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Moringa Oleifera

Health Benefits of Moringa Oleifera (drum stick), Overview, Uses, and Side effect

Health benefits of Moringa olefiera (drum stick) is known in India. It has also been mentioned in Ayurveda in Sushruta Samhita. Its various parts like leaves, oil, fruit, etc have great health benefits these parts work on various systems of the body like the heart, digestive and circulatory systems. This plant is also known as a drum stick tree and nowadays it is promoted as a “superfood” because of its high nutritional value. In most cultures, it is also used as a part of traditional home remedies.

Overview of Moringa Oleifera (Drum Stick)

Latin name: Moringa oleifera

Family: Moringaceae

Names in different languages:

  • English name- Horseradish tree, Moringa, Drumstick tree
  • Hindi name- Munaga, Sahijan
  • Punjabi name- Surjana
  • Tamil name- Murungai
  • Kannada name- Nugge kayi, Nugge mara
  • Gujarati name- Saragyo
  • Oriya name- Sujuna
  • Marathi name- Shevga
  • Malayalam name- Muringa
  • Nepali name- Sajiwan
  • Indonesian name- Kelor
  • Thai name- Ma rum

Moringa Synonyms in the Sanskrit language:

  • Mochaka- Helps in curing diseases
  • Shigru- Has strong and piercing quality
  • Shobhanjana- It is a very auspicious tree
  • Aksheeva- Expels toxicity
  • Teekshnagandha- It has a pungent and strong odor

Meaning of shloka:

This shloka means that moringa is of three types- black moringa, white moringa, and red moringa, and synonyms of moringa are shobhanjana, teekshanagandhaka, aksheev, and mochaka. Red moringa is called madhushigru. It is pungent in taste, strong, hot potency, sweet, light increases digestive fire, dry, bitter, cause burning sensation, increases sperm count, is good for the heart, and increases pitta dosha.

(Reference: Bhavaprakasha Nighantu- Page no- 324 and Shloka no. 104-106)

Categorization according to classical books:

  • Svedopaga- Herbs used in svedana (Procedure done in panchakarma)
  • Krimighna- herbs that are used to treat worm infestation
  • Katuka skanda- Herbs that have pungent taste
  • Shiroverachanaopaga- Herbs that are useful doing nasya therapy
  • This Acharya has also mentioned that this herb is also useful in acne, pruritis, urticaria, and massage. It is also used as a plant source for oil-sthavara sneha yoni.
  • Acharya Sushruta and Vagbhatta

These acharyas have mentioned this plant under Varunadi varga

Morphological characteristics of Moringa Olefiera (drum stick)

Moringa is a small and graceful deciduous tree with grows up to the height of 10 to 12 meters and the diameter of its trunk is 45 cm. During its flowering season, it looks like a plant of leguminous species from distance.

Its bark is dark greyish, smooth, and surrounded by thick cork. Young plants have whitish green or purple hairy bark. Leaves are tripinnate and are deeply rooted with an umbrella-shaped crown-like.

Leaflets are round with dark green from above and pale from below. Flowers are fragrant, bisexual, and produced throughout the year. Fruits contain globular seeds and three-sided brown capsules which hold numerous dark brown seeds.

It is native to India but mainly found in Sub Himalayan regions of northern India. It is also grown in Sudan, Ethiopia, Tropical Asia, Philippines, Florida, South and West-East America, and Pacific islands.

Chemical compounds present in Moringa Olefiera

Various bioactive compounds present in it are alkaloids, phytosterols, phenolic acids, natural sugars, minerals, vitamins, organic acids, tocopherols, glucosinolates, carotenoids, phenolics, ascorbic acid, cis- vaccenic acid, tetradecanoic acid, n-hexadecanoic acid, palmitoyl chloride, gamma-sitosterol, 5-O-acetylthio-octyl, octacosanoic acid, 4-hydroxymellein, beta-sitosterol, moringine, etc.

Ayurvedic: Medicinal properties of Moringa Olefiera (drum stick) :

  • Rasa (Taste)- Tikta (bitter) and Katu (Pungent)
  • Guna (Qualities)- Rooksha (dry), Teekshna (Piercing, string), and Laghu (Light to digest)
  • Veerya (Potency)- Ushna (hot)
  • Vipaka- Katu (undergoes pungent taste after digestion)
  • Karma (Effect on tridosha)- Vatakaphashamaka (Balances vata and kapha dosha)

Antioxidant, Anti-cancer, Immunomodulatory, Anti-inflammatory, Analgesic, Cardiac stimulant, Hypertensive, Anti-arthritic, Digestive stimulant, Detoxifier, Anti-mutagenic, Adaptogenic, Mucolytic,  Analgesic, Carminative, Anthelmintic, Antirheumatic, Menagogue, Anti-stress, Muscle relaxant, Mucolytic, and Anti-hyperglycemic.

