Moringa has many active ingredients that boost the immune system and help with many health problems, including during pregnancy. However, pregnancy is a unique state when otherwise safe substances may pose a risk. So, is moringa safe in pregnancy?
Moringa oleifera in Pregnancy
Moringa is a plant known by many names such as the miracle tree, the drumstick tree, the ben oil tree, or the horseradish tree. Nutritionists classify it as a superfood, which doesn’t surprise me at all. Moringa is one of the largest natural sources of antioxidants. It is rich in vitamins and minerals and acts anti-inflammatory in our body.
Moringa helps with various health problems, including those that are very common in pregnancy. With such a high potential to overcome them naturally, that raises the question if taking moringa is safe during pregnancy.
Moringa powder obtained from its dried leaves is considered safe during pregnancy.
Do not consume moringa tree bark, roots, and flowers in pregnancy!
Pregnancy is a specific and sensitive period, so never take moringa or any other dietary supplement without consulting your doctor first!
At first, I wanted to focus only on the moringa in pregnancy, but as it’s loaded with so many beneficial components, I am adding a few words about its health benefits to non-pregnant people too.
If you decide not to use moringa during pregnancy, think about adding it to your diet after the pregnancy. Besides helping with various issues, it will boost your immune system and energy levels, which is something all new moms need!
Moringa’s health benefits
Moringa oleifera is a tree native to the foothills of the Himalayas in India. Although locals include all parts of the tree in their diet, moringa leaves are especially prized in Indian traditional Ayurvedic medicine.
Moringa has been used to treat more than 300 different diseases for more than 4,000 years. And all modern clinical studies had only confirmed what Indian healers and locals have long known about the moringa’s healing properties.
Moringa contains many different proteins, vitamins, and minerals. As such, it is one of the largest natural sources of nutrients, which helps with the treatment and prevention of various diseases.
While moringa is low in fats and contains no harmful cholesterol, it contains many beneficial compounds such as:
- vitamins A, B, C, and E
- the minerals calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, and zinc
- amino acids
- anti-inflammatory ingredients
Interesting facts about the moringa nutrition value:
The dried leaves of the moringa tree contain more than 90 essential vitamins. Moringa powder contains:
- 25 times more iron than spinach
- 9 times more protein than yogurt
- 17 times more calcium than cow’s milk
- 36 times more magnesium than eggs
- 10 times more vitamin A or beta carotene than carrots
- 50 times more vitamin B1 than sardines
- 50 times more vitamin B2 than nuts
- 7 times more vitamin C than oranges
- 15 times more potassium than bananas
Moringa is a complete protein that can be compared to animal proteins, which is a real rarity among plants. Moringa contains all 8 essential amino acids, plus ten other amino acids.
The benefits of moringa include:
- it has antibacterial effects
- moringa helps to reduce the amount of glucose in the blood, which could help those with a diabetes
- it has cardiovascular benefits, as it reduces high blood pressure, and prevents heart disease
- it helps to improve depression and anxiety
- moringa helps to absorb more iron, which improves anemia
- calcium and phosphorous in the moringa, help in keeping bones healthy and prevent arthritis
- it has cancer-fighting abilities
- moringa reduces the severity of asthma symptoms
- it prevents stomach disorders
- moringa protects liver
- proteins in moringa help protect skin cells
However, like any dietary supplement, moringa can in no way replace medicines! Yes, it helps in the treatment and prevention of various diseases, but you should not use it as a substitute for prescribed medications! Those who are taking medication should consult a doctor before taking moringa extract!
Is moringa safe in pregnancy?
As you can see from all the above, moringa leaves are a powerhouse of nutrients, which may make them an ideal dietary ingredient during pregnancy.
The safety of the moringa in pregnancy depends on the part of the plant a pregnant woman is using. While moringa leaves are considered safe, you should never consume extracts from the moringa tree bark or roots!
Moringa leaves in pregnancy
Moringa leaves are not toxic and considered safe for pregnant women. And so far, no clinical study that would prove the opposite hasn’t been done. Yet again, clinical studies about moringa’s benefits in pregnancy haven’t been done on humans either.
It is believed that moringa’s high nutrition levels offer benefits both in the prenatal period and during pregnancy and breastfeeding. However, like everything in the pregnancy, moderation is a key for the moringa consumption too!
Moringa tree bark and roots in pregnancy
It is a different story with moringa tree bark and roots, which are much more potent than the leaves. They are not recommended for human consumption, especially in pregnancy!
Is moringa powder safe in pregnancy?
Most food supplements contain only moringa powder from leaves. As such, they are supposed to be safe during pregnancy. However, the production of food supplements is not controlled as strictly as medicines. Also, the supplement likely contains other substances besides moringa powder. That is why it is necessary to determine the safety of all ingredients, not just the safety of the moringa powder in the supplement.
Make your own investigation for a particular supplement and consult with your health care provider before use!
Use only an organic moringa supplement from a reputable seller, and never without the prior consultation with your doctor!
Benefits of using moringa during pregnancy
Healthy intestinal microflora:
A healthy gut ensures overall well-being and improves the immune system. Maintains a healthy intestinal microflora will ease many pregnancy-related problems, including relieving constipation and boost immunity.
In addition to everything I’ve already listed, moringa is a source of fiber too. That is one of the most significant substances in ensuring a healthy gut, so a pregnancy diet rich in fiber is advised. And moringa can help!
Better immune system:
Moringa is full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory ingredients, which can boost the pregnant woman’s immune system.
Iron deficiency is a common problem during pregnancy. As iron needs increase during pregnancy, a diet rich in iron is advised.
Moringa is full of iron and helps with its absorption in the body. It can be an excellent natural remedy for pregnancy anemia.
Blood sugar regulation:
Gestational Diabetes is another common problem in pregnancy. Moringa is full of vitamins, including vitamin B7, which helps to regulate insulin.
It is also believed that moringa leaves increase breast milk volume in nursing mothers.
Moringa’s Side Effects
Only a few moringa’s side effects are known till now. However, it’s a big difference if using moringa in culinary, or as a supplement with moringa’s extract.
Moringa is considered safe when eaten as food. Moringa’s leaf and seeds are likely safe when taken by mouth as short-term treatment support or dried in the moringa powder.
Moringa’s tree bark and roots are lots more potent. They contain a potentially toxic alkaloid spirochin, so it’s better to avoid them in pregnancy!
There aren’t enough clinical studies to scientifically confirm moringa’s safety when applied to the skin either.
People with the following problems should also be careful when consuming moringa:
- Those who are taking drugs against high blood pressure or those with naturally low blood pressure:
- Studies to date have predicted that moringa lowers blood pressure.
- Be extra precaution with the moringa, if you have naturally low blood pressure or high blood pressure, and you are taking medication to lower it. Moringa may lower blood pressure too much, causing you problems.
- People with an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism).
- Using moringa might make it worse.
- Those with diabetes.
- Moringa might lower blood sugar, so people with diabetes must monitor it carefully if using moringa.
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