Moringa oleifera is an economically important tree and vegetable, and preliminary evidence suggests that it has a respectable antioxidant and anti inflammatory potency. It is a tree that is sometimes called the Tree of Life or a Miracle Tree, but rather than this being in reference to its potential medicinal usage this is actually referring to how it is a very valuable food crop because it is drought resistant, grows very fast, and is highly nutritive and even beyond food it serves many benefits in third world countries. It is a plant that is native to the sub-Himalayan areas of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan. It is also grown in the tropics. The leaves, bark, flowers, fruit, seeds, and root are used to make medicine. For usage as a supplement, moringa oleifera is recommended mostly as being a highly nutritious antioxidant. While it is indeed nutritious, supplemental dosages are too low to aquire adequate nutrition from and this claim is not relevant; it is a relatively potent antioxidant, and while it seems to be less potent than other herbs when tested outside of a living system it does appear to be quite potent when tested in living models. The reason for the increased potency in living models is not known although it is possible that it can induce genetic transcription similar to sulforaphane since the bioactives are similar in structure, but the antioxidant properties seem to underlie the vast majority of benefits associated with this supplement. There are also antiinflammatory effects that, while less studies, seem to be quite effective; one of the bioactives, RBITC, is effective in suppressing macrophage activation in the nanomolar range which is worth some future research into. Beyond that, there does appear to be a nice anti-diabetic effect that has gone some very preliminary human testing which suggests that this plant may benefit pancreatic function and reduce blood glucose secondary to that. Moringa is used for anemia, arthritis and other joint pain rheumatism, asthma, cancer, constipation, diarrhea, epilepsy, stomach pain, stomach and intestinal ulcers, intestinal spasms, headache, heart problems, high blood pressure, kidney stones, fluid retention, thyroid disorders, and bacterial, fungal, viral, and parasitic infections. It is also used to reduce swelling, increase sex drive as an aphrodisiac, prevent pregnancy, boost the immune system, and increase breast milk production.
It is sometimes applied directly to the skin as an astringent, for treating abscesses, athlete’s foot, dandruff, gum disease, snakebites, warts, and wounds. Moringa contains proteins, vitamins, and minerals. As an antioxidant, it seems to help protect cells from damage. The appropriate dose of moringa depends on several factors such as the user’s age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for moringa. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.
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