Moringa Benefits, Medicinal Usage, Complete Ayurveda Details

Moringa or drumstick tree is used as a 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

Vernacular names

Hindi Name: Sahijan, Munaga
Tamil Name – Murungai
English name: Drumstick plant, Moringa, Horse radish tree
Kannada name: Nugge mara, Nugge kayi

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 LeavesDried Leaves
Arginine406.6 mg1,325 mg
Histidine149.8 mg613 mg
Isoleucine299.6 mg825 mg
Leucine492.2 mg1,950 mg
Lysine342.4 mg1,325 mg
Methionine117.7 mg350 mg
Phenylalinine310.3 mg1,388 mg
Threonine117.7 mg1,188 mg
Tryptophan107 mg425 mg
Valine374.5 mg1,063 mg

Vitamins and Minerals

All values are per 100 grams of edible portion.

 Fresh LeavesDried Leaves
Carotene (Vit. A)*6.78 mg18.9 mg
Thiamin (B1)0.06 mg2.64 mg
Riboflavin (B2)0.05 mg20.5 mg
Niacin (B3)0.8 mg8.2 mg
Vitamin C220 mg17.3 mg
Calcium440 mg2,003 mg
Calories92 cal205 cal
Carbohydrates12.5 g38.2 g
Copper0.07 mg0.57 mg
Fat1.70 g2.3 g
Fiber0.90 g19.2 g
Iron0.85 mg28.2 mg
Magnesium42 mg368 mg
Phosphorus70 mg204 mg
Potassium259 mg1,324 mg
Protein6.70 g27.1 g
Zinc0.16 mg3.29 mg
Moringa oleifera

Home remedies

By Dr MS Krishnamurthy MD (Ayu), PhD.

Hypertension

1. Drum stick pod decoction for Hypertension, improper fat metabolism, lethargy, sexual debility:
Daily, 1 drumstick is taken and it is cut into pieces and decoction is made. According to ones need and acceptance slight salt may be added. This is taken once daily, preferably during evening, before food.
This has good benefit in hypertension, hyper cholesterol, improper fat metabolism, lethargy, sexual debility etc

Decoction of any herb is prepared by adding a tablespoon of herb with 2 cups of water, boiling and reducing to half a cup. Filtered and consumed when it is hot. It is also called herbal tea.

Conjunctivitis, swollen eyes

2. Leaf juice in conjunctivitis and swelling of the eyes:
A fistful of leaves is taken and its juice is obtained. This is instilled to both the eyes in the dose of 2 drops.
In cases of swelling around the eyes, this juice is applied around the eyes (paste can also be used for this purpose)

Dysmenorrhea

3. Leaf decoction in dysmenorrhoea, back ache and pimples:
It balances Vata and Kapha Dosha. Leaf decoction of drum stick in the dose of 50-60 ml twice daily is helpful to overcome the back ache and dysmenorrhoea.
Being a blood purifier it pacifies the pimples and black heads.

Anorexia

4. Flower curry or powder in Abdominal distention and tastelessness:
A fistful of moringa flowers are collected and cooked well with salt and black pepper (or garlic and ginger powder /paste).
This is served during the lunch as a side dish. This has a very good effect in subsiding gaseous distension of abdomen and anorexia.

Dried flower is fried with little ghee and sprinkled with little pepper powder and salt. Or it can be made into fine powder and can be kept ready to serve during food. This has good benefit in cases like morning sickness caused during pregnancy and in any other tastelessness conditions.

Face pack, soup

5. Leaf paste with lemon juice face pack:
Leaf paste or juice with lemon juice can be mixed and applied over face. This is useful to overcome black heads and acne.

6. Drum stick Pod soup:
The soup prepared from drumstick pods is very much useful in treating the diseases of liver, spleen, pancreas etc. This is an aphrodisiac also. It strengthens the bones and joints too.

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 Madhu shigru.

