Drumstick tree or known as Moringa Oleifera is a plant which belongs to genus Moringa and family Moringaceae. This leaves of the tree has been known as medicinal plant since long ago. Since health benefits of drumstick leaves are so powerful, people used to call the drumstick leaves as magic leaves. In 2008, a health organization in America, National Institute of Health or NIH also mentioned this plant as a mysterious one which comes from Asia. Later, the leaves of drumstick plant became so popular and being researched by many health experts in the world.
Benefits And Uses Of Drumstick Leaves
Drumstick plant is considered as native plant from Agra and Tamil Nadu, India. The leaves of the plant have been used in ayurveda medicinal purposes and spread out to other countries in the world. Research reported that the health benefits of drumstick leaves have been used by ancient Egyptian 4000 years ago and they call the plant as “Shagara Al Rauwaq” which means the pure plant. Benefits and uses of drumstick leaves nowadays is commonly known in drug manufacture, and animal feed. Some countries in the world also use this plant as a vegetable and include it in the diet, while it is also reported that many African can survive by only eating the leaves during starvation days. Drumstick leaves also has benefits as natural food color and even in Indonesia, the leaves of drumstick plant being used to take away black magic or evil spirit from someone’s body.
The Health Benefits of Drumstick Leaves
There are so many active substance in drumstick leaves which make it possible to cure many health problem in human. A research by Dillant, Germany in 2002 reported that drumstick leaves contain protein, Vitamin C, beta carotene, calcium, potassium, and also high in antioxidant including ascorbic acid, folic and fenolic. Fugli LJ, 1999 mentioned in his book “The Miracle Tree, Moringa oleifera: Natural Nutrition For The Tropics” that the leaves of drumstick contains more than 40 kinds of antioxidant, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammation such as a glycoside component, rhamnose. Want to know more about the health benefits of drumstick leaves? Check these out!
1. Prevent Cancer
Cancer is one of serious disease which now becomes a nightmare for every people because still there is no effective cure to permanently remove cancer cells from the body. As mentioned before that drumstick leaves are very rich in antioxidant, Vitamin C, zinc and other active substance which can fight against free radicals, some substances that can caused cancer and causing DNA damage in the cells. A study by Sreelatha et al in 2011 which published in Journal of Food and Chemical Toxicology reported that the extract of Moringa oleifera plant show an anti-proliferation and can induce apoptosis (cell suicide mechanism) on cancer cells. This is why the health benefits of drumstick in fighting cancer is one of the most interesting topic for many experts.
2. Protect Liver
Consuming drumstick leaves regularly can seriously help the detoxification process of the liver inside the body. Many studies have been proven that drumstick leaves can protect the heart and repair liver damage which caused by toxic, bacteria or virus. A study by Das N, Sikder K et al in 2012 showed that extract the drumstick leaves contains many potential substances such as sillymarin that can increase the liver enzyme function. It also protects the liver from early damage which can be caused by high fat consumption or other cause of the liver disease.
3. Maintain Healthy Vision
The next health benefits of drumstick leaves are related to human eyes. As we know, consuming green leaf vegetable is very beneficial for maintaining good vision since it contains Vitamin A and beta carotene. The drumstick leaves contain high amount of vitamin A even it’s four times higher than the vitamin A content in carrot. In 100 gram moringa leaf contains at about 7564 IU units of vitamin A which is enough to fulfill the daily requirement. A study also mentioned that drumstick leaves contains lutein (about 70mg lutein in 100 gram of leaves), a substance which can prevent and cure glaucoma, an eyes disease caused by pressure and fluid accumulation which can damage the eye nerves and causing total blindness.
4. Prevent Diabetes
Diabetes is another fatal disease which it’s patients rate increasing year by year. This disease is mostly caused by lack insulin sensitivity and high level of sugar consumption. a study conducted by Gupta R et al in 2002 which published in Journal of Diabetes, India mentioned that the extract of drumstick leaves posses anti-diabetic and antioxidant substances which bring health benefits of drumstick leaves for diabetes patient. It is also reported that vitamin D in drumstick leaves can increase the level and sensitivity of insulin in the body.
5. Reduce High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure or also known as hypertension is a condition which doesn’t show you any symptom but it can be very dangerous and lead to a fatal heart attack. Some of the causes of high blood pressure are poor diet and physical inactivity. The health benefits of drumstick leaves in treating high blood pressure comes from the potassium content. Potassium is a mineral which can lower the blood pressure. It works by affecting vasopressin, a hormone which regulating the blood vessels enlargement. Consuming drumstick leaves regularly can be a good idea to treat hypertension but do not forget to consult your doctor first.
6. Strengthen Immune System
Immune system is one part of our body which is so important to defend and protect the body from disease and pathogen. It has been proven scientifically that the power of drumstick leaves in strengthen immune system is not a joke. The drumstick leaves contain high amount of antioxidant and vitamin C as well as zinc which can improve the immune cells activity and act as barrier of virus, bacteria or free radicals which enter the body. A research by Yu Yang et al in 2012 found that active substances in drumstick leaves can boost immune system and has immunomodulatory effect in the human body. Because of this health benefits of drumstick leaves, many drug manufactures creates supplements which contain the extract of moringa leaves. It is also mentioned that the effect of drumstick leaves also benefits in fasten the wound healing effect outside and inside the body.