Nutrients present in it:

Calcium, Copper, Calories, Thiamin, Carotene, Thiamin, Thiamin, Niacin, Riboflavin, Vitamin C, Carbohydrates, Fats, Proteins, Potassium, Zinc, Iron, Magnesium, and Phosphorus.

Moringa uses in Ayurveda:

Properties of Drum stick (Black variety):

This is the most common variety of moringa-

  • Teekshna- Strong, Sharp, and Piercing
  • Laghu- Light to digest
  • Katu- Pungent in taste
  • Madhura- Slightly sweet in taste
  • Ushna- Hot
  • Rochana- Improves taste
  • Deepana- Improves digestive fire
  • Tikta- Bitter
  • Vidaahakrit- Causes burning in the body

Useful in various diseases like heart, spleen, abdominal bloating, tumors, carbuncles, lymphadenitis, wounds, eyes, diarrhea, burning sensation and decreases fat and obesity.

Properties of Drum stick (White variety)

This variety is similar to the black variety as it is used in splenic diseases, wound healing, burning sensation, and vitiate blood.

Properties of Drum stick (Red variety):

It is useful in increasing digestive fire and promotes bowel movements properly.

These are the health benefits of moringa in Ayurveda.

Health Benefits of Moringa Olefiera (Drum Stick)

Diabetes mellitus: Moringa has anti-diabetic properties that maintain the blood sugar level and prevents complications like diabetic nephropathy, diabetic neuralgia, diabetic foot, diabetic retinopathy, cataract, etc. Being an antioxidant it protects the body tissues like kidneys, retina, skin, nerves, and blood vessels against the damage caused by free radicals.

Hypercholesterolemia: Its extract is used in treating hypercholesterolemia as it decreases cholesterol levels and increases the elimination of fatty acids which is harmful to the body. This plant also increases the functioning of the liver and helps to regulate the process involved in the transportation of cholesterol between body cells and the liver.

Cancer: Moringa works in cancer because of the anti-carcinogenic action that prevents the progress of the disease. As an antioxidant, it protects the healthy cells from damage caused by free radicals which prevent the initiation of cancer and change the healthy cells into unhealthy ones. It is used as a natural adjuvant therapy in the management of cancer.

Side effects of moringa:

Moringa increases the burning sensation and is pungent in taste. So people who are suffering from gastritis should avoid this. Avoid it in case of bleeding disorders. During menstruation, females should also avoid it because it increases pitta dosha and vitiates blood.

Benefits of moringa powder:

In Ayurveda, its powder is used for balancing three doshas ie., Vata, pitta, and Kapha dosha. You can also consume it in capsules form.

Benefits of moringa leaf:

Its leaves are used in balanitis in the form of a paste which is used to apply over the inflamed area.

How to take moringa:

Powder: 15 grams per day

Oil and Paste: For local application

Part used:

Root bark, Fruits, Seeds, Stem bark, and leaves


From this article, it is concluded that moringa has various health benefits but use it in the proper dose because it causes an increase in pitta dosha which leads to a burning sensation.

Ayurvedic Product of Moringa

Premium Moringa capsules are herbal superfood formulations prepared from moringa leaves, for maintaining the overall health of the body. It is a renewable source of phenolic compounds, vitamin C, carotenoids, essential amino acids, etc. These capsules are packed with numerous nutrients which add to the energy levels and increase the body’s stamina by removing the fatigue.

Note: Our purpose is to serve useful information related to moringa’s benefits, dosage, and other properties. It is advised to the patients not to consume moringa on the basis of this information. Before taking moringa as a medicine it is better to have an expert opinion because dosage and treatment vary from patient to patient depending on their symptoms and medical history.

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About Dr. Ranjana Kaushal

Dr. Ranjana Kaushal (MD Ayurveda) has 11 years of experience in the field of Ayurveda. Right now she is working as an Ayurveda consultant with Life Aveda. She has immense knowledge about herbs, their uses, and formulations. She has published articles related to many herbs and diseases in an international journal. She is also a degree holder in yoga and naturopathy. Read More..

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