Moringa Supplements

Moringa LeafMoringa is tree, also adorably known as “drumstick tree”, that grows native in India and Africa where it has been consumed as a food and medicine for centuries. Moringa trees include over 13 species, but Moringa oleifera is the most commonly harvested species for the medicinal and nutritional benefits of its leaves and seeds.

  • Leaves are rich in protein, iron, B group vitamins and a huge range of antioxidants including vitamin C, vitamin E and carotenoids. They also have three times the fiber found in kale!
  • Seeds are high in omega-9 fatty acids, antioxidants, and cytokinins – a type of plant hormone that promotes cell growth and wound healing.

Ayurvedic medicine has used moringa for over 4,000 years as somewhat of a cure-all herb – it is traditionally used to treat up to 300 disorders, particularly nervous system issues and inflammatory conditions. With increased attention from researchers and the health food industry, moringa is growing in popularity worldwide.

But is Moringa worthy of its claim as a “superfood”?

Gram for gram, the nutrients in moringa leaf are startling – 100g of moringa it contains almost twice the amount of calcium as milk! But remember that 100g (or mL) of milk is ½ a cup. To get the same amount of calcium (i.e. from 100g of moringa), you’d need to eat over three cups of moringa [9]. Also consider that given its huge fibre content, most minerals and vitamins will be bound within the moringa leaf and won’t be absorbed in the gut.

That’s not to say that moringa’s nutritional profile isn’t highly impressive – it is, and moringa has a place as a dietary supplement. But it shouldn’t be relied on as a food source, and we think this disqualifies it as a super food.

The good news –

Grinding the moringa leaf into a powder helps to break up the fiber, releasing nutrients to make them easier to absorb – and the evidence suggests that in this form, moringa may have seriously significant health benefits:

Top 5 Benefits of Moringa Powder

Moringa for Exercise Performance & Recovery

Moringa has been shown to boost nitric oxide, supply dietary iron, and protect against exercise-induced oxidative stress.

Nitric oxide is a vasodilator – a compound that causes blood vessels to “open up” or dilate, leading to increased circulation peripheral muscles. This gives a serious boost to the amount of nutrients and oxygen that reach contracting muscles, leading to improved exercise & sports performance.

  • A 2017 study of a proprietary herbal blend including moringa leaf extract was shown to boost nitric oxide levels for up to 12 hours after a single dose was given, leading to greater exercise performance [7].

The rich concentration of iron within moringa leaf can also help to keep blood supply healthy and deliver oxygen to muscles when they need it. Oxygen binds to iron ions within the haemoglobin molecule of red blood cells. The iron carries oxygen safely through circulation to organs and tissues that require it. By supplying dietary iron, moringa may help to boost oxygen delivery to muscles during exercise, resulting in greater contractility and ATP synthesis.

The metabolic processes that occur during exercise (e.g. using creatine phosphate, creating ATP) release lots of free radicals. The antioxidants in moringa leaf can reduce some of the free radical-induced damage to tissue following exercise. Studies have shown that moringa-sourced antioxidants are particularly capable of scavenging peroxyl and super peroxyl radicals – these nasty guys are partly responsible for muscle fatigue and post-exercise soreness [7].

Moringa for Weight Loss

Obesity is characterised by significant inflammation throughout the body, disruption to appetite control, and blood glucose dysfunction. These issues create a cycle – obesity contributes to them, and they contribute to obesity. Even mildly overweight bodies can suffer from these issues. Good news – moringa can help.

  • Moringa leaf extracts have been shown to inhibit starch-digesting enzymes, a-amylase and a-glucosidase [1]. This means that starchy, carbohydrate dense foods is broken down into glucose at a much slower rate. This slows down the release of glucose into the blood, which prevents a blood sugar spike and insulin peak, resulting in better control over blood sugar and longer lasting feelings of satiety after a meal.
  • Study from 2018 showed that including 5% dried powdered moringa leaf in a standard wheat flour cookie significantly decreased blood glucose and reduced hunger, even more-so than stevia leaf powder, with no reported gastrointestinal discomfort [5].

The take away message: including moringa in your diet could help with weight loss, alongside a healthy, balanced diet and regular exercise. It’s not a metabolic boosting fat burner – but it may help with managing blood sugar and reducing cravings.

Moringa for Menopause

Moringa leaf may help to ease the more uncomfortable symptoms of menopause and to ensure health during post-menopause.

Menopause causes a decrease in oestrogen – and don’t forget that oestrogen is a key antioxidant in the body. Its decline causes an increase in free radicals and oxidative stress, followed by a decline in other antioxidants. This may be one tipping point for “ageing” and age-related degenerative diseases, and symptoms of menopause such as hot flushes, night sweats, mood swings and insomnia.

