A new plant has been found with similar health benefits to spinach. The plant, called moringa, has been found to have great benefits and may potentially help to fight the side effects of cancer.
The moringa plant is naturally grown in India, but has a worldwide reputation. It is known for its benefits of nutrition and medicine which may help retaliate to the symptoms of diseases, such as: cancer, asthma and diabetes. Moringa comes in the form of 13 unique species, which range in size from tiny to tall. M. oleifera, a small, fast-growing species of moringa is the most commonly harvested species. It has been used for centuries in fighting symptoms of diseases, such as: mesothelioma.
The species has also been known as the drumstick tree owing to its long, slender and triangular seed pod appearance.
BENEFITS OF THE MORINGA PLANT
As with spinach, moringa is known to have a high iron content. In fact, it has three times more iron. ECHO, which is an organisation aiming to reduce hunger and improve the lives of the poor reports that the Asian Vegetable Research and Development Center (AVRDC) has discovered the contents of moringa to include iron, antioxidants and A,B,C Vitamins.
Antioxidants assist in protection against cell damage caused by free radical cells, found in the body. Vitamin C helps to sustain a healthy immune system and Vitamin A is useful in growth, vision and bone development. It can also help maintain a healthy mucous membrane that protects against infections in both the respiratory and digestive tracts.
Moringa leaves have also been found to contain amino acids, which are important in helping those who are undergoing Chemotherapy. Interestingly, the National Institute of Nutrition found that a handful of moringa leaves contains as much as three times more potassium than bananas four times the amount of calcium as one glass of milk.
The leaves can be included in your diet with ease. The leaves can be eaten fresh, cooked and even stored without loss of nutritional value. Its rumoured to taste great with smoothies, with fruit and even as a full replacement to any recipe which involves spinach.
THE MORINGA PLANT: ANTI-CANCER BENEFITS
M. oleifera has had all of its components used in India to make medicines, especially for anti-tumour and inflammatory growth. Owing to its long-standing reputation, scientists are now interested in researching the possibilities of using the plant to prevent cancer.
A study in 2003 by The Asian Journal of Cancer Prevention looked at skin tumour prevention following the consumption of the moringa seed pod in mice. The results were promising, in that skin papillomas had reduced and ultimately suggesting that M. oleifera has possibilities in preventing cancer.
Another study in 2006 found that a molecule from the M. oleifera caused cell death in ovarian cancer cells. Based on this, scientists concluded that this may be a potential way to treat this type of cancer. ECHO also found that moringa leaves used in porridge has substantially reduced symptoms of HIV in patients with HIV. The symptoms include fatigue, weight loss and chronic cough. These are also common with those who are diagnosed with Mesothelioma. Research has also found the plant to be useful in treating symptoms of cancer, such as: fever, skin irritations, weight loss and coughing.
Organisation such as Trees for Life and Church World Service are strong supporters of using moringa to treat cancer and malnutrition. Malnutrition occurs when the body doesn’t have enough nutrients, because of the side effects of cancer treatments, patients may experience symptoms of loss of appetite which can negatively affect their quality of life. Moringa, in this way, is an easy way to meet daily nutrient requirements without having to eat a big meal. Moringa health benefits, therefore, are plentiful.
Although, do understand that treatment options affect people differently. As with all alternative medicines for cancer, it is best to talk to your doctor before adding moringa to your treatment plan. After consumption, if you are experiencing any moringa side effects, it is necessary for you to seek medical attention as soon as possible.
The moringa plant is gaining great recognition. The Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations identified the plant as crop of the month in September 2014. With the benefits now known, further scientific approaches will follow suit.
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