Science-Based Health Benefits of Drumstick (Moringa Oleifera)

272 Shares

Every street in Indian villages has a drumstick tree (Moringa Oleifera Tree). And if you happen to enter a kitchen, you will most certainly find the Drumstick vegetable (slender, long green seed pods). People in India swear by the health benefits of drumstick.

Moringa is one of the most nutrient dense plants.

The drumstick tree is native to India and other parts of Asia & Africa. A ride around any countryside in India will show you the abundance of these trees.

Our ancestors in India have consumed almost every part of Moringa tree including seeds pods (drumstick), leaves, fruits, seeds, and oil for thousands of years (except the roots). (1)

In Indian cuisine, the drumstick is a highly well-known vegetable, especially in southern India.

During ancient times, the Moringa tree was used to cure more than 300 diseases by Ayurvedic practitioners.

In northern India, it is better known as Shahajan or Moonga.

 

Drumstick or Moringa Oleifera Leaves and Immature Green Seed Pods

Drumstick or Moringa Oleifera Leaves and Immature Green Seed Pods

Usually, the moringa/drumstick plant grows small to medium sizes and bears flowers in three colours: red, white, and black. Drumstick is a fast-growing and drought – resistant plant, and it grows best in dry sandy soil.

The beneficial properties of drumstick leaves were discovered thousands of years ago. The latest scientific research has also confirmed the benefits of drumstick leaves as herbal supplements.

As of now, more than 1300 studies and reports have focused on drumstick benefits and its healing abilities.

In 2008, drumstick (moringa oleifera) was called “PLANT OF THE YEAR” by the National Institute of Health (USA). (NIH)

It is known to possess 90 powerful nutrients till date and scientist are looking forward to the possibility of more yet to be identified.

Moringa tree and its various parts have incredible nutritional and medicinal benefits. Therefore most of its components are used. The parts that are used are:

  • Immature seed pods, called “drumsticks”
  • Leaves
  • Mature seeds
  • Oil pressed from seeds
  • Flowers

Drumstick vegetable scientific name: Moringa Oleifera

The scientific name of drumstick is Moringa oleifera. Among all the species of the genus Moringa, Moringa oleifera is the most widely cultivated.

6 Science based health benefits of Drumsticks

drumstick tree

Drumstick Tree. Image courtesy: peakprosperity.com

The leaves of moringa tree are spherical and are full of nutritional advantages.

Due to its highly nutritious profile and amazing health benefits, Many consider drumstick to be a super-food for the following reasons:

1. Drumstick Is Very Nutritious

Drumstick is a fairly large tree that is native to India & other parts of Asia & Africa. It goes by a variety of names, such as drumstick tree, horse radish tree, or ben oil tree. (2)

The leaves and pods are commonly eaten in parts of India, mainly southern India.

Here is a photo of drumstick leaves in powder and capsule form:

Drumstick leaves are an excellent source of many vitamins and minerals. As per the USDA, one cup of fresh leaves (21 grams) contains the following : (3)

  • Protein: 2 grams
  • Vitamin B6: 19% of the RDA
  • Vitamin C: 12% of the RDA
  • Iron: 11% of the RDA
  • Riboflavin (B2): 11% of the RDA
  • Vitamin A (from beta-carotene): 9% of the RDA
  • Magnesium: 8% of the RDA

In Western countries, dried & powdered drumstick leaves are very popular as dietary supplements.

Compared to the leaves, the pods are generally lower in vitamins and minerals. However, they are a significant source of vitamin C. One cup of fresh, sliced pods (100 grams) contains 157% of your daily requirement for vitamin C.

The diets of people in developing nations like India sometimes lack vitamins, minerals and protein. In India 44% of children under the age of 5 are underweight. 72% of infants and 52% of married women have anaemia.  For Indians & other developing nations, drumstick can be an important source of many essential nutrients.

Young leaves and immature pods of Moringa oleifera are a good source of both micro and macro-nutrients and have low levels of anti-nutrients. Although cooking by boiling in water reduced the nutrients to some extent, considerable amounts are retained and as such servings of young leaves and immature pods, as a vegetable relish, could greatly improve the nutritional status of those at risk of malnutrition.

-Ecology of Food and Nutrition (Journal)

Also remember that if you’re taking Moringa or drumstick as a supplement, taking it in capsules won’t supply large amounts of nutrients. The amount of nutrients you receive from capsules is just too small. The best way to get drumstick benefits is to include it regularly in your meal recipes as fresh pods or leaves.

Aloe – The other superfood. Read More

2. Drumstick is a potent Antioxidant

Antioxidants are compounds that neutralize free radicals in our bodies.

High levels of free radicals cause oxidative stress, which are involved in the development of chronic diseases like heart disease and type 2 diabetes. (4)

The Moringa leaf extracts contain antioxidants such as quercetin, flavonoids, and polyphenols and hence prevents the damage and degradation caused by free radicals such as oxidative stress, cell damage, and inflammation, etc.

