A growing awareness and appetite for nutrient dense foods has led to the emergence of foods rarely heard of in the western world until recently. Moringa Oleifera, sometimes referred to as “the tree of life” or “miracle tree” is an example. This plant, native to the Himalayan foothills in northern India, has had a long history in its use as a traditional medicine (with its origins in Ayuverdic medicine) and is now gathering attention in the field of ’wellness’ and ‘wellbeing’. There has also been a shift away from synthetic nutrients, towards whole foods and so-called “superfoods”, following ancient Naturopathic philosophies of holism and vitalism.
Nature’s pharmacy has provided an abundance of health restoring plants. Moringa’s rich phytochemical composition contained in the leaves includes betacarotene (precursor to Vitamin A), Vitamins C and E as well as numerous antioxidant compounds including quercetin, flavonoids, glucosinolates and isothiocyanates to name a few. There may be compounds not yet discovered and this information was not known in its early use. The concept of “the whole is better than the sum of its parts” which is also fundamental to naturopathic philosophy, may also help to explain the benefits of the unique, synergistic chemistry of this plant (or any other plant).
Some traditional medicinal uses for this plant include blood sugar regulation, heart health, liver health, brain health and inflammatory conditions, due to its therapeutic properties which include anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. Anti-microbial properties have also been demonstrated in studies.