In post-menopause, even less oestrogen circulates through the body. This may be correlated with an even lower antioxidant status, with an increase in oxidative stress and inflammation. Boosting antioxidants with moringa supplements has been shown to decrease biomarkers of oxidative stress in post-menopausal women [2].

  • The vitamin E and vitamin C found in abundant amounts in moringa are necessary to maintain healthy levels of the antioxidant enzymes catalase and superoxide dismutase. This is particularly essential in postmenopausal women as a healthy level of these enzymes may reduce the risk of high cholesterol and cardiovascular disease risk in post-menopausal women [3].
  • These same key vitamins, vitamin C and vitamin E, have been shown to reduce the number and severity of hot flushes [3].
  • Vitamin C protects bones by regulating osteoclast and osteoblast activity, preventing accelerated bone turn-over and eventual bone loss. Moringa, with its bioavailable vitamin C content may be protective against osteoporosis [3].
  • Moringa has been shown to improve libido during menopause by balancing hormones [3]. The mechanism behind this is still unknown, but may be due to remedying any underlying nutrient insufficiencies.

Moringa for Neuroprotection

Rich in fat soluble antioxidants like vitamin E, moringa leaf may help to protect the brain against free radical attacks and oxidative stress.

But it may be particularly effective for smokers:

Nicotine is a major component of tobacco and has been identified as a contributing factor of most age-related brain diseases. Studies have shown tobacco product consumption is associated with the development of cerebrovascular diseases, defects in brain morphology and neurochemistry.

  • In a 2016 animal study, moringa leaf’s phyto-active constituents suppressed physical changes in nicotine-induced brain toxicity. The study concluded that this protective action was due to the antioxidants present in moringa, which protected the brain cells and nerve cells from nicotine’s toxic actions [11].
  • While this suggests moringa is great for smokers, it’s also applicable to the rest of the population. Pollution of all kinds can cause neurological damage over time, and moringa’s rich antioxidant profile may help to protect against it. It’s not a cure, nor will it complete protect against tobacco-induced damage – the best effects are likely to occur when moringa supplements are combined with quitting smoking and eating a rich, varied diet.

Moringa for Wound Healing

For wounds to properly heal, there needs to be a perfect balance of inflammation to kill off any pathogens that have entered the wound, followed by anti-inflammatory effects to mop up the debris and make way for the nearby cells to multiply and close the wound. If pro-inflammatory cytokines and interleukins hang around too long, the wound will struggle to close and may suffer.

The seeds of the moringa plant and their cytokinins may aid this process.

  • In a 2018 in vitro study, moringa seed extract was shown to promote an environment for accelerated and proper wound healing – it improved immune function and cell proliferation near the wound, with an increase of inflammatory cytokines TNF-a, IL-2, IL-6, IL-10 and nitric oxide. [6]
  • Moringa may also help following the initial pro-inflammatory phase. An animal study showed that 300 mg/kg per day of moringa leaf extract significantly increased wound closure rate, improved skin strength, and decreased the final scar area [4].
  • Another 2018 study showed that applying the combination of moringa extracts in algae gel to wounds promoted cell migration and proliferation, particularly when used on a wound dressing [8].

How To Use Moringa Supplements

As you’d expect with any crushed up natural leaf, moringa powder doesn’t readily dissolve in water. It mixes well with smoothies and other blended foods but if you are taking free flow powder in water, make a paste first with a small amount of water before combining with the full glass. The texture may remain a bit lumpy – opt for blending it or switch to capsules if texture is an issue for you.

If powders are a hassle, tea bags can be steeped to extract some of moringa’s medicinal constituents. If you’d rather the simplicity of popping pills, tablets and capsules are available too.

Moringa can be taken any time of the day. The B complex vitamins can help to boost energy throughout the day, but they aren’t concentrated enough to cause sleeplessness.

Dosages: If you’re trying moringa for the first time, try ½ teaspoon of powder per day or a 500mg capsule, and work your way up to more. Listen to your body, and speak to a qualified nutritionist if you have any questions or concerns.

As a food with a rich nutritional profile, it’s pretty tricky to take “too much” moringa, but possible side effects include nausea, diarrhoea and vomiting in extreme cases of taking very large doses.

Moringa seed oil is used topically for wound healing or routine skin care. Do not apply to broken skin unless under the supervision of a qualified medical professional.

Best 5 Moringa Supplements

#5 Traditional Medicinals Organic Moringa Tea (16 tea bags)

Traditional Medicinals MoringaTraditional Medicinals have created a delicious blend of moringa leaf, spearmint and sage and packaged them into individual tea bags. Traditional Medicinals are dedicated to environmental sustainability and use compostable tea bags from sustainably-harvested fibre, with no chemical sealants or irradiation. Nice!

This tea won’t pack a huge nutritional punch like taking a moringa tablet or powder, but it’s a great way to get a little moringa into your daily diet – and it’s tasty!

#4 Grenera Organic Moringa Tablets (500mg, 60 tablets)

Moringa Powder SupplementGrenera have pressed organic moringa leaf powder together with gum acacia to form easy-to-take tablets – Perfect if you’re looking for a good alternative to a multivitamin. The moringa is grown and processed in India and this product is certified USDA Organic, and vegan-friendly. This is a great choice if you are looking for a way to get a good dose of moringa without the hassle of combing it with food or trying to dissolve it in water.

#3 Inn & Co Moringa Oil (4fl oz)

Moringa OilInn & Co offer a moringa oil that is cold-pressed and 100% pure – this moringa oil is rich, potent and clean. The moringa used for this oil is wild-harvest and then cold pressed, unrefined and undiluted to retain optimal levels of nutrients. This is a fantastic product for topical application to boost wound healing, repair damaged skin, and fight against skin ageing. Inn & Co know what they’re doing – the oil comes packaged in a brown-tinted glass bottle to prevent damage to the oil and nutrients inside, and they even offer a no-questions-asked money-back guarantee!

#2 Kuli Kuli Pure Moringa (7.4oz)

Raw Moringa PowderKuli Kuli offer a powdered moringa leaf supplement branded as a green super food. Each spoon delivers the nutritional equivalent of 2 cups of greens! Kuli Kuli is a women-led company that partners with women-led farming cooperatives in developing nations and participates in reforestation and planting more moringa trees. This is a great choice if you’re looking to seriously up your nutrient intake while supporting women worldwide – grab a big bag of this stuff and heap on the spoonful’s!

#1 Organic India Moringa (350mg, 90 capsules)

Best MoringaOrganic India use moringa leaf powder that has been grown using farming processes that are organic, promote soil regeneration, and protect biodiversity. This is a great choice if you’re looking for high quality moringa that has been grown with sustainable practices. These capsules are plant-based and vegan-friendly, Halah, Kosher and certified non-GMO.

View Organic Moringa on Amazon Here

Further Reading:

  • [1] Bias, S., et al. (2014) Antiobesity and Hypolipidemic Activity of Moringa oleifera Leaves against High Fat Diet-Induced Obesity in Rats. Advances in Biology.
  • [2] Kushwaha, S., et al. (2014) Effect of supplementation of drumstick (Moringa oleifera) and amaranth (Amaranthus tricolor) leaves powder on antioxidant profile and oxidative status among postmenopausal women. Journal of Food Science and Technology, 51:11, 3464 – 3469.
  • [3] Saini, R. K., et al. (2016) Phytochemicals of Moringa oleifera: a review of their nutritional, therapeutic and industrial significance. 3 Biotech., 6:2, 203.
  • [4] Rathi, B. S., et al. (2006) Evaluation of aqueous leaves extract of Moringa oleifera Linn for wound healing in albino rats. Indian J Exp Biol, 44, 898–901.
  • [5] Ahmad, J., et al. (2018) Effect of Incorporating Stevia and Moringa in Cookies on Postprandial Glycemia, Appetite, Palatability, and Gastrointestinal Well-Being. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 37:2, 133 – 139.
  • [6] Coriolano, M. C., et al. (2018) Immunomodulatory effects of the water-soluble lectin from Moringa oleifera seeds (WSMoL) on human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC). Protein Pept Lett., [Epub ahead of print]
  • [7] Jacob, J., et al. (2017) A Randomized Single Dose Parallel Study on Enhancement of Nitric Oxide in Serum and Saliva with the Use of Natural Sports Supplement in Healthy Adults. Journal of Dietary Supplements, 15:2, 161 – 172.
  • [8] Chin, C. Y., et al. (2018) Development and formulation of Moringa oleifera standardised leaf extract film dressing for wound healing application. Journal of Ethnopharmacology., 121, 188 – 199.
  • [9] USDA (2016) Full Report: Drumstick leaves, raw.
About James Lyons

James Lyons (BHSc Nutritional Medicine) is a clinical nutritionist, medical writer, and educator. He specialises in plant-based nutrition and is passionate about improving public access to reliable and accurate health information.

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