Moringa (Moringa oleifera), also known as the ‘Drumstick tree’ or ‘Ben oil tree’, is a widely cultivated shrub native to the sub-Himalayan mountains of northern India. It’s now cultivated in many tropical and subtropical regions of the world, where its fruit and leaves are consumed as food, being an affordable and readily available source of major essential nutrients. Besides being used daily as food by people of these regions, moringa is widely known and praised for its health benefits, and has earned the name ‘Miracle tree’ for its numerous healing abilities. A true superfood, although moringa was first discovered thousands of years ago, only recently did it hit the spotlight in the holistic health market.
Almost every part of the moringa tree is used for medicinal, functional food preparations and nutraceuticals, including the roots, leaves, flowers, green pods and seeds. It’s a plant with multiple biological activities including liver-protective, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. This review will focus predominantly on the leaves, being the source of the moringa powder used in Joya’s products.
In traditional medicine, the leaves are used to treat numerous ailments, including malaria, typhoid fever, parasitic diseases, arthritis, swelling, cuts, skin diseases, hypertension, diabetes and more, and they are also used to induce lactation. In Ayurvedic medicine, the leaf is used to treat paralysis, nervous debility and other nerve disorders, and as discussed further below, research also suggests cognitive-enhancing and neuroprotective roles.