Frequently asked questions
Is it important to brew moringa powder in water, or is it okay to consume the powder/leaves directly?
You’ll get many of the phytochemicals in moringa if you “brew” (in either cold or hot water). However, you get EVERYTHING, including the fiber, protein, and heat-sensitive compounds (such as the critical enzyme myrosinase), if you consume the powder or leaves directly. Some people aren’t fond of the taste of the powder (as with any food!), but the tea has an almost sweet flavor note, and most people find it very pleasant.
Should I consume moringa powder or broccoli sprouts/seeds with a meal or on an empty stomach with a glass of water?
In clinical studies, where we want to have precisely the same conditions in every way possible for each person, we typically have our study participants take their doses early in the day, before eating, with a glass of water. However, moringa powder and broccoli sprouts/seeds can cause some mild digestive discomfort (such as belching) when consumed on an empty stomach, so we recommend that folks at home consume them with other foods.
The good news is that our work suggests that the range of bioavailability of the active ingredients (the glucosinolates and the isothiocyanates produced from them) in moringa and broccoli sprouts/seeds is pretty comparable whether you consume them with food or on an empty stomach. Hints from comparing different studies suggest that an empty stomach might actually make the compounds a little more bioavailable, but this is not proven, and the difference would not be important to you as a regular consumer.
I enjoyed reading your recent article in which you described a new method for extracting the beneficial compounds in moringa to produce a cold-brewed “tea.” How can I make this product in my home kitchen?
We use aqueous extracts – more commonly known as “teas” – in our clinical research on moringin, the byproduct of a reaction between two chemicals, glucomoringin and myrosinase (a type of enzyme), which are found in the leaves and stems of the moringa plant. Moringin may help prevent or even treat a variety of chronic health conditions, including cancer, diabetes, and autism.
The myrosinase in moringa is heat-sensitive, so preparing a cold-brewed tea prevents the enzyme from breaking down. To make the tea at home, just follow these simple directions.
Add moringa leaf powder* to fresh, clean, room-temperature water or juice and stir well. Allow to stand at room temperature for at least 10 minutes. Use a 1 to 100 ratio of moringa powder to liquid, roughly translated as:
1 gram of moringa powder to 100 cc of liquid, or
5 grams of moringa powder per 8 ounces of liquid, or
½ teaspoon of moringa powder per 8 ounces of liquid
You can drink the tea right away or store it in your refrigerator and consume it within 48 hours. The tea provides not only much of the protein present in dried moringa leaf powder, but an abundance of phytochemicals, including the biologically active moringin.
*Note: Choose a high-quality source of moringa leaf powder to avoid possible microbial contamination. Companies such as Kuli Kuli and others sell high-quality moringa powder, but many “fly-by-night” producers’ or brokers’ products are of questionable quality.
I keep hearing about foods that fight autism, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, cancer, etc. Broccoli sprouts and moringa are frequently mentioned in these reports. Is there any truth to any of this?
Broccoli sprouts and moringa and the phytochemicals that they contain (e.g., sulforaphane and moringin) are being actively and aggressively investigated by scientists around the world for their potential role in reducing the effects of all of those conditions and many more. Because these compounds have been shown to reduce inflammation, boost the activity of antioxidant and cytoprotection enzyme systems, and interact with a long list of cellular processes related to all of these diseases and more, the conditions mentioned in your question are all reasonable research targets. As the biology becomes more and more compelling (e.g., test tube, cell culture, and/or animal studies) you will likely start to hear of more clinical work (e.g., human trials) being done, published, and in some cases reported by the popular press. It would be premature to claim victory on any of these battlefields yet, though!
Are there specific producers of moringