Herbal (plant) medicine is the most ancient form of healthcare known to humankind. Plants as medicines are mentioned in historic documents dating back many thousands of years. Furthermore, many cultures, like Amazonian Indian tribes, with no written languages, depended on oral communication to convey information and traditions which were also rich in plant stories. Since prehistoric times and continuing to our modern days, people from all over the world have grown or collected plants for the prevention and treatment of diseases. Moringa Oleifera is one of the best examples. People have long known that botanical medicine provided a complete, safe system of healing and prevention of diseases.
How is Herbal Medicine Working? How Moringa Working?
Plants produce and contain thousands of chemical compounds that benefit the plant itself. They protect the plant from herbivores or damaging ultraviolet light attract pollinatorsor prevent competitive germination. Below are some examples of plant chemicals with biological activity in animals:
- Powerful alkaloids with specific actios on animal physiology. Caffeine and morphine are well known alkaloids. Moringa root bark, but not the rest of the plant, contains specific alkaloids such as moringinine, which increase heart and blood vessel tonus.
- Antioxidant compounds reduce the cellular damage inflicted by normal metabolism and living processes in plants, animals, and human. Most plantantioxidants are also anti-inflammatory and cancer-preventive, thus delaying aging of tissues, and degenerative diseases. Moringa is known to contain a number of powerful antioxidant flavonoids such as quercetin and kaempfero. Many vitamins in Moringa qualify as potent antioxidants as well: vitamins A, C and E.
Dietary plants are the main source of antioxidant, antiaging substances for humans!
- Vitamins are complex substances vitally important for metabolic and many other physiological reactions. Some of the vitamins (specially, vitamins A, C, E) are also potent antioxidants. Vitamins may considered nutrients but they are also viewed as “medicines“ when they bring the health back into balance, normalize and regulate the abnormal biologic processes which lead to diseases. Moriga is a powerful vitamin factory; some of those present in the various parts of the pant include vitamin C, beta-carotene (a precursor of vitamin A), vitamin E, vitamin K, and many of the B complex group of vitamins. these are reviewed extensively in the chapter “Moringa, the Nutritive Plant“.
- Antibiotics, antimicrobial and antihelmintic substances. Some of the most powerful antibiotics have been isolated from plants, but plants can also be used in their whole form to fight infections and parasite infestation. This extraordinary effect of plants is especially important whenever the local population cannot afford expensive medicines from pharmacies. Moringa has long been known to have powerful antibiotic effects and was used by various populations around the globe against infections.
- Natural hormones, enzymes, minerals, and various phytochemical (plant-derived substances) with numerous pharmacological activities in animals and humas. These are two numerous to mention, and they go beyond the purpose of this site to talk about their effects on health. Suffice it to say that plants, generally, are an inexhaustible, fantastically useful ad creative source of benificial substances that can be used in many ways to improve human lives, at all levels.
Niaziminin, another Moringa phytochemical, was shown to have potent anticancer activity in animal studies. Interestingly, long before research validated the idea, people traditionally have used Moringa against abdominal and other tumors (cancerous growth).
Hypotensive (lower blood pressure) principles niazinin, niazimicin, and niaziminin A and B were also obtained from fresh leaves. These compounds belong to the family of mustard-oil glycosides (very rare in nature).
One of the most exciting phytochemicals found in Moringa is beta-sitosterol. It has a chemical structure very similar to that of cholesterolin the human blood.Although beta-sitosterolis not well absorbed by the body after ingestions, when consumed with cholesterol it effectively block cholesterol`s absorption.this ultimately leads to a lower serum cholesterol level. But beta-sitosterol has many other beneficial effects for humans.