April 23, 2023 at 6:36 am #6377William AlbertParticipant
The African continent is a treasure trove of different plants that are rich in nutrients and medicinal to the human body system. According to stats, Africa is enriched with almost 45,000 plant species, and more than 5,000 of these plant species are used in traditional medicines. This article focuses on the Moringa Tree, which has several species (not sure of the numbers).
As a plant, Moringa is a genus of shrubs and trees with multi-purpose uses. The leaves, roots, and immature pods can be consumed as a vegetable, making all its parts, from the bark to pods, leaves, nuts, seeds, tubers, roots, and flowers edible. Moringa leaves can be used as fresh or dried and into powder. Because the Moringa plant has several species, each of these species is native to mostly African countries. Moringa plant species can be found in Ethiopia, Somalia, Namibia, Angola, Egypt, Kenya, the Horn of Africa, and one native to the Indian subcontinent. Each of these species has their names, for example, we have Moringa oleifera, Moringa stenopetala (African Moringa or Cabbage-Tree), and Moringa Hildebrandtii, just to mention a few.
To focus on one specie of the Moringa plant, we would look closely at the African Moringa. The African Moringa is native to Kenya and Ethiopia. Its botanical name is Moringa stenopetala, although commonly known as the African Moringa or Cabbage-tree. It is a deciduous tree – it sheds off its leaves annually and is a drought-resistant specie that is characterized by its bottle-shaped trunk, long twisted seed pods, and edible leaves likened to cabbage, from which its name is coined.
As aforementioned, it is a multipurpose tree with all its parts edible. Its seeds contain an aromatic oil with culinary and cosmetic applications. The seed press cake or powdered bark can be used for water purification. It can also be used in traditional medicine within its native range. The African Moringa wood is very soft and useful for paper although it makes low-grade firewood and poor charcoal.
As one of the most nutritious plants in the world, Moringa has a wide range of nutritional and bioactive compounds such as amino acids, carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. It is one powerful plant. Here are some health benefits of Moringa.
It protects and nourishes the skin and hair: Moringa helps in protecting the skin cells from damage because it contains protein, hydrating, and detoxifying elements which also boost the skin. The seed oil obtained from the Moringa tree is beneficial for protecting hair against radicals, keeping it clean and healthy. It can also be used in curing skin infections and sores.
It helps treat stomach disorders: like constipation, gastritis, and ulcerative colitis, extracts from Moringa can help treat these. Because Moringa contains soluble and insoluble fibers, it can help cure digestive problems like constipation. It’s antibiotic and antibacterial properties may help hinder the growth of various pathogens and bacteria.
It balances blood sugar/treat diabetes: moringa is believed to aid in blood sugar balance because of its chlorogenic acid and isothiocyanates. Chlorogenic acid can possibly regulate blood sugar levels by regulating the cell’s uptake or release of glucose (sugar) following a meal. It helps reduce the amount of glucose in the blood and sugar and protein in the urine. This improved the hemoglobin levels and overall protein content in those tested.
Reduce high blood pressure: because of the isothiocyanate and naiziminin compounds contained in Moringa, can help stop arteries from thickening which is what causes blood pressure to rise. It also contains quercetin which has anti-hypertensive properties.
Improve eye-sight: Because it includes a lot of antioxidants, moringa has benefits for enhancing eyesight. Moringa may reduce retinal vessel enlargement, stop capillary membrane thickening, and suppress retinal malfunction.
Treat anemia and sickle cell disease: A person’s body may be able to absorb more iron with the aid of moringa, which would raise their red blood cell count. The plant extract is believed to be highly beneficial in treating and preventing anemia and sickle cell disease.
These are some of the health benefits of Moringa, other benefits include; protecting the liver, treating edema, preventing and treating cancer, fighting against bacterial diseases, making bones healthier, treating mood disorders, protecting the cardiovascular system, treating asthma, and protecting against kidney disorders.
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