As the saying goes, “health is wealth.” More and more people today are becoming health-conscious. No wonder why moringa tea is becoming a hit and has earned its popularity.
I must admit, I was not really a fan of moringa tea or any of its form until I found out its healing properties and other health benefits – including boosting breastmilk supply. The latter was actually the very reason why I got into it.
Moringa, although a native tree of India and Nepal, is also present in certain countries in Asia, Africa, and even in South America and Oceania. In these countries, moringa is a popular food. In fact, it has gained several nicknames like “drumstick tree,” “miracle tree,” “ben oil tree,” “horseradish tree,” and the most common of all, the “tree of life”.
Probably by now, you are wondering why this tree is called such names. Well, one thing is for sure, it is not called that way for no reason.
Personally, I have known the moringa tree since childhood. I remember my mom would include fresh moringa leaves on her dishes, and I and my siblings would eat it. But to be honest, I only saw it as food. I was never aware that it gives so many health benefits. It was only recently when I got to know this plant deeper and fell in love with it.
To give you a little background, moringa leaves and seeds have been used for centuries to treat serious health issues, as well as promote wound healing. By the way, all parts of the tree are edible, but of all its parts, the leaves are found to be the most packed with nutritious compounds that are essential to human health.
While moringa has been around since no one knows, it has only popped up on the radar of western scientists in recent years. With that said, more and more studies are now being conducted specifically on the various benefits this plant gives.
What is moringa oleifera?
For the benefit of those who are not familiar with moringa oleifera or simply called, moringa has a very remarkable nutritional profile. It is packed with so many vitamins and minerals that are essential to keep our body healthy, at the same time, helps prevent and treat diseases.
Moringa is a very useful crop. In fact, all parts of the tree are edible, and most of its parts have been used as an herbal medicine for centuries now. As mentioned earlier, this tree is native to India and Nepal, but also grows in other parts of the world particularly in Asia, Africa, as well as South America and Oceania.
The largest cultivator of moringa is India. Meanwhile, the moringa tree is used for medicinal purposes in different countries like Indonesia, Pakistan, Philippines, Nepal, and Taiwan.
The National Institute of Health has proclaimed moringa oleifera as “Plant of the Year” in 2008 because of its tremendous health benefits and uses.
While all parts of the tree are edible and have their corresponding vitamin and mineral content, its leaves are considered as the most nutritious part. No wonder why there are moringa powder, as well as moringa tea and other products, made using this part of the tree. Needless to say, its leaves can also be used as an ingredient in common food staple among households.
As mentioned earlier, apart from being called as “miracle tree” and “tree of life”, the moringa tree is also known as the “drumstick tree” because of the shape of moringa’s seed pods. It is also tagged as a “ben oil tree” as the tree produces benzoil. Another popular nickname of moringa is “horseradish tree” for the very reason that its roots taste like a rhizome.
What is moringa tea?
Obviously, moringa tea is made using moringa oleifera leaves. Moringa tea is an herbal tea made by steeping the dried moringa leaves in pure hot water. While some people prefer preparing the tea that way, it can also be made using tea bags, as well as moringa leaf powder.
The tea is naturally caffeine-free, thus making it suitable for anyone especially those who are not into caffeinated drinks. Just like any type of teas, moringa tea can be consumed at any time of the day as you please. Although some people prefer drinking it in the morning upon waking up and at night before bedtime.
How does moringa tea taste?
Moringa tastes almost the same as any other tea in the market. It offers an earthy flavor close to the taste of green tea. So, if you love drinking green tea, you will not find the taste of moringa tea strange. Compared to green tea though, moringa tea is less bitter and astringent. Moringa tea can tolerate high temperatures, as well as longer brewing times.
While some people prefer taking moringa tea as it is, others prefer mixing honey, mint, and/or cinnamon to help balance the earthy flavor. Personally, it depends on my mood, while I prefer having it as it is, there are times when I feel like adding some mint just to boost my mood even more.
What are the nutritional facts of moringa tea?
