How many of us know what moringa seeds are? Or what their plant looks like?
Probably, not many.
And of those who do, how many people really know about their multiple benefits?
If you think moringa seeds are just like any other seeds that grow on trees, then I am here to change your mind.
Widely known as “drumstick tree” in India, moringa goes by different names in different countries and regions. It is known as ‘Sahijan’ in Hindi, “Munaga’ in Telugu, ‘Murungai’ in Tamil. The Tagalog name in the Philippines is ‘Mulunggay’, which sounds very similar to ‘Moringa’.
Let’s read more on exactly what moringa seeds are and why they are so beneficial.
We’ll start with the basics and talk about the mighty moringa tree first.
Table Of Contents
- What is the Moringa Tree?
- What Are Moringa Seeds and Why Should We Eat Them?
- What are the Nutrition Facts of Moringa Seeds?
- What are the Benefits of Moringa Seeds for Our Health?
- What are the Benefits of Moringa Seeds for Our Skin?
- What are the Benefits of Moringa Seeds for Our Hair?
- How to Use Moringa Seeds for Water Treatment?
- How to Eat Moringa Seeds and How Much?
- Where to Buy Moringa Seeds?
- Side Effects of Moringa Seeds?
The Moringa Tree
Moringa oleifera is one of the most valuable plants known to mankind, since decades. It is a native of the sub-Himalayan region, Asia, Africa and Arabia, and is gaining popularity in several Western countries.
There are 4 edible parts of the moringa plant – its pods, leaves, seeds, and roots. Apart from producing edible parts, this plant also has the potential to solve problems like malnutrition, starvation, rural poverty, public health, deforestation and aesthetics (1). The incredible health benefits of moringa seeds are obtained from the pods of the Moringa plant.
The Moringa tree has been popularly called as “The Miracle Tree” in Asia, Africa and Caribbean Countries for centuries. It is rich in nutrients like vitamin B6, beta carotene, vitamin C, magnesium, and protein.
Owing to its rich nutritional density, this tree is known to cure or treat conditions of the skin, digestion, vision, diabetes, cholesterol, bacterial infections, obesity and promotes overall well-being (2).
Now let’s get to the important part: moringa seeds. Let’s find out what the hype is all about.
What Are Moringa Seeds And Why Eat Them?
Before we jump into the why let’s talk about the what. What are moringa seeds?
The moringa tree has slender green pods that hang down from its branches. It is from these pods that moringa seeds are removed. They can be eaten either cooked or roasted.
So why consume these seeds?
They contain a wide variety of nutrients that give these seeds antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. These seeds also reduce the risk of heart disease, lower cholesterol, stabilize blood sugars, and improve our immune system.
Moringa seeds also have external uses. The oil extracted from them acts as a natural moisturizer for the skin. It is also applied topically as an astringent, as it helps fight bacterial infections, and treat wounds, cuts, and bites (3).
Now, here is a little brief on its nutritional status.
Moringa Seeds Nutrition Facts
Let’s learn a little about the moringa seeds nutritional value. Following are the ranges for different macronutrient composition of the 100 grams of the dry weight of the seeds:
|Fat||34.7 to 40.4 grams|
|Proteins||29.4 to 33.3 grams|
|Carbohydrates||16.5 to 19.8 grams|
|Fiber||6.8 to 8.0 grams|
|Moisture||5.7 to 8.9 grams|
That was all about moringa seeds properties? Let us now talk about what is moringa seed good for?
Health Benefits Of Moringa Seeds
Moringa oleifera seeds health benefits are a lot more than what can be accounted for. But let’s take a look at some of the important ones –
- Lower Blood Sugar Levels
One of the significant properties of moringa seeds is its ability to reduce blood glucose levels. Hence it acts as an anti-diabetic agent.
A study done in 2012 tested the effects of moringa on diabetic rats. The rats were treated with an extract of moringa for 21 days and at the end of the period, there was a considerable reduction in the blood glucose levels of the rats (4).
This goes to show that moringa seeds have anti-diabetic properties that are quite beneficial to us.
[ Read: Benefits Of Moringa Plant ]
- Can Lower Cholesterol
Moringa oleifera is known to have positive effects on our cholesterol and lipid profiles.
A study was done in 2003 on rabbits, who were fed moringa (200mg/kg/day) for 120 days. The results of this study showed the rabbits to have lower serum cholesterol and triglyceride levels in their bodies. These rabbits showed a decrease in the lipid profiles of the liver and the heart. The study promptly concluded that moringa contains cholesterol and lipid lowering properties (5).