7. Reduce The Risk Of Heart Disease
Heart disease is number one killer on earth which keeps increasing day by day. This disease can be caused by several problems including high cholesterol food consumption. Cholesterol is a fat substance that can induce the plaque formation inside the blood vessel which resulting in high blood pressure, damage of heart cells and lead to heart attack. The health benefits of drumstick leaves can also protect your heart from bad cholesterol effect. The omega 3 content of the leaves is able to eliminate and absorb the cholesterol from the body, so it will not have a chance to build the plaque inside the blood vessel wall. In other word, regular consumption of moringa leaves can help you to reduce the heart disease risk especially in elder age.
8. Prevent Anemia
Anemia is a health problem which caused by iron deficiency in the body. It is very common nowadays since people used to leave the vegetable and healthy food consumption behind. 100 gram Moringa leaves powder contains at least 28 mg iron which is higher that the amount of iron in beef and other animal product. Some study which conducted by researchers in Africa show that the anemia symptoms in pregnant women can be cured by the Moringa oleifera consumption and the effect is also very positive to anemia sufferer.
9. Help in Lose Weight
Want to lose weight fast? Maybe you can try the health benefits of drumstick leaves which related to losing weight process. The drumstick leaves contain high amount of fiber that can stop food craving and help you stay full longer than usual after meal. A study which conducted by Rugers University in US found that drumstick leaves also contains an active substance called isothiocyanate that can prevent the body from absorbing fat or cholesterol which you consume in daily basis.
10. Maintain Healthy Hair and Skin
What about the health benefits of drumstick for your skin and hair? It has not being forgotten to be mentioned that the leaves also can be very beneficial for skin and hair. The miracle of the drumstick leaves for skin comes from the sitokinin, a hormone can keep healthy and young skin. It also contain high vitamin C and antioxidant that prevent the skin from any aging sign including wrinkle formation. Which woman will resist this miracle? The vitamin E and protein content of the leaves also can improve the hair growth and keeping the healthy hair whole day.
11. Induce Lactation
Never underestimate the benefits of drumstick leaves for health because it’s not only good for keeping your body but it also benefits and uses to induce lactation after giving birth. We know that breastfeeding is very important since the milk delivers many nutrient which required by the infant. A study by Corazon P Estrella, et al from the Department of Pediatric – PGH Medical Centre published in 2000, reported that the extract of drumstick leaves can increase or even double the number of milk production in breastfeeding women. It surely will give benefits for the infants since they need adequate number of milk during their early growth session.
12. Cure Constipation
Constipation usually happened if you consume lack of fiber in your diet. Fiber is required in your digestion system in order to help the formation of feces and flush it out from the body. It also help the intestine to clean the tract from any harmful substance and improve the good bacteria growth inside it. Drumstick leaves contain high amount of soluble and insoluble fiber that can enhance the digestion system also prevent and cure constipation. So whenever you have this problem, you can directly consume the moringa leaves or the supplement.
13. Treat Kidney Stone
Kidney stone is a crystallization form of cholesterol, calcium, bile pigment or other substances in the body which occurs in the human urinary tract and it cause sharp pain during urination. Kidney stone can be very serious and leads to kidney failure if it doesn’t get any cure or concern. Moringa oleifera or drumstick leaves can be potential super food which consumed as vegetable. It can help the body to destroy the kidney stone and flush away the stone crystal by increase the urination output. If you want to avoid any surgery after the doctor claimed that you have a gallstone or kidney stone inside your body, you can try this health benefits of drumstick leaves to cure your problem.
14. Support Brain Health
Drumstick leaves is a super food which very beneficial for human brain. It contains many nutrients such as iron, zinc, omega 3 and other substances that known as brain enhancer. The zinc content of drumstick leaves is a part of many hormones and neurotransmitters which responsible in brain function while the omega 3 content of the leaves can help to improve memory and cognitive function of the brain. The antioxidant content inside the leaves also can protect the brain cell from damage which caused by any free radical activity in the body. This become a primarily reason why many people start to consume drumstick leaves nowadays.
15. Protect Against Toxicity
One more potential health benefits of drumstick leaves that should be mention, it’s protection against toxicity especially arsenic toxicity. A study by Afzal Sheikh et al from Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Rajshahi, Bangladesh which published in Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine, 2014 reported that the extract of drumstick leaves can reduce the effect of arsenic which usually found in food, drinking water and soil. Arsenic toxicity can cause many health problems such as hyperkeratosis, dermatitis, cardiovascular disease, kidney failure, diabetes and even some types of cancer.
Side Effect of Drumstick Leaves
Even the health benefits of drumstick leaves are undoubted, the leaves also can possess some side effect especially if someone consume it in high dose or after a long years of consumption. The side effects of drumstick leaves include the damage of liver and kidney, paralyze, also some light digestion problem. To avoid those side effects, you can consult a doctor before consuming.