Moringa is a unique plant because almost all parts of it — leaves, seeds, flowers/pods, stem and roots — can be used as a source for nutrition and its other medicinal properties that fight free radical damage. The most popular medicinal use of moringa, both traditionally and today, involves drying and grinding down the tree’s antioxidant-packed leaves to unlock the most moringa benefits.
Moringa leaves are loaded with numerous nutrients, including antioxidants, protein, calcium, beta-carotene, vitamin C and potassium. Because it provides a concentrated source of vitamin A, moringa is given to thousands of children in third-world countries every year suffering from life-threatening vitamin A deficiency, which is linked to impaired immune function.
With an exceptionally high nutritional value, moringa can be used to obtain important trace minerals, protein and phenolics. The plant contains a rare and unique combination of disease-preventing phytonutrients, including: zeatin, quercetin, beta-sitosterol, caffeoylquinic acid and kaempferol — proven anti-inflammatories with strong medicinal values. Numerous studies have shown that these compounds are protective of the heart, natural circulatory stimulants, and possess antitumor, anti-epileptic, anti-ulcer, antispasmodic, antihypertensive and antidiabetic effects.
To take advantage of this, moringa leaves are used to brew tea by steeping the dried, preserved leaves in hot water, which releases their special chemical compounds — very similarly to how green tea is made. Dried moringa leaves are also ground to create a long-lasting powder, or potent extracts are taken from the leaves to be used in the formation of concentrated moringa capsule supplements.
Aside from the valuable leaves, the pods of the moringa tree also contain seeds that hold a healing type of oil. Oil from moringa seeds can be used to cook with or put directly onto the surface of the body. Several popular uses of moringa oil are to help retain skin’s moisture, speed up wound healing, and soothe dry or burnt skin.
Another interesting use of the seeds is for water purification. Combining moringa seeds with water helps impurities cling to the seeds so they can be removed, leaving behind better quality water that’s lower in toxins. Salt also seems to bind to moringa, which is beneficial for producing fresh-tasting water. Some studies have shown that 0.2 grams of ground moringa seed can turn one liter of contaminated water into safe drinking water due to the coagulating actions of certain ingredients in the seeds that absorb bacteria, adding water purification to the list of moringa benefits.