Moringa tea is an herbal tea made from the leaves of the moringa oleifera plant that is native to India. It is commonly known as “drumstick tree”, “ben oil tree” or “miracle tree” due to its many medicinal benefits (1). Moringa is hailed as a superfood for its many therapeutic properties and tea is an easy way to add benefits to your diet. Going further, in this article, we shall have a look at the nutritional facts, side effects, and health benefits of moringa tea in detail.
In This Article
Moringa seed oil, moringa leaves, and roots are all rich in essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals (2). Moringa is extremely low in fats and has no harmful cholesterol as well. Moringa leaves are packed with vitamin A, vitamin C, and B6, along with good amounts of essential amino acids, beta-carotene, and phytochemicals (3) (4).
The moringa leaves are traditionally sun-dried or oven-dried to preserve their nutritional benefits. Dehydrating the leaves to be used as dry leaf tea or powder has shown to increase its nutritional benefits as seen below (5).
|Nutrients (mg)||Fresh leaves||Dry leaves||Leaf powder|
In the powder form, moringa has (4):
- Proteins – 9 times more than yogurt
- Vitamin A – 10 times more than carrots
- Vitamin C – 50% more than oranges
- Potassium – 15 times more than bananas
- Calcium – 17 times more than milk
- Iron – 25 times more than spinach
Now that we have seen how nutritious moringa tea can be, let’s also take a look at its potential health benefits.
Health Benefits Of Moringa Tea
1. Helps Combat Malnutrition
Many poor countries struggling with war, lack of clean drinking water, or cultivable soil, aren’t able to provide sufficient food and nutrition to the people. Children in such countries are prone to suffering from chronic malnutrition. Moringa leaves, packed with essential vitamins and minerals, might help combat hunger and help in adding nutritive value to their diet (5).
Moringa leaves are also very rich in iron and have been found to be helpful in treating anemia by increasing blood iron levels (6). The high amount of vitamin C also helps in increasing iron absorption in the body. This also makes moringa a significant source of nutrition in improving the health of malnourished kids.
2. Rich In Antioxidants
Moringa leaves are packed with important antioxidants that help remove toxic free radicals from the body (7). A study in 90 postmenopausal women found that there was an increase in the blood anti-oxidant levels after a regular intake of 7g (1.5 teaspoons) moringa leaf powder for 3 months (8).
The antioxidant properties have also been known to be effective against neuron degeneration and dementia by reducing oxidative stress (9). Studies indicate that moringa leaves can delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and help reduce its symptoms as well (10).
3. Helps Reduce High Blood Pressure And Blood Sugar Levels
Along with being rich in vitamin C and beta-carotene, moringa leaves contain two more important antioxidants, quercetin, and chlorogenic acid.
Moringa also contains polyphenols and bioactive compounds called isothiocyanates that help reduce cholesterol and blood sugar levels, keeping your blood pressure and glucose levels in check.
4. Might Protect Against Arsenic Toxicity
Arsenic contamination in food and water might lead to an increased risk of major health problems like cancer and heart disease (15) (16). Studies in mice and rats have found promising results in moringa leaves and seed extracts. They have been found to have counter-protective effects against arsenic contamination and toxicity(17). More research needs to be done to establish the same benefits for humans.
5. Helps Improve Your Skin And Hair Health
Moringa tea, rich in antioxidants, bioflavonoids, and vitamin C helps improve the health and appearance of your skin and hair. With its natural antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, moringa helps fight acne and breakouts effectively (18). The antioxidants in the leaf extracts were also found to be effective against excess oil production in your skin during the winter months (19). It helps get rid of free radicals, boost collagen production, and improves skin elasticity diminishing wrinkles and fine lines (20) (21). With its abundance of antioxidants and vital nutrients, moringa leaves provide anti-aging benefits and add suppleness, elasticity, and shine to your skin and hair.
6. Might Help Treat Depression
Moringa tea helps alleviate symptoms of depression, anxiety, and fatigue by balancing the serotonin and dopamine levels, which are vital in mood regulations and pain perception (22). This herbal non-caffeinated tea contains tryptophan, which on consumption, converts to serotonin and melatonin (23) (24) (25). While serotonin acts as a mood stabilizer, melatonin helps regulate your sleep-wake cycle. Moringa leaf juice has also been effective in dealing with migraines and chronic headaches (26). All these together, help you calm down your nerves and improve your mood in general.
