Being a supplement junkie has some cons to it. I have tried quite a few things that backfired on me in various ways.
I already did a post a while back about trying evening primrose oil and how it made me feel horrible. Well, moringa is another thing I tried that did me wrong. I wanted to talk about it in this post just in case someone reading this is thinking about trying it.
The moringa plant
The official plant name of Moringa is, moringa oleifera and is in the moringaceae family. It is also known as the “drumstick tree” and “miracle tree.” There are said to be 13 different varieties of this plant.
These trees are native to Tropical Asia which includes Mynamar, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore and a few more countries. It is also grown in Africa, India, Jamaica and Cuba. They are usually capable of growing in the southern states of the U.S, too.
When moringa trees are planted, they fully mature in only eight months-getting up to 40 ft tall. The best temperatures for them to grow in ranges from 77-95 degrees Fahrenheit and they need full sun. They do not do very well if the temperature dips below 45 degrees Fahrenheit for a long time.
They are drought resistant, but still need occasional watering.
Nutrition and uses
The roots, leaves, flowers, pods and seeds of the moringa tree are used. All of these parts have generally the same nutrient profiles although there are some slight differences. The high levels of nutrients that are found in each part include B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin A, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, protein, beta-carotene, quercetin and other antioxidants.
As stated before, moringa is called the “miracle tree” by some. This is due to its alleged benefits that it has been used for, for a long time. The following are what people claim it can do upon use of it:
- Treat asthma symptoms.
- Act as an anti-diabetic by lowering blood sugar levels and increasing insulin sensitivity.
- Help malnourished children gain nutrients and satiation.
- Increase the production of breast milk.
- Combat inflammation in the body.
- Ward off various types of infections.
- Boost the immune system.
- Reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Boost energy levels.
- Boost libido.
It is very important to note that the above claims are just that-claims. While there may be a little bit of evidence that moringa may have some medical benefits, there is just not enough to provide definitive answers.
The following are the ways that this plant is used:
- The pods and seeds are cooked and used as if they are beans.
- The flowers are made into teas or fried and eaten.
- The leaves are used as regular greens after being cooked (here is a recipe example that uses them), made into powder and steeped in boiling water for tea.
- The powder is made into a paste for face masks that is said to provide antiaging, antiacne and dark spot lightening benefits.
- The oil extract is used on skin for possible moisturizing, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory benefits.
- The oil extract is used on the hair and scalp for possible hydration, strengthening, dandruff control and anti-fungal benefits.
Moringa can be found in powder, capsules (by itself or with other things), tea bags (by itself or with other things), oil, liquid drops, energy bars, shots, juice, whole leaves and of course seeds. The recommended dosage of moringa is no more than 2000 mg per day.
There have been shown to be some negative interactions between moringa, medications and pregnancy. They are as follows:
- If combined with prescribed anti-diabetic treatments, blood sugars can dip too low.
- If combined with blood pressure medication, blood pressure levels can dip too low.
- If combined with certain medications, it can decrease the effectiveness of them or increase the side effects.
- Might actually cause miscarriages if a certain amount and/or part of the plant is used.
My experience with moringa
Back when my supplement junkiness was even worse, I came across moringa and was immediately interested in it.
There were multiple reasons as to why I wanted to try it out. They are as follows:
- Boosting my immune system- At the time I was still working with children and most people know how germy they can be! I wanted to protect myself from all of the bugs they bring.
- Antidiabetic benefits- I thought that if I had diabetes or some insulin resistance due to PCOS, that moringa may be of help instead of taking Metformin.
- Boosting my energy- I felt like I needed more energy in the morning as a childcare provider so I was hoping that this would help me.
- Libido booster- At that time my libido was next to nothing so I wanted to see if Moringa would help get it back.
I didn’t really do much research on moringa except for reading the great (possible) benefits of it- I was not good at that during that time in my life. I just thought it would probably be okay since it was natural.
I decided to buy moringa in its powder form so that I could add it to my daily green smoothies that I was drinking every morning back then. When it came in the mail, I was really excited to try it out!
The first whiff of it, yielded a somewhat grassy and pepper-like smell. It was not unpleasant at all, and I wasn’t that worried about whether it was going to taste gross or not.
I prepared my green smoothie which included a frozen banana, a large handful of spinach leaves, Sucralose (yes, I know that artificial sweeteners are “bad”), almond milk and one dose of the powdered moringa (1,000 mg). It was a little bit more green than usual because of the moringa and I found it to be kind of pretty.
The taste of the smoothie was a little bit grassy just like the smell of the moringa is. I really liked it. I slurped it down in no-time. Unfortunately, I was not prepared at all for what was to come…
About 30-45 minutes later, I became incredibly dizzy. After a little while, I also started experiencing heart palpitations. I had no idea what was happening to me, but it was awful!
I had to crawl to the bed because I felt so messed up. When I got there, I thought I would just be able to ride these feelings out but that is definitely not what happened.
I was laying there in bed when all the sudden I felt a rumble in my gut and bowels. Trying to ignore it, I squeezed my eyes shut and tried to take my mind off everything that was going on with me. Then the inevitable happened…my bowels started to let loose!
I had to run to the bathroom and get rid of whatever my bowels wanted to be gone. This happened several more times until my insides were finally happy with the waste that was left in there and were willing to keep it in (if there was anything left)
After the bathroom fun, I went back to the bed as I was still dizzy with heart palpitations. I laid there and took a nap in hopes that when I woke up- the experience would be over.
Indeed, it was over when I woke up two hours later. Thank goodness. I vowed to never take moringa ever again.
My husband decided to try taking a dose of the moringa powder in a smoothie the next day just to see what it was like. Unfortunately, he got even worse diarrhea than I did from it along with a racing heart. I guess this didn’t bother him that much because he took another dose the next day- with the same result.
Needless to say, neither one of us will be taking moringa as a supplement ever again. It clearly does not work with our bodies. It is possible that we needed to start out at a lower dose, but we weren’t/aren’t interested.
Research, research, research!
As I said before, it is important to really read up on the supplements you are wanting to take. Just because they may be natural, doesn’t mean that they won’t have bad effects on you. I have learned that the hard way so please heed my warning!
Moringa powder was a bit of an impulse buy for me and I am glad that my reaction wasn’t any worse than it was.
Have you taken a supplement that backfired on you? Let me know in the comments!
Thanks for reading!
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