When it comes to the natural foods and supplements industry, it is sometimes difficult to separate what is a genuine, useful product and what is overhyped, over marketed nonsense. Whether you are a supplier who wants to provide health products or foods that truly benefit your customers, or you are a consumer who cares about having natural, wholesome ingredients in the things you buy, you cannot afford to be fooled by the latest trends. However, sometimes a substance, derivative or ingredient gains traction which really is worth investing in, promoting or using.
Photo by Barry Stock
One thing that has been seeing a lot of interest in the health and nutrition industry of late is Moringa Oleifera. Here, we take a look at what it is, whether it is ethically farmed, and whether it is beneficial to use.
What Is Moringa Oleifera?
Moringa oleifera, or ‘moringa’ as it is more casually known, is a tree that grows in many parts of the world, including Africa, the Caribbean, Asia, the Indian subcontinent and the Middle East. In regions where it is indigenous, it has typically been used both as a normal food, and as a medicine. It has an unusually high vitamin and antioxidant level, and also contains 18 of the 20 amino acids (and all 8 of the ones your body can’t produce itself and has to get from food). It also has anti inflammatory properties, and can be used as an astringent on skin.
Moringa – A Great Health Product?
With all of these characteristics, and considering that there is no special preparation involved in obtaining the goodness – you can simply eat the leaves raw or cook them however you like – it is no surprise that moringa has a special place in terms of folk medicine. However, there is increasing evidence to suggest it may well be beneficial even when compared to modern medicine, for providing increased energy levels, and even fighting things like diabetes.
Farming Moringa Oleifera
When you are buying or promoting natural products, it is important to know that they come from ethical sources. In the case of moringa, it is very easy to grow and can be farmed in hot, dry countries, so as interest in products like moringa powder and moringa tea has grown in the USA and Europe, increasing demand, farmers in third and developing world communities have been able to produce the plant and trade it fairly in order to improve the financial situation of their entire community. Additionally, farming moringa benefits them because it can be used as a source of food, and because the whole plant can be used, can also be used as animal feed for livestock.
The market for supplements and health foods can be a difficult one to navigate even if you are well informed or work in the trade, because there are so many overblown claims about products and their benefits, and such a lack of standardization. However, moringa is an ingredient that certainly seems to be on the level, and is doing a lot of good worldwide as a commodity, too.