Moringa in itself provides a variety of vitamins and minerals that are essential to keep a healthy and strong body. For your reference, here are the vitamin and mineral properties present in moringa:
- Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C)
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)
- Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
- Vitamin B3 (Niacin), B-6
Now, with regards to moringa tea per se, it uses moringa leaves, which according to research is the most nutritious part of the moringa tree.
In fact, according to the USDA, the raw moringa tea leaves provide various vitamins and minerals. It is a significant source of Vitamins A, C (ascorbic acid), and B6. The leaves also contain high amounts of essential nutrients like amino acid as well as beta-carotene. For a hundred grams of moringa leaves, for instance, it contains around 9 grams of protein.
How to make moringa tea?
Making moringa tea depends on your preference. Some opt using the powdered form, some use dried leaves, while others prefer using the ones on tea bags. Personally, I prefer using the one on tea bags, but I make sure that the tea is a hundred percent pure moringa leaves and organic.
For those who prefer using the dried moringa leaves, here’s how to prepare it:
Moringa Tea Using Moringa Leaves
10 ounces of water
1 teaspoon of Moringa Tea leaves
Sweetener (I highly recommend using honey for its health benefits as well)
– Bring water to boil using a tea kettle or on top of the stove.
– Place the moringa tea leaves or the tea infuser, and place it in the hot water.
– Remove from heat and allow to sit for about 3 to 5 minutes.
– Add sweetener as desired.
What do you get from drinking moringa tea?
Now here comes the most exciting part. Yes, I really had to use the word exciting because, I, too got excited when I found out about the many health benefits this miracle tree gives. I tell you, you will be surprised, at the same time you will understand why it is tagged as a miracle tree or tree of life.
Here are some of the health benefits of moringa:
- Moringa is packed with antioxidants.
Moringa, particularly its leaves are packed with antioxidants, which offers a variety of health benefits. For your information, antioxidants help eliminate free radicals in the body, at the same time, prevent the onset of oxidative stress, which has been linked to several serious illnesses like heart diseases, certain types of cancer, and Alzheimer’s.
The antioxidants present in moringa leaves is vitamin C and beta-carotene, which is linked to a stronger immune system. It also contains quercetin, which is a type of antioxidant that helps in reducing high blood pressure, and chlorogenic acid, which is known to help regulate blood glucose levels.
- Moringa has anti-inflammatory compounds.
For your information, inflammation is the body’s vital response to stimuli. However, in cases wherein there is chronic inflammation, it can cause serious health problems like chronic pain, high risk of getting a stroke, as well as high blood pressure.
Almost all vegetables and plant products do contain anti-inflammatory compounds. These compounds, however, are classified according to their chemical composition. While some have shown to be effective in reducing inflammation, others are not.
Moringa, regardless if it in tea or powdered form, contains anti-inflammatory agents, which are known as isothiocyanates. In a study published in Pharmaceutical Biology, it says that moringa extract was found out to help lower pain caused by inflammation. Meanwhile, two subsequent la studies show that phenolic glycosides, as well as other compounds present in moringa, showed immunosuppressive and anti-inflammatory activities.
Now, are you pretty convinced already that it is indeed a tree of life? Well, hang in there, there’s more!
- Moringa may help fight malnutrition.
With the nutritional content and hardiness of the moringa tree, it becomes a perfect candidate as a staple food in impoverished regions. With all the nutrients, vitamins and minerals this tree contains, it surely will help combat malnutrition problems especially in places where malnutrition is prevailing.
I can only imagine of moringa is eaten by the impoverished members of the society, it will sure help keep them healthy and strong. But of course, it does not mean they have to eat every meal. There were suggestions that the plant can also be used in feeding livestock, and in some instances, in the purification of water as well. By doing so, I assume the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals will transfer.
Moringa leaves are packed with essential vitamins and minerals that help fight malnutrition, and eventually, help undernourished individuals to increase their body weight. It is important to note, however, that some moringa products like moringa leaf extract and moringa leaf powder are less potent compared to the raw or cooked leaves. So, if for the purpose of combating undernourishment, it is highly suggested that the leaves must be consumed raw or cooked.
