Origin of Moringa
The basis for our tea is the leaves of the Moringa Tree (Moringa Oleifera), also known as the Tree of Life or Miracle Tree, which highlights how much this herb is revered. It is believed to have originated in Northern India and was used in herbal remedies about 5000 years ago, as well as being considered as a very important herb by the Ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans. In Ancient Egypt it was used for cooking, perfume, a herbal remedy and as part of the embalming procedure. In the Third World it has a history for combating malnutrition, particularly for infants and their mothers.
Moringa is rich in vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, with the leaves being the most nutritious part of the tree. Packed with antioxidants, the leaves contain vitamins A, B6, B7, B2, B3, C, D, E and K, plus calcium, potassium, zinc, magnesium, iron and copper, sulphur, zinc, nitrogen, phosphorus, zinc, manganese and protein. It possesses antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiepileptic, antihypertensive, antidiabetic, antipyretic, antiulcer, antitumour, antibacterial, antifungal, hepatoprotective, cholesterol lowering, diuretic properties as well as acting as a cardiac and circulatory stimulant. Moringa Tea is also a wonderful mood booster, with its wonderfully warming spicy flavour which helps to eliminate anxiety, depression and fatigue. It’s easy to see why the Moringa Tree is referred to as the Tree of Life and is being touted as a superfood for seniors, with its high nutritional value combined with its amazing health benefits.
As we age our body and organs become more susceptible to disease and infection. It is important that our body receives all the nutrients that it requires to function and protect us. Moringa tea is extremely nutrient-rich particularly in the essential compounds to protect and reduce the effects of advanced age. In fact Moringa contains an important compound called zeatin which improves stress levels of endangered cells, and protects the brain from amyloid plaques which are thought to be the foundation of Alzheimer’s Disease. Moringa Tea is an extremely rich source of calcium, iron and potassium and protein, containing 4 times more calcium than milk, 12 times more iron than spinach, and 15 times more potassium than banana. Calcium is an extremely important mineral throughout our entire life, responsible for strong bones and teeth, the growth and development of the body, transmission of nerve impulses, stimulation of hormone secretion, muscle contractions, blood coagulation, normal heart beat, and more. Throughout our normal life small amounts of calcium in our diet are required, but over the age of 50 more calcium is needed to maintain these functions and in particular to prevent diseases such as osteoporosis by preserving bone density, mineral content and strength. Iron is vital to the immune system, and helps in the formation of haemoglobin and myoglobin which carry the oxygen to our brain and muscles, thus improving mobility and mental ability. Potassium helps to regulate nerve signals, fluid balance and muscle contractions. Protein protects against muscle loss and maintains body cells and vital organs. Correct nutritional intake is vital throughout life but is even more important as we grow older, however correct nutrition at a later age will still have beneficial effects, helping to prevent further degeneration, and reversing some of the effects of ageing.
Detoxify, boost and protect the body
Antioxidants, together with the anti-inflammatory properties, can assist in ridding the body of harmful free radicals, helping to protect the body against oxidative stress, ageing and certain chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, neurodegenerative disorders, cancer, ageing and a weakened immune system. Moringa is also a booster for the immune system, preparing the body to fight common infections, viruses and afflictions. It is rich in compounds such as quercetin, chlorogenic acid, isothiocyanate and niaziminin which is good news for the cardiovascular system as it can help to lower lipid and glucose levels in the blood, lowering blood sugar levels and reducing insulin resistance, stopping the arteries from thickening and thereby stabilising blood pressure and lowering cholesterol levels. Preliminary research has also shown moringa to reduce liver damage and fibrosis, and restore liver enzymes back to normal levels thereby reducing oxidative stress in the liver. Additionally, threonine prevents fatty build-up in the liver. The high calcium content in moringa is non-soluble ensuring that there is no need to worry about kidney stones, in fact just the opposite as it protects against stones in the kidneys and bladder. Glucosinolates found in moringa, in particular niazimicin and benzyl isothiocyanate, are shown in studies to have anti-cancer and chemo protective capabilities, protecting against the impact of aggressive cancer treatment and also prohibiting the growth of cancer cells. They have also shown to have reduced an enlarged prostate and could help in the prevention of benign prostate hyperplasia. Another study showed moringa leaf to be very effective in regulating thyroid hormone, especially on women. The compounds in moringa help the body to absorb more iron and may be effective in the treatment and prevention of both anaemia and sickle cell. Rich in vitamins C & E and phenylalanine, moringa supports brain health by preventing oxidation and neuron degeneration, thereby preventing cognitive decline or dementia. Preliminary tests as a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease have been favourable.
Moringa has traditionally been used to treat inflammation and in a controlled study conducted by Philippine DOST Scientists it was scientifically confirmed. Sustained inflammation can be linked to chronic health issues such as high blood pressure, diabetes, respiratory problems, arthritis, obesity, stroke and cancer. Studies on Moringa have shown that it suppresses the COX-2 enzyme which is responsible for both inflammation and the associated pain. This makes Moringa Tea an excellent treatment for rheumatism, joint pain and arthritis, and may also protect against oedema and reduce the severity of asthma attacks. Psoriasis is a chronic skin disease, of which inflammation due to the dysfunction of the immune system is the major culprit, also causing cells to break down and build up on the skin’s surface. This disease increases the risk of cancer and heart disease. Studies on this disease have shown that diet plays a major role in fighting psoriasis and important bioactive compounds such as oleic acid, thiocarbamates and moringine are all present in moringa, helping to induce a healthy skin in sufferers.
Moringa has antimicrobial and antifungal properties
Back in the late 1940’s, The Department of Biochemistry at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore isolated a compound in Moringa called pterygospermin which is scientifically known to have antimicrobial, antibacterial and, antifungal properties. Since then lab tests have even shown Moringa to be more effective than antibiotics against certain types of bacteria and fungi. It is effective against certain bacteria strains causing digestive, blood and urinary tract problems, and particular fungi causing skin infections. It may protect against Salmonella, E. coli and Rhizopus. Since it contains blood clotting properties, a compress of moringa tea may benefit wounds, scratches and cuts, enhancing healing, reducing clotting time, and further protecting against bacterial infection.
Moringa is a highly nutritious, low calorie, energy booster which can immobilise fat storage, especially visceral fat. Lab tests have confirmed that it can enhance fat breakdown and reduce fat formation. It also contains a compound called phenylalanine which enhances communication between the brain’s nerve cells and reduces hunger pains.
It may improve digestion
Moringa Leaf contains high volumes of fibre, most of which is insoluble which is exactly as required for good digestion. Antibiotic and antibacterial properties will also inhibit pathogens responsible for gastric upsets, whilst its anti-inflammatory property can help with disorders such as colitis.
Preparation of Moringa Tea
For a cup of Moringa tea pour three to four teaspoons of dried leaves with boiling water at about 80 degrees. Let it rest for 4-5 minutes.
Not recommended for pregnant or nursing mothers.