What You Need To Know About Moringa Oleifera and Cancer – 8 Interesting Ways Moringa Helps to Prevent and Heal Cancer
8 Ways Moringa Oleifera Helps to Prevent and Heal Cancer
Moringa Oleifera is a plant native to India and Nepal, commonly known in these parts as the “drumstick tree.” The leaves of this plant have a long history of use in ayurvedic medicine. It is classified as a Rasayana (rejuvenating) herb, which means it is believed to detoxify and rejuvenate the body inside out. Being a highly nutritious herb, moringa oleifera is commonly taken as a supplement to promote healing and recover strength during and after an illness.
Recent studies have revealed that moringa contains a variety of active chemicals, some of which have powerful medicinal qualities. Various parts of this plant have been studied for immune-boosting, detoxifying, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-cancer effects. Several animal and lab studies have found that moringa oleifera can prevent the growth of tumors and kill cancer cells.
Moringa for cancer prevention
Isothiocyanates are a powerful class of phytochemicals that have been studied for their anti-cancer activities. They are naturally found in some cruciferous vegetables like broccoli sprouts and cabbage, as well as in some herbs like moringa oleifera.
Moringa Oleifera contains many variants of this compound, among which benzyl isothiocyanate, also known as moringa isothiocyanate, is considered immensely beneficial for human health. Studies have shown that moringa isothiocyanate can be developed into a potential drug for the treatment of diabetes, ulcerative colitis, obesity, neurological diseases, and certain types of cancer.
Moringa Oleifera has multiple healing properties that can reduce inflammation and prevent the formation of tumors. It strengthens the immune system, fights oxidative damage, improves blood sugar control, lowers cholesterol levels, stabilizes blood pressure, promotes hormonal balance, supports peaceful sleep, and improves brain function. Moringa Oleifera is also a well-known adaptogen that can improve your overall resistance to physical, mental, and environmental stressors, therefore lowering chronic stress – another risk factor for serious ailments.
1. Prevents tumor spread
Various parts of the moringa oleifera plant, including seeds, root, and leaf powder, have been found to have anti-tumor properties. Studies have shown that its active compound moringa isothiocyanate can inhibit cancer cell proliferation and promote apoptosis in them, thereby stopping the cell cycle and halting the progression of tumors.
In a 2015 study, both moringa leaves and bark were found effective against aggressively spreading breast and colorectal cancer cells.
In some animal and lab studies, moringa oleifera has also shown the ability to prevent metastasis – an advanced stage where cancer cells break away from the original site and travel through the blood to form new tumors in other tissues or organs.
2. Kills tumors without harming normal cells
Studies have shown that moringa extracts can effectively kill lab-cultivated cancer cells of the breast, colon, liver, skin, pancreatic, ovarian, blood, and lung cancers. Interestingly, it was found to have minimal toxicity on normal cells. Researchers concluded that moringa oleifera has selective cytotoxic properties that can identify and kill tumors while leaving healthier cells unharmed.
They believe that this may be due to moringa’s multiple mechanisms, such as fighting disease-causing free radicals, lowering inflammation, and providing essential nutrients, which can protect normal cells against toxicity.
3. Lowers inflammation
Most of the chronic diseases affecting the global population today are directly or indirectly related to consistent low-grade inflammation. Numerous factors can increase low-grade inflammation in the body, such as obesity, poor food choices, sedentary lifestyle, smoking, chronic stress, high oxidative load, or some underlying conditions like diabetes.
Research shows a strong connection between high levels of inflammation and an increased risk of all types of cancer. Chronic inflammation of cells can weaken the immune response, increasing the chance of tumor development and survival. Inflammation also promotes the rapid growth of tumors and is known to make therapies less effective.
Moringa Oleifera has been historically used in the treatment of various inflammatory diseases, including auto-immune disorders, allergic conditions, inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatism, and neuroinflammation. Studies have shown that moringa oleifera is effective in suppressing inflammatory proteins and enzymes that are involved in cancer cell multiplication. According to a 2008 study, moringa oleifera may help reduce inflammation and block signals of pain.
4. Improves diabetes control
Uncontrolled diabetes has been identified as a major risk factor for cancer and heart diseases. Research shows that those living with constantly high levels of blood sugar are twice as likely to develop certain types of cancer. The risk is higher in women than in men. Moringa Oleifera contains quercetin and chlorogenic acid that help increase insulin production, improve insulin sensitivity and glucose utilization, and reduce the intestinal absorption of glucose.
Moringa Oleifera is also known to support weight loss and slow down gastric emptying due to its high fiber content, which may also play in role in keeping blood sugar in check. Studies have suggested that taking moringa oleifera powder orally may help stabilize blood sugar in diabetic and prediabetic individuals. Scientists believe that this may be due to moringa’s high antioxidant content that improves organ functioning and lowers the risk of diabetes-related complications, including the risk of pancreatic cancer.
