Moringa Benefits, Medicinal Usage, Complete Ayurveda Details

Moringa or drumstick tree is used as part of diet in India since ages. Its use in treatment is seen in Ayurveda from the times of Sushruta. Many of its parts like drumstick leaves, fruit, oil etc have immense health benefits targeted towards many systems like digestive, heart and circulatory system.

Botanical name: Moringa oleifera
Family: Moringaceae
Hindi Name: Sahijan, Munaga
Tamil Name – Munagai
English name: Drumstick plant, Moringa, Horse radish tree
Kannada name: Nugge mara, Nugge kayi

Sanskrit Synonyms:
Shobhanjana – Very auspicious tree
Shigru – has strong, piercing qualities
Teekshnagandha – Strong and pungent odor
Aksheeva – relieves intoxication
Mochaka – helps to cure diseases

Drumstick leaves
Classical categorization:
Charaka Samhita –
Krimighna – group of herbs that are used to treat worm infestation.
Svedopaga – Ayurvedic plants that are used in Svedana (preparatory procedure for Panchakarma)
Shirovirechanopaga – group of herbs that are used in Nasya Panchakarma treatment
Katuka Skandha – group of herbs that have pungent taste.
Charaka has mentioned this as one of the herbs used in powder massage, useful in pruritis, acne and urticaria.(Reference: Charaka Samhita Sutrasthana 3rd chapter)
Charaka has also mentioned it as a plant source for oil – Sthavara Sneha Yoni  (Reference)

Sushruta and Vagbhata – Varunadi Group of herbs. (Hence it is an ingredient of a famous Ayurvedic medicine – Varanadi kashayam)

Moringa flowers

Medicinal Qualities of drumstick tree:
Rasa(taste) – Katu (Pungent), Tikta (bitter)
Guna(qualities) – Laghu (light to digest), Rooksha (dryness), Teekshna (strong, piercing)
Vipaka – katu (Moringa undergoes pungent taste conversion after digestion.)
Veerya – Ushna – hot potency.
Effect on Tridosha – Balances Kapha and Vata.

Moringa fruits

Parts used: Drumstick’s root bark, stem bark, leaves, fruits and seeds are used for therapeutic purposes. They have their own unique medicinal qualities.

All values are per 100 grams of edible portion. (Reference)

Fresh Leaves Dried Leaves
Arginine 406.6 mg 1,325 mg
Histidine 149.8 mg 613 mg
Isoleucine 299.6 mg 825 mg
Leucine 492.2 mg 1,950 mg
Lysine 342.4 mg 1,325 mg
Methionine 117.7 mg 350 mg
Phenylalinine 310.3 mg 1,388 mg
Threonine 117.7 mg 1,188 mg
Tryptophan 107 mg 425 mg
Valine 374.5 mg 1,063 mg


Vitamin & Minerals in Moringa:
All values are per 100 grams of edible portion.

Fresh Leaves Dried Leaves
Carotene (Vit. A)* 6.78 mg 18.9 mg
Thiamin (B1) 0.06 mg 2.64 mg
Riboflavin (B2) 0.05 mg 20.5 mg
Niacin (B3) 0.8 mg 8.2 mg
Vitamin C 220 mg 17.3 mg
Calcium 440 mg 2,003 mg
Calories 92 cal 205 cal
Carbohydrates 12.5 g 38.2 g
Copper 0.07 mg 0.57 mg
Fat 1.70 g 2.3 g
Fiber 0.90 g 19.2 g
Iron 0.85 mg 28.2 mg
Magnesium 42 mg 368 mg
Phosphorus 70 mg 204 mg
Potassium 259 mg 1,324 mg
Protein 6.70 g 27.1g
Zinc 0.16 mg 3.29 mg

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Moringa oleifera

Health benefits of Moringa:
There are three varieties of Moringa explained in Ayurvedic text books.
1. Shyama – black variety
2. Shveta – white variety and
3. Rakta – red variety. It is also called as Madhu shigru.

