Moringa: A Model Superfood
Every single part of the moringa plant has medicinal properties . Moreover, moringa leaves provide “…7 times more vitamin C than oranges, 10 times more vitamin A than carrots, 17 times more calcium than milk, 9 times more protein than yoghurt, 15 times more potassium than bananas and 25 times more iron than spinach.” . Clearly moringa is super amongst superfoods! There is so much scientific research on moringa’s positive impact on health that this article summarises different experiments and groups them according to health concern. But it must be emphasised that all the benefits compiled in this article don’t even scratch the surface of moringa’s scientifically detected nourishing abilities!
Health Uses Identified in Research
Identified Nutrient Molecules
Vitamins A, B3 (nicotinic acid), B6 (pyridoxine), B9 (folic acid), C and E; calcium, iron, zinc, potassium, magnesium, protein, omega-3 fatty acids (linoleic, linolenic and oleic acids) 
Dose(s) Used in Trials
May Work Well With
Astragalus, garlic, grape seed (immunostimulation) | Nettle (anaemia) | Garlic, milk thistle (blood sugar control) | Garlic, grape seed, milk thistle (cholesterol management)
Plant Bioactive Molecules
stigmasterol, sitosterol, kampesterol, tannins, sterols, terpenoids, caffeic acid, flavonoids  (quercetin and epicatechin ), benzyl isothiocyanates, niazimicin A, B pterygospermin, and 4-benzyl glucosinolate 
Boosting the Immune System, Mitigating Immune Disorders & Active Against Viral Infection
- Moringa directly inhibits the growth of many bacteria, fungi and viruses via several of its chemicals that attack microbes in diverse ways .
- Doses between 400–800 mg per kg of body weight increased white blood cell count, specifically increasing the numbers of the following immune cells “…lymphocytes, neutrophils, and monocytes…” .
- Moringa stimulates antibody production, increase in white blood cell production (specifically leukocytes) and neutrophil activity at a dose of 200 mg/kg (when tested on immunosuppressed animals) .
- Moringa’s ingredients also enhance several of the body’s own antioxidant enzymes, which make moringa effective against chronic inflammatory conditions such as ulcerative colitis .
- Moringa provided some alleviation to auto-immune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, dermatitis and hyperthyroidism .
- Although not empirical evidence, moringa has a positive reputation amongst HIV patients in African countries:
- Amongst HIV patients in Zimbabwe, 68% that joined a study stated that they consume moringa. Of those, 81% were also on antiretroviral drugs and 80% were taking moringa to boost their immune system .
- Multiple compounds naturally found in moringa (such as quercetin, caffeic acid and epicatechin) have even been identified by computer simulation for their potential to interfere with a “virus maturation” enzyme (i.e. metalloprotease) in SARS-CoV-2 , a property that could limit viral replication .
Research has detected Medicinal Properties in every single part of the Moringa plant (credit: dialloyaayaa)
Evidence of Moringa’s Anti-Cancer Benefits
- Moringa has many properties against isolated tumour cells including reduced proliferation (i.e. tumour cells multiplying) and increased production of anticancer defence chemicals (reactive oxygen species) .
- Concentrated extracts of moringa leaves were given to mice with melanoma tumours, and “… an oral administration of 500 mg/kg for 15 days of the extracts determined a delay in the growth of tumors and a significant increase of life span of 48% and 32%” by different moringa extract types .
Moringa Reversing Anaemia Issues
- Different extracts from moringa were tested directly on the haemoglobin protein drawn from sickle cell patients, and moringa extracts reduced haemoglobin protein aggregating by 88.8–95.8% .
- Amongst 35 anaemic women, 17 were given 1.4 g of moringa leaf extract per day for 21 days and improvements (compared to the control group) in haemoglobin levels and multiple other measures of blood iron and blood cell health were reported .
- In a similar study, 30 women were given 100 g daily of a blend made of 4 parts moringa : 1 part “jaggery” (an Indian cane sugar concentrate) for 30 days . 77% of moringa consumers had an increase in haemoglobin after supplementation, compared to 80% of the 30 control group women who showed no improvement in haemoglobin.
- Mothers who delivered babies pre-term increased their volume of breast milk production within 5 days by consuming 250 mg of moringa leaves (compared to placebo group) . Maternal stress was not elevated, however the strain of pre-term babies hospitalised may have resulted in lowered milk production due to limited blood flow. It is thought that the increase in breast milk production may be due to moringa’s ability to elevate levels of the blood serum protein “prolactin”, which is responsible for stimulating milk production.
Moringa Improving Blood Sugar Control
- Moringa’s capacity to help the body regulate blood sugar has been recognised in multiple experiments. Adding moringa leaves to a meal lowered the post-meal rise in blood sugar by 21% (compared to those who had the same meal with no moringa) .
- After a daily dose of 8 g for 40 days, diabetes patients had a greater than 25% reduction in both post-meal and fasting glucose levels (whilst the control group without moringa saw glucose levels remain steady) .
- Compounds found naturally in moringa (i.e. “isothiocyanates”) have been determined to suppress the liver’s enzymes responsible for producing more glucose .
- A survey of 220 diabetes patients in Senegal identified that over 60% were consuming Moringa .
- Over 60% also believe medicinal plants to be effective in diabetes treatment, although since 20% reported adverse effects (i.e. 41 had gastric disorders; 2 had hypoglycaemic symptoms (fatigue, orthostatic hypotension, vertigo) and 1 had a hyperglycaemic coma) that could be due to those medicinal plants. These complications, along with the fact that only 55% knew the appropriate dose to take, highlight the importance of professional consultation with natural interventions. .
- Only diabetics experienced a decrease of their post-meal increase in blood sugar by addition of 20 g of moringa to a single meal; healthy subjects experienced a decrease that was not significant .
- In a comparison of different studies, moringa was effective at multiple doses in lowering 1 or more indicators of blood sugar levels, and even when no effect was observed in 1 study this could be explained by study design .
Moringa Regulating Fat and Cholesterol Metabolism
- Amongst diabetic patients with irregularities in their fat metabolism, a daily dose of 4.4 grams of dehydrated moringa leaves managed to lower total cholesterol by 1.6% and lower HDL by 6.3% compared to the control group . This lipid profile change, achieved after 50 days of supplementation, is thought to lower the risk of developing blood clots due to fatty deposits in the bloodstream.
- In another study, diabetic patients were given 8 g of moringa leaves daily for 40 days, and although there was no decrease in HDL, LDL and VLDL were lowered by 14% and 29% .
- Improving cholesterol management is supposed to improve immunity via the various forms in which cholesterol metabolites influence immune cell metabolism, and also cholesterol levels have been correlated with cancer cell progression (by influencing cancer cell metabolism) .
- Since fat and cholesterol metabolism can also influence diabetes progression , moringa may be able to have a multi-factorial influence on many health issues via effective influence on cholesterol management .