In this era of quick-fix, fad vitamin and mineral supplements, there are very few that I take seriously enough to recommend to my family and patients. I am both analytical and pessimistic of many of the “miracle” nutritional supplements on the market. Therefore, I always study them from a scientific and medicinal standpoint.
Moringa comes from a world renowned tree used throughout Africa, Asia, Central America and the Middle East. The family of moringaceae is a single-genus family of shrubs and trees of which Moringa Oleifera is a part, commonly called “horseradish tree,” “drumstick” and “clarifier tree” because of its use in rural, Third World countries to purify turbid bacteria-laden water which is clarified within two hours by crushing the seeds and mixing them with the contaminated water. As a result, people living in these remote, rural areas of tropical countries are able to drink purified water without having modern water treatment facilities. Any organic plant that can do this – in my opinion – deserves an in-depth investigation.
This tree is so powerful a food that almost all parts of it are used for nourishment. The leaves, seeds and oil are more popular in developed countries where the powder is commonly sold in capsule form. In this article, I will focus on the health benefit of the most powerful component of this trees species – the seeds.
Moringa seeds are obtained from the pods of the Moringa Oleifera tree. Fresh and raw moringa seeds are quite tender and when they dry, become hard and resemble beans. The seeds are safe to eat and can be steamed, boiled or roasted. The benefits of this seed for health purposes are plenty and have been researched and studied in-depth globally. Here is a brief list of some of the health benefits of moringa seeds: boosts immune function, contains anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic qualities, contains antioxidant qualities, contains 18 essential amino acids, contains 90 nutrients and minerals, detoxifies the body, excellent source of calcium, zinc and magnesium, helps lower blood pressure, high in protein and vitamins C, B and A, improves digestion, nourishes the skin, and sterilizes water.
In addition to the benefits listed above, scientists have proven that these seeds can reduce the amount of oxidized lipids in our bodies and protect the cardiovascular system. Furthermore, moringa seeds contain oleic acid – a mono-unsaturated, Omega-9 fatty acid – good for your health and found mainly in olive oil. This fatty acid helps lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, while leaving the HDL (“good”) cholesterol unchanged. The tree provides many more benefits from the seeds, including a natural hair and skin moisturizer and an anti-acne medicine as well. Finally, the oil from the seeds is also used for perfume and to lubricate machinery!
In the United States you can find the oil and powdered form in capsules. But, remember that the whole seed is better than the processed powder. There is plenty of information and data about the Moringa Oleifera tree. If you are interested in further study, start with: www.treesforlife.org and call our clinic to find out where to get the whole, organic seeds in Denver. Good luck and good health!
Editor’s note: Dr. S. Abayomi Meeks is the founder of the Moyo Healing & Cultural Center, a 24-year Colorado institution. He has been in practice for more than 27 years with more than 28,000 treatments. For more information, call 303-377-2511, visit www.LifeHealingDoctor.com or email AfrikanArts@netzero.com. For more information about the Moyo Healing & Cultural Center, visit www.AfrikanArts.org.Ed.