Drumstick health benefits

Black variety of drumstick tree is the most common. Its qualities are –
Katu – pungent,
Teekshna – piercing, sharp, strong
Ushna – hot in potency
Madhura – slightly sweetish
Laghu – light to digest
Deepana – improves digestion
Rochana – Improves taste,
Rooksha – dry
Kshara – Has alkaline properties
Tikta – Bitter
Vidaahakrit – causes burning sensation
Sangrahi – Useful to check diarrhoea
Shukrala – Improves semen quantity and sperm count
Hrudya – Good for heart. Cardiac tonic
Pittarakta prakopana: Increases Pitta and vitiates blood. Hence, drumstick should not be consumed during bleeding disorders, duriner menstruation and for people with pimples and Pitta related skin diseases.
Chakshushya – Improves vision, good for eyes.
Kaphavataghna – Decreases imbalanced Kapha and Vata
Vidradhi – Useful in abscess. It helps in quick wound healing of abscess, upon oral intake and external application as paste.
Shvayathu – It is a good anti inflammatory herb.
Krimi – useful in worm infestation in stomach and in wounds.
Meda – helpful to decrease fat and obesity.
Apachi – Useful in relieving carbuncles.
Visha – Anti toxic. Has detoxifying action.
Pleeha – Useful in spleen related diseases
Gulma – Useful in abdominal bloating and tumors
Ganda Vrana – Useful in lymphadenitis


White variety drumstick uses:
It is quite similar to the black variety.
Dahakrut – causes burning sensation
pleehaanaaM vidradhim hanti – useful in splenic abscess
VraNaghna – helps in quick wound healing
pittaraktakrut – Increases Pitta and vitiates blood.

The red variety, called as Madhushigru
Deepana – Increases digestion power.
Sara – promotes proper bowel movements.

Drumstick leaves and bark
The juice extract of drumstick leaves and bark are very useful in relieving pain. They act as natural analgesic. They are used both for oral intake and also for external application as paste.
In Indian household, the leaves are used to prepare Chutney or sambar.
The paste of moringa leaves are applied as paste externally to relieve pain and inflammation.
It is applied over pile mass to relieve pain and itching.
Moringa leaves are used internally to improve eye sight.

Drumstick seeds uses
Chakshushya – good for eyes
Vishanashana – anti toxic
Avrushya – do not have aphrodisiac qualities
Nasyena Shiro Artinut – When used for Nasya (in the form of powder or oil), it helps to relieve headache.
Moringa seeds are called as Shweta Maricha.

Moringa for headache:
As explained above, moringa leaves paste applied externally, or used as vegetable helps to relieve headache.
Its seed powder, in the form of nasya treatment cures headache.

Moringa for diabetes Many studies have been conducted to prove the anti diabetic and anti oxidant effect of Moringa.

Moringa flowers are useful in intestinal worms. It balances Pitta and kapha.

Oil prepared with Moringa is useful to relieve headache, pungent, useful in skin diseases and diabetes.

Moringa leaves for balanitis: Leaves are ground to make a paste. It is applied over the inflamed area.

Moringa in Ayurvedic medicines:
Because of its analgesic effects, Moringa is used as an ingredient in many Ayurvedic pain relief oils such as Murivenna, Kottamchukkadi Thailam,
Because of its anti inflammatory effects, it is an ingredient of Shothaghna Lepa – a paste application used to relieve swelling, pain and redness.
Because of its wound healing benefits, and usefulness in abscess etc, it is an ingredient in Aragwadhadi kashayam

Moringa Side Effects:
As explained above, it causes increase in burning sensation and is pungent. Hence,people with gastritis or sensitive stomach should use this vegetable carefully.
It is not ideal to be taken during periods, since it increases Pitta and vitiates blood.
It is also not ideal to be taken during bleeding disorders.

Drumstick during pregnancy and lactation:
Drumstick fruit is rich in protein, vitamins, minerals and anti oxidants. Hence it can be used during pregnancy. But Drumstick leaves, root bark and flowers are not indicated during pregnancy.

It is not ideal to take this soon after delivery. However, a couple of weeks after delivery, this can be used.

