The National Institutes of Health (NIH) awarded a cancer-fighting food its “Botanical of the Year” designation! That’s saying something because NIH is not exactly a friend of alternative medicine or sound nutrition.
When the cancer establishment is on board for a plant treatment, it’s time to sit up and pay attention! Here’s the story. . .
It’s called Moringa oleifera, and according to the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center’s website, both in vitro and animal studies show that the leaf, seed, and root extracts of this plant contain anticancer benefits – and more.
In fact, Moringa shows every sign of being a potent superfood that provides a vast array of nutrients in one, neat package.
A long history of healing…
Although modern medical researchers are slowly discovering the powerful potential Moringa offers, natural healing traditions in Europe, Asia and Africa have known the value of the Moringa plant for centuries. For example:
- Ancient Romans, Greeks and Egyptians used Moringa oil for perfume and protective skin lotions.
- Indians use Moringa leaves to stabilize blood pressure, treat bronchitis and inflammation of mucus membranes and even to kill parasites.
- Medics in the Philippines often use the Moringa plant to treat anemia.
- West Africans use Moringa leaf juice to control blood sugar levels in diabetics.
But Moringa is not merely a healing potion in less medically advanced cultures…
Modern scientific studies now show this miracle tree provides nutrients that can fight deadly diseases.
Fights nutritional deficiency
In a study conducted in India, scientists fed 40 laboratory rats a vitamin-A-deficient diet for four weeks. Six rats died during the study.
The surviving animals were divided into three groups. Some continued on the vitamin-A-deficient diet, some received a vitamin A supplement, and the third group was fed Moringa, which is rich in not only vitamin A but many other nutrients. The results?
At the end of eight weeks, the animals that ate the dried Moringa leaves gained more body weight than all other groups. The Moringa leaves were successful in restoring healthy vitamin A levels in the animals.
Blocks growth of cancer
Cancer research on Moringa has been conducted in test tubes and in mice, but not in humans. A study published in the Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention in 2017 found an extract from Moringa leaves reduced cancer cell growth and promoted cell death in a number of different cancers.
Additional studies backed this up, for example:
- A 2015 review published in International Journal of Molecular Sciences reported on several studies that found Moringa had anti-cancer effects on pancreatic cancer cells, liver cancer cells, colon cancer cells and leukemia cells in a laboratory setting.
- A 2014 study published in the journal PLoS One looked at the effects of Moringa leaf extract on lung cancer cells in a laboratory setting and found moringa limited tumor growth and caused lung cancer cell death.
- A year earlier, in 2013, researchers published findings of a similar study in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. They found Moringa leaf extract caused oxidative stress and DNA damage that killed the lung cancer cells.
- A 2006 study published in the Journal of Experimental Therapeutics and Oncology reported that a molecule found in Moringa killed ovarian cancer cells in a laboratory study.
- In another study, some properties of the Moringa plant appeared to play a role in preventing the growth of cancer tumors in mice.
In general, studies have shown Moringa induces cancer cell apoptosis (or self-destruction), inhibits tumor cell growth, reduces cancer cell proliferation, and lowers the level of internal reactive oxygen species (ROS, or free radicals) that cause oxidative stress and DNA damage associated with cancer.
So, what’s the secret to Moringa’s healing power?
Moringa is packed with nutrition
It’s a sad fact that about 70 percent of Americans don’t eat the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables needed in a healthy diet. This means a lack of proper vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to protect your health. But Moringa may provide a simple solution to this bad habit. For starters, Moringa provides the nine essential amino acids your body needs to renew and rebuild itself.
What’s more, when you do a gram-by-gram comparison of some of Moringa’s top nutrients you’ll see that each serving of supplements made from this remarkable plant provides:
- 25 times more iron than spinach—to promote healthy blood throughout your body.
- 17 times more calcium than milk—to strengthen your bones throughout your life. This is good to know if you’ve stopped consuming milk products and you’re worried about your calcium levels.
- 15 times more potassium than bananas—to help your heart maintain its steady rhythm.
- Ten times more vitamin A than carrots—to help give you eagle-eye vision, and other benefits.
- Nine times more protein than yogurt—to help you build and maintain muscle mass.
It’s clear to see why Dr. Monica G. Marcu, Pharm. D., Ph.D., called the Moringa tree a virtual “vitamin factory” in her book Miracle Tree. Dr. Marcu said making Moringa part of your diet can help disease-proof your body with powerful anti-aging and anti-inflammatory substances. It also can help prevent your blood sugar from spiraling out of control — and even reduce blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
The healthy way to wipe out free-radicals!
Moringa oleifera provides 36 natural anti-inflammatory agents and 46 antioxidants that will help protect your cells from free-radical damage, including:
- Beta-sitosterol, which blocks cholesterol formation and/or build-up
- Caffeoylquinic acid, which is a powerful anti-inflammatory compound that also may assist in lowering blood pressure
- Kaempferol, which promotes healthy cellular function
- Quercetin, which is a flavonoid known for its ability to neutralize free radicals and relieve inflammation
- Zeatin, which is a plant hormone with powerful skin anti-aging properties
There seem to be no safety issues when it comes to consuming Moringa leaves, and the plant is being promoted as a cash crop in some Latin American countries.
Leaves and seeds are widely marketed on the Internet as a nutrient-rich, exotic “super food” for humans. It just might be a powerful food to keep your body cancer free for years to come.
- Bioavailability trials of beta-carotene from fresh and dehydrated drumstick leaves (Moringa Oleifera) in a rat model. Nambiar, V.S. and Seshadri, S. PMID 12841398. PubMed
- Bharali R, Tabassum J, Azad M R H. Chemomodulatory effect of Moringa oleifera, Lam, on hepatic carcinogen metabolizing enzymes, antioxidant parameters and skin papillomagenesis in mice. Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention 2003;4:p.131-139.
- Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. 2013. Moringa oleifera fact sheet. Available at http://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/herb/moringa-oleifera
- Njoku O U, Adikwu M U. Investigation on some physico-chemical antioxidant and toxicological properties of Moringa oleifera seed oil. Acta Pharmaceutica Zagreb. 1997;47(4): p.87-290.
- Kumar N A, Pari I. Antioxidant action of Moringa oleifera Lam (drumstick) against antitubercular drug induced lipid peroxidation in rats. J Medicinal Foods. 2003;6(3):p.255-259.
- Siddhuraju P, Becker K. Antioxidant properties of various solvent extracts of total phenolic constituents from three different agroclimatic origins of drumstick tree (Moringa oleifera Lam.) leaves. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 2003;51:p.2144-2155.