Moringa oleifera is a tree that is sometimes referred to as the Tree of Life or a Miracle Tree, but rather than referring to its potential medicinal use, this is actually in reference to how it is a very valuable food crop (it is drought resistant, grows extremely quickly, and is highly nutritive). Even beyond food, it serves many benefits in third world countries such as having the ability to be used for some crafts (because it is a tree) and cleaning water.
Moringa oleifera is primarily advised as a highly nourishing antioxidant for use as a supplement. It is a fairly potent antioxidant, and while it seems to be less potent than other herbs when tested outside of a living system, it does appear to be quite potent when tested in living models. While it is indeed nutritive, supplemental dosages are too low to obtain adequate nutrition from and this claim is irrelevant. Since the bioactives’ structures are similar, it may be able to cause cellular transcriptional changes resembling those of sulforaphane, but the reason for the supplement’s increased potency in living models is unknown. However, the antioxidant properties of this substance appear to be the primary cause of the vast majority of its positive effects.
Additionally, there are anti-inflammatory benefits that, despite being less researched, appear to be highly potent. Future study should be done on RBITC, one of the bioactives, which has been shown to be effective at suppressing macrophage activation at nanomolar concentrations. Additionally, preliminary human testing has revealed what appears to be a pleasant anti-diabetic effect. This research revealed that moringa oleifera may enhance pancreatic health and, as a result, lower blood sugar levels.
It is difficult to recommend this supplement over other supplements, despite the fact that both the antioxidant and antiinflammatory characteristics are fairly intriguing, until the precise mechanisms and relative efficacy to some other antioxidants or antiinflammatories are examined.
Although the plant is often regarded as “nontoxic,” it should be noted that this does not always seem to be the case. While the additional doses given below seem safe from all tested toxicity, a very minor increase (three to four times the recommended dose) is known to induce genotoxic harm and may encourage the development of cancer, whilst greater doses cause obvious organ damage (mostly liver and kidneys). While the toxicity of the leaves appears to be less of a concern, this effect is observed with the seeds. Furthermore, supplementing is contraindicated (not recommended) in pregnant women because it appears that normal supplement amounts can cause abortions in pregnant rats.