Also known as drumstick tree, horseradish tree, benzoil tree and miracle tree, moringa oleifera is the widely cultivated species of the genus Moringa. It is a rapid growing and drought resistant tree native to the Himalayas of India. Over the years, it has been known for its medicinal and healing properties that it has become the treatment of choice for common skin and hair ailments. Even up to this time, it still exists as the/or one of the active ingredients in skin and hair care products. Its healing wonders has been known all over the world. It goes by in different names: arango, ben nut tree, benzolive, chinto borrego, clarifier tree, jacinto, kelor tree, perla de la India, terebinto and so much more. In the Philippines, it is commonly known as malunggay.
Here are the three powerful Moringa benefits:
Powerhouse of nutrients.
The bark, roots, leaves, seeds, sap, and even flowers possess numerous nutrients and antioxidants. Often enough, it is always referred to as the ‘miracle tree’ for its exceedingly many health, skin, and hair benefits. It also possess all the essential amino acids needed by the body. The human body produces ten to twelve amino acids and the remaining eight have to be taken from food – the eight, of which, is in malunggay. The eight essential amino acids that malunggay contains include: isoleucine, leucine, lysine, metheonine, phenyalanine, threonine, trytohyan, and valine.
Why are amino acids essential? Amino acids are the building blocks of protein and protein is essential in almost all biological processes in the human body. Cells, tissues, and muscles are made up of amino acids. Without it, cell cannot be repaired and maintained – this, in lieu, makes skin dry and susceptible to bacterial and fungal infection, and hair to breakage.
Treatment of Choice for Wounds
Malunggay has always been known in traditional medicine as antiseptic of choice. It is the emergency treatment of choice for wounds over the years – especially in farflung areas. This is due to its potent antiseptic and antimicrobial properties. In a recent study published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information, it was found out that malunggay has significant antimicrobial properties against common micro organisms – gram positive bacillus cereus, (bacteria commonly found in food and soil and is related to food borne illnesses), bacillus subtillis staphylococcus aureus (responsible for a wide range of infections from skin ailments to life threatening diseases such as pneumonia, meningitis, toxic shock symdrome, and even sepsis), gram negative escherichia coli (generally found in human feces and is related to foodborne diseases), and acid fast mycobacterium phlei (mycobacteria related to respiratory infections).
Apart from its antimicrobial activity, malunggay is well known as an effective hand washing product. In a recent study it was found out that handwashing with malunggay is as effective as hand washing with soap. In fact, malunggay is a recommended alternative when soap is not readily available.
Healthy Skin and Hair
The use of malunggay, aside from being antiseptic treatment of choice for wounds, is a popular ingredient in skin and hair care products. As mentioned, it is rich in amino acids that is crucial in the production of protein. Protein, meanwhile, is important in the growth, repair, and maintenance of skin and hair.
For Hair. Packed with vitamin A, malunggay ensures optimum delivery of oxygen and nutrients to hair follicles – making sure that every strand is nourished and oxygenated. It is also rich in zinc which strengthens the immune function of skin. Zinc and silica, together with vitamin A, makes sure that sebaceous glands are free of occlusion. Other nutrients beneficial to hair that malunggay has includes vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin B7 (biotin), vitamin B9 (folic acid), vitamin C, vitamin E, and minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium to name a few. What hair problems can it cure? Its potent properties primarily makes hair healthy – this includes being a cure for hair breakage, split ends, dandruff, and even hair loss.
For Skin. Malunggay is powered with vitamins A, B, C, D, E and minerals calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, and zinc. It has anti aging properties due to its collagen and keratin content. Collagen and keratin, along with elastin, are essential proteins that keep skin soft and supple. Malunggay is known for its anti aging properties that keeps the seven signs of skin aging at bay. To add, it is likewise known as a reliable protective barrier against pollution. Aside from the three Moringa benefits mentioned above, malunggay is known for its therapeutic benefits against health conditions and ailments. Malunggay, when consumed, is known to boost energy, improve the body’s immune system, fights against diabetes and bad cholesterol, improve metabolism, and excrete impurities with its natural detoxifier property. It is indeed a miracle element in improving overall health.