Malunggay or Moringa oleifera is a drought-resistant tree endemic to northwestern India, Pakistan, and Nepal. The tree, also commonly known as horseradish tree, moringa, ben oil tree, and drumstick tree, is widely cultivated in subtropical and tropical areas.
The leaves of this heat-and-sun-loving plant are usually consumed as a vegetable. Throughout history, people have been referencing to the culinary and medicinal applications of the leaves.
In the East and some African countries, malunggay leaves tea has been consumed to solve a number of health issues.
The powerful health benefits are mostly attributed to its high content of nutrients, including vitamin C, A, E, B6, dietary fiber, calcium, potassium, protein, thiamin, iron, phosphorous, lipoprotein, riboflavin, and beta-carotene.
The plant also contains organic chemical components of healthy oils and enzymes. This composition makes the plant a powerful herbal solution to treat a large number of ailments, especially when drunk as tea.
1. Lowers Blood Sugar Level
One of the most powerful benefits of malunggay leaves tea is its effectiveness to treat diabetes. This is achieved by normalizing the level of glucose and lipids, while simultaneously regulating oxidative stress in people with diabetes.
A research study demonstrated the capability of the leaves in aiding the treatment of diabetes by increasing the magnitude of IGT (impaired glucose tolerance) from 4.1% to 8.1%, nearly double the original number.
The research participants were instructed to drink malunggay tea after breakfast. The tea was made by brewing a cup of water with a tablespoon of malunggay leaves for five minutes.
The blood sugar measurement was taken after the breakfast, before the tea. Two hours after the tea, a blood sugar measurement was done again.
Unsurprisingly, the blood sugar level decreased significantly. This is proof that just like what people in the East have believed for a long time, malunggay leaves tea is a powerful herbal medicine that has a strong positive influence in lowering the level of blood sugar.
2. Fights Malnutrition
Malunggay leaves contain a high amount of nutrients that are popular to extract and use as a nutritional supplement.
Traditionally in developing nations, the leaves are usually taken by nursing mothers with difficulties to access over-the-counter nursing supplements.
Brewing the leaves as tea is one of the best ways to receive the benefits of the nutrients. The tea will feed the mothers and, in turn, provide the infants with the important nutrients they need.
It is not without reason that people choose malunggay leaves as the power food to combat malnutrition.
The green leaves of the plant contain twice the amount of protein than milk and three times the amount of potassium than bananas, in a similar serving amount. In addition, the leaves are also high in vitamins and calcium.
A serving of malunggay leaves has seven times more vitamin C than oranges have. The high calcium content adds to the perfection of the leaves being the tea of choice for nursing mothers.
3. Fights Infection, Bacteria, and Fungi
Malunggay leaves contain a lot of important vitamins, minerals, and other important nutrients needed by the body. A specific component in malunggay leaves, named isothiocyanate compounds, have been discovered by scientists.
These compounds are reported to exhibit anti-disease and antibacterial properties. Another substance, called pterygospermin, that displays anti-microbial characteristics has also been discovered in the leaves.
The herbal alternative is especially interesting for those who don’t wish to consume chemically-processed antibiotic medicines because of the potential long-term effects.
Malunggay leaves contain ptetygospermin, which is also present in some other species of the moringa genus.
Because of these compounds, many people use the leaves to treat wounds. Applying fresh malunggay leaves or malunggay leaves’ extract topically on a wound will prevent infection and keep the wound hygienic.
The leaves will also speed up the healing process. Alternatively, boiling the leaves with water and washing wounds with the tea can also help prevent infection and accelerate healing.
4. Fights Disease
Disease is one of the most dangerous killers that cause a high number of deaths every year around the world. While there are currently several methods to treat disease, the best remedy is yet to be discovered.
One thing we know for sure is that prevention is always better than a cure. The most effective way to fight disease is by preventing diseased cells from growing in the body.
Antioxidants are natural substances in fruits and vegetables that are essential for the prevention of disease. Malunggay leaves have a lot of them, making the vegetables one of the most effective vegetables to keep disease away.
There are multiple antioxidants that we can find in malunggay leaves tea, including flavonoids, beta-carotene, quercetin, chlorogenic acid, and vitamin C. These antioxidants are very helpful to prevent the growth of disease cells.
Besides that, the amazing plant also has several compounds that can be categorized as hypotensive and anti-disease substances, such as benzyl isothiocyanate, which can inhibit and eradicate disease cells in the body.
Traditionally, the leaves are known to be a natural cure for tumors, prostate disease, skin disease, and breast disease.
5. Fights Inflammation
The substances in the leaves, including benzyl isothiocyanate, are helpful to decrease the production of inflammatory markers in gene expression.