In addition to large amounts of vitamin C and beta-carotene, 2 other significant anti-oxidant compounds found in drumstick leaves are (5,6):

  • Quercetin:Quercetin is a bioflavonoid that occurs naturally in fruits & vegetables. Most commonly found in onions, apples, leafy green veggies like moringa leaves etc. This powerful antioxidant helps lower blood pressure (7,8).
  • Chlorogenic acid: This is also a bioflavonoid. It is found in high amounts in green coffee beans. Chlorogenic acid helps moderate blood sugar levels after meals (9,10).

In fact, one study conducted with 90 postmenopausal women found that taking seven grams (1.5 teaspoons) of drumstick leaves powder every day for three months significantly increased blood antioxidant levels such as Serum retinol (vitamin A), serum ascorbic acid (vitamin C), glutathione peroxidase (glutathione) (11).

3. Moringa (drumstick) leaves can lower blood sugar levels

High blood sugar is a serious problem for the civilized world. Most people link high blood sugar to diabetes risk.

However not surprisingly , a lot of lifestyle diseases are now being linked to insulin sensitivity caused by high blood sugar. Heart disease, PCOS / PCOD (Polycystic ovarian disease), Obesity, Hypertension and of course Diabetes are a some diseases that seem to be directly related to high blood sugar (12). That’s how important it is, to keep your blood sugar in check, especially if you have a family history of these diseases.

Several studies have shown that drumstick leaves can reduce blood sugar levels. However most of these studies are animal based, only a few are human studies.

In one particular study, 30 women took seven grams of drumstick or moringa leaf powder every day for three months. This reduced their fasting blood sugar levels by 13.5% (13).

Another small study in six diabetic patients found that adding 50 grams of drumstick leaves to a meal reduced the rise in blood sugar by 21% (14).

These effects are caused by isothiocyanates, a plant compound found in drumstick leaves (15).

4. Drumstick vegetable (Moringa Oleifera) can reduce inflammation.

Inflammation is the body’s natural protective immune response to injury or infection.  Inflammation  in the body is indicated by the injured or infected part becoming reddened, swelled, hot and painful.

When inflammation occurs, chemicals from the body’s white blood cells are released into the affected tissues or blood to protect your body from infection or injury. However sometimes the body is unable to fight of certain types of infection on its own, due to an impaired immune system. This leads to what is known as sustained inflammation which causes chronic diseases, including cancer, heart disease etc (1617).

Drumstick leaves, pods and seeds have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties as well, which may again be due to isothiocyanates (181920).

Other anti-inflammatory foods include green leafy vegetables (such as spinach, kale and collards), bok choy, celery, turmeric, ginger blueberries, olive oil, walnuts and more (21).

However, once again, the research so far has been limited to mostly animal studies. More human studies are needed to conclusively document benefits of Moringa oleifera’s anti-inflammatory effects in people.

5. Drumstick can lower cholesterol levels in the blood

Cholesterol is a waxy substance found in nearly every cell of the body and is essential to good health. The body uses it to make hormones, protect the cell membranes, digest food and manufacture vitamin D after exposure to the sun. The liver manufactures most of the cholesterol the body requires from nutrients extracted from food (22).

The amount of cholesterol the body makes is proportionate to the amount of inflammation present in the body. In other words the correct way to reduce cholesterol and reduce heart disease risk is by taking steps to lower inflammation.

Many plant foods can effectively reduce cholesterol by reducing inflammation. These include green leafy vegetables, turmeric, flaxseeds, oats and olive oil.

Both animal and human studies have shown that Moringa oleifera or drumsticks have cholesterol-lowering effects (23242526).

One animal study found its effects were comparable to those of the cholesterol-lowering drug simvastatin (27). As noted in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology:

Moringa oleifera is used in Thai traditional medicine as cardiotonic. Recent studies demonstrated its hypocholesterolemic effect.

… In hypercholesterol-fed rabbits, at 12 weeks of treatment, it significantly (P<0.05) lowered the cholesterol levels and reduced the atherosclerotic plaque formation to about 50 and 86%, respectively. These effects were at degrees comparable to those of simvastatin.

… The results indicate that this plant possesses antioxidant, hypolipidaemic, and antiatherosclerotic activities, and has therapeutic potential for the prevention of cardiovascular diseases.”

6. Drumstick (Moringa Oleifera) Seeds protects against Arsenic toxicity

Contamination of ground water by arsenic has become a cause of global public health concern. In West Bengal, here in India, almost 6 million people are endemically exposed to inorganic arsenic by drinking heavily contaminated groundwater through hand-pumped tube wells (28).

Besides the drinking water, the use of arsenic contaminated water in rice irrigation has led to high levels of arsenic contamination to be found in rice (29).

No safe, effective and preventive or therapeutic measures for treating arsenic poisoning are available.

Several studies of mice and rats show that the leaves and seeds of Moringa oleifera may protect against some effects of arsenic toxicity (303132).

One study (33) noted that:

“Co-administration of M. oleifera [moringa] seed powder (250 and 500 mg/kg, orally) with arsenic significantly increased the activities of SOD [superoxide dismutase], catalase, and GPx with elevation in reduced GSH level in tissues (liver, kidney, and brain).

These changes were accompanied by approximately 57%, 64%, and 17% decrease in blood ROS [reactive oxygen species], liver metallothionein (MT), and lipid peroxidation respectively in animal co-administered with M. oleifera and arsenic.