- Promote Heart Health
Moringa seeds exhibit properties that can protect our cardiovascular system. It helps to protect our heart from complications that arise from having hypertension.
This was proved by a study that was conducted in France in 2016 on hypertensive rats. The study tested the cardiac effects of moringa seed powder on hypertensive rats for 8 weeks. The results showed that there was not much change in their blood pressure values, but they showed an improvement in the cardiac diastolic function and had reduced levels of triglycerides in their cardiac system (6).
The data from the study concluded that moringa seeds have a beneficial effect on our cardiac structure and promote overall heart health.
- Anti-Inflammatory And Antioxidant Properties
A 2016 study was done on moringa seeds that tested positive for natural products like cannabidiol and moringin. The study proved that moringa seeds possess a great amount of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that play a vital role in the healing processes of many diseases (7).
Another study done in 2011 also tested the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects of moringa seeds. The anti-inflammatory test was carried out in rats, by inducing edema, and the antioxidant test was carried out to test the reducing power, chelating effect on Iron ions (Fe2+) and free radical scavenging of moringa seeds (8). Both the tests showed positive results, establishing the fact that moringa seeds exhibit both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
- Support Brain Health
Moringa seeds increase our mental focus and improve our brain health.
Our brain needs a constant supply of nutrition to work at its optimum level. Some of the best foods to eat for a healthy brain are amino acids, omega-3s, antioxidants and vitamin E (9). Moringa seeds are a rich source of all these nutrients, thus promoting a healthy brain health.
- Promote Liver Health
Moringa seeds have amazing properties to reduce liver damage and promote overall liver health.
A study done in 2010 tested the effectiveness of moringa seed extract on liver fibrosis in rats. Liver fibrosis was induced in the rats twice a week for 8 weeks. At the same time, moringa seed extract was also given to them daily. At the end of 8 weeks, the study showed that the seeds of moringa heal liver injury and act against the induced liver fibrosis in rats (10).
- Act As A Sleep Aid
One of the many benefits of moringa seeds is its ability to aid the treatment of insomnia (11). The oil extracted from moringa seeds is a rich source of many vitamins and minerals and contains essential amino acids that stimulate sleep inducing hormones. This oil produces a calming effect and helps you sleep longer and better.
[ Read: Benefits Of Moringa Oil ]
- Improve Eyesight
Moringa seeds are also known to improve eyesight or help treat poor vision as they are rich in vitamin A (12) .
There is not much research relevant to this topic, but there have been countless testimonials given by people who have used moringa seeds for their vision. They claim to experience an improvement in their eyesight, even after spending a considerable number of hours in front of their computers.
- Boost Immune System:
There are several nutrients that individually help to protect our body against diseases and infections.
Moringa seeds are power packed with all these nutrients, like protein, vitamin A, C, E, zinc and a significant number of antioxidants. Various studies done on moringa seeds prove that all these nutrients put together make moringa seeds an excellent defence mechanism for the body (13, 14).
- Treat Anemia
Moringa seeds are rich in iron, a nutrient responsible for maintaining a healthy RBC count in our blood. A deficiency of iron leads to anemia. A person who is deficient in iron may not only be anemic, but also present other symptoms like constant fatigue, weakness, headaches, shortness of breath and poor cognitive skills (15).
A study done in 2016 reviewed the nutritional values of moringa and recorded that moringa oleifera is a rich source of iron and consuming them helps overcome iron deficiency and treat anemia (15).
- Heal Ulcers
Moringa seeds have brilliant anti-ulcer properties. Traditionally, it has been widely consumed in India and Pakistan to treat gastric ulcers (17).
A recent study was done on rats, on whom gastric ulcers were induced, and moringa leaf extract was administered regularly. The study showed that regular moringa extract helped reduce the ulcers and acid pepsin secretion was decreased (18).
Above were the benefits for our general health, but moringa seeds are also used in the cosmetic industry as they provide multiple benefits for our skin too.
Benefits Of Moringa Seeds For Skin
Following are few of the numerous benefits of drumstick seeds for our skin –
- Slow Down Aging
Moringa seeds contain oil that is extracted and used in the beauty industry. Certain health and beauty websites claim that this oil is “highly valued” in their industry since it contains excellent anti-aging properties. Furthermore, they go on to say that the oil contains several nutrients and antioxidants that reduce the damage caused by free radicals on the skin (19). Moringa seeds are also known to contain collagen, which helps to reduce wrinkling on the skin and lessen blemishes, thus promoting younger-looking skin.