Side Effects Of Moringa Tea
While the bark and roots of the moringa plant have been found poisonous and unsafe for pregnant and lactating women, the leaves tend to have very few side effects (27) (28). You should always read the ingredients label carefully and follow the dosage instructions to make sure no other parts of the moringa plant have been included to avoid the potential side-effects listed below:
- In large quantities, the leaves, roots, bark, and fruit might have laxative properties leading to upset stomachs, diarrhea, nausea, and heartburn (29).
- If you don’t prefer the taste of moringa tea, consuming too much of it might trigger your gag reflex and cause nausea (30).
- Breastfeeding women should avoid moringa tea as there is not enough evidence to state that all its ingredients are safe for infants.
- Moringa leaves are known to contain alkaloids that help reduce the heart rate lowering the blood pressure effectively (31). While we have seen above how this benefits to keep your blood pressure in control, it might become dangerous when taken in combination with other medicines that lower blood pressure. You should thus consult your doctor prior to taking moringa tea as a natural remedy for hypertension (32).
- Moringa can potentially interact with certain medications for diabetes and thyroid as well.
You should thus consult your doctor before including moringa tea in your diet if you are taking any such medications (33).
How To Make Moringa Tea
Moringa being pretty popular as a superfood, moringa tea powder is easily available in stores and online as well. You can simply boil the tea powder in filtered water and then sieve it to give you a cupful of bright green moringa tea.
- water (to boil) – 10 oz (300ml)
- moringa tea powder – 1 teaspoon
- sweetener – honey/jaggery/agave (optional)
- mint leaves/Lemon juice – as per preference
- Bring the water to a rolling boil in a saucepan or kettle.
- Add the tea powder into the boiling water and simmer for some time.
- Switch off the heat and let it steep for 3 to 5 minutes.
- Add sweetener/mint leaves or lemon juice as per preference.
- Sieve if required.
- Pour into a cup and enjoy!
In case you are not sure about the quality of the packaged tea, you can also make moringa tea powder at home. You would need to get your hands on some fresh moringa leaves, wash them well and leave them to dry and dehydrate. Once dry, you can then grind them up to give you the fine moringa powder. Alternatively, you can also simply clean the fresh leaves and boil them in water for a couple of minutes to give you some freshly made moringa tea.
Moringa tea has an earthy flavor and nutty taste to it. Being naturally caffeine-free you can have it any time of the day. It also makes for a relaxing tea just before bed. You can also flavor it with honey, lime, or mint as per your preference to enhance its taste.
If you have any prior health conditions, you must consult your doctor or a professionally certified nutritionist/dietitian before adding moringa tea to your diet.
Is It Safe To Drink Moringa Tea Every Day?
Moringa tea is an herbal, non-caffeinated tea with many natural benefits. Though there seems to be no evident harm in having the tea, you should not overdo it to prevent its potential side effects. While pregnant and lactating women should refrain from having moringa tea, others should try and get moringa tea that is organic, GMO-free, and preferably green in color (without any debris) that has cleared the microbial, and phytosanitary testing successfully.
Like for most supplements, the U.S.Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate any moringa plant supplements and has not yet approved any therapeutic use of any part of the moringa plant (34). More research needs to be done to establish the health benefits of moringa tea over and above its risks, to be able to have it without any concerns. It is thus advisable to consult your doctor before you begin to have moringa tea regularly.
Moringa tea, made from the moringa leaves, is highly nutritious and rich in antioxidants and flavonoids to provide us with multiple health benefits. While there has been a lot of recent research done on animals to support the above, further investigation and studies need to be done to establish a few more of those for humans. Meanwhile, you can cozy up with a warm cup of moringa tea to reap the natural benefits of this superfood every once in a while.
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- A Review Of Properties Nutritional And Pharmaceutical Applications Of Moringa Oleifera: Integrative Approach On Conventional And Traditional Asian Medicine
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