Sanskrit verse

Drumstick health benefits

Drumstick – Black variety

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, during 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

Shigru

Drumstick – white variety

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 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, also for the treatment of Ulcerative colitis.

Properties as per Bhojana Kutuhalam

According to Bhojana Kutuhalam twelfth chapter, The leaves of shigru when used as a vegetable imparts taste, relieves vata and kapha related disorders. It is pungent in taste, hot in potency, stimulates the digestive fire, wholesome for the body, checks intestinal worms and promotes digestion.

The fruit of white shigru is cold in potency, Is aphrodisiac, slimy in nature, aggravates kapha and is heavy for digestion. It stimulates the digestive fire, alleviates vata and pitta, imparts complexion and treats hemorrhoids and prameha.

The fruits of Red shigru is pungent and sweet in taste, It is unctuous, penetrating in nature, cold and heavy for digestion. It improves clarity of vision, increases production of breast milk, aphrodisiac, nourishing and cleanses the bladder. It treats disorders of medha, gulma, abdominal disorder, dyspnoea, impairment of voice, worm infestation and edema.

The root alleviates vatadi doshas, promotes strength, is hot in potency and stimulates the digestive fire.

The flowers of shigru is heavy for digestion, cold in potency, alleviates pitta and kapha dosha and treats intestinal worms, improves clarity of vision, increases the quantity of semen, imparts taste, It nourishes the body, stimulates the digestive fire and loosens the stools.

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 Shweta Maricha.

Moringa for headache

As explained above, moringa leaf 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

It is useful in intestinal worms. It balances Pitta and kapha.

Moringa oil

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 powder

How to consume Moringa powder? What is the best way?
Moringa leaf powder can be readily consumed. In a research, 100 grams of powder was administered over one week. That is about 15 grams per day. (1). It was for the purpose of testing of iron status of Senegalese lactating women.
However, for a healthy person, Moringa can be consumed in a dose of 3 – 5 grams, once or two times a day, before food.
It can be administered along with water or sesame oil, for Vata balance, along with ghee for Pitta balance and with honey, for Kapha balance.

Moringa powder can also be consumed in the form of decoction. To prepare its water decoction, 1 tablespoon of powder is added to two cups of water, boiled till the water reduces to half a cup and consumed. Here, the dose is half a cup per day. Read rules to prepare Kashayam

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.

Interaction with medicines, supplements

Can this be used while taking Homeopathic medicine?
Yes. This product does not react with homeopathic medicine.

Can this medicine be continued while taking supplements like multivitamin tablets, Omega 3 fatty acids etc?
Yes. Generally, this product goes well with most of the dietary supplements. However, if you are taking more than one product per day, please consult your doctor for an opinion.

With western medicines
Seek your doctor’s advice if you are taking this product along with other western (allopathic / modern) medicines. Some Ayurvedic herbs can interact with modern medicine.
If both Ayurvedic and allopathic medicines are advised together, then it is best to take Allopathic medicine first, wait for 30 minutes and then take the Ayurvedic medicine.

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.

Drumstick to increase sperm count

Drumstick fruit is known to improve sperm count and quality.
Drumstick (Moringa) leaf powder was evaluated on male reproductive system of Swiss albino mice Mus musculus. The sperm count, its mobility and mortality, histology of testis and epididymis of normal and hyperglycaemic male Swiss albino mice have been investigated and attempt has been made to evaluate the efficacy of Moringa leaf powder in repair mechanism in case of hyperglycaemia. In treated mice (Group III), the sperm count significantly increased, sperm mobility also increased but sperm mortality decreased significantly. There was a slight decrease in weight of testis (0.478±0.008gm to 0.33±0.006 gram) respectively when compared to control mice group. (research)

Moringa seeds for colitis

An experimental study conducted on rats concluded that MSHE (Moringa oleifera seeds hydro-alcoholic extract) and MCF (chloroform fraction ) were both effective to treat experimental colitis and this might be attributed to their similar major components, biophenols and flavonoids. Since the efficacy was evident even in low doses of MSHE, presence of active constituents with high potency in seeds is persuasive. (Source).