- Act As A Rich Moisturizer
The oil extracted from moringa seeds contains a significant amount of omega-9 fatty acid, which makes it one of the best natural moisturizers for the skin. Not only does it lock the moisture in, but it also gives a natural glow to the skin (20). This property of the moringa seeds makes it very popular in the cosmetic industry.
Moringa oil is used in a number of cosmetic products. Moringa seed oil is highly valued in the beauty and cosmetic industry. It finds its uses in several products like
- Anti-aging creams
- Soaps and body washes
- Hair products
- Massage and aromatherapy oils
- Face and body creams
- Perfumes and deodorants
- Body oils and scrubs
Moringa seed oil is also exceptionally good at lifting out dirt and grime from skin and hair, making it a very powerful cleansing agent (21).
Let’s take a look at other ways in which moringa seeds benefit our hair.
Benefits Of Moringa Seeds For Hair
We all want beautiful hair, but all the best hair care brands in the market are loaded with chemicals and cost a bomb. So what is the best natural alternative to having healthy and shiny hair? Moringa, of course!
We just learned about all the various moringa seeds benefits for our health and skin, and we know how nutrient dense moringa is. The same nutrients also provide tremendous benefits for the hair as well.
The iron present in moringa helps prevent hair loss and promote healthy hair growth. The zinc in moringa improves the quality of hair by healing damaged hair follicles. Moringa is loaded with essential amino acids that help to build and repair cells. There are several other nutrients present in moringa that help to build soft, healthy tresses by giving us stronger hair and encouraging better hair growth.
Even though there is not much research available in this regard, several hair care brands have been using moringa as the primary ingredient in their products and have received positive testimonials from people all over the world.
Another important use of moringa seeds is its use in the treatment of water, to cleanse and purify it from toxins. Read on to know more.
Use Of Moringa Seeds In Water Treatment
Moringa seeds have been widely used in several developing countries to purify and cleanse river water. They lower the bacterial concentration in the water, making it safe for us to drink or use it for domestic purposes. Moringa seed powder works as a coagulant and sticks to the bacteria and toxins in the water and sinks to the bottom. This process filters out about 90 to 99% of the impurities present in water (22).
A study was done in Sudan in 1987 to test the effectiveness of moringa as an agent for pollutant removal in surface water treatment. Water treatment was carried out with moringa seed powder as a coagulant. A turbidity reduction of 80-99% was observed within the first 2 hours of treatment (23).
Want to try purifying water with moringa seeds on your own? Here is how you can do it at home. The following method is for purifying 20 liters of water:
- Take impure water that needs to be cleaned in a big tub or a bucket.
- Grind moringa seeds into a fine powder and add 2 heaped spoonfuls of the powder into a small bottle containing clean water.
- Shake this bottle for a few minutes.
- Filter this water through a cloth into the bucket (containing impure water).
- Stir the water in the bucket rapidly for about 2 minutes, and then slowly for the next 10 to 15 minutes and then let it stand undisturbed for about 1 hour.
- After an hour or two, you will see impurities at the bottom of the bucket.
- Filter out this water into a clean space through a cloth.
- Your water is now filtered and safe to drink.
Yes, moringa seeds uses are awesome. But how many ways and in what quantity do we consume this goodness? Read below.
How To Use Moringa Seeds And How Much?
Moringa seeds can be popped like popcorn, with some butter and enjoyed as a snack or cooked like peas and eaten along with meals. Whichever way you prefer to eat them, always make sure to consume just a few seeds at a time (in a day). When eaten in a large quantity, it can cause an upset stomach (24).
What about moringa seeds dosage? There is no research for the exact dosage of moringa seeds, but it is widely recommended by experts that just a few (a small handful) seeds a day are enough to provide us with utmost benefits.
Where To Buy Moringa Seeds?
Moringa seeds are readily available at herbal stores or online on Amazon or eBay, at fairly reasonable prices.
We’ve heard all the good things about moringa seeds. Is there anything to be cautious about? Let’s find out.
Side Effects of Moringa Seeds
There is insufficient evidence for the side effects of eating moringa seeds. So, it helps to take some precautions. Most importantly, pregnant women are asked to consult their physician about consuming moringa.
It is also not advisable to consume these seeds in large quantities, as its cleansing properties are very powerful and the stomach may take some time to get used to eating such a strong product.
