Moringa is so dense in nutrients, it boasts compounds that are both rare and rarely discussed.
For example, have you ever heard of kaempferol? How about caffeoylquinic acids? The difficulty in spelling and even pronouncing these phytochemicals may partly explain why they're not topics of water-cooler chatter.
Phytochemicals are naturally-occurring plant chemicals. Plants manufacture these compounds for their own purposes; often for protection from various threats. When we eat plants, we benefit from the protective qualities of phytochemicals. (For more on this, check out our interview with Clinical Nutritionist, Josh Gitalis here)
Today we’ll discuss just a handful of the potent plant compounds found in moringa.
According to Dr. Monica Marcu, the anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, anti-atherosclerotic (thickening of artery walls), anti-asthmatic and anti-cancer properties of kaempferol, quercetin and rutin is well-established by research.
In their capacity as antioxidants, flavonoids may also inhibit the growth of certain cancer cells, including those of the prostate, colon, breast and lungs. These flavonoids work best in combination - another argument in favour of moringa, a great source of all three.
These ones sound like they would be related to coffee, right? But caffeoylquinic acids belong to a family of antioxidants with remarkable healing properties. They play a protective role against oxidative free-radical damage to proteins, lipids and DNA.
Beyond this, caffeoylquinic acids are known to increase the bile necessary for digestion, protect the liver against hepatitis and other diseases, reduce cholesterol and act as a diuretic. For those with liver and digestive disorders, caffeoylquinic acids provide some relief, reducing abdominal pain, bloating and more.
A medicinal extract containing 1-2 % caffeoylquinic acids (prepared from artichokes) is used extensively in Germany by people of all ages to treat gastro-intestinal conditions. Caffeoylquinic acids are believed to aid in digestion by increasing bile; it further appears protective of the liver, possibly preventing liver disease.
Unadulterated Moringa leaves contain 0.5 - 1% caffeoylquinic acids, which come remarkably close to the level of this acid found in the medicinal extract.1 An extract prepared of moringa leaves would presumably contain much more of this potent compound.
These are just a handful of the phytochemicals found in miraculous Moringa. In future posts, we’ll share more of what we’ve learned through our book research. We think you’ll be as amazed as we are.
When you purchase SuperLeaf Moringa from retailers across Canada or from our online store, you’re supporting the work of Organics 4 Orphans (O4O) in some of the world’s poorest countries. We donate 100% of our profits after business expenses to O4O. Learn more here.