Another interesting observation has been the reduced uptake of arsenic in soft tissues (55% in blood, 65% in liver, 54% in kidneys, and 34% in brain) following administration of M. oleifera seed powder (particularly at the dose of 500 mg/kg). It can thus be concluded from the present study that concomitant administration of M. oleifera seed powder with arsenic could significantly protect animals from oxidative stress and in reducing tissue arsenic concentration. Administration of M. oleifera seed powder thus could also be beneficial during chelation therapy…”

Moringa Leaves Health Benefits

1 Anti-diabetic and hormone balancing properties:

High Blood Sugar can be very unhealthy and may lead to diabetes. Moringa leaves help reduce diabetes by adjusting the sugar level in human body. It contains chlorogenic acid and isothiocyanates compound which help control blood sugar levels by allowing cells to take up or release glucose (sugar) as required(34,35).

Moringa leaf powder is sufficient enough to reduce lipid and glucose levels and to regulate oxidative stress in diabetic patients. What it means is that Moringa reduces the blood sugar & cholesterol levels and provides protection against cell damage.

However, the basis of these claims is animal studies. With further research, credible information will be available.

2 Fights Free Radical Damage and protects your skin:

The Moringa leaf extracts contain antioxidants such as quercetin, flavonoids, and polyphenols and hence prevents the damage and degradation caused by free radicals such as oxidative stress, cell damage, and inflammation, etc.

Moringa is rich in Vitamin A, C, E and many B complex vitamins making it an excellent antioxidant. It reduces the cell damage and ageing due to free radicals and help you maintain smooth and youthful appearance on your skin.

3 Good for your heart

Based on several studies on both human and animal, Moringa Oleifera (a species of Moringa) is found to have the cholesterol-lowering effects just like flaxseeds, almonds, and oats. Thus, it makes you less prone to heart disease.

Moringa leaf powder is especially useful in blood lipid control. It also prevents the arteries from plaque formation.

4  Good for teeth and bones:

Moringa leaves can fulfil 1% of your daily magnesium requirement with just a 10-gm serving of its powder), which is essential for healthy and strong teeth. Moringa leaves are also a great source of vitamin K, protein and calcium that are essential for healthy bones.

5 Reduces Inflammation:

Inflammation is always associated with body’s natural response to infection or injury. Prolonged inflammation may result in major health issue including heart disease and cancer. Moringa leaves, pods and seeds contain isothiocyanates which are known for its anti-inflammatory properties.

Apart from benefits mentioned above, it’s good for your hair (scalp and dandruff), boost immune function, anti-cancer, increases woman’s milk production.

6 Moringa Leaves during Pregnancy

Moringa leaves work great for pregnant and lactating women. Moringa leaves are found to be useful during pregnancy to overcome symptoms of pregnancy like vomiting and dizziness.

It helps ease the complications during pre-pregnancy and post-pregnancy. Regular consumption of moringa leaves powder also aids in breast milk production.

7 Moringa Leaves for Men

The antioxidants in moringa leaves help men combat the oxidative stress. It also boosts the heart function and anti-inflammatory response thus maintaining the proper blood flow during sexual activities and supporting the overall sexual function.

8 Moringa Leaves Juice Benefits

Consuming Moringa leaves directly is not everyone’s cup of tea; hence it is better taken in the form of juice. It is tasty and gives you many health benefits:

  • Moringa leaves juice acts as a potent antiseptic for your skin.
  • Taking Moringa leaves juice regularly stabilises blood sugar and helps control diabetes.
  • It is believed to be useful in treating anxiety.
  • Moringa leaves juice is mixed with carrot and used as a diuretic to treat gonorrhoea
  • Leafy juice is very effective against eye diseases.
  • It benefits a person with hair loss symptoms and also helps reduce dandruff.
  • Due to its high Iron content, it is good to be consumed by pregnant women. it helps increase red blood cells and prevents anaemia.

9. Moringa Leaves Powder Benefits

Moringa Leaves Powder Benefits
Moringa Leaves Powder Benefits Moringa Source: Indiamart

The main reason of Moringa leaves gaining popularity as a natural leaf powder supplement is its mild flavour which is easily consumable. Also, studies claim it to be safe for human even in larger doses. It has many health benefits such as:

  1. The moringa leaf powder works wonder for diabetic patients. It reduces lipid and glucose levels and regulates oxidative stress.
  2. Consuming moringa leaves in powder form protects your heart from plaque formation in the arteries. It is very effective in blood lipid control and reducing cholesterol. It also protects against cell damage.
  3. moringa leaves increase the blood antioxidant levels as it is a rich source of various antioxidants including quercetin and chlorogenic acid.
  4. In a study, 30 women took seven grammes of drumstick leaf powder every day. After three months, the blood sugar levels were reduced by 13.5%.

10 Moringa Leaves Nutritional Benefits

Moringa leaves are loaded with nutritional contents as they are rich in vitamins, essential amino acids, minerals, energy, water and more. The health benefits that just a 100 gm of moringa leaves can provide you is beyond imagination. They do a world of good for your heart, eyes, brain, skin, and the list goes on. Its leaves are used in many forms for treating hair, weight loss, and blood pressure.

