Moringa oleifera is a tree native to India; it can be taken as a tea or supplement. Known as the “miracle tree” this plant is listed as a cure for 300 ailments in Ayurveda. Moringa is a superfood, due to its rich nutrient content.
Moringa vs. Matcha
Battle Royale! Moringa provides more fiber, vitamins A & C, and protein than Matcha. Matcha doesn’t provide ANY protein, whereas Moringa provides all nine essential amino acids, making it a complete protein - a rare thing for the plant world.
Moringa has an earthy taste with sweet undertones, and lacks the bitterness often attributed to Matcha. Furthermore, Moringa is a strong contender when it comes to quality for price, as it’s much cheaper by the ounce than Matcha. Yes, you may find some cheap cooking grade Matcha out there, but it will be so bitter you'll have to use a lot of sweeteners to make it palatable.
Finally, Matcha contains caffeine, but Moringa does not. WAIT! Don’t leave! If you are overworked & chronically fatigued, you may feel that caffeine is not up for compromise. Well, Moringa is an adaptogen. Adaptogens are a class of botanicals that increase endurance, energy and concentration, aid the stress response, and regulate other systems and functions (i.e., blood pressure and blood sugar) without a single bit of caffeine! They are also safe for daily use.
Caffeine borrows energy from tomorrow to provide energy today. In other words, caffeine depletes energy over time, while adaptogens build up your energy stores.
Is Moringa Good for Me?
In short, that is a big, loud YES! Moringa is a superfood, a complete protein and rich in fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants. It supports digestive and cardiovascular health, reduces inflammation, and provides iron, potassium and trace minerals.
It’s also an excellent detoxifying agent, stabilizes mood & can support hormone balance. Sounds pretty darn good to me!
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Health Benefits of Moringa
While almost every part of Moringa has health benefits and nutrients, the safest and most commonly consumed part of the plant are the leaves. These contain vital antioxidants, nutrients, antibiotic constituents (active against gram positive strains), anti-inflammatory nutrients, and healthy fatty acids (omega 3’s and 6’s).
Moringa is unique in so many ways. It hits a surprising amount of rarities:
- It is very uncommon for a jungle plant to contain so many beneficial nutrients distributed through multiple plant parts (leaves, seeds, flowers, bark, and roots).
- Moringa is a complete plant protein - an important part of a healthy diet, and a rarity in the plant world. Vegans rejoice!
- Studies have found that unlike other plants with limited shelf life due to nutrient break-down and other factors which occur over time, Moringa is not subject to that problem. The leaves, whether whole or powdered, can be stored for months without refrigeration and not lose their nutritional value.
- When the leaves (whole or powdered) are simmered in hot water, the iron content becomes 3x more bioavailable than it is when raw.
- Vitamin C (lemon juice) increases the iron bioavailability even more.
It’s difficult to assign a value to Moringa, as it is such an important plant and has such versatility for application in the world of nutrition, herbalism, and even conventional medicine. Definitely earning the nickname "miracle tree"...
Additionally, Moringa has demonstrated chemoprotective action by inducing apoptosis (programmed cell death, an action lacking in cancer cells and critical to combating the disease). Combined with its high antioxidant content, Moringa becomes an essential part of any diet promoting wellness and acting to prevent disease and oxidative damage.
Modern medicine is slowly beginning to recognize the benefits of Moringa, having applied it in the treatment of multiple acute and chronic illnesses. Clinical studies have demonstrated its effectiveness in addressing high cholesterol, high blood glucose, and inflammation. In traditional medicine, pregnant women* and malnourished children are given Moringa to support nutrition.
Knowing all this about the majestic Moringa tree, how can you not want to give it a try?! Beyond tea, the culinary uses are innumerable, and although some vitamins and proteins may be lost due to cooking, this is nearly negligible due to the sheer amount of nutrients.
Add the fresh leaves or dried leaf powder to smoothies, granola, yogurt, soups and more. This way, you are consuming the whole leaf. Especially with soups and stews, as you will be drinking the water it was cooked in (just as our mothers taught us: “Save the water from cooking veggies for soup stock and broth, that water is now full of infused nutrients!”).
Throw a teaspoon or two on top of your morning cereal, granola, or yogurt, add it to salad dressings, sauces, curries, or toss it in with stir fry - the possibilities are endless...!
Stay tuned because we’ll be sharing some fun Moringa-centric recipes in a future article. (I'm currently experimenting in the kitchen with some cool new Moringa recipes)
We’d also love to hear from you! How do you incorporate Moringa into your diet?
A Note From The Herbalist
When it comes to anyone suffering from chronic illness with wasting, or if they’re in a period of recovery, the first herb I consider is Moringa.
Although it’s classified as an adaptogen, it’s also considered a nutritive. Moringa makes an excellent nourishing herbal infusion, useful for reviving a weak body, and is safe for pregnancy.*
If I feel a cold coming on, I add Moringa to my immune boosting regiment of garlic, onion, medicinal mushrooms, and cayenne, which typically helps me kick the cold out before it even has a chance to settle in.
* Note on pregnancy: If pregnant or nursing, please talk to your qualified healthcare professional before consuming Moringa or other herbal products. While it is traditionally used during pregnancy with no evidence of adverse events, this information is for educational and academic purposes only, so we always recommend you speak with your doctor or medical herbalist prior to consuming just to be safe!
If you are interested in trying Moringa for yourself (I mean, why wouldn't you be?), our Superior Moringa Tea Powder is here for you, starting at only $7.50 including free shipping in the continental US:
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Further Reading on Moringa and References:
- Morgan, 2019. Lecture “Adaptogens”. Saginaw Chippewa Tribal College.
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. The information here is for educational use only.