Growing and Using Moringa, Comfrey, and Healing Herbs

Learn how to grow and use Moringa Trees, Comfrey, medicinal herbs, adaptogen herbs such as Jiaogulan, and herbal medicine to create vibrant health and an enriched life style. There are a number of herbs you can grown at home which is fun and great for your health. Learn Tips on feeding your pets and livestock naturally with organic greens such as Comfrey, Kudzu, plantain, and Moringa. Get back to your roots in a healthy way.

Monday, September 26, 2016

The Controversy Over Taking Moringa while Pregnant and Nursing: Review Both Sides of the Issue Here





The controversy over taking Moringa while pregnant and nursing is confusing with all the different sites and the warnings issued.  In this blog, I want to present both sides of this contoversy for you to consider.

#1:  Web MD and other standard medicine sites will state that there has been research to question the use of Moringa during pregnancy and nursing.  They will tell you not to take it.

These warnings come from several studies on rats and mice using Moringa in forms such as extracts which resulted in the fetus to be aborted...not just eating the leaves off the tree as more Native people do.  

There have been less than a handful of published double-blind research studies on actual pregnant or nursing human mothers by science. I could only find one and the link is below.

Rats and humans are not the same.  Giving Moringa in extracts and in unusual doses is not the true test of how it works with humans taking the Moringa as a food source in normal quantities. 

Links to Real projects in Africa treating pregnant and nursing mothers with Moringa leaves.

It is interesting that several projects fighting starvation and malnutrition in African countries give Moringa leaves to their pregnant and nursing mothers with no problems.  I list two projects and research to the positive that you should read about. 

These are real pregnant and nursing mothers who were in severe health due to malnutrition. You would think that if giving Moringa leaves to mothers caused them to abort the babies, that they would stop giving them Moringa. The doctors examining these women would see the abortion effects if they indeed took place.  These doctors are out in the villiages, treating pregnant and nursing mothers with poor nutrition.  They see these women as the pregnancy goes on.  They chart the mothers progress...the pregnancy progress.  They should notice a problem of abortion after putting them on Moringa supplementation, if there were problems. 

Research project links below:

http://www.thecultureist.com/2014/09/19/senegal-moringa-tree-food-poor/


http://chenetwork.org/files_pdf/Moringa.pdf


Research done on Moringa and breast milk production below:
http://miracletrees.org/moringa-doc/moringa_breastfeeding_study.pdf 
 

"Pregnant women are encouraged to start adding Moringa leaf powder to their daily food early on in their pregnancy, and to continue taking it during lactation. Moringa is recommended as an additive to the food of babies six months or older who are being weaned."
http://www.unesco.org/most/bpik10-2.htm 


John Hopkins University, who has researched Moringa extensively does not list the leaf as being an 'Abortifacient'   See their research here .

They do list the bark, flowers, root, and gum as an 'abortifacient'.  Again visit the link above.  

The issue of contaminated Moringa products


There is the huge issue of Moringa products purchased being contaminated with heavy metals, dirt, insects, mice parts, E-coli, mold, and mildew.  There is a lot of problem with the above. Most of the products you are buying are not tested period. If they are tested, it is probably in the country of origin. The labs in these foreign countries have a lot of problems including the labs hiding the negative results from their testing.  

All these contaminants can hurt you and your baby.  


There is a huge difference between picking leaves off the tree in your yard and buying product that you have no idea about.  You know your hands were clean when you picked it yourself, but were the hands that picked it clean?  Was the place where they cleaned it or dried it clean or was it infested with mice and rat droppings. Were the chickens running through the area where it was being processed. 

Some of the products you are buying contain all parts of the Moringa tree including flowers and pods.

The bark, roots, flowers should not be eaten when you are pregnant!   So if you taking a mixed product, that could cause an abortion. 

How many of you know if the product you have purchased contains only leaves or a mixture of all the parts?  That is a huge problem if you are pregnant or nursing. 


What about the pods? 

The pods or Moringa fruit is listed in John Hopkins as an   'Abortifacient'

Along with that, here is the problem with the pods; when they pick the pods, they are picked in mass. Some of the pods may be green, some older, some hard and dried in the pod just like green beans on a vine. The pods are not all the same quality. Some may have mold or bug spots. Some may lack nutritional value at that point they are picked. Pods are harder to sort when in a hurry and harder to clean and dry.  Some people report eating too many pods or seeds can cause nausea or a stomach ache.  So that is an issue in pregnancy or nursing.  

 

The decision is yours and your doctors in the end.

When in doubt don't use it.  Talk to your doctor first. Get his advice before you take anything.  During pregnancy, almost any food can cause nausea with some women.   Your reaction to a food while pregnant is very different at times than eating that same food when not being pregnant.  

Unless you are very certain of the safety of that product...do not take it.  If you cannot be sure the product is not contaminated...don't use it.  If you have no idea if it is filled with heavy metals and lead, do not take it. Food products from foreign countries often have problems...all of them including Moringa.

Be aware that food products grown in this country can also be contaminated with heavy metals, lead, and arsenic from the chemicals and artificial fertilizers given to the plant during production. Rice is one of them.  

Even organic rice and baby food rice has been shown to contain high amounts of arsenic. 

Much of the fish today contains mercury, pesticides, prescription drugs, and chemicals. In Nevada, Tennessee and Colorado just to name three there are areas where it is posted not to eat the fish you catch. 

In some areas of the United States, such as some areas of Nevada, lead and arsenic is naturally found in the soil. In those areas, you cannot drink your well water.  Some well water is too high in iron.  Some well water contains high amounts of pesticides.  So food produced in this country can be a problem as well. 

You have a lot of information to consider. Visit the links of these projects in Africa as well. Then make a decision based on that research and your doctors advice.

 

Kate Freer, the herbladyisin

Labels:

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Grams? Ounces? How much Moringa should I take each day? Are you confused?

The two most frequent questions asked are," How Much Moringa Should I Take?" and  "Should I stop taking my multivitamin?"

Dwarf Moringa trees growing in our house.


The problem with those questions, is there is not simple cookie cutter answer.  In many of the projects in countries such as Africa, the people often are starving.  Mothers are dying. Their babies are dying because of the lack of food in those areas.  Mass starvation with babies who are barely hanging on to life is not America.  We do not see bodies on our streets because of starvation. In those situations, Moringa is an easy to grow tree for those families and climate area.  

It is a huge tree with lots of edible leaves. It grows leaves quickly after you pick them.  It is a food source that is easy and cheap to grow and use. They just pick the leaves off the trees in their yard or in the community. 

With all the trees growing in each area, it is education that teaches them that the leaves of the Moringa tree are edible and nutritious. We have over 50 different trees that grow in TN but most of them do not have edible leaves. A few do but how would I know that unless someone told me or I read it.  We have May Apples here that grow wild. Most locals do not know that the May Apples can be eaten, even though the plant is not. Only the local herbalists seem to know what is edible in the plants growing here. So it is also true that often people living near the Moringa trees, do not realize you can eat the leaves, pods, and flowers.

In the United States, it only grows year round in places like Florida or Hawaii.  In most of the US it is a seasonal tree that will die off in the winter.  Water and land is more expensive. Rules and regulations take up thick binders that relate to the Moringa leaves once taken off the trees. So it is not available in your local market in most areas of the U.S.  So most Americans have access to it only through buying it in bulk powder, capsules, tea, or extract.  Most families eat a diet filled many different foods, some of it junk food and highly processed but their stomachs are not swollen from starvation but from obesity. Neither one of them is good for longevity.  Still, our children do not die daily from massive starvation as in parts of Africa suffering from drought and war.

Americans for the most part buy Moringa as a supplement for their diet.  How much you need as a fit, healthy person is very different for someone who has marginal nutrition or is starving.  In those countries, they eat the fresh leaves or the dried powder in a gruel.  They consume a lot of Moringa because they have few quality food sources that are high in protein, calcium, iron, Vitamin A, and all the other nutrients that Moringa contains.  If its your ONLY food source for protein and other vital nutrients, you eat a large portion.  It is your main nutritional food source.