11. Moringa Leaves Soup for Weight Loss

Moringa is considered to be a delicacy in many locales and is often mixed into other foods and recipe including soup, sauce and salads. Its leaves are high in fiber hence it absorbs more water and stops you from eating extra by making you feel full.

Moringa leaves contain chlorogenic acid (an antioxidant) which supports weight loss by controlling blood sugar and burning the fats.

Moringa leaves rarely contain any calories thus help you provide nutrients with very less calorie, which is important when you want to lose weight. It is often taken as a soup by the people who are on weight loss regime. Have a look at the video and prepare yourself a delicious and sumptuous drumstick soup to help you lose weight.

12 Moringa Leaves for High Blood Pressure

Moringa leaves have long been known for their effectiveness to reduce the blood pressure. High blood pressure (also called hypertension) is very common these days and may increase your chance of getting: Heart disease, Stroke, Congestive Heart Failure and Kidney disease.

Moringa leaves are considered super food with an abundance of Calcium, Potassium, Magnesium, Zinc, and Vitamin E, which are also the required/essential nutrient for a person suffering from high blood pressure.

Drumstick plant leaves are an excellent source of vitamin C which helps in the production of nitric oxide, A critical element for healthy functioning of blood vessels.

They help normalise the blood pressure on the blood vessels and make the flow of blood smooth.

13 Moringa Leaves for Hair

Tired of losing hair strands?

You must be low on Vitamin B6, biotin and folic acid. These nutrient along with Vitamin E are crucial to stop hair loss and increase the blood circulation to hair follicles.

Due to high concentrations of vitamins (vitamin A, vitamin E, B vitamins) and minerals (zinc and silica), moringa leaves help to stimulate your natural hair growth and prevent hair loss and dandruff.

Also, compared to synthetic vitamins and supplements, moringa leaves are absorbed easily thus giving you quick visual benefits. It also makes your hair shiny and healthier while addressing dryness and brittleness.

Moringa flower Benefits

Flowers of Moringa have several uses in the field of medicine and cosmetics:

  1. Moringa flowers are a rich source of amino acids, potassium and calcium, making them a vital supplement for nursing mothers.
  2. Flowers are brewed as a medicinal tea and consumed as a health tonic to treat urinary tract infections.
  3. Moringa flowers are the best supplement for breastfeeding women as it helps increase the flow of milk and its nutritional value.
  4. Moringa is beneficial in weight management. It has powerful diuretic content that helps reduce bloating and water retention.
  5. It has potent antibiotic agents present in drumstick flowers help combat infection.
  6. The Moringa flower protects against tissue damage and strengthens the liver function.
  7. Studies have found the moringa flower to be useful in the treatment of impotence and sexual dysfunctions.
  8. Due to mild fragrance and antioxidant benefits for the skin, it is used in the preparation of cosmetics and perfumes including hair oils.

1. Supports Healthy Bones

It is a good source of iron, vitamins and calcium and thus helps us to have strong and healthy bones. Pregnant women are recommended to use green pods as a soup or juice to avoid post-delivery problems.

2. Anti-Bacterial Properties

Due to its anti-bacterial qualities, it is also helpful in dealing with throat, skin and chest infection.

3. Supports Health skin

Drumstick vegetable is extremely useful to rejuvenate your skin and the treatment of acne and pimples. It is mixed with lemon and consumed as juice to improve the glow and shine of skin.

4. Purifies Blood

Drumstick vegetable is a good blood purifier.

5. Supports Digestion

Drumstick is good for overall digestion system. As a herbal medicine, it boost your digestive system in many ways. Due to a rich source of calcium and fibre (31%), it is very useful in maintaining the proper function of the digestive enzymes and supporting bowel regularity.

6. Anti Fungal Properties

In ancient Ayurveda, Drumstick tree was used to treat ulcers, kidney and liver disease, kidney stones, digestive irregularity (including constipation) and other fungal infections.

7. Helps in Weight Management

High fibre content also makes drumstick useful for weight management as it reduces fat absorption in the gut and makes you feel fuller for an extended duration.

8. Supports Brain health

As a rich source of antioxidants, Drumstick helps in neuron degeneration thus improving the brain function.

The healthy antioxidants and bioactive plant compounds found in drumstick help in fighting against depression, stress, mood swings, and insomnia.

Drumstick has also been found to be potentially useful for Alzheimer’s disease treatment at the preliminary level.

9. Mood Enhancer

Drumstick also benefits neurotransmitter functions by normalizing the “feel good” hormone serotonin, dopamine, and nor-adrenaline in the brain.

10. Drumstick benefits for men

Usage of Drumstick is gaining popularity lately and for a good reason. It is known as one of best plants to boost energy and overall health. Man can certainly hope many benefits from this magical tree.

11. Supports Sexual Health

It provides a natural and safe way for men to support their overall sexual function. Moringa seeds have been found very effective to help men in treating erectile dysfunction.

Vitamins and coenzymes found in drumstick seeds increase blood circulation to erectile tissues causing the cellular expansion. As a result, men experience increased size and hardness of erection. Drumstick pods contain isothiocyanates which are known for its anti-inflammatory properties.

