There was a time when every house had a Moringa tree in its backyard. As the drumsticks, leaves and flowers regularly found their way into several dishes, people unknowingly absorbed the invaluable health benefits of moringa. Moringa oleifera is a fast-growing, evergreen, drought resistant tree native to India, whose parts have been used in Ayurveda. Moringa health benefits are many. It balances Kapha and Vata and its root bark, stem bark, leaves, flowers, fruits and seeds are key ingredients in several Ayurvedic medicines and home remedies. And so, a must for you Ayurvedic herbs garden.
Medicinal Uses of Moringa:
Moringa as an Anti-inflammatory:
The external application of moringa as a poultice treats wounds, abscess, joint pains and arthritis. It is an ingredient in the pain, swelling and redness reducing balm Shothaghna Lepa and wound healing Aragwadhadi Kashayam.
Moringa as an Analgesic:
The analgesic properties of moringa are made use of in the pain relieving Murivenna and Kottamchukkadi Thailam. The leaves and flowers relieve menstrual cramps and the seed is powdered and used in nasya to treat headaches.
Antioxidants in Moringa:
The moringa leaves are chockfull of antioxidants that boost immunity and boost energy. The flavonoids help lower cholesterol and promote heart health.
Moringa as an Anti-microbial/Anti-fungal:
Moringa defends the body from microbial and fungal attacks and also is a good detoxifying agent. They kill intestinal worms, promote digestive health, alleviate stomach cramps and build a healthy appetite.
Moringa for Diabetes and Blood Pressure:
The oleic acid in moringa leaves and pods regulate blood glucose levels. Regular consumption of the leaves also lowers blood pressure.
Moringa During Pregnancy and Lactation:
While the moringa fruit can be used during pregnancy, it is better to avoid the leaves, flowers and bark derivatives during pregnancy since they can cause uterine contractions. As for breast-feeding mothers, consumption of moringa promotes lactation and the high iron content treats anemia. So growing a moringa tree in your backyard is like growing your own pharmacy. Inclusion of the various parts of the drumstick in your diet in itself is a great way to build up immunity and promote digestive and circulatory health. So the next time you have Sambhar or Avial, it would be a good idea to chew hard on that piece of drumstick.
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Coming up Next: Adalodakam (Malabar Nut or Adusa)