If you are a picky child who doesn't like to eat vegetables, he would get more than a child who loves their veggies like my granddaughter who is three. If I were a person that was unhealthy, had a lot of health issues, was not eating well, was elderly and had no appetite, I would need more. It that were so, I would have to consume a few tablespoons of the powder.  Each person has a different health situation and a different need for a Moringa supplement or any other supplement. There can be NO cookie cutter answer for each person has individual needs for different nutrients.

There are now a hundred or so different companies selling Moringa products.  Most of them show the product in either grams or ounces.  A few of them actually break down their serving information into teaspoons or tablespoons.  They actually state how much protein is in a tablespoon of their product. 

What you must understand, is that is just a general statement for their product.  The actual real amount of protein in each tablespoon is going to vary, along with the other nutrients stated on the label.

Most of the research performed on Moringa is stated in grams.  That research was performed on samples given to them from different areas.   Those quoted nutrients are for that sample only.  They are general guidelines to the nutritional value of Moringa.

Factors that affect the specific nutritional value for the Moringa you just purchased are many including:  area the trees are grown in; soil the trees were grown in; water purity, climate pollution; manner of picking, washing, and drying; the heat the product was dried at; chemicals used if any in the process; how and when it was packaged; how long it sat in the where house;  contamination in the equipment; contamination in the storage facilities; and more.  Quality equals nutritional value for any given bottle or bag of product. 

Generally 16 ounces of Moringa Powder contain 453 grams.   One ounce contains generally around 28.3 grams.   One dry ounce equals generally around 9 tsps or 3 tablespoons.  So 100 grams or 3.5 ounces of Moringa powder equals  around 10 tablespoons.  

When they say 100 grams of Moringa contains this much of each ingredient, they are talking about roughly10 tablespoons.  That is how much you would have to consume to get the amount of nutrients they are stating.  That still doesn't tell you exactly how that compares to the same number of carrots, or other normal food eaten. It gets pretty complicated to do that. 

The problem is vegetables in general vary in the nutrients they contain for the same reasons Moringa does.  All veggies are not equal for their nutritional value. How long did yours sit in the refrigerator before you cooked them? How long were they at the supermarket? How long did they sit in the where house before being shipped to the market? How many days did they sit at the processing plant?  There are few foods that go from the field to the farmers market. Most of them involve a number of steps which reduce their nutritional value.  I remember when we lived in Imperial Valley,CA. The huge trucks of picked carrots would sit in the fields for a day or two in the heat before being taken elsewhere.

Generally 1 tablespoon of Moringa Powder contains 24 calories, 3.24 grams of protein, 3.6 grams of carbohydrates, 240 mg of Calcium, 44 mg of Magnesium, 159 mg of potassium, 2 mg of Vitamin A, 50 mg of choline, 0.3 mg of Thiamine or B1, 2.5 mg of Riboflavin or B2, 1 mg of Nicotinic Acid or B3, 500 mg of Vitamin C, 23.5 mg of Vitamin E, 35 mg of Potassium, and 3.4 mg of Iron. There are many micro nutrients that cannot be measured.  The chlorophyll has many great health benefits. It contains many factors that are anti-inflammatory, provide antioxidants, provide elements that have  nothing but positive effects on the body.  Much of the benefits in the Moringa cannot be easily tracked for each pound of product.  They are a part of Moringa as a whole food.  It takes hundreds of dollars to analyze  product for micro nutrients.  Testing period is costly.

Should you discontinue your multi-vitamin after starting Moringa supplements is addressed in the full article below at the article directory website.

To read the full article with more detail for some of the sections go HERE

So I hope this helps you to decide how much Moringa you should take for your diet and lifestyle. 
  
Kate Freer, the herbladyisin

Visit my Alternative Medicine-Moringa Article Directory for more information and articles on alternative medicine, herbs, and Moringa.





Labels: