If you’re all about adaptogens these days (and who isn’t?) then consider adding this one to the mix: moringa. Known for its ability to boost energy without caffeine and combat the signs of rapid aging, nutrient-dense moringa is a power player in our supplement cabinet. Learn all about moringa from herbalist and modern medicine maker, Adriana Ayales. Discover what the founder of the modern apothecary, Anima Mundi, has to say about this magical superfood…
The Sacred Anatomy Of Moringa
Moringa is one of those miraculous trees that survives basically anywhere. It’s use dates back to 4,000 years ago, it is regarded as a heal-all and it is known to treat over 300 different diseases. This highly nutritious and mineralizing powerhouse is drought resistant, grows in arid conditions, requires little water and grows tremendously fast considering the circumstances. From the seed to the leaf, flower, resin and the roots — all aspects have been employed medicinally among cultures all over the world.
The Many Benefits Of Moringa
Vitamin dense | Moringa’s nutritional landscape is astounding. Can you believe that moringa is extremely high in protein? It contains 18 out of 20 amino acids and all essential amino acids. It has four more times calcium that regular cow’s milk, 25 times more iron than spinach, 15 times more potassium than a banana, four times more vitamin A than a carrot and seven times more vitamin C than an orange. And, due to its (very) high vitamin C and E content, it can improve brain function by preventing degeneration of neurons.
Anti-Cancerous Chemistry | Moringa has a rich makeup in B-vitamins, magnesium and antioxidants (like quercetin, an antioxidant researched as an effective treatment for serious illnesses). And, like cancer, it also benefits from inflammation-based responses, like allergies of all kinds and viruses. It also contains the amino-acid tryptophan, which improves neurotransmitter function. Tryptophan is sought out by many as its the neurotransmitter that secretes serotonin, our “happiness” hormone.
The compound kaempferol, a flavonoid found in a handful of plants and plant-based foods, has shown to be involved in the regulations of cell cycle, metastasis, angiogenesis and apoptosis in various cancer cell types. A study completed in 2016 demonstrated how it can inhibit pancreatic cancer cell growth, interrupting potential cancer cell migration.
Anti-Aging effects | Biochemical analysis on moringa leaves has shown to contain large amounts of plant hormones, also known as cytokinins, and extraordinarily high levels of one in particular, zeatin. Cytokinins are what makes plants repair and heal themselves. It’s literally the mechanism that allows restoration from injury and the proliferation of cells in order to thrive. In humans, cytokinins are known to delay the process that causes aging. Zeatin delays aging via its effects on cell division and its powerful antioxidant properties. Research has shown that moringa oleifera contains two to three thousand times more zeatin than any other plant known to man, making it an essential part of any longevity protocol or as a medicinal addition to foods.
Natural energy | People who consume the plant regularly report an increase in endurance and energy. The plant supplies a large amount of vitamins, minerals and overall bioavailable nutrients to our cells. High antioxidant sources naturally energize us as they are cellular oxygenators (natural energy reserves). This means that we don’t necessarily need caffeine or uppers to get a boost of energy — it can be as simple as an antioxidant. In Ayurveda, it was used as a digestive and blood cleanser, as it was able to remove impurities, toxins, parasites and metabolic waste, helping cellular rejuvenation and oxygenation.
Ways To Consume Moringa
It’s an easy addition to just about anything — moringa usually comes as a vibrant green powder with a pleasant taste. Try it as an add-in in smoothies, juices, matcha, salad dressings, bone broth or ice cream for a few ideas — you can hardly taste it. Many cultures around the world use it in day-to-day cooking. In the drier Caribbean islands for example, Moringa is used in many savory dishes. It’s often stewed into rice and beans or into sopa de pizca (fish soup). In India, it is often added to curries and other warm dishes. Other traditions mostly drink it as tea. You may also find it used as a poultice (a topical remedy for wounds and scars).
Moringa + Adaptogens
The highly trending topic on adaptogens have kept people a bit confused as to what herbs really fall under this category. Unfortunately there has not been enough research performed on enough herbs that could be adaptogenic. The term in itself is quite modern, therefore many herbs have not had the chance to be studied or marketed as such. Moringa, in my opinion, is one of those.
Not only does the tree elegantly adapt to thriving in some of the most stressful environments, it is currently being studied for its effect on the HPA axis. Herbs that target the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is the key signature of adaptogenic plants. The HPA axis is our body’s control center, which basically dictates our hormonal function as well as what drives us into the fight-or-flight response. The promising anti-inflammatory properties of moringa, along with its ability to significantly reduce the stress hormone cortisol, demonstrates how it assists the HPA axis to run smoothly. Moringa contains soothing chemistry to relieve the adrenals from stress in addition to providing an exuberant amount of vitamins and minerals to the body. So, let’s see if in the coming years we start seeing more studies on how it could potentially recalibrate hypothalamic and adrenal function, which is the key signature of adaptogenic plants.
Excited to try moringa for yourself? Grab a jar of the good stuff from Adriana here.
The Chalkboard Mag and its materials are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. All material on The Chalkboard Mag is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health-related programs.