Moringa is a genus of medicinal plants that has been used traditionally to cure wounds and various diseases such as colds and diabetes. In addition, the genus is also consumed as a source of nutrients and widely used for purifying water. The genus consists of 13 species that have been widely cultivated throughout Asia and Africa for their multiple uses.
The purpose of this review is to provide updated and categorized information on the traditional uses, phytochemistry, biological activities, and toxicological research of Moringa species in order to explore their therapeutic potential and evaluate future research opportunities. The literature reviewed for this paper was obtained from PubMed, ScienceDirect, and Google Scholar journal papers published from 1983 to March 2017.
Moringa species are well-known for their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, and antihyperglycemic activities. Most of their biological activity is caused by their high content of flavonoids, glucosides, and glucosinolates. By documenting the traditional uses and biological activities of Moringa species, we hope to support new research on these plants, especially on those species whose biological properties have not been studied to date.
The genus Moringa is one of the genera found in the Moringaceae family along with Anoma and Hyperanthera. It is well-known as the “drumstick” or “horseradish” family. The Moringa genus comprises 13 species distributed through southwest Asia, southwest Africa, northeast Africa, and Madagascar.
Check out the 6 amazing ways your body can benefit from drinking bitter leaf!
1. Helps get rid of fever
Bitter leaf contains flavonoids which have powerful antioxidant effects in treating a variety of health issues such as a high fever. It works together with other elements such as andrographolide lactones, glucosides, diterpene which work together to treat and trim down fever and its symptoms.
It is said that a glass of bitter leaf juice is a strong herbal remedy which is said to treat malaria and fever.
2. Lowers blood pressure
Research has shown that chewing on fresh bitter leaves or drinking juice extract will drastically reduce the amount of sugar in your blood and therefore help manage your blood pressure better as well as reducing the risk of diabetes.
Bitter lead also contains traces of potassium which is another good remedy for those suffering from high blood pressure. It works by flushing out the accumulation of salt which affects ones sodium levels and leads to high blood pressure.
3. Treats a bad stomach
When eaten raw or juiced, bitter leaf can be used to treat abdominal difficulties such as diarrhoea, stomach upset and gastrointestinal tract diseases like dysentery and other related issues.
To get the best out of your bitter leaf, get a handful of fresh bitter leaves. Wash well with little quantity of salt and water. Squeeze to extract the juice then take a glass of this juice twice a day to flush out your stomach.
4. Good for bones and teeth
Vitamin C is a strong antioxidant mineral found in bitter leaf that plays a vital role in the body which is the maintenance of bones and teeth.
It also contains a trace of vitamin K which helps the body maintain healthy bones and prevents the weakening of bone tissue, also known as osteoporosis.
5. Improves metabolism function
Vitamin B1 is also known as thiamine and it plays an important role in the metabolism of lipids, amino acids and glucose in the human body. Thiamine is an important dietary supplement occurring naturally in a bitter leaf that helps to oxidize fatty acids in other to produce the synthesis of lipids.
Bitter leaf is very effective in this chemical synthesis known as metabolism because it contains the mineral that plays the key role.
6. Fights free radicals
Another nutrient in bitter leaf, which is vitamins E serves as an antioxidant that fights against free radicals which have harmful effects on the body system.
Bitter leaf contains also anti-bacterial compound known as sesquiterpenoids that give the property of bitter taste.
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