Drinking malunggay tea doesn’t only help with acute inflammation, such as bruises, cut wounds, or swollen parts of the body.
It also helps by protecting the body against chronic inflammation that can lead to diseases such as respiratory problems, cardiovascular diseases, obesity, and arthritis.
6. Is Good for Reproductive Health
It probably sounds strange that there are leaves that can be very helpful for sexual and reproductive health, but malunggay leaves do have this beneficial function. The leaves contain aphrodisiac properties that can improve libido and stimulate sex drive.
If you or your partner have problems with a lack of libido, this is the perfect tea to take for a happier sex life. Besides as a stimulant, people have also been consuming the vegetables to enhance their performances in bed.
Malunggay leaves are not only beneficial for sexual purposes, but also for reproductive health. Consuming the leaves regularly in a prolonged period of time is a good way to increase sperm count and thus improve male fertility.
Couples who are trying for babies should include drinking malunggay tea as a part of their routines.
7. Improves Production of Milk
Since malunggay leaves also have aphrodisiac nature to stimulate sexual expressions, it also aids in the production of milk in nursing mothers.
Because of this, consuming the tea of young malunggay leaves is recommended for mothers to increase the flow of milk and prevent the babies from being malnourished.
8. Boosts Immune System
It is widely acknowledged that malunggay leaves tea has the capability to strengthen human’s immune system. This is because the leaves are rich in a lot of important nutrients, including vitamin C and other antioxidants.
The antibacterial character of the leaves also means that it’s a good preventive herbal treatment to fight contagious diseases.
It’s even believed that drinking malunggay leaves tea can boost our body’s immune system ten times better than the effects of common supplements that are available in the market.
9. Strengthens Eye Muscles
Malunggay leaves are also commonly found as an herbal remedy for eye problems. Eye weakness, due to the lack of micronutrients, can be treated by drinking malunggay juice or tea regularly.
The vitamins and mineral content will give our eyes what they need to function properly.
Meanwhile, the leaves are also rich in vitamin E, which can help strengthen weakened muscles, including the muscles that operate our eyes.
10. Promotes Good Night Sleep
Sleep problems occur because of a number of reasons, including anxiety and stress. Malunggay leaves can help us relax. Boiling the leaves with water and drinking it as tea will lift our moods and prevent nervousness and anxiety.
The soothing effect will lead us to a good night of sleep. The anti-spasmodic properties will also get rid of anxiety problems during sleeping time. People who drink malunggay leaves tea before sleep even report a clearer and fresher brain in the morning.
11. Treats Common Cold
Besides keeping our body healthy by boosting our immune system and serving as an antibacterial and antifungal element, malunggay tea can also help with common diseases such as cold and fever. Both the roots and leaves reportedly have this function.
This is because malunggay leaves have a higher number of vitamin C compared to other fruits and vegetables, so it speeds up healing and boosts our body’s natural protection against diseases.
12. Cures Headache
Malunggay leaves tea is also known to alleviate moderate to severe headaches. A headache happens because of a lot of reasons. Stress and anxiety can be some of the triggers.
The relaxing nature of malunggay leaves naturally soothes an aching head. Besides that, it also has anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties to fight headaches that come as a symptom of the common flu.
13. Stimulates Metabolism
If you are trying to lose some pounds and get into shape, malunggay leaves tea should be a regular drink after your meals.
The tea isn’t only good to drink because of its richness in nutrients, but also because it can help to jump-start your metabolism. The key to a successful diet is a healthy metabolism.
Consuming malunggay leaves tea as a part of your diet regularly will make you burn your fat quickly.
In addition, non-sugared malunggay leaves tea contains a very low amount of fat and calories, making it safe for you to consume the plant until you feel full. And since the leaves have high fiber content, your hunger will be suppressed longer.
When you combine the healthy beverage with regular exercise, your goal to lose some weight will happen in no time.
14. Aids Digestion
Aside from helping you with your weight loss program by speeding up your metabolism, malunggay leaves tea also helps you to digest food better.
Malunggay leaves contain a high amount of dietary fiber, so they aid your digestion and help you to be more regular with your bowel movements, making it one of the best herbal remedies for people who constantly suffer from constipation.
15. Protects the Liver
The liver is an important organ that is responsible for a number of vital functions, such as processing nutrients, metabolizing fructose, producing bile, and detoxifying the blood. It can only do these functions properly by working with liver enzymes.
Drinking malunggay leaves tea can help restore the liver enzymes to their normal levels. Moringa also increases the protein content in the liver, reduces oxidative stress, and minimizes damage because of the high polyphenol concentration it contains.