The Benefits of Moringa Seeds

THE BENEFITS OF MORINGA SEEDS
THE BENEFITS OF MORINGA SEEDS

Just like any other parts of the drumstick plant, the seeds also offer many advantages:

  1. Due to isothiocyanates, seeds have been found to have anti-inflammatory properties.
  2. It protects against some effects of arsenic toxicity.
  3. Drumstick seed oil is used to treat antifungal problems, arthritis.
  4. Due to its non-sticky and antioxidant properties, drumstick seed oil makes an excellent skin moisturiser.
  5. It is an excellent water purifier.
  6. Drumstick seed oil acts as an excellent moisturiser and natural cleanser without making the skin oily.
  7. Drumstick has natural antibacterial and antifungal compounds that protect your skin from various forms of infections. The light nature of drumstick oil (also called bean oil) unclogs the skin pores and lifts up the dirt, thus protects your skin from acne and pimples.
  8. Drumstick oil is useful to detoxifying the body of harmful substances including heavy metal toxins.
  9. Drumstick seeds contain isothiocyanates which are known for its anti-inflammatory properties.
  10. The drumstick seeds help men as a sexual virility drug.

Drumstick Benefits in Hindi

आयुर्वेद में ३०० रोगों का सहजन से उपचार बताया गया है, लेकिन आधुनिक विज्ञान ने इसके पोषक तत्वों की मात्रा खोजकर संसार को चकित कर दिया है। इसकी फली, हरी पत्तियों व सूखी पत्तियों में कार्बोहाइड्रेट, प्रोटीन, कैल्शियम, पोटेशियम, आयरन, मैग्नीशियम, विटामिन-ए, सी और बी कॉम्पलैक्स प्रचुर मात्रा में पाया जाता है।

एक अध्ययन के अनुसार इसमें दूध की तुलना में ४ गुना कैलशियम और दुगना प्रोटीन पाया जाता है। क्षेत्रीय खाद्य अनुसंधान एवं विश्लेषण केंद्र लखनऊ द्वारा सहजन की फली एवं पत्तियों पर किए गए नए शोध से पता चला है कि प्राकृतिक गुणों से भरपूर सहजन इतने औषधीय गुणों से भरपूर है कि उसकी फली के अचार और चटनी कई बीमारियों से मुक्ति दिलाने में सहायक हैं।

कुछ विशेषज्ञों के अनुसार इसे दुनिया का सबसे उपयोगी पौधा कहा जा सकता है। यह न सिर्फ कम पानी अवशोषित करता है बल्कि इसके तनों, फूलों और पत्तियों में खाद्य तेल, जमीन की उर्वरा शक्ति बढ़ाने वाली खाद और पोषक आहार पाए जाते हैं।

इसके फूल, फली व पत्तों में इतने पोषक तत्त्व हैं कि विश्व स्वास्थ्य संगठन के मार्गदर्शन में दक्षिण अफ्रीका के कई देशों में कुपोषण पीडित लोगों के आहार के रूप में सहजन का प्रयोग करने की सलाह दी गई है। एक से तीन साल के बच्चों और गर्भवती व प्रसूता महिलाओं व वृद्धों के शारीरिक पोषण के लिए यह वरदान माना गया है।

लोक में भी कैन्सर व पेट आदि शरीर के आभ्यान्तर में उत्पन्न गांठ, फोड़ा आदि में सहजन की जड़ का अजवाइन, हींग और सौंठ के साथ काढ़ा बनाकर पीने का प्रचलन है। यह भी पाया गया है कि यह काढ़ा साइटिका (पैरों में दर्द), जोड़ो में दर्द, लकवा, दमा, सूजन, पथरी आदि में लाभकारी है।

सहजन के गोंद को जोड़ों के दर्द और शहद को दमा आदि रोगों में लाभदायक माना जाता है। आज भी ग्रामीणों की ऐसी मान्यता है कि सहजन के प्रयोग से विषाणु जनित रोग चेचक के होने का खतरा टल जाता है।

Drumstick Side Effects

Drumstick is free from chemical additives, So, if used in pure form it doesn’t cause any side effects. No impurities reported till date for Drumstick. Make sure you always take drumstick in the purest form. Since not much research has been done on the side effects of overdosage, it is best to avoid drumstick during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.

Moringa Leaves Side Effects

Drumstick leaves have laxative properties, so, it may cause stomach upset, heartburn, and diarrhoea if consumed in significant amount. The large quantity intake may also cause nausea so, avoid overconsumption and stay safe.

Drumstick Side effects for pregnant women

However, a pregnant woman should avoid the consumption of bark and roots as they contain some chemical that may result in uterine contraction and consequently increase the risk of a miscarriage.

Why Drumstick Leaves are a superfood

Drumstick Leaves

Drumstick Leaves, Image courtesy: The Huffington Post

Of all the parts of the drumstick tree, the leaves are the most nutritious. It is natural energy booster which is sustainable as it is not based on sugar.

It is an excellent source of multivitamin and protein which is incomparable to other trees (used for the medicinal purpose). Have a look at some amazing facts of drumstick leaves:

  • 2 times the amount of protein as in yoghurt
  • 7 times more amount of vitamin C as in oranges
  • 4 times of amount of calcium as in cows’ milk
  • 4 times more vitamin A than carrots
  • 3 times more potassium than bananas.
  • 2 times the amount of iron than spinach

Medicinal Uses of Moringa Tree, Leaves, Flowers and Seeds

Drumstick Health Benefits and Side Effects
Drumstick Health Benefits, Image Courtesy: healingmoringatree.com

While many plants are used as herbal supplements for health-benefits, the drumstick tree stands far ahead of its peers. Drumstick has the potential to improve the overall health of human being as it is nutrient-packed. Here are the benefits of this supertree.

Uses of Drumstick Leaves

Uses of Drumstick Leaves
Uses of Drumstick Leaves

Leaves are the most nutritious part of the drumstick plants and widely used as an ingredient in Indian foods. Here are some of the uses of drumstick leaves:

  1. Unless tender they are hard to digest so, pressure-cook them just like spinach and use it to prepare dal and curries.
  2. Drumstick leaves are used in the form of tea and are excellent antioxidants.
  3. Dried leaves are crushed to make powder, which is used in soups and sauces.
  4. Fresh Drumstick leaves can be used directly in recipes.
  5. The drumstick leaves are also used as forage for livestock.
  6. Drumstick leaves powder are used to make soap for hand-wash.

Drumstick Leaves medicinal uses:

Here are some medicinal benefits of drumstick leaves

1 Help reduce diabetes:

Drumstick leaves contain chlorogenic acid and isothiocyanates which help balance the sugar level in human body and hence reduce blood sugar levels in diabetes patients.

2 Protects your skin from free radicals:

The drumstick leaf extracts contain antioxidants which prevent cell damage and ageing caused by free radicals such as cell damage, oxidative stress, inflammation, etc. It can also makes your skin smooth and youthful.

3 Good digestive health:

Drumstick leaves are an excellent source of calcium and fibre; hence it is very effective to maintain healthy digestive system. It is also instrumental in the treatment of kidney and liver disease, ulcers and kidney stones. It helps detoxify the body of heavy metal toxins.

4. Good for your heart and brain:

Drumstick leaves have cholesterol-lowering effects thus it protects you against heart diseases. It also improves the brain function as it helps in neuron degeneration. Due to the presence of antioxidants, it helps fight against stress and depression.

5. Other Benefits:

The highly nutritious leaves are the great source of Vitamin C, protein, beta-carotene, iron, and potassium. For people with poor vision, drumstick leaves work like a miracle. It is also instrumental in lowering the blood pressure.

In South-India it is used in Siddha medicine as a sexual virility drug. It is very effective in treating men’s erectile dysfunction and also prolonging sexual activity in women. Some studies also claim the drumstick leaves to be potent enough to fight cancer and diabetes.

In South-India it is used in Siddha medicine as a sexual virility drug. It is very effective in treating men’s erectile dysfunction and also prolonging sexual activity in women.

 

Drumstick Vegetable Curry

Drumstick Vegetable Curry Image courtesy: tastyappetite.net

Drumstick Recipes

The green pods of drumstick plants are the most valued part and widely used as vegetables across India. The cooking style of these pods has more or less similarity with that of green beans.

It is used in a vast variety of South-Indian cuisines which includes sambhar, soup, paratha, koftas, podi, thoran, etc.

Here is a great video of a rustic drumstick curry recipe cooked in an earthen pot by someone’s very cute grandma. Take a look you will love the video, the recipe and the grandma too!

Uses of Drumstick Vegetable

Uses of Drumstick

One can use mighty drumstick plant for a variety of purposes. Some of its well-known uses of drumstick are:

  1. The tender drumstick fruits are used to prepare curries. It is an integral ingredient of South-Indian dishes, especially Sambhar. The drumstick pods are also used in a variety of dishes in many other cultures.
  2. Drumstick leaves can be used in the form of tea and also be blended into smoothies.
  3. The tender leaves are the rich source of iron and hence used in soups, meals, and salads.
  4. Finely chopped drumstick leaves make an excellent garnish for vegetable dishes. the leaves can alone be used as a leafy vegetable.
  5. It can also be used as an organic, cold-pressed oil (or bean oil).
  6. Beans, after cleaning and scraping out the outer rough parts are used in the final stages of preparation of kadhi and daal to provide a nutritional addition to the meals.
  7. Drumstick leaves can also be used for water purification.
  8. The drumstick tree is also used in the treatment of malnutrition among infants and nursing mothers.
  9. Due to its medicinal effects, drumstick plant is beneficial in a wide range of conditions such as headache, asthma, eye-disorders, Epilepsy, fever, digestion, and internal swelling.
  10. There are even anecdotal claim that drumstick leaves possess antitumour and anti-cancer properties.

Uses of Drumstick Vegetable

Uses of Drumstick, Image source: momjunction.com

Of all the parts of drumstick plant, the pods are probably the most used part as a vegetable in a vast range of Indian cuisine. It is the flower of this tree that grows up into slender, dark-green drumstick pods. Due to its fleshy pulp and pea-sized seeds, it is vastly used in the preparation of vegetables and curries. Here is the list of its uses:

  1. It is utilised in the preparation of a variety of sambhars in South-India.
  2. The drumstick pods can be boiled or fried until semi-soft and consumed directly without any extra preparations.
  3. The fleshy parts of green pods are used in many kinds of dal, kormas and curries.
  4. The seeds are taken out from the mature drumstick pods and are eaten like peas or even roasted like nuts.
  5. Green pods are also used to prepare the soup and juices.

Apart from being used as a vegetable and its ingredient, drumstick pods also benefit your overall health. It is an excellent blood purifier and potent antibiotic agent; hence it helps you cure acne, pimples and other skin related infections. Green pods have high iron, calcium, copper, magnesium and manganese content which contribute to improving bone density and thus make your bones stronger. Being a rich source of B-complex vitamins like niacin, pantothenic acid, riboflavin and folic acid, they promote healthy digestive system.

The Uses of Drumstick flowers

Uses of Drumstick flowers

The Uses of Drumstick Flowers Image Courtesy: flickr.com
  1. Moringa flowers are cooked with many vegetable dishes and relished as a delicacy in Eastern region of India including West Bengal.
  2. Moringa flowers are mixed with besan (gram flour) to prepare nutritious cutlets and also added to dal, sambhar, and aromatic spicy gravies.
  3. It has excellent antibacterial and cleansing properties.
  4. Moringa flowers are used in aromatherapy practice and are the basis for various perfumes and colognes.
  5. The flowers provide antioxidant benefits for the skin and hair and hence used for producing hair oils
  6. It acts as an energy booster when boiled with milk.
  7. It is extremely beneficial against infections of the throat and skin.
  8. Scientific research has found drumstick flowers to be useful in common problems such as infertility, erectile dysfunction, and oligospermia (fewer sperms). A study published in the “American Journal of Neuroscience” claims that drumstick flowers help improve the libido and performance.

Drumstick meaning in Hindi

इसे हिन्दी में सहजना, सुजना, सेंजन और मुनगा आदि नामों से भी जाना जाता है। इसका वनस्पति वैज्ञानिक नाम “मोरिंगा ओलिफेरा” ( Moringa oleifera ) है।

The Hindi meaning of drumstick is Sahajana or Saijan or Moonga (horse radish tree). It goes with many names across India and finds its usage in a variety of fields including culinary and medicine. The bark, sap, leaves, roots, seeds, flowers and oils are used in traditional medicines in several countries.

Drumstick Nutritional Information

Drumstick is probably the only plant whose every part is nutrient packed. All the parts including leaves, pods, and flowers are used for many medicinal practices. They are all great source of Vitamin C, protein, beta-carotene, iron, and potassium. Let’s see what each of them contains inside. The nutrition facts provided here are based on USDA National Nutrient database with a serving size of 100gm. Percentages of daily-recommended values are provided in brackets.

Drumstick Vegetable Nutrition Facts

Vitamins Nutrient Value-pods (raw)
 Folates  44 µg (11%)
 Niacin  0.680 mg (4%)
 Pyridoxine  0.120 mg (9%)
 Riboflavin  0.074 mg (6%)
 Thiamin  0.053 mg (4.5%)
 Vitamin A  74 IU (2.5%)
 Vitamin C  141mg (235%)
                                        Electrolytes
 Sodium  42 mg (3%)
 Potassium  461 mg (10%)
                                            Minerals
 Calcium  30 mg (3%)
 Iron  0.36 mg (4.5%)
 Magnesium  45 mg (11%)
 Phosphorus  50 mg (9%)
 Selenium  8.2 µg (15%)
 Zinc  0.45 mg (4%)

Drumstick Leaves Nutrition Facts

Vitamins – Nutrient Value-leaves (raw)
Folates 40 µg (10%)
Niacin 2.220 mg (14%)
Pyridoxine 1.200 mg (92%)
Riboflavin 0.660 mg (51%)
Thiamin 0.257 mg (21.5%)
Vitamin A 7564 IU (252%)
Vitamin C 51.7 mg (86%)
                                       Electrolytes
Sodium 9 mg (0.5%)
Potassium 337 mg (7%)
                                        Minerals
Calcium 185 mg (18.5%)
Iron 4.00 mg (50%)
Magnesium 147 mg (37%)
Phosphorus 112 mg (20%)
Selenium 0.9 µg (1.5%)
Zinc 0.60 mg (5%)

Drumstick in Hindi

सहजन (Drumstick tree) एक एक बहुत उपयोगी पेड़ है। इसे हिन्दी में सहजना, सुजना, सेंजन और मुनगा आदि नामों से भी जाना जाता है। इसका वनस्पति वैज्ञानिक नाम “मोरिंगा ओलिफेरा” ( Moringa oleifera ) है।

इस पेड़ के विभिन्न भाग अनेकानेक पोषक तत्वों से भरपूर पाये गये हैं इसलिये इसके विभिन्न भागों का विविध प्रकार से उपयोग किया जाता है। सहजन के पेड़ अधिकतर हिमालय के तराई वाले जंगलों में ज्यादा पायें जाते हैं।

सहजन के पेड़ छोटे या मध्यम आकार के होते हैं। इसकी छाल और लकड़ी कोमल होती है। सहजन के पेड़ की टहनी बहुत ही नाजुक होती है जो बहुत जल्दी टूट जाती है। इसके पत्ते 6-9 जोड़े में होते हैं।

फलियां 6-18 इंच लम्बी 6 शिराओं से युक्त और धूसर होती हैं। सहजन के पेड़ तीन प्रकार के होते हैं जिन पर लाल, काले और सफेद फूल खिलते हैं। लाल रंग के फूल वाले पेड़ की सब्जी खाने में मीठी और सफेद रंग के फूल वाले पेड़ की सब्जी कटु होती है।(1)

Drumstick has many names in Hindi such as: Sajjan Ki Phalli, Segva, Shinga, Saigan, Sehijjan, Munaga, etc. India has a diverse culture; hence the drumstick goes with many region-specific names.

In Southern states of India drumstick is called: Muringakkai, Muringakkaya, Munnakaya, Munaga, Nuggekai etc. whereas western region (Maharashtra and Gujrat) has a different tongue for drumstick such as: shevaga, sheng, saragvani sing, saragavo etc.

Conclusion: Drumstick Vegetable is truly Magical

Isn’t the miracle tree, a load of incredible health nutrients. Just add fresh or dried leaves to any of your dishes and strengthen your body and mind. Drumstick is not an essential nutrient but a herbal supplement. So, there is no recommended dosage of drumstick as of now. As claimed by many studies the optimum calculated dosage is 29 mgs per kilogramme of body weight.

As drumstick is a natural source of nutrients, it is more bioavailable than the other form of supplements. It doesn’t take much to grow a drumstick tree either. It requires only 8 months with marginal soil and a little water and a bit of care, off course. What are you waiting for? Plant a drumstick tree right away, make it a part of your daily food and have a healthy life forever.

References

  1. Antiasthmatic activity of Moringa oleifera Lam: A clinical study.Agrawal, B., and A. Mehta. 2008. Indian J Pharmacol. 40: 28–31.
  2. Drumsticks: One solutions to several health problems, Indian Express May 11, 2015
  3. A compositional study of Moringa stenopetala leaves.Abuye, C., K. Urga, H. Knapp, D. Selmar, A.M. Omwega, J.K., Imungi, and P. Winterhalter. 2003. East African Medical Journal 80: 247-252.
  4. All Things Moringa, H. Hiawatha Bey
  5. “Moringa Oleifera: A Review of the Medical Evidence for Its Nutritional, Therapeutic, and Prophylactic Properties.” (Vols. Copyright: ©2005 Jed W. Fahey. Baltimore, Maryland: Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Department of Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences, Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Cancer Chemoprotection Center, 725 N. Wolfe Street, 406 WBSB, Baltimore, Maryland, USA 21205-2185.]
  6. “Moringa Super Veggie” by Adhishakti LLC, Vaidya Mishra
  7. Anti-fungal activity of crude extracts and essential oil of Moringa oleifera Lam by Chuang, P. H., Lee, C.W., Chou, J. Y., Murugan, M., Shieh, B.J., & Chen, H. M., Bioresour Technol, 98(1), (2007):  232-236.
  8. Leaf Protein and Mineral Concentrations across the “Miracle Tree” Genus Moringa by Olson ME, Sankaran RP, Fahey JW, Grusak MA, Odee D, Nouman W.
  9. Effectiveness of Drumstick Leaves Extract to Reducing Blood Glucose Level Among Hyperglycemic Clients.
  10. Effectiveness of Drumstick Leaves Tea upon the Level of Blood Pressure among the Hypertensive Clients in Sree Balaji Medical College and Hospital 
  11. The Many Uses of the Mighty Moringa Tree, Mercola.com
  12. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25808883
  13. https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/2974
  14. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24206684
  15. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0044848602004970
  16. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21228777
  17. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17184181
  18. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18249514
  19. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19904611
  20. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0278691509002774
  21. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308814610003663

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

272 Shares
Anupama Singh

Comments (6)
  1. Noel Harriott says:

    Wonderful article I loved it. I also read a lot about moringa benefits here Now I consume moringa daily and feel extremely better than I have in years.

    1. Anupama Singh Anupama Singh says:

      I know. My family consumes primarily the pods and the leaves! Sometimes we are lucky to get the flowers too.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Remarkable issues here. I’m very satisfied to peer your post.
    Thank you a lot and I am taking a look forward to touch
    you. Will you kindly drop me a e-mail?

  3. Yogesh Bhoge says:

    Thank you for providing such a wonderfull & usefull information about moringa.

  4. A.Ramakrishnan. says:

    So for I know little about the medicinal value of this Murungai but now I learnt a lot through your excellent and very much informative article mostly with scientific proofs.Believe that other viewers will also fallow and practice the essence of your good will.THANK YOU LOT.

    1. A.Ramakrishnan. says:

      YOUR Article is very much informative and useful and believe other viewers will also reap the benefits of the same.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The information in our articles are NOT intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and are not intended as medical advice.

Copyright © 2018 by VitSupp Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Digital Strategy by Avinash Chandra.

Top