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, raw

Taste – pungent, bitter
Properties – light, dry, sharp, piercing
Potency – hot
After digestion taste transformation ( Vipaka ) – pungent
Effect on Doshas
Vata balancing
Pitta increasing
Kapha balancing (paste is useful in treating balanitis)

Drumstick leaves, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt

Taste – pungent, bitter
Properties – light, dry, sharp, piercing
Potency – hot
After digestion taste transformation ( Vipaka ) – pungent
Effect on Doshas
Vata balancing
Pitta increasing
Kapha balancing

Drumstick pods, raw

Rasa – sweet, bitter
Guna – light (moderate calorie), unctuous
Veerya – cold
Vipaka – sweet
Effect on Doshas
Vata balancing
Pitta balancing (good for hair, skin, blood detoxifier)
Kapha increasing (Shukrakara)

Drumstick pods, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt

Rasa – sweet, bitter
Guna – light (cooked), unctuous
Veerya – cold
Vipaka – sweet
Effect on Doshas
Vata balancing
Pitta balancing (good for hair, skin, blood detoxifier)
Kapha nourishing (cooking makes it less heavier and less Kaphakara)

62 thoughts on “Moringa Benefits, Medicinal Usage, Complete Ayurveda Details”

  1. 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.

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

      Reply
  2. 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

    Reply
    • 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

      Reply
  3. 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.

    Reply
  4. is Shigru is same thing as Moringa?. If so does Moringa have iodine in it and is high in C also?.
    And how much in podwer form do you suggest is ideal for to take?
    It’s sold in podwer in western countries.

    Reply
      • Dear Madam, The leaves of the plant have known to increase healing of gastric ulcers.
        Regarding the effect on Tridosha –It balances Kapha and Vata

        Reply
        • It will not increase pitta?. Does moringa heating qualities if does it not heating things makes ulcer and inflammation etc worse as chronic Gastrist is inflammation of the stomach lining ?.
          Isn’t chronic Gastrist or ulcer are due to pitta?.

          Reply
          • Dear madam, Here is the study that has been done on Moringa leaves. The effect of different extracts of leaves and fruits of Moringa oleifera. Lam. (Moringaceae) on gastric and duodenal ulcers was evaluated by using different gastric ulcer models and cysteamine-induced duodenal ulcer method. The leaf extracts (500 mg/kg, p.o.) of Moringa oleifera. showed gastric ulcer healing effect in acetic acid–induced chronic gastric ulcers. The acetone extract and methanol extract of the leaves produced gastric antisecretory effect in pylorus-ligated rats and showed gastric cytoprotective effect in ethanol-induced and indomethacin-induced gastric ulcers. The leaf extracts also produced a significant reduction of stress-induced gastric ulcers and cysteamine-induced duodenal ulcers. None of the extracts of the fruits showed any significant antiulcer effect. It was concluded that leaves of Moringa oleifera. increase healing of gastric ulcers and also prevent the development of experimentally induced gastric ulcers and duodenal ulcers.

            Chronic gastritis or Amla pitta as said in ayurveda, Patients are prone to this if you have a pitta type constitution. Now a days A bacterial infection, helicobacter pylori, is believed to be a major cause of gastritis. When addressing gastritis, many researchers now look for substances that eradicate H. Pylori.

            Reply
      • Dear Madam, One of the possible trigger of Hashimoto thyroiditis is Iodine nutritional deficiencies so consumption of Shigru is recommended and in lesser amount.

        Reply
        • How much is recommended for Hashimoto as mentioned in small amount how much would be small amount . I can also get capsule form and podwer form.
          It’s Hypothyriod with Hashimoto as I have antibodies

          Reply
          • Dear Madam, Would suggest you to take a advise from a learned Ayurvedic Physician for this as He/she might tell you the exact dosage seeing at your reports . As we are genetically different with different constitutions and patterns, we respond to treatments in many different ways so I would advise to consult a Ayurvedic Physician before taking any medication.