Got some more questions but don’t know the answers? Here are some popularly asked questions that are answered by experts.
Moringa has been called “The Miracle Tree” for decades, and for all the right reasons.
This tree, with all its leaves, fruits, flowers and seeds can help solve almost all of our health issues – ranging from treating malnutrition to losing weight.
And what’s more? This is completely natural, super nutritious, easily available or can be grown in your garden. So, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and buy your pack of moringa oleifera seeds. You know you won’t regret it!
Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions
How to eat dry moringa seeds?
They can be popped, like popcorn. Or can be added to soups, stews or sauces. You can also eat them roasted, like a snack.
How to cook moringa seeds?
You can cook moringa seeds like peas when they are still tender and immature.
How to make moringa seed powder?
Dry roast mature, dried seeds for a few minutes. After they cool down, grind them into a fine powder.
When to take moringa?
Always take moringa with a meal, never on an empty stomach.
- “Lost Crops of Africa : Moringa”. The National Academics of Sciences, Engineering, Medicine. 2006.
- “Introduction to Moringa Tree Healthy Benefits”. Academia. EW Daam.
- “Moringa”. WebMD.
- “Evaluation of Antidiabetic and Antioxidant Activity of Moringa Oleifera in Experimental Diabetes”. Reproductive Physiology Section, Centre for Advanced Studies, Department of Zoology, University of Rajasthan, Jaipur, India. June 2012.
- “Effects of Fruits of Moringa oleifera on the Lipid Profile of Normal and Hypercholesterolaemic Rabbits”. Department of Pharmacy, The M.S. University of Baroda, Kalabhavan, Gujarat, India. June 2003.
- “Cardiac Protective Effects of Moringa oleifera Seeds in Spontaneous Hypertensive Rats”. American Journal of Hypertension. July 2016.
- “Anti-Inflammatory and Antioxidant Effects of a Combination of Cannabidiol and Moringin in LPS-stimulated Macrophages”. IRCCS Centro Neurolesi “Bonino-Pulejo”, Via Provinciale Palermo, contrada Casazza, 98124 Messina, Italy. July 2016.
- “Antioxidant Actvity and Phytochemical Study of Moringa Peregrina”. Department of Botany. University of Khartoum.
- “Eat Smart For A Healthier Brain”. Carol Sorgen, WebMD. Dec 2008.
- “Ameliorative Effects of Moringa Oleifera Lam Seed Extract on Liver Fibrosis in Rats”. Department of Biology, UAE University. Jan 2010.
- “Promising Featues of Moringa Oleifera Oil : Recent Updates and Perspectives”. University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences. Lahore, Pakistan. Dec 2016.
- “Bioactive components in Moringa…”. Universidad Autonoma de Sinaloa, Mexico, Dec 2017.
- “The Effect of Moringa Oleifera Leaves on Blood Parameters and Body Weights of Albino Rats and Rabbits”. Jordan Journal of Biological Sciences. Feb 2012.
- “Cultivation, Genetic, Ethnopharmacology, Phytochemistry and Pharmacology of Moringa Oleifera Leaves : A Review”. University of Milan. June 2015.
- “Iron Deficiency Anemia”. Iron Disorders Institute.
- “Phytochemicals of Moringa Oleifera : A Review of Their Nutritional, Therapeutic and Industrial Significance”. Konkuk University, Seoul, Korea. Dec 2016.
- “A Review of Antiulcer Activity of Few Indian Medicinal Plants”. PG & Research Department of Zoology, Voorhees College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu. May 2014.
- “Anti-Ulcer and Antioxidant Activity of Moringa Oleifera Leaves Against Aspirin and Ethanol Induced Gastric Ulcer in Rats”. Research Gate. Jan 2012.
- “Moringa Oleifera Research in Haiti : The Acceptance of a Community”. Penn State University. May 2015.
- “Possible Natural Extracts”. Academia. Claire Cruz.
- “Phytochemical Studies and Multi-Purpose Uses of Seed Oil of Moringa Oleifera”. Ravenshaw University, Cuttack.
- “Moringa Water Purification”. Miracle Trees Organization.
- “Effect of Water Coagulation by Seeds of Moringa Oleifera on Bacterial Concentrations”. The Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. June 1987.
- “How To Use Moringa And How Much To Eat”. Miracle Trees Organization.
- How To Prepare Moringa Tea?
- 12 Best Benefits Of Moringa Leaves For Skin, Hair And Health
- 10 Amazing Health Benefits Of Chia Seeds
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