Moringa Oil: What it is and How it Can Benefit You
When it comes to general well-being and personal care today, people have begun to realize that the way we’ve been doing things simply isn’t cutting it anymore. We have moved too far away from the natural ingredients we once used in ancient traditions and have, instead, begun to rely on man-made chemicals as “easy ways out”, which actually harm our bodies more than they help.
For every man-made chemical treatment out there, there is an already-existing natural substance that can do the same thing, if not better. Luckily, our society has realized this, and plenty of businesses and consumers are switching to natural beauty and health products; with the amount of new focus being put on the industry, though, it may seem difficult to figure out which natural substances are the best, and which might be most suitable for you and your needs.
Today we are looking at the health benefits of a wonderful oil called moringa oil. If you are not familiar with its uses and how it can benefit your health, read on.
This article is concerned with the use of moringa oil. For a detailed review of moringa extract, please click on the following link 8 Health Benefits of Moringa.
What is Moringa Oil?
Moringa oil is a natural substance that has been gaining some popularity lately; although, it’s not as currently popular as some of the other oils that have entered mainstream media through the health and beauty industries. Moringa oil is derived from a tree that is commonly known as the drumstick tree, scientifically or botanically named Moringa oleifera.
The tree is native to areas of India, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan, and has heavy cultural significance in those cultures and their medicinal practices. After its long history of being used in ancient medicinal practices of certain cultures, it has made its way into homes around the globe, due to the powerful health benefits of the oil.
The Moringa tree, or drumstick tree, is often referred to as the “Never Die Tree” by people in Africa, due to its surprising ability to grow in any condition, even with extremely harsh environments or poor soils. In fact, the tree will even produce fruits when the area is experiencing a drought. If it is cut back or trimmed, it will regrow quickly and abundantly, with four to eight new sprouts coming out of each place cut.
The resilient Moringa tree grows quickly and can gain up to ten feet in just a single year. The tree grows long pods, which oddly resemble drumsticks, hence its common nickname (drumstick tree). Each of the pods contains many seeds, sort of like a pea pod that you might be accustomed to seeing and eating in the United States. The seeds of these pods are pressed to extract the Moringa oil, often using a cold-press method that allows the nutrient concentrations to stay rich in the oil.
There are actually several different varieties of Moringa oil, and the variety you get depends on the type of Moringa tree the oil was extracted from originally. Similar to trees found in India, Kena, Malawi, Sri Lanka, and other areas of Africa, the location that the tree was found in will create small differences in the properties and nutritious value of the oil. Many species of the Moringa tree genus are used to extract Moringa oil, but the most popularly sold type is derived from the tree that is scientifically or botanically named Moringa oleifera.
Other Uses of the Moringa Tree
The Moringa tree itself is beneficial for much more than just the oil that can be extracted from its seeds. In fact, you could even consider it to be a “vegetable tree”, as nearly every part of it (the bark, leaves, fruit, and seeds) can be eaten for a plethora of nutrients including vitamins, minerals, and healthy enzymes.
The leaves can be consumed in salads, teas, or side dishes, and the pods can be eaten like asparagus. The only part of the tree that shouldn’t be eaten is the roots of the tree, as they are known to contain alkaloids that can be toxic in large amounts; although, even small amounts could cause problems in people who are prone to sensitivity.
Nutrient Composition of Moringa
The Moringa tree and every substance that can be taken from it are all very rich in several different essential nutrients, including vitamin C and vitamin A, along with many healthy antioxidants, amino acids, and fats.
Overall, the complete nutrient composition will depend on which part of the tree is being used; although, they will all contain similar compounds. Generally speaking, Moringa oil is rich in folates, niacin, pyridoxine, riboflavin, thiamin, vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, sodium, and potassium.
Health Benefits of Using Moringa Oil
Behenic acid provides the most powerful skin protection in Moringa oil and also helps promotes relaxation and better sleep.
As Moringa oil is rich in several vitamins and Omega 9 fatty acids, the oil helps fight free radicals and protects the organs. The nutrients present in this oil also help to support a healthy heart and immune system.
The oil can also help treat wounds or bruises by stimulating blood flow and protecting those areas from becoming infected.
Moringa oil may also be used to aid in the treatment of several health conditions, including stomach disorders, high blood pressure, and liver damage. The antioxidants and other active compounds present in the oil help alleviate inflammation in the stomach, as well as help to balance the levels of bacteria and improve digestive health to reduce acidity.
Omega 9 fatty acids are great for lowering blood pressure and cholesterol too. Using the oil could potentially reduce your risk of serious health issues such as atherosclerosis, strokes, or heart attacks
What Conditions Can Moringa Oil Treat?
Moisturizes Dry Skin
Moringa oil has many powerful uses, however, as may other oils, is most commonly used as a moisturizer. When applied topically, Moringa oil is a powerful emollient that can lock in moisture and help treat and prevent inflammation, dry skin, and flakiness. It also has many antibacterial properties that can purify and protect the skin at the same time, protecting it from environmental damage and pathogens.
Speeds up Healing
You can also apply moringa oil to damaged skin to help speed up the healing process and prevent infection from taking hold. Moringa oil has outstanding antibacterial properties making it useful for minor wounds, scrapes, bites or burns.
