Moringa oleifera may have been unfamiliar to some Americans until recently, but it's actually been used as a traditional herbal medicine for centuries. In fact, it's been mentioned in the Annals of Ayurvedic Medicine, one of the world's oldest medical systems, as a cure for over 300 diseases.1
One of the ways to harness the benefits of Moringa is by steeping its leaves in hot water to create an energizing tea that provides a wide array of nutrients. Continue reading this article to learn more about the benefits of Moringa tea, its nutritional profile and the ways you can make it at home.
What Is Moringa Tea?
Moringa tea comes from the leaves of Moringa oleifera, a tree that's native to the sub-Himalayan regions of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, but is now commonly grown in various tropical and subtropical areas around the world.2
Also known as "horseradish tree" and "drumstick tree," Moringa has been dubbed as a "miracle tree" because of its potential medicinal properties. It also earned the superfood status, thanks to its extensive nutritional content, which you may still obtain even after brewing its leaves into tea. Some of these nutrients include:3
Flavonoids (such as quercetin and kaempferol)
To make Moringa tea, the freshly harvested leaves are dried at room temperature to retain their valuable nutrients before they're crushed, powdered or shredded into loose pieces.4 These loose Moringa leaves may be steeped as is or placed into tea bags. In terms of flavor, pure Moringa leaf tea is said to have a slightly "green" or earthy taste, though it lacks the bitterness of kale or spiciness of arugula.5,6
Here Are the Many Health Benefits of Moringa Tea
The health benefits of Moringa oleifera tea are attributed to its rich nutritional profile. A lot of these benefits are not just backed by traditional beliefs, but also are supported by scientific research. To get a better idea of what Moringa tea is good for, check out some of its potential health benefits below:
Helps fight against free radicals — Moringa is an excellent source of antioxidants,7 including vitamin C, beta-carotene, quercetin8 and chlorogenic acid — all of which may help fight the oxidative damage caused by free radicals.9
Helps regulate your blood sugar levels — Studies show that eating 50 grams of Moringa leaves may help lower blood sugar levels of diabetics by up to 21 percent.12
Helps reduce inflammation — The flavonoids, phenolic acids and isothiocyanates that you can get from Moringa tea are found to be helpful in alleviating inflammation, which can be a precursor to chronic diseases.13
Helps reduce the effects of arsenic toxicity — According to animal studies, the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of Moringa may help prevent the health risks caused by long-term exposure to arsenic, a powerful carcinogen that can be obtained from contaminated water and foods.14,15
Helps maintain a healthy cardiovascular system — According to MindBodyGreen, Moringa powder may help improve your cardiovascular health, as it assists in curbing plaque formation in the arteries, reducing cholesterol levels and regulating blood lipids.16,17
Moringa Tea's Caffeine Content
One of the known benefits of Moringa tea is its ability to give you a natural boost of energy, just like coffee. But unlike coffee, Moringa tea does not contain any caffeine. It owes its energy-boosting effects to its combination of nutrients, particularly its coenzymes. One of these is NADH, which comes from niacin from B vitamins and is involved in the cells' energy production.
NADH helps improves brain, heart and muscle function. It has cognitive benefits as well as components that help improve your senses and concentration.21 If you're sensitive to caffeine, you'll be pleased to know that you can enjoy Moringa tea without putting yourself at risk of caffeine-related side effects, such as insomnia, jitteriness and anxiety.
How to Make Moringa Tea From Scratch
Moringa teas are available in groceries, but you can also make one on your own if you already have access to a Moringa tree. The process is fairly simple, although harvesting the leaves from the stem can be time-consuming.
When making tea, you may either steep the fresh Moringa leaves in hot water or dry them up so you can use them for later when you're recreating different Moringa tea recipes. If you prefer the latter, follow these steps from Wonder How To:22
- Gather three to four stalks of Moringa. Choose the stalks with mature leaves, as they tend to dry up faster.
- Air-dry the leaves (including the stalks) at room temperature for a day or until the leaves are crisp. Air-drying allows the leaves to fall out, making it easier for you to separate the stalks later. You may also include the stalk in your tea for additional fiber.
- Grind the air-dried leaves for 10 to 15 seconds using a blender.
- Place the ground Moringa leaves in tea bags before steeping them in hot water. You may also steep the loose leaves as is.
Give This Soothing Moringa Tea Recipe a Try
Now that you know how to make your own Moringa tea at home, you should try out this health-giving and comforting recipe from Fitlife:23
Moringa Tea With Turmeric Recipe
- Combine the water, ginger and turmeric in a pot. Bring to a boil and allow the mixture to simmer for one hour.
- Add in the Moringa leaves, and then simmer for 15 minutes.
- Drain the tea through a strainer, leaving only the liquid.
- Squeeze fresh lemon in the tea and add honey to taste.
How to Store Your Moringa Tea Properly
To prolong the shelf life of Moringa tea, make sure that you store the tea bags in a cool, dry place. Be careful not to leave them open in moist places. If you have loose Moringa tea leaves, store them in an airtight glass container.24
Side Effects Associated With Moringa Tea
While Moringa oleifera tea is generally considered safe for consumption, it may still cause rare side effects, especially if consumed in excessive quantities. According to Organic Facts, some of these effects include:25
Studies also suggest that Moringa may have antifertility and abortifacient properties. Pregnant women should consult a physician before drinking Moringa tea, even though it's believed to help increase breastmilk production.26
Make Sure That Your Moringa Tea Is Really Organic
Many Moringa products today claim to be organic, but lab tests show that some actually contain pesticides and heavy metals,27 which may compromise your health if ingested. To avoid these health risks, double check the source of your Moringa tea. Make sure that you only buy from trusted organic brands or, better yet, make your own Moringa tea using homegrown ingredients.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Moringa Tea
Q: How much Moringa tea can I take in a day?
A: There is currently no set recommendation regarding how much Moringa tea is OK to take per day.
Q: Is Moringa tea good for you?
A: Yes, Moringa tea is great for your overall health. It contains vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals that work together to help lower your blood sugar levels, reduce inflammation, maintain healthy cholesterol levels, fight free radicals and prevent the effects of arsenic toxicity.
Q: Where can you buy Moringa tea?
A: You can buy Moringa tea from groceries or health food stores. Make sure that you only buy products from trustworthy organic brands.
Source: mercola rss