blood sugar levels, some very specific circumstances must be met. Matcha contains EGCG, an antioxidant that is credited with these blood-glucose lowering properties. But in the referenced studies, it was found that this is only applicable when eating starchy foods. It had no effect on sugars themselves, so if you like adding sugar to your tea, you’re out of luck.

The reason it can so successfully reduce blood glucose from starch (by up to 50%!) is due to the inhibition of the enzyme amylase, which is responsible for breaking starch down into sugar. Because amylase is found in large amounts in the mouth, the conversion to sugar begins there.

This means that if you eat a starchy breakfast (like bagels or toast), you have to drink matcha with the meal for it to work. Misrepresenting matcha as a tool to lower blood glucose levels from any food is misleading.

Moringa has antidiabetic effects. In another referenced study, Moringa lowered blood glucose levels compared to placebo and control (not effecting normal blood sugar levels). In the diabetic group, it was observed that insulin resistance decreased, and glucose uptake improved, which is likely due to kaempferol, an antioxidant. Quercetin also played a role in blood glucose reduction. Moringa affected blood glucose levels regardless of the source of sugar.

To summarize, matcha prevents the conversion of starch to sugar, making it less bioavailable as a sugar starting at the beginning of the digestive tract, but won’t reduce already high blood glucose levels. Moringa reduced previously elevated blood sugar levels.

Note that elevated blood sugar can be dangerous, and should not be addressed lightly or without supervision. Do not attempt to use either matcha or moringa as an intervention without first discussing it with your qualified health professional.


Impact on Blood Pressure Levels by Matcha vs Moringa

A meta-analysis literature review looked at the blood-pressure-lowering effects of green teas. Decaffeinated green tea extract supplements were most common, though decaffeinated green tea was also used, and others included caffeine in the control group to rule out its confounding effects.

While green tea lowers blood pressure by several avenues (maintaining vascular tone, balancing vasoconstrictive substances, improving ventricular function), it’s important to note that higher doses of green tea can raise blood pressure due to more caffeine. More studies are needed to be conclusive.

So, if you are drinking matcha in hopes of supporting a healthy cardiovascular system, keep an eye out for the caffeine. De-caf may be better. Or...

Consider caffeine-free moringa. One referenced study concluded that moringa (extract) may be a natural approach for reducing blood pressure. They found that the antioxidant activity reduced vascular dysfunction and promoted vasorelaxation.

Another study found that the juiced moringa leaves reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure in stage 1 hypertension. In another study, moringa powder (leaf) demonstrated hypotensive action in obese subjects. Moringa has also been shown to lower cholesterol levels.

Links to the studies are below in the References section if you want to read the details. This is one of the things that sets our blog apart! ;-)


Moringa Leaves, Matcha v Matcha


Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Matcha and Moringa

Matcha’s anti-inflammatory properties are attributed to the antioxidant action of the catechins, particularly EGCG. 

Moringa has demonstrated anti-inflammatory effects in lab studies, but this specific effect has yet to be studied in humans. However, we do know Moringa contains Quercetin, the aforementioned powerful anti-inflammatory. Animal trials look promising, and there’s a call for human trials in the near future.

There's a lot of research out there, and you can learn more about Moringa here.


Can Matcha or Moringa Help with Weight Loss?

Matcha & Weight Loss

In theory, matcha may help with fat break down by increasing metabolism, energy expenditure, and fat oxidation. Of course the effects of green tea on fat and metabolism can not be relied upon as the sole weight loss method, and requires additional changes (food choices, exercise, etc - as always!). So don't be convinced by any isolated miracle cures. A systematic review concluded that most of the weight-loss was on average 0.2 - 3.5 kg more weight was lost compared to controls.


Moringa & Weight Loss

Moringa was found to modestly reduce weight in obese participants, but not in non-obese participants. An animal study concluded that it reduced body weight with no change in feeding. Moringa weight-loss/fat loss is caused by correcting hormone levels that signal satiety, control fat storage, and influence insulin sensitivity.

By correcting these levels, and by inducing thermogenesis (increased body heat which reduces appetite, improves fat burning, and metabolism) and lipolysis (the breaking down of fats), moringa shows promise for aiding weight loss.

In an animal trial, and later a trial with humans, moringa, turmeric, and curry were given to the participants and weight loss occurred in both. However, despite significant weight loss differences between the test group (-11.9 lbs) and the placebo group (-2 lbs) they weren’t sure whether Moringa was the cause (1).