The pancreas is primarily involved in the production of insulin, and long-term diabetes can cause serious damage to this organ. Pancreatic cancer is the third leading cause of death despite being a relatively less common form of cancer, as it often goes undetected for years. According to a 2019 study, moringa isothiocyanate has a protective and regenerative effect on the pancreas that helps prevent serious damage.
5. Activates tumor suppressor genes
Studies have shown that isothiocyanates found in moringa can trigger temporary genetic modifications in a way that activates tumor suppressor genes like p53 and p21. It also promotes the expression of proteins and enzymes related to cell death, such as CK2 and Nrf2 proteins.
At the same time, moringa Oleifera can turn off tumor-promoting genes (p38) and reduce the expression of pro-inflammatory proteins, such as COX-2, iNOS, and NF-kB. These enzymes are involved in cancer development and are known to help tumors survive and evade therapies.
6. Reduces oxidative stress
Moringa Oleifera contains over 40 natural antioxidants, including vitamin C, beta-carotene, polyphenols, tannins, saponins, alkaloids, glucosinolates, and isothiocyanates. Antioxidants help fight free radicals, which are highly reactive molecules created by metabolism. Free radicals constantly react to other molecules in the body, such as DNA, proteins, or lipids, therefore causing cell damage that may eventually lead to mutations and tumor formation.
Research shows that moringa oleifera exhibits strong antioxidant potential that can help lower oxidative stress, reduce inflammation of neurons, and prevent chronic diseases like cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease.
7. Provides nourishment
Nutrition plays a crucial role in cancer prevention and treatment. Eating a diet rich in vitamins, minerals, proteins, and plant antioxidants can improve the response to therapies, maintain strength, and minimize the side effects.
Moringa Oleifera leaf is an incredibly nutritious superfood that packs about 7 times more vitamin C than oranges, 15 times more potassium than bananas, 25 times more iron than spinach, 10 times more vitamin A than carrots, 17 times more calcium than milk, and about 2 times more protein than eggs. It also provides good amounts of riboflavin, thiamine, niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin K, vitamin E, folate, magnesium, copper, phosphorus, and zinc.
By weight, moringa oleifera leaf powder is 27% proteins, 28% carbohydrates, 6% fats, and 34% dietary fiber – which makes it an overall balanced addition to any diet.
However, moringa Oleifera is also high in antinutrients phytates, which can reduce the absorption of minerals like iron and zinc.
8. Enhances elimination of toxins
In ayurvedic medicine, moringa Oleifera is often recommended for liver and blood detoxification. It is said to remove impurities and free the body and mind from all kinds of diseases. (In ayurvedic philosophy, toxin buildup is the root cause of all diseases). Research shows that isothiocyanates found in moringa can aid the liver in eliminating harmful carcinogens from the bloodstream. This is done by inhibiting phase 1 enzymes that can activate a carcinogen while promoting phase 2 enzymes to enhance their elimination.
Its diuretic property also encourages the removal of toxins by increasing the frequency of urination, which helps the kidney flush out excess sodium and maintain an ideal water balance. Due to its high antioxidant content, moringa oleifera can also help eliminate metabolic wastes (reactive oxygen species) and prevent plaque buildup, thus reducing the risk of various kinds of cancer.
Safety and possible risks
Moringa Oleifera leaf powder is generally regarded as safe for most people and is not known to cause any serious side effects. However, if you are considering it as a supplement or complementary medicine, please speak to your doctor about any possible risks or drug interactions.
If you are taking medications for diabetes or blood pressure, taking moringa may cause your sugar levels or blood pressure to drop too low. Moringa Oleifera is an effective natural medicine for thyroid imbalance and should not be taken together with other medicines with the same purpose.
While moringa oleifera has been proven to be completely safe, even at higher doses, it is recommended to take no more than 70 grams each day to avoid any side effects.
Pregnant and lactating mothers should avoid taking moringa unless prescribed otherwise by an expert.
Cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide, claiming an estimated 8-10 million lives every year. In the next 20 years, this number is expected to rise by 70%, mainly driven by low-middle income countries that lack adequate healthcare facilities. Existing cancer treatments are expensive and cause toxicity to all cells, which can sometimes develop into serious side effects.
This is why researchers are now actively exploring plant sources like moringa oleifera, which has shown promising results in preventing and controlling cancer development. Proper nutrition and a preventive lifestyle are being emphasized as powerful tools against the disease.
Unlike available chemotherapy drugs, moringa does not appear to harm normal cells. Moreover, it provides wholesome nourishment that can support healing and minimize the toxicity of medicines.
To Your Health!