First published: April 2019. Updated & expanded: January 2021
Moringa oleifera, a tree native to India, is known as the “miracle tree” - and with good reason! It has a whole heap of health benefits, and for those interested is listed as a cure for 300 ailments in the traditional Indian medicinal system of Ayurveda. Eventually and happily for us as a tea science blog, the evidence is there to support this!
In the modern day, moringa makes for a powerful addition to your diet. Powdered moringa leaf can be taken as a tea or supplement, and it's often compared to matcha due to its similar appearance.
In this article, you'll find out:
- How moringa compares to matcha
- The health benefits of moringa
- Some ideas for moringa powder recipes
Read on to get the facts!
MA's moringa powder, pic by the Founders in Nong Khai, Thailand
Moringa vs Matcha
Taste-wise, moringa has an earthy flavor with sweet undertones, and lacks the bitterness often attributed to matcha. Some people prefer one over the other, so it's really just a matter of opinion as to which one tastes better.
In other aspects, however, it's no contest:
- Moringa has a much higher nutritional value than matcha. It provides more fiber, vitamin A, and vitamin C, as well as more antioxidants.
- On the ORAC scale for measuring antioxidants, matcha scores a 1384, while moringa powder clocks in at an impressive 1575 (if you want to find out more about ORAC scores, how they're measured, and which teas score the highest, check out my post on the subject).
- 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 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 that you'll have to use a lot of sweeteners to make it palatable defeating the point!
Finally, matcha contains caffeine, but moringa does not. However, if you are overworked & chronically fatigued, you may feel that caffeine is not up for compromise. Well, moringa can still provide you with the energy boost you need, because it's 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.
To learn more about adaptogens, check out my post that explains exactly what adaptogens are and how they work.
Finally, if you want to get a full, comprehensive comparison between moringa and matcha which covers everything from weight loss to their effects on blood sugar, check out my dedicated moringa vs matcha post.
Is Moringa Good for Me?
In short, that is a big, loud YES! Moringa is a superfood, a complete vegan protein, and rich in fiber, vitamins, and has a ton of antioxidants (more than matcha!).
It supports digestive and cardiovascular health, reduces inflammation, and provides iron, potassium and trace minerals.
It’s also an excellent detoxifying agent, stabilizes mood and can support hormone balance. Sounds pretty darn good to me!
You can read all about the protein side of moringa here, as it is a rare thing in the plant world - a complete vegan protein.
|Try our Superior Organic Moringa Tea Powder here|
What Moringa Does for the Body
While almost every part of the moringa tree has health benefits and nutrients, the safest and most commonly consumed part of the plant are the leaves.
Moringa leaves contain vital antioxidants, nutrients, antibiotic constituents (active against gram positive strains), anti-inflammatory nutrients, and healthy fatty acids (omega 3s and 6s).
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 as mentioned - an important part of a healthy diet, and a rarity in the plant world. Vegans rejoice!
- Studies have found that the nutrients in moringa do not break down over time. The leaves, whether whole or powdered, can be stored for months without refrigeration and not lose their nutritional value.
- Vitamin C increases the iron bioavailability of moringa even more. So add a splash of lemon juice to your moringa tea or recipe!
- PRO TIP When the leaves (whole or powdered) are simmered in hot water, the iron content becomes 3x more bioavailable than it is when raw.
It’s difficult to assign a value to moringa. It is such an important plant, and has such versatility for application in the world of nutrition, herbalism, and even conventional medicine. It definitely deserves 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 ailments such as:
- High cholesterol
- High blood glucose
Globally malnourished children are given moringa to support nutrition - as studied by UNICEF, World Vision and others. As time goes on, who knows what new "miracle tree" properties we might discover?
Moringa Recipe Ideas
Knowing all this about the majestic moringa tree, how can you not want to give it a try? Beyond tea, its 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.
Moringa is a truly versatile herb. Add the fresh leaves or dried leaf powder to smoothies, granola, yogurt, soups and more. This way, you are consuming the whole leaf.
Moringa goes especially well in 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, because that water is now full of infused nutrients!”)
Moringa can make for a great easy addition to dishes such as:
- Salad dressings
- Stir fry
The possibilities are endless!
In fact, we have some cool moringa recipes for you to try out:
- While the wonderful @GastronomybyJon created this deliciously rich moringa sauce that looks absolutely stunning! (See below)
- & @GastronomybyJon's super-Instagrammable moringa dalgona latte recipe! (+ vegan option)
- @LooseLeafEllie of IG bookstagram fame created a fantastic exercise protein smoothie Moringa Powder Vegan Protein Shake.
- & @LooseLeafEllie's 5 Easy Superfood Tea Popsicles recipe with it's moringa latte ice lolly!
- And of course my very own moringa chicken and dumpling stew recipe!
Be sure to keep up with the blog for more moringa-based recipes in the future. We’d also love to hear from you! How do you incorporate Moringa into your diet? Share your thoughts in the comments or @MatchaAlternatives on IG!
Jon really is a master of cooking and presentation!
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.
It makes an excellent nourishing herbal infusion, useful for reviving a weak or overstressed body (as I said before, though, please check with your doctor before consuming any herbal product if you are pregnant).
If I feel a cold coming on, I add moringa to my immune boosting regimen of garlic, onion, medicinal mushrooms, and cayenne, which typically helps me personally to kick the cold out before it even has a chance to settle in.
If you are interested in trying moringa for yourself (I mean, who wouldn't be?), our Superior Organic Moringa Tea Powder has you covered. It's ethically sourced, certified organic, and way cheaper than matcha (plus, we offer free shipping in the US)!
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Further Reading on Moringa and References:
- Learn more about Matcha and its rich history here, and why we are called MatchaAlternatives.com here
- Morgan, 2019. Lecture “Adaptogens”. Saginaw Chippewa Tribal College.
- Mercola, 2018. Moringa Tea May Help Boost Energy and Promote Wellness
Each thirty minute track is perfect for studying, meditation, or just ambient music for a relaxing afternoon.
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.