But, in another rat study which decided to look at moringa and weight loss without including confounding herbal combinations, they found that moringa did down-regulate leptin (a hormone responsible for appetite control) and increased adiponectin- which control glucose levels and breaks down fatty acids. Due to this, Moringa does induce weight loss (2).  

To make it more relatable, another study fed mice a very high fat diet and in the test group they were supplemented with moringa concentrate. This was made by extracting the leaves in water (much like making a strong tea), and the mice given moringa saw a reduced weight gain (3).


How Does Moringa Help You Lose Weight?

Moringa works by several mechanisms: it influences hormones directly related to fat and cholesterol accumulation, and it increases insulin sensitivity and signaling. Studies have linked poor insulin signalling to belly fat accumulation (4). Moringa helps prevent this.

One study also suggests that moringa isothiocyanates, compounds in moringa, are the cause of its anti-obesity effects. They help with fat break down (lipolysis) and reduce fat accumulation in the liver and the body (3). 

This means that you can use moringa powder for weight loss! While weight reduction did occur while following a high fat diet, better results would occur if Moringa leaf tea was included with a healthy lifestyle. Simply include moringa as part of your healthy eating and exercise routine by preparing the powder in drink or food form. 

Sip’n enjoy the guilt free, delicious taste of moringa tea for weight loss!



A Note From The Herbalist...

Both moringa and matcha have their place in the tea world, but for me the natural sweetness of moringa and the fact it's a third the cost of matcha while containing a greater level of antioxidants makes it my go-to drink. I most often drink it in the mornings when I want some caffeine-free energy to start the day, and LOVE cooking with it. (A new Recipes series coming in 2020!)

I also like that I can use moringa as a direct matcha replacement: in lattes, drinking straight, sprinkling on top of my granola, or when I feel like centering and unwinding with my whisk and chawan for a little Japanese tea ceremony. 
Try moringa now:
Superior Organic Moringa Tea Powder

Superior Organic Moringa Tea Powder, from only $6

This superfood powder can instantly jazz up your breakfast, smoothie or anything really! More antioxidants than matcha, and much cheaper too.

Free US shipping too!

Read more:
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All of the information regarding the herbs, botanicals, minerals, vitamins, etc., is information drawn from traditional use data or academic research and should be regarded as such. If you, the reader, has a health or medical concern, please consult your healthcare professional. The information found here is not meant to diagnose, treat, prescribe or cure and has not been evaluated by the FDA. This information is for educational purposes only.


