Ulcerative Colitis and Sweet Potato

Moringa

Moringa

Moringa Tree - Colitis

I stumbled across Moringa whilst searching for natural anti-inflammatories. I've since learnt that it has been widely used / eaten across Africa and Asia for a long time. Also, because it's a plant that's native to North India, it's not surprising to hear it's used as part of Ayurvedic medicine.

There are various species of Moringa, but the one that's referred to most for its health benefits is Moringa Oleifera - a tough tree which is able to survive in tropical or dry climates and is sometimes referred to as the miracle tree, the drumstick tree, horseradish tree, ben oil tree or benzoil tree.

Every part of the tree can be used including the leaves, flowers, bark, gum, root and seeds. It appears that all have some health benefits but the Moringa leaf is most widely available and therefore, it's what most people refer to when reporting on or talking about the nutritional and health benefits of Moringa.

I've read a few studies that tested Moringa root for effectiveness on various symptoms and I have to say, all reported positive results. However, I also read that it has potentially poisonous properties, which is probably why it's not as easy to purchase.

Moringa Leaf

So although every part of the tree has been used for its anti-inflammatory properties, Moringa leaf (for the time being) is where most of my interest lies. This is because it's easy to produce and readily available to order online in powdered, capsule and oil form. I've read different studies of the leaf for various medicinal uses and again, the conclusions were all positive.

Moringa Tree - Colitis

A quick look at the nutritional properties of the leaf gives a good idea as to why Moringa has been referred to as a superfood - a 100mg serving of Moringa leaf contains:

  • Over 3 times the Vitamin A of carrots
  • Over 7 times the Vitamin C of oranges
  • Over 3 times the Calcium found in cow's milk
  • Over 3 times the Iron found in spinach
  • Over twice the protein of cow's milk
  • Over twice the Potassium of bananas

A summary of the overall nutrional benefits:

  • 9 essential amino acids
  • Good carbs including fibre
  • Minerals including Iron, Zinc, Copper, Manganese, Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium
  • Omega 9 fatty acids
  • Vitamins (many with antioxidants) - pro-vitamin A - vitamins C, E, F , K - vitamin complex B, B1, B2, B3

Moringa Study

It's worth remembering that the following study was done using mice although I'm happy to say that I've read examples of Moringa leaf being very beneficial to some Colitis sufferers.

In mice fed with the roots of moringa oleifera (100-200mg of the ethanolic extract) for a week before induction of experimental colitis, supplementation appears to be as protective as 5mg of prednisone. 50mg of moringa oleifera has also been paired with 50mg of the rind of an orange, where it showed enhanced protection on increased blood to the tissue and ulceration, exceeding prednisone.

It appears that orange peel/rind contains flavanoids and phytonutrients - both exhibit anti-inflammatory properties.

Moringa Leaf success examples

I have first hand knowledge of a UCer who experimented with Moringa leaf and orange rind using the study above as a guide. For their situation it worked better than prednisone, bringing remission in around 10 days! Unfortunately there are no recipies to follow, but the details of this study were used as a basis for the experiment. Note: the study uses root, the UCer experimented with leaves.

I'd also like to tell you about a Crohn's sufferer who heard about Moringa through a post by me in an IBD group (I was asking if anyone had heard of Moringa). They did some research, okayed it with their Doctor and tried it, starting with 1 x 700mg capsule per day and then moving up to 2 tablets per day after there had been no side effects.

So after taking the capsules for a short time, they had some blood tests done and for the "first time in years" their inflammatory markers had reduced; elevated liver enzymes had decreased; anaemia was no more and their nutrient levels had increased, meaning there were no issues with malnutrition. They were amazed - as was their Doctor! The first I heard about this was when I saw a post thanking me for bringing Moringa to their attention!!

I should point out that the Moringa didn't put their Crohn's into remission, it improved the blood results, although that's not so say there won't be further improvements in the future.

Taking Moringa Leaf

In reference to Colitis, the most common way to take Moringa leaf appears to be in powder form and in the majority of examples I read, it's added to warm water although I have to say, after trying this myself, moringa powder doesn't mix into water very easily. I found mixing it into a smoothie was easier and it actually dissolved to some degree. It's also possible to add it to food e.g. sprinkle on/mix in after the food is prepared.

The advantage of powder over the pill form, especially for those with digestive problems, is that it's more likely to be absorbed successfully. Unfortunately, I found no definitive dosages as it seemed to vary depending on what the goal was e.g I've seen a few milligrams up to a few spoonfuls mentioned - it's a food, so amounts really don't matter, how much you take is down to you and your taste buds.

I've been taking Moringa leaf powder for a few months now: I mix 2 tsp of powder into my daily smoothie, which totals about 4 grams.