Moringa Tree: Side Effects & Uses for Cancer Treatment
Listen up, Popeye, there’s a new leafy green in town and it’s better than spinach.
The plant is called moringa, and it can do much more than strengthen your biceps. It may be able to help fight the side effects of cancer.
Moringa is a naturally grown plant native to India, but is cultivated worldwide in tropical and subtropical regions worldwide. It is known for its nutritional and medicinal properties that potentially can help combat the symptoms of cancer, asthma, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and other diseases.
Not only is M. oleifera highly nutritious, but every single part of the tree has been used for beneficial purposes. In India, its leaves, bark, fruit, flowers, seeds and root are regularly used to make medicine, especially for anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor growth.
As moringa has long been recognized by folk medicine practitioners, scientists are beginning to research the possible cancer prevention of this power plant.
The Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention in 2003 published a study in which researchers examined skin tumor prevention following ingestion of moringa seedpod extracts in mice. Results showed a dramatic reduction in skin papillomas and suggested that M. oliefera has possible cancer preventing properties.
Another study conducted in 2006 reported that a molecule found in M. oleifera induced cell death in ovarian cancer cells grown in a lab. Based on these findings, researchers believe the plant has potential to treat this type cancer.
According to ECHO, a diet of moringa leaves with porridge made from amaranth grain has substantially reduced or alleviated HIV symptoms in patients. These symptoms include fatigue, shortness of breath, weight loss and chronic cough, which are also common in people diagnosed with mesothelioma and other cancers of the lung.
Research also suggests the moringa tree has shown potential to reduce the following symptoms common in cancer patients:
- Chest congestion
- Difficulty breathing
- Joint pain
- Respiratory complications
- Skin irritations
- Sore throat
- Weight loss
The organizations Trees for Life, Educational Concerns for Hunger Organization and Church World Service have strongly advocated for moringa as a way to combat these symptoms, as well as a way to improve malnutrition.
Malnutrition occurs when your body does not get enough nutrients. Because of the side effects of some cancer treatments, patients experience a loss of appetite, which can lead to malnutrition and severe weight loss.
This can negatively affect their quality of life, treatment response and survival. Moringa provides an easy way to meet your daily nutrient requirements without having to eat a big meal.
Keep in mind that treatment options affect people differently. As with any alternative medicine, it is best to talk with your doctor before adding Moringa to your treatment regimen or diet. If you experience any side effects after using these alternative methods, you should seek medical attention immediately.
Growing Recognition of the Moringa Tree
As the benefits of moringa become more evident, scientists and researchers are beginning to give the plant some credit. In fact, the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations recognized moringa as the September 2014 Traditional Crop of the Month.
While the nutritional and medicinal value of moringa is becoming more well-known, further scientific research and clinical studies are needed to provide further acknowledgement of this plant as a cancer preventive method.