Dr JV Hebbar B.A.M.S, MD (Ayu), is an Ayurveda Doctor. Click here to consult Dr Hebbar
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  1. Very helpful. I am a midwife and noticed that one of my patients who took Moringa during delivery had a safe delivery of twins ith very little bleeding and no cramping after. Yet you say it’s not so good for pregnancy. Why is that?

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      Dear Tioma,
      it is observed that some of the chemical constituents of Moringa root bark and flowers can cause miscarriage. (Source – WebMD). Hence it is not advised as precaution.

  2. moringa flowers are boiled with milk as an aphrodisiac ?
    Can you please confirm and elaborate ?

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      There are many websites claiming aphrodisiac activity. So, it must be true.
      I am yet to come across Ayurvedic reference for this.

  3. Drumstick seeds powder is not good incase of ED, does the powder affects sex life?

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      Though they are told as Avrusha – anaphrodisiac, I do not think it will affect sexual life to a big noticeable extent.

      • Dr. I am married since year ago. Yet no signs of pregnancy may b due to low sperm count or infertility. Can drumsticks help me in eradicating such problems.

        • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

          Consult a gynaecologist along with your wife and undergo checkup to find the actual reason and then get treatment.

  4. Hello, Moringa has protein in it. How much is dry leaf in powder form moringa recomended per day. I am 33 year male on vegetarian diet with no health issue. I am trying to figure out in grams. Thank you Sir

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      Hi, moringa (drumstick) leaves are commonly used as a vegetable, as similar to any green leafy vegetables. If you want to put a number, I would say, you can use up to 20 grams per day in the form of Sabji, Sambar, chutney, gravy etc

  5. extremely useful

  6. Doctor Hebbar ..hoe are you ? I came across this post on whatsapp and since then trying to google it out ? Is this about same horse radish or sahijaan and is it really so effective in weightloss? And one more question case its true,where can we get horseradish in northindia .the post on whatsapp is as below .thx sir in advance !

    This Homemade Syrup Melts 1 cm of Stomach Fat a Day

    17 « PREVIOUS |
    This syrup is amazing for reducing your waist and elimination of the excess water from the body.

    Also, this combination of the ingredients improves eyesight, hearing and memory.

    It is particularly effective when taking it with cardio exercises and regular training.

    What ingredients you need:

    – 125g horseradish

    – 4 lemons

    – 2cm fresh ginger

    – 3 tablespoons of honey

    – 2 tablespoons of cinnamon

    How to prepare it:

    Put the horseradish and the ginger in a blender and after they blend well, add the lemon juice and mix for 3 minutes.

    After add the cinnamon and honey and mix till it gets syrup.

    Put the mixture in a glass jar and consume 1 teaspoon of it twice a day, before meals or training.

    Consume the syrup for three weeks and take a three weeks break afterwards.

    Why horseradish is health beneficial?

    Horseradish is a condiment that keeps you healthy, whether it’s combating the flu, respiratory disorders, tonsillitis or urinary tract infections. It treated many ailments over centuries and almost every part of the horseradish plant seems to have some medicinal value.

    Horseradish cleans the body, boosts the metabolism, reduces fatigue and stimulates the creation of good bacteria in the intestines.

    This plant has low calories and fat. It includes dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants. Horseradish has some of essential minerals like sodium, potassium, manganese, iron, copper, zinc, and magnesium. Horseradish has anti-inflammatory, diuretic and nerve soothing properties.

    It is rich in vitamin C, which helps improving the immune system and eliminating viral infections. Moreover, it removes harmful free-radicals from the body and protects it from cancer, inflammation, infections, etc.

    Why ginger is health beneficial?

    Ginger is rich in nutrients and bioactive compounds. It has powerful positive effects for your body and brain.

    Ginger’s ingredient, gingerol is responsible for much of its medicinal properties. It includes anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.

    This spice relieves nausea and vomiting after surgery and undergoing chemotherapy. It is most effective in relieving pregnancy-related nausea, like morning sickness.

  7. Dahyabhai M. Patel says:

    Very very useful information. Moringa is the best complete food and phytonutrient for ayurvedic use. Dahyabhai M. Patel, Secretary, Amla Growers Association of Gujarat. I am preparing detail power points on Moringa- Agrotechnologies and its Multiple Uses.

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