Loved as ‘Mother’s Best Friend’ in East Africa and as ‘Never Die’ and ‘Miracle Tree’ all over the world, Moranga is one of the most useful trees in the Cosmos, as every part of this tree including the leaves, stems, seeds, pods, fruits, root and bark has enormous medicinal values. Moranga is known as the best natural hub of antioxidants with 46 antioxidants and 36 anti-inflammatory compounds making it rich and wholesome for mankind.
Ayurveda, the mother of all healing sciences have listed about 300 diseases that can be cured with this wonder herb known as Shigru, Sahijna, Munaga, Shobanjana and Sainjna in the Ayurvedic community. Moranga is scientifically called as Moringa pterygosperma gaertn., or Moringa oleifera, Lam. The name Moringa is extracted from the Tamil name murunga and pterygosperma for its winged seeds or oleifera for its non-drying stable oil with a long shelf life.
Historical importance of Moranga and its essential oil: Well-known to the world populace as Drumstick tree, clarifier tree and horseradish tree, Moranga is extremely nutritious and considered as a treasure of India and a fortune to the entire universe. Indians call it a pretty tree with a graceful appearance complimenting its surrounding with natural beauty and freshness. This immortal tree has an exceptionally long traditional usage. The most important among them are listed for your information.
Historical transcripts reveal that drumstick and its leaves were used by the primordial Indian kings and queens in their daily diet to gain enormous energy, retain their good health and treat inflamed joints. The young leaves of this tree are used in folklore medicine for treating common cold, dog bites and scurvy. Fresh Moranga leaves were rubbed against the temples for relieving severe headaches. These leaves are also used in treating fever, inflammation of the mucus membrane, bronchitis, cold, infections of the ear and eye.
Tea prepared with Moranga leaves were used in treating diarrhea, gastric ulcers and stomach pain. Moringa leaves and food products are considered as the best food for people suffering from malnutrition as it is rich in fiber, protein, minerals, vitamins and carbohydrates. It is used in Senegal and India for treating sleeplessness, anxiety, asthma, dysentery, rashes, sores, colitis and added to children’s food to fight malnutrition.
The leaves and twigs are used as a nutritious fodder for farm animals, goats, sheep, camels and other domestic animals. The juice extracted from Moringa flowers is used for treating urinary problems, cold and to enhance the flow and quality of milk in breastfeeding mothers with its tonic, diuretic and cholagogue properties. Moringa flowers are regarded as a good source of pollen for honey bees. The high iron content in Moringa leaves are used to treat anemia in Philippines. Moringa gum is used to treat asthma, tooth decay and rheumatism.
Moringa oil has been used in treating syphilitic wounds, scurvy, hysteria, bladder problems, prostate problems, fungal infections and certain skin complaints. The villagers in Oman use this oil as a perfume and for treating hair problems and stomachic disorders. Arabians in the desert used this oil on their face to treat the harmful effects of wind and sun. It was buried in the tombs of Egyptians whereas the Romans used this oil as a basis for perfumery.
Therapeutic properties of Moranga essential oil: The major remedial properties of Moringa essential oil are antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, diuretic, antispasmodic, anti-choleric, antifungal, anti-hypertensive, anti-tumor, anticancer, antiulcer, immune stimulant, aphrodisiac, antidiabetic, tonic, antipyretic, hepatoprotective, cholesterol lowering and antioxidant. A study on the ‘Medicinal properties of Moringa oleifera: An overview of promising healer’ have analyzed on numerous therapeutic properties of Moringa oleifera.
Ayurvedic health benefits of Moranga essential oil: Ayurveda, the ancient healing science aged more than 5,000 years has India as its birthplace. This holistic healing methodology have used the most useful tree on earth, Moringa aged more than 4,000 years and has its origin in India. Ayurvedic texts list more than 300 diseases that can be cured with the immaculate healing powers of Moranga tree and its extracts like the essential oil.
The power of Ayurvedic healing deeply vests in its trust on natural remedies. Ayurvedic philosophies state that every living thing on earth is unique in its own way and united in the fact that it is a part of nature. This promising science is optimistic and the simple proof is that it considers illness as an opportunity to find what is wrong in the system.
Ayurvedic treatments do not treat just the disease instead it treats the whole individual. By this way it aims at treating and preventing the illness and not just curing the disease alone. Ayurveda identifies the major root cause responsible for sickness.
Ayurvedic texts strongly state that every individual has his or her own constitution which is made up of three energy elements known as doshas namely pitta, vata and kapha. Balance between these three doshas indicates that the system is hale and healthy and imbalance of any one or all the three doshas is responsible for sickness. Moringa and its essential oil is said to reduce excess kapha and vata and improve deficiency of pitta.
Ayurvedic remedies using Moringa products are used in the treatment of liver problems, urinary infections, dysmennorhea, aid during labor or childbirth, improving the secretion of milk in breastfeeding mothers, anemia, sexual dysfunctions, nervous debility, skin problems and infections caused due to pathogenic organisms. The major health benefits of the essential oil extracted by steam distillation method from the leaves of Moringa tree are:
Enormous benefits for the skin: Moringa essential oil has exceptional benefits for the skin and is mainly due to the presence of rich nutrients and antioxidants in the leaves that support healthy skin. Moringa leaves are known as the powerhouse of nutrition with more than 7 times the vitamin C in oranges, more than 4 times the vitamin A in carrots, more than four times the calcium in milk, more than 3 times the potassium in bananas and more than twice the proteins in milk in each gram.