            Reply
  5. hi dr. hebbar just want to clarify more which part of moringa plant is more effective to induce menstraution is it the root bark or stem bark? Because i read some article and says the root bark maybe dangerous and fatal if taken more than enough. So what should be the dosage if i want to boil root bark and drink?

    Reply
  6. An experimental study conducted on rats concluded that MSHE (Moringa oleifera seeds hydro-alcoholic extract) and MCF (chloroform fraction ) were both effective to treat experimental colitis and this might be attributed to their similar major components, biophenols and flavonoids. Since the efficacy was evident even in low doses of MSHE, presence of active constituents with high potency in seeds is persuasive. Source – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4103706/

    So, using its seeds regularly in diet is useful in colitis, even ulcerative colitis. Dose – 5 – 10 seeds per day.

    Reply
  7. dear dr i am56 yrs old female have slurred speech for last three years drs dont know why can you please tell me if moringa will help me if so how to take it and what part

    Reply
  8. Cooking does not reduce nutrients. Hence, soup, rasam, etc are fine.
    if only moringa is not available, only then one can go for dry powder or capsules.

    Reply
  9. Hi Dr. Thanks for the valuable information. Couple of questions:
    For hypothyroidism, is it ok to consume the leaves daily?

    In your article, the dry leaves indicates higher nutritional content. How much of dry leaves powder do I need to take for hypothyroidism?

    Thanks so much.
    SK

    Reply
  10. Murunga according to ayurveda is drying but it is good for vata. I have read that drying stuff is not good for vata. So is drumstick recommended for vata people.

    Reply
    • It can be used even in Vata people along with sesame oil or ghee. These two would nullify the drying effect of Moringa.

      Reply
  11. Moringa leaf is commonly being used to promote lactation. Is this safe? Would consuming this create a detoxification effect of toxins or heavy metals into breastmilk?

    Reply
  12. how much fresh moringa leaves should i take regularly? and which is the best way of taking moringa leaves? thnanks.

    Reply
    • Dry powder – 5 grams per day.
      Fresh leaves – 20 grams can be used in preparing Rasam, Sambhar, Chutney etc.

      Reply
  13. I am having a glass of moringa water drink every day in the morning in empty stomach for weight loss.

    How much moringa leaves should be used to make moringa water drink per person.

    Should it be taken with hot or regular water.

    Is it safe for kids below 11 years.

    Reply
    • Hi, 10 grams of moringa leaves can be used for making the drink, per day. It can be given with hot water.
      Safe for kids for only 1 month time.

      Reply
  14. Hi doctor ,
    I have had 3 minor strokes. Am on blood thinner. Have hypothyroid. And now been diagnosed with auto immune disease lupus. Can this moringa leaves or powder in any form benefit me in any way ?

    Reply
  15. Sir, could you please elaborate what is meant by Moringa Seeds? Is it same that comes out of the long stick or drum stick as it is popularly known.?

    Reply
  16. Hello Doctor, My name is Manoj.
    drumstick is useful in diabetic ?. Sugar level 230.
    Pls confirm.

    Reply
  17. It is confusing that Moringa is called horseradish tree but horseradish itself is a root vegetable comes from a different tree.

    Horseradish appears to be used widely in modern / western medicine.
    Are there any benefits, uses, or side effects from horseradish (Armoracia rusticana) which is commonly used as a condiment in food in ayurvedic literature?

    Reply
  18. Sir I had olecranon operations..now my elbow movement is limited..do oringa does any help in my elbow movement..plz

    Reply
  19. Fresh leaves are available almost all through the year. Please advise whether I can dry the leaves under sunlight, make a powder at home and use it.

    Reply

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