Moringa versus Matcha References and Further Reading

Learn more about Matcha and its rich history here, and why we are called here S. Aafrin Thasleema /J. Pharm. Sci. & Res. Vol.5(9), 2013, 171 - 173 Metabolomics Innovation Centre (TMIC) Database, Update date 2019-11-27 17:33:51 UTC Osuntokun OT, Oluduro AO, Idowu TO, Omotuyi AO (2017) Assessment of Nephrotoxicity, Anti-Inflammatory and Antioxidant Properties of Epigallocatechin, Epicatechin and Stigmasterol Phytosterol (Synergy) Derived from Ethyl Acetate Stem Bark Extract of Spondias Mombin on Wistar Rats Using Molecular Method of Analysis. J Mol Microbiol. Vol. 1 No. 1: 5. Elmarakby AA, Abdelsayed R, Yao Liu J, Mozaffari MS. Inflammatory cytokines as predictive markers for early detection and progression of diabetic nephropathy. EPMA J. 2010;1(1):117–129. doi:10.1007/s13167-010-0004-7 Science Direct definitions, Epicatechin Gallate. Accessed 19th December 2019 6 Science-Based Health Benefits of Moringa oleifera, Atli Arnarson, PhD, May 4, 2018 In vitro and in vivo antioxidant properties of different fractions of Moringa oleifera leaves
Arti R.Vermaa M.Vijayakumara Chandra S.Mathelab Chandana V.Raoa, Received 6 March 2009, Accepted 3 June 2009, Available online 9 June 2009. 92 nutrients and 46 antioxidants in one tree Moringa oleifera, Amchara. Accessed 19th December 2019 Li Y, Yao J, Han C, et al. Quercetin, Inflammation and Immunity. Nutrients. 2016;8(3):167. Published 2016 Mar 15. doi:10.3390/nu8030167 All you need to know about beta carotene, Tim Newman, December 14, 2017 Science Direct definitions, Chlorogenic Acid. Accessed 19th December 2019 Yu Y, Shen Q, Lai Y, et al. Anti-inflammatory Effects of Curcumin in Microglial Cells. Front Pharmacol. 2018;9:386. Published 2018 Apr 20. doi:10.3389/fphar.2018.00386 Penn State. "Drinking green tea with starchy food may help lower blood sugar spikes." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 November 2012 Villarruel-López A, López-de la Mora DA, Vázquez-Paulino OD, et al. Effect of Moringa oleifera consumption on diabetic rats. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2018;18(1):127. Published 2018 Apr 10. doi:10.1186/s12906-018-2180-2 Peng X, Zhou R, Wang B, et al. Effect of green tea consumption on blood pressure: a meta-analysis of 13 randomized controlled trials. Sci Rep. 2014;4:6251. Published 2014 Sep 1. doi:10.1038/srep06251 Moringa oleifera leaf extract lowers high blood pressure by alleviating vascular dysfunction and decreasing oxidative stress in L-NAME hypertensive rats. Phytomedicine. 2019 Feb 15;54:9-16. doi: 10.1016/j.phymed.2018.10.023. Epub 2018 Oct 19. Goothy, Sai Sailesh & Sudhan, Dr. (2019). Effect of Moringa oliefera leaves on blood pressure in hypertensive patients. 350. Management of Hypertension in Norma and Obese Hypertensive Patients through Supplementation with Moringa oleifera Lam Leaf PowderIndian Journal of Nutrition Volume 3, Issue 2 - 2016 © Edith N. Fombang. 2016 An experimental study to evaluate the anti-inflammatory effect of moringa oleifera leaves in animal models
Amit Mittal, Monica Sharma, Abhinav David, Pinki Vishwakarma, Manish Saini, Mani Goel, K. K. Saxena. International Journal of Basic and Clinical Pharmacology Vol 6, No 2 (2017) Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities of Moringa peregrina. Seeds, Free Radicals and Antioxidants, Volume 1, Issue 2, April–June 2011, Pages 49-61 Author links open overlay panel Mahmoud A.Koheil Mohammed A.Hussein  Samir M.Othman Alaa El-Haddad Available online 17 April 2013. Anti-inflammatory Action of Green Tea. Tea Science Center, University of Shizuoka, 52-1, Yada, Shizuoka 422- 8526; Japan. ; Present address: Division of Citrus Research, Institute of Fruit Tree and Tea Science, NARO, 485-6, Okitsunakacho, Shizuoka, 424-0292, Japan.. Japan. Li Y, Yao J, Han C, et al. Quercetin, Inflammation and Immunity. Nutrients. 2016;8(3):167. Published 2016 Mar 15. doi:10.3390/nu8030167 Effectiveness of green tea on weight reduction in obese Thais: A randomized, controlled trial. Physiology & Behavior, Paradee Auvichayapat
Volume 93, Issue 3, 27 February 2008, Pages 486-491. Will Drinking Green Tea Help Me Lose Weight? BHealth Blog. Accessed 19th December 2019 Jurgens T, Whelan AM. Can green tea preparations help with weight loss?. Can Pharm J (Ott). 2014;147(3):159–160. doi:10.1177/1715163514528668 Antiobesity and Hypolipidemic Activity of Moringa oleifera Leaves against High Fat Diet-Induced Obesity in Rats. Souravh Bais. Advances in Biology Volume 2014, Article ID 162914. Published 10 July 2014 Meet Leptin — A Hormone That Regulates Body Weight. Kris Gunnars, BSc December 4, 2018 Healthline. Accessed 19th December 2019 Fateheya Mohamed, Molecular mechanisms of the anti-obesity potential effect of Moringa oleifera in the experimental model. Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine
Volume 7, Issue 3, March 2017, Pages 214-221. You and Your Hormones Definitions Resource. Society of Endocrinology. Accessed 19th December 2019 Reviewed: Mar 2018


Moringa for Weight Loss References:


2. Metwally, F. M., Rashad, H. M., Ahmed, H. H., Mahmoud, A. A., Abdol Raouf, E. R., & Abdalla, A. M. (2017). Molecular mechanisms of the anti-obesity potential effect of Moringa oleifera in the experimental model. Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine, 7(3), 214–221.

3. Waterman, C., Rojas-Silva, P., Tumer, T. B., Kuhn, P., Richard, A. J., Wicks, S., Stephens, J. M., Wang, Z., Mynatt, R., Cefalu, W., & Raskin, I. (2015). Isothiocyanate-rich Moringa oleifera extract reduces weight gain, insulin resistance, and hepatic gluconeogenesis in mice. Molecular nutrition & food research, 59(6), 1013–1024.


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