- Moringa helps boost breastmilk supply.
While the further study has yet to be made to back this claim, there are so many moms who believe of moringa’s ability to help increase breastmilk supply. Thus, many new moms especially in Southeast Asian regions take moringa supplements, moringa tea, and even eat cooked meals with moringa leaves in it to help them in their breastmilk needs.
I can personally attest to this. I believe taking moringa tea and eating cooked moringa leaves helps my breastmilk supply. I could not imagine being able to feed my son with breastmilk to this day without the help of moringa. I guess it is safe to say that it is one of the breastfeeding moms’ best friend.
- Moringa may help protect the liver.
There have been various research conducted, and have shown that moringa may help protect the liver from any damages because of its high concentrations of polyphenols. Polyphenols are known to help reverse oxidation in the liver. Furthermore, research has shown that by taking moringa, it may help reduce the risk of having liver fibrosis. At the same time, help quicken the healing process of the liver.
- Moringa helps reduce cholesterol levels.
Taking moringa tea or any forms of moringa for that matter helps reduce cholesterol levels, which is commonly linked to increased risk of developing heart disease. There are so many plat foods out there that are also proven to help lower cholesterol levels, and one of them is moringa. Moringa contains certain properties that specifically help in doing so.
- Moringa may help treat stomach problems.
Moringa contains natural antibiotic and antibacterial properties, which is known to be effective in inhibiting the growth of various pathogens. Thus making it able to help treat stomach disorders such as gastritis, ulcerative colitis, and constipation.
Moreover, moringa also contains high Vitamin B, which is known to be effective in addressing proper digestion.
- Moringa may help prevent and treat cancer.
Further studies have yet to be done to prove this claim. However, there are existing researches made that show moringa extract with properties known to help prevent developing cancer. In addition, there are also research made that show that moringa contains niazimicin, a compound that is known to be responsible for suppressing the development of cancer cells.
I know what you are thinking. Moringa is indeed a miracle tree, and a tree of life if only for this cause. Imagine the number of lives that can be saved.
- Moringa may inhibit arsenic toxicity.
Arsenic is one of the major problems when it comes to water supply in many impoverished nations. This chemical may leak into the groundwater, which may lead to contamination of food crops. Once the crops are contaminated, it poses an alarming health threat to people.
There have been a few small studies conducted that have shown the use of moringa as an inhibitor of possible arsenic poisoning. While this result is very promising, it needs further studies to be able to establish the use of the tree as a treatment for arsenic toxicity.
What are the side effects of taking moringa tea?
Now that you already have an idea of some of the health benefits of moringa tea, and moringa in general, it’s time to discuss its side effects and restrictions.
Generally speaking, there really is no serious side effects when taking moringa tea. However, it is best that you should consult with a health professional first before taking moringa tea especially if you are taking certain medications. It’s for precautionary measures to ensure that it won’t affect your medication.
Furthermore, some studies have shown that moringa rhizome and flowers contain certain compounds known to induce contraction among pregnant women, which may lead to premature births or miscarriage. While there is no concrete study to back this claim, it better to be safe than sorry. So, if you are pregnant or suspected to be pregnant, you better stay away from taking moringa products particularly those containing its rhizome and flower.
For your information, the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) does not regulate moringa supplements. It has also not approved the use of any moringa plant parts in treating or mitigating any disease. Further studies have yet to be conducted to get into FDA’s approval.
As you can see, moringa is called a miracle tree or tree of life for nothing. It is called as it is because it is worthy to be called one. While some of the claims are yet to be proven true, if you come to think about it, with all its nutritional content, it is indeed worthy to be a staple food in every family’s home – impoverished or not.
As with moringa tea, it is a great option for those who are not into eating moringa leaves or making smoothies and other types of food with moringa in it. While you can gain more of its nutritional content by eating it raw or cooked. Drinking moringa tea does not make it any less.
So, if you are a tea drinker, I suggest you convert into drinking moringa tea. If not, I highly recommend you to start including it in your diet. Your health will never be the same again once you start this habit.