Moringa essential oil has antibacterial, antimicrobial, antifungal, antioxidant and anti-aging properties that aids in combating numerous skin problems. The effects of aging like wrinkles, dull and lifeless skin are mainly due to the activity of free radicals on the skin. The rich content of about 46 antioxidants in Moringa aids in fighting against all the negative effects of aging on skin.
Moringa oil cleanses, nourishes and nurtures your skin naturally. Blending 3 drops of this oil with little coconut oil and applying this mixture on acne, cuts, scrapes, blackheads, scars, burns, rashes and insect bites will help in quicker healing with its antiseptic and antimicrobial values. Gently massaging your skin with 2 to 3 drops of Moringa oil mixed with olive oil helps augment the elasticity of the skin by nourishing the skin cells, removing dirt gently, killing microbes causing infections, avoiding excessive drying, and moisturizing the skin.
A 2007 study on ‘Anti-fungal activity of crude extracts and essential oil of Moringa oleifera Lam.’, by the Institute of Bioagricultural Sciences, Taiwan have stated that the “essential oil extracted from the leaves of Moringa showed a total of 44 compounds. Isolated extracts could be of use for the future development of anti-skin disease agents.”
Due to these reasons Moringa oil is used as an important ingredient in soaps, facial creams, body wash, facial massage oils and anti-aging creams. You can also add 3 to 4 drops of Moringa oil to your mild skin care cream or lotion for alleviating such skin problems.
More than just a complete food for your system on your shelf: Moringa leaves have Vitamin A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B7, C, D, E, K and certain other amino acids like leucine, methionine, lysine, isoleucine, threonine, valine, tryptophan and phenylalaine along with a bunch of non-essential amino acids, making it a complete food for the mind, body and soul.
Adding 2 drops of Moringa oil to warm bathing water can help in relieving stress, cleansing your body, granting mental peace and removing fatigue. Massaging your body with 4 drops of Moringa oil blended with almond oil can aid in alleviating rheumatic pain, reduce inflammation with its anti-inflammatory properties, eliminate the excess fluids in your body through urine, boost the immune system and protect your body from harmful infections.
Moringa essential oil is light and it easily spreads and deeply penetrates into the skin. By this way it transforms its vital nutrients into the body, mind and spirit. This oil has also been used as a natural cleanser to remove excess oil and dirt from hair. Massaging your hair and scalp with 3 drops of Moringa oil blended with coconut oil can assist in cleansing your hair, nourishing your scalp, treating dandruff and grant a natural shine to your lustrous locks.
Scientific evidences: The long time Ayurvedic health benefits of Moringa and its essential oil have been proved scientifically through numerous studies. A 2003 study on ‘Hepatoprotective activity of Moringa oleifera on antitubercular drug-induced liver damage in rats’ have proved that treatment with M.oleifera leaves seems to improve the recovery from hepatic damage caused by antitubercular drugs.
Another study by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences Noel Vietmeyer published in PubMed witnessed “The results indicate that this plant possesses antioxidant, hypolipidaemic and anti-atherosclerotic activities and has therapeutic potential for the prevention of cardiovascular diseases.”
The University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan studied the effectiveness of Moringa oleifera based upon its detailed phytochemical composition, pharmacological properties and medicinal uses of various parts of this multipurpose tree “such as the leaves, roots, seed, bark, fruit, flowers and immature pods act as cardiac and circulatory stimulants, possess antitumor, antipyretic, antiepileptic, anti-inflammatory, antiulcer, antispasmodic, diuretic, antihypertensive, cholesterol lowering, antioxidant, antidiabetic, hepatoprotective, antibacterial and antifungal activities, and are being employed for the treatment of different ailments in the indigenous system of medicine, particularly in South Asia.”
Few other studies also proved the antioxidant, hypocholesterolemic, antifungal and antibacterial effects of Moringa tree and its essential oil.
Other health benefits: Apart from these major health benefits, the different parts of Moringa tree and the essential oil extracted from the leaves and seed pods are used to strengthen the immune system with vitamin C, lessen the risk of health disorders like Alzheimer’s disease, atherosclerosis and cataract with the presence of vitamin B3, stimulates the process of digestion with the presence of fibre, supports blood circulation, functioning of the brain and treat anemia with its rich iron content and improve eyesight with vitamin A. Besides these, there are a handful of home remedies that are a part of the traditional healing system and grandmother’s remedy.
Disclaimer: Never take essential oils internally. Pure and organic essential oils are highly concentrated liquids and always remember to use them in a diluted form. This article is only for the purpose of information and is not meant to diagnose or replace prescribed drugs or professional advice. Consult your Ayurvedic practitioner before using the right essential oil for your specific health condition and individual constitution.
Thought for the day:
We do not see nature with our eyes, but with our understandings and our hearts. -William Hazlitt
- Miracle Tree by Monica G. Marcu
- Bible Miracle Tree: healing with Moringa by Miracle Bible
- Moringa Oleifera: Magic, Myth or Miracle by Howard W. Fisher
- Moringa Oleifera benefits: enrich your life with the Miracle Tree for well-being, happiness, weight loss. More than a super-food, nutritional supplement, food supplement by Frank Moringa Oleifera
- Moringa oleifera by Life in Health
- Śigru or drumstick (Moringa pterygosperma, Gaertn., M. oleifera, Lam.) by Dr. K.H. Krishnamurthy published in NAMAH
- Moringa, the Miracle Tree by Moringa Rubicon Health.Org
- The Benefits of Anti-Aging Moringa Oil on the Skin by Ayurveda Guru
- Medicinal properties of Moringa oleifera: An overview of promising healer by Fozia Farooq, Meenu Rai, Avinash Tiwari, Abdul Arif Khan, and Shaila Farooq