Moringa – Health Benefits, and Side Effects

Kamala Somasundaram

April 5, 2023

The world is slowly waking up to a new superfood, one that’s native to India and that we have consumed for centuries. Moringa oleifera – better known as the drumstick tree and also known as the horseradish/ben tree – has been used in Ayurveda for years now.

Moringa health benefits include treating and preventing diseases such as diabetes, anemia, arthritis, liver and heart disease, and respiratory, skin and digestive disorders.

The bark, leaves, flowers, fruit, seeds and oil of this tree can be used. In India, drumstick pieces are used to make curries and can be added to sambar, etc. It can also be consumed as a powder – fresh leaves are dried and then crushed to a powder.

Moringa is an excellent source of many vitamins and minerals. Research has shown that moringa in the powder form has:

  • 9 times more protein than yogurt
  • 10 times more Vitamin A than carrots
  • 15 times more potassium than bananas
  • 17 times more calcium than milk
  • 50% more Vitamin C than oranges
  • 25 times more iron than spinach

Top 8 Proven Health Benefits of Moringa

1. Moringa is packed with nutrients

Apart from containing vitamins, minerals, calcium and potassium, moringa is rich in amino acids. United States Department of Agriculture research has shown that moringa contains 18 of the 20 amino acids – building blocks of proteins found in the human body.

In her book, Miracle Tree, Dr Monica Marcu writes that moringa is one of the few plants that contains “all of the 9 essential amino acids the body cannot produce”.

2. It fights free radicals

The antioxidants – flavonoids, polyphenols, and ascorbic acid – fight free radicals, the molecules that lead to inflammation, cell damage and oxidative stress.

3. Symptoms of diabetes can be reduced

In the powdered form, moringa has been found effective in reducing lipid and glucose levels, regulating oxidative stress and reducing blood sugar.

4. It’s a heart-healthy food

Since it helps in lipid control, moringa can prevent formation of plaque in the arteries and reduce cholesterol levels. This reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.

5. Moringa Can fight common infections

The antibacterial and antifungal properties of moringa help fight infections. It works against certain fungi that cause skin infections, and bacteria responsible for blood and urinary tract infections.

6. Moringa Helps wounds heal faster

Moringa leaves have blood-clotting properties. Taken regularly, it reduces clotting time, ensures bleeding stops faster, and enhances healing.

7. Moringa Boosts brain health

The antioxidant qualities reduce neuron degeneration and improve brain function. Studies suggest that moringa leaves can provide protection against symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and may even delay its onset.

8. Moringa Protects liver health

The high concentrations of polyphenols keeps the liver safe against toxicity, oxidation and damage.

Are there any side effects of Moringa?

  • Moringa has laxative properties. In large quantities, it can cause stomach upsets, gaseous distension, diarrhoea and heartburn.
  • If you don’t like the taste it may activate your gag reflex. Avoid consuming too much as it can cause nausea.
  • Certain chemicals found in the roots, flowers and bark could cause uterine contractions in pregnant women. They may increase the risk of a miscarriage.
  • Women who are breastfeeding should avoid moringa as some of the ingredients may not be good for infants.
  • People on blood-thinning medications such as Warfarin should desist from consuming moringa regularly.
  • Seed extracts should be avoided as they can lead to toxicity in immune cells.

Consult your doctor before starting young children, pregnant women or elders on moringa.

About the Author

Kamala has a Master’s degree in Food & Nutrition, and more than ten years of experience in the hospital and fitness industry. She has also completed a year’s tenure as a lecturer at Gold’s Gym Fitness Institute. Her expertise lies in Maternal & Child Health, Weight Management, Diabetes Management, Sports Nutrition, Diet Planning & General Health. She has been a part of Health Talks in over 15 MNCs in and around Bangalore. Kamala’s goal has always been to motivate her clients through their fitness journey and help them achieve their long-awaited health goals.

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21 responses to “Moringa – Health Benefits, and Side Effects”

  1. Hello, we often cook drumstick soup at our house and every time I consume it, I get a really bad stomach ache but its different from the usual kind. The leaves do not affect me but the soup of the vegetable part and the vegetable itself cause severe pains. Could you please the reason behind it?

  2. Hello,

    I have tested positive for Factor 2 heterozygous Blood Clotting Gene which means I inherited it from one parent and have a very low risk of getting a blood clot but it is still there and things like birth control and hormone therapy can cause a blood clot. With this being said though I am wondering if Moringa capsules will increase this risk as I read the below on the above post…

    Moringa leaves have blood-clotting properties. Taken regularly, it reduces clotting time, ensures bleeding stops faster, and enhances healing.

    Please advise.

  3. Hi
    You mentioned follow fatty fish or Asian diet. Can you outline what type of Asian diet kindly? Thank you for a great read on Moringa!

  4. Moringa is a treasure of herbs, I did not know much about this tree before and also did not know about its benefits, but after reading your article, I have learned about its many benefits. I would like to thank you sir for this incredible information sharing with us.

  5. Can you please elaborate on your advise that moringa is contraindicated for breastfeeding mothers because “some of the ingredients might not be good for infants”? I am curious because moringa leaves are a natural galactagogue, and are in many products marketed to increase milk supply in breastfeeding mothers.

  6. If one already has cardio vascular disease and is taking blood thinning medications, then Moringa would negate the blood thinning meds. With the coronavirus at this moment the best prevention is to ensure our blood viscosity is as low as it can be without risking an hemorrhagia of course. Moringa has great anti oxydant properties and health properties, just have your Whole Blood Viscosity WBV and hematocrit tested first, it is a simple lab test and take it from there. Eat fatty fish and a Nordic or Asian diet and your blood won’t clot easily anyway. Your question is a good question.

  7. I have factor 5 issues, for that reason I am taking warfarin low dose, what would moringa do if I take it?
    what would be the side effects ?
    just in case the pill pushers, rather prescribe drugs.

  8. What about metoprolol ? My husband takes 25 mgs a day. We just received the moringa today and we need to know if it’s safe and how much he can take a day.

  9. My biggest concern and question is – Since Moringa is written to have such extensive blood clotting properties, could this pose a health risk of a negative degree. Meaning could it cause unnecessary clotting within the body causing aneurysms or clots to form and travel to the heart and lungs. I would appreciate a scientific education response from someone who knows for sure. Thanks!

    • I am confused. This article says Moringa reduces blood clotting. And your saying it does not. And I read another article that said it can cause blood clotting.
      So how do we know the truth?
      Christine Leone

  10. Hi Kamala,
    It is very nice information . Is there research available on the consumption of the quantity. as excess of nutrients is also some time problematic. will be glad to hear from you

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