For months, the moringa leaf has been creeping up on me.
I had heard the “superfood” claims about it. (Taken from a plant that is native to parts of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, moringa leaf is loaded with Vitamin A, Vitamin E, calcium and magnesium, among other good things.)
I’d seen the endless claims on health blogs. (“Fifteen times the calcium of milk! Twelve times the iron of spinach!”)
And I’d seen it staring back at me on shelves at GNC, Target and Trader Joe’s. And Vitamin Shoppe. And Wal-Mart. And Walgreens.
Basically, it’s everywhere, in multiple configurations.
You can take the capsules every morning with your other supplements. You can add the powder to tea, smoothies, juice, yogurt and more. You can even put it on your face. The organic moringa seed oil from Natural Bliss, ($8 for one ounce on Etsy), delivers all those antioxidants to your skin and hydrates it, too.
I finally bought a 5-ounce bag at Home Goods over the weekend. The name: Vitae Moringa Leaf Powder. The cost: $5.99. The claims on the package: “Immune boost, supports body cleansing, rich source of vitamins and antioxidants.”
My initial attempt to stir it into my morning cranberry juice wasn’t too successful. (It didn’t dissolve easily, but I slurped it all down, anyway. Tomorrow, I’ll try putting it into some hot tea.)
What can I expect after a week or so?
As with most herbs, results — if there are any — will vary and your doctor will likely dismiss them, anyway.
WebMD notes that moringa is used to treat everything from asthma to kidney stones. A popular treatment for anemia, diabetes, high blood pressure and inflammation, it’s also marketed as an aphrodisiac.
“Early evidence suggests that taking 250 mg of a specific moringa supplement (Natalac) twice daily after childbirth increases breast milk production,” the WebMD site notes.
But, as with most “natural” remedies, WebMD warns, “more evidence is need to rate moringa for these uses.”
There is no getting around the numbers, though. A single serving (2 teaspoons) of Vitae moringa leaf powder contains five grams of dietary fiber — with a daily value (DV) of 20 percent. It also has high DVs for Vitamin A (37.5 percent), Vitamin E (38.8 percent), calcium (16.3 percent) and magnesium (13.8 percent).
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Numbers will vary, depending on the formulation, but there is a reason the moringa oleifera is called “the miracle tree” in Asia. One raw leaf contains 51.7 mg of Vitamin C and 1.200 mg of Vitamin B6.
The tree’s seed pods are also edible, are high in nutrients and are used to fight malnutrition in India and Pakistan and, more recently, in Haiti. Cultivation of the plant began in Hawaii in 2010.


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