Moringa- Benefits, Dosage and Side-effects
Moringa, also known as drumstick plant or horse-radish tree, was used as a dietary substance since ancient times. But we can see the references regarding the therapeutic usage of moringa in several Ayurvedic treatises. We can find the reference of moringa in Rigveda, Charaka Samhita, Sushruta Samhita, Ashtanga Hrudayam, Bhavaprakasha and Dhanvantari Nighantu.
Botanical Name: Moringa oleifera
Appearance of Moringa plant: It is a small/medium sized tree with soft bark and wood. Its wood is so soft that it tends to break as it cannot bear the weight of its own pods.
Parts used: Pods and leaves of Moringa have been used as a dietary substance since many centuries.
Parts useful in moringa for medicinal purposes are root, root bark, stem bark, leaves, flowers, fruits, seeds and oil.
Master Charaka, in his ancient Ayurvedic textbook Charaka Samhita, has categorized Moringa into following groups:
- Krimighna - Group of herbs used in the treatment of worm infestation. Moringa leaves consumption in the form of rasam or soup is useful to relieve intestinal worms.
- Svedopaga - Group of herbs used in sweating therapy (preparatory procedure for Panchakarma). The leaves and seeds of moringa have anti-inflammatory effects. Hence, moringa paste is mixed with other herbs such as Dashamoola which belongs to a group of 10 roots. It is made into hot poultice and is used for sweating treatment. This is useful in reducing inflammation and pain.
- ShiroVirechanopaga - Group of herbs used in Nasya (Nasal administration) treatment. It is useful in case of headache and nasal congestion.
- KatukaSkandha - Group of herbs with pungent taste.
Charaka advises to use this herb for powder massage in case of pruritus, acne and urticaria.
In Sushruta Samhita and Ashtanga Hrudaya, moringa is included under the Varunadi Group of herbs. The Varunadi group of herbs are used for the treatment of obesity, water retention, PCOS, and kidney disorders associated with difficulty in urination.
Medicinal Qualities of drumstick tree:
- Taste - Pungent, bitter.
- Qualities - Light to digest, dry, strong, piercing.
- Taste conversion after digestion - Moringa undergoes a pungent taste conversion after digestion.
- Potency - Hot potency.
Effect on Tridosha:
- BalancesKapha and Vata.
- Itbalances Kapha dosha due to its bitter taste, dry and sharp qualities.
- Itbalances Vata dosha due to its hot potency.
The roots contain Moringin (alkaloids), Pterygospermin (Antibiotic element), Volatile oil. Also, pure stable oil can be extracted from the seeds.
Herb extract: 10-20 ml
Seed powder: 1-3 grams
Take the juice of moringa root and add jaggery to it. Mix it well and administer a drop of it to each nostril.
Take one whole drumstick and cut into small pieces. Prepare decoction by adding 16 parts of water, boil and reduce it to 1/4th part. Add a pinch of salt if required. Consume at night before food.
This is also beneficial in treating hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, lethargy, sexual debility etc.
Take 50 grams of the leaves, crush it and extract the juice. Instil 2 drops of juice into both the eyes.
Make a paste out of the leaves and apply it over the swollen part around the eyes.
Prepare a decoction out of the leaves and consume 60 ml twice daily. This helps in relieving dysmenorrhea and back ache.
Take 50 grams of Moringa flower. Cook well by adding salt and black pepper. Consume this curry along with lunch.
Root bark is made into a paste with water and applied over the affected area.
- Moringa bark - 100 grams
- Asafoetida - 5 grams
- Ginger - 4-20 grams
Grind the above three ingredients with water. Prepare tablets of 1 gram each with the mixture. Dosage: consume 1 tablet 2-3 times a day.
Prepare a decoction with roots of moringa and this decoction can be used for gargling.
Juice of moringa root and ginger root.
Dosage: 10-15 ml, morning and evening.
Prepare a paste of moringa root and apply it externally. This relieves pain and swelling.
Make a leaf paste and add lemon juice. This mixture should be applied all over the face. This face pack is useful in treating acne and black heads.
The soup prepared from drumstick pods is very much useful in treating the diseases of liver, spleen, pancreas etc. It is an aphrodisiac and also strengthens the bones and joints.
Read More: Golden Milk For Joints, Does It Work?, How Ayurveda Helped Me Get Rid Of Joint Pain, Aching Joints! Know more about your condition
Types of Moringa according to Ayurveda:
Ayurvedic books mentioned three varieties of Moringa. They are,
- Black variety (Shyama)
- White Variety (Shveta)
- Red variety (Rakta)
Qualities of black variety:
- Thisis the most common variety of Moringa.
- Itis pungent and slightly sweetish.
- Ithas hot potency and piercing/sharp in action.
- Itis light to digest, improves taste and digestion.
- Itreduces diarrhea and also destroys worms.
- Improvessemen quality and vision.
Qualities of white variety:
- White variety has qualities similar to that of black variety.
- It helps in quick wound healing.
Qualities of red variety:
- Increases digestion power.
- Enhances bowel movements.
Moringa in Ayurvedic medicines:
Moringa has analgesic action. That is why it is used in pain relieving oils like Murivenna oil and Kottamchukkadi oil.
As it is a good anti-inflammatory herb, Shothaghna lepa contains moringa. This medicine is useful in treating swelling, pain and redness.
Aragwadhadi kashayam contains moringa as it has a wound healing effect. Aragwadhadi kashayam is useful in abscess etc.
Can moringa be consumed during pregnancy?
It is safe to consume moringa fruit during pregnancy. But its leaves, root bark and flowers should be avoided.
Also, it should not be consumed soon after delivery.
How to consume Moringa powder? What is the best way?
Moringa leaf powder can be readily consumed. In a research, 100 grams of powder was administered over a week. That is about 15 grams per day. The study was for the purpose of testing iron status of Senegalese lactating women.
However, for a healthy person, Moringa can be consumed in a dose of 3-5 grams, once or twice a day, before food.
It can be administered along with water or sesame oil for Vata balance, along with ghee for Pitta balance and with honey for Kapha balance.
Moringa powder can also be consumed in the form of decoction. To prepare the water decoction, a tablespoon of powder can be added to two cups of water, boil it till the water reduces to half a cup and then consume it. Here, the dose is half a cup per day.
Side Effects of Moringa:
- Moringa can cause burning sensation. So, people with gastritis should be very careful when consuming it.
- If moringa is consumed during periods, it may increase the bleeding. So, it is better to avoid it during periods.
- It should not be consumed by people suffering from any type of bleeding diseases.
Divya Sree M S. et al. / International Journal of Research in Pharmaceutical and Nano Sciences. 4(1), 2015, 1- 9.
IJCRT1803240.pdf- Bhavaprakasha, Poorvakhanda, Mishra Prakarana, Guduchyadi Varga
Goswami SK, Inamdar MN, Dethe SM, Gururaj GM, Jamwal R, Bhaskar A, Mundkinajeddu D, Agarwal A. Erectogenic and Aphrodisiac Property of Moringa oleifera: Involvement of Soluble Epoxide Hydrolase Enzyme. Phytother Res. 2016 Jul;30(7):1119-27. doi: 10.1002/ptr.5614. Epub 2016 Mar 28. PMID: 27020843.
Helmy SA, Morsy NFS, Elaby SM, Ghaly MAA. Hypolipidemic Effect of Moringa oleifera Lam Leaf Powder and its Extract in Diet-Induced Hypercholesterolemic Rats. J Med Food. 2017 Aug;20(8):755-762. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2016.0155. Epub 2017 May 1. PMID: 28459609.
Aekthammarat D, Pannangpetch P, Tangsucharit P. Moringa oleifera leaf extract lowers high blood pressure by alleviating vascular dysfunction and decreasing oxidative stress in L-NAME hypertensive rats. Phytomedicine. 2019 Feb 15;54:9-16. doi: 10.1016/j.phymed.2018.10.023. Epub 2018 Oct 19. PMID: 30668387.