The antibacterial and cleansing nature of this oil also makes it a suitable remedy for acne. Either apply it alone or combine your moringa oil with a few drops of a skin friendly essential oil like lavender, geranium or tea tree oil. Simply dab the oil onto your pimples or blackheads as part of your daily routine.
Treats Stomach Disorders
Studies done on moringa extract have found that the plant can help treat stomach ulcers and pain. The antioxidant compounds found in moringa extract and oil help to relieve inflammation, optimize digestive health and balance the gut’s bacteria. (1)
Note: It is not recommended that you take moringa oil internally. Moringa extract however is available in oral supplementary form.
High blood and high cholesterol pressure is a major risk factor in heart attack and serious heart disease. Moringa oil contains oleic acid which studies suggest can help reduce blood pressure. Animal studies have also found that extracts made with moringa leaves can significantly decrease cholesterol levels. (2)
Moringa oil may also help stimulate blood circulation around the body further reducing your risk of heart disease or stroke.
You can also apply moringa oil topically to treat inflammation stemming from conditions like arthritis and rheumatism. Because of its anti-inflammatory effects and ability to improve blood circulation, it may also be useful for treating sore or aching muscles. Simply massage your moringa oil into the affected parts of your body whenever you feel pain or soreness ion your joints and ,muscles.
You can use it alone or add a soothing essential oil like peppermint or ginger oil. Alternatively, add some moringa oil to your bathtub and let it soak into your body.
Sleep and Relaxation
If you are feeling stressed or edgy and are having troubles sleeping, then moringa oil may help. People have traditionally used the plant to help relax the mind and body. It may work because of its behenic acid content which has mild sedative effects. Try massaging moringa oil into your body to relax your muscles. You can also massage a little into your temples and its aromatic compounds can relax your mind and promote better sleep.
According to studies, moringa extract can help protect against and even help to treat liver damage and liver disease. According to a study published in 2004, moringa extract improved recovery from liver damage caused by medication. (3)
For The Hair
Many of the same nutrients and properties that make moringa oil so effective for your skin also make it a great treatment for your hair. You can use it to revive dull and damaged hair and to help your locks look healthy and full of life.
You can either massage the oil into your hair alone or add it to your normal shampoos or conditioners. As well as helping keep your hair in good shape, its moisturizing and antioxidant properties also make moringa oil a great choice for your scalp. It can help soothe irritation and redness and may even help treat common scalp conditions like dandruff.
How to Use Moringa Oil
There are plenty of ways to use moringa oil to help treat your skin and hair including the following:
- For general skin care, simply massage a few drops of moringa oil into your face each morning. This will help nourish and moisturize your skin.
- To treat acne, add a small amount to your pimples and blackheads each day.
- If you have suffered a minor wound, cut or bite, you can apply the oil directly to prevent infection and speed up the healing process.
- Massage the oil into your aching joints and muscles.
- Rub a little into your temples before bed to ease stress and promote sleep.
- Apply the oil to your hair and scalp to nourish your hair, add luster and sooth scalp irritation.
A comedogenic rating is given to natural substances, as a way of helping people figure out whether or not a substance might be suitable for their skin, especially if they are prone to sensitivity or skin conditions, such as acne.
The rating is given on a scale ranging from zero to five, and the lower ratings represent a substance that is generally considered to be the least likely to cause allergic reactions on the skin, clog your pores, or worsen skin conditions such as acne.
With this in mind, these ratings are only given as an example of how the substances might be expected to act, and you should be aware that your skin, sensitive or not, may still react differently than a substance’s comedogenic rating might suggest.
Moringa oil has been given a rating of three or four on the comedogenic scale, which means that it has been determined to be a comedogenic substance. Comedogenic substances, unlike non-comedogenic substances, are more likely to cause skin irritations, clog your pores, or worsen conditions such as acne.
Generally speaking, substances that have high concentrations of oleic acid are rated higher on the scale, and Moringa oil contains between 50% and 78% oleic acid. Other nutrients contained in Moringa oil include palmitic acid, stearic acid, and behenic acid, in which all of them can cause breakouts in people who are prone to those conditions.
Who Might Use Moringa Oil
Many people could benefit from using Moringa oil in their daily skin and hair care routines. If you suffer from high blood pressure, high toxicity, arthritis, gout, or gastrointestinal problems, Moringa oil can potentially help treat the symptoms of these issues.
Moringa oil can also help people who experience dry skin, eczema, psoriasis, dandruff, premature aging, or even insufficient sleep. Generally speaking, Moringa oil is most suitable for people with dry or combination skin types and may not be suitable for people who have oily skin or are prone to acne, breakouts, or other skin irritations.
Precautions and Side Effects
Before using Moringa oil in an attempt to treat any health conditions, you should always speak with a doctor beforehand. While the oil may provide many significant benefits, there can also be some side effects involved, including skin irritations, stomach issues, and problems with your cardiovascular health.
If you are taking medication to lower your blood pressure, the Omega 9 fatty acids present in Moringa oil may cause hypertension, as they may lower your blood pressure even more. If you are pregnant or are looking to become pregnant, you should avoid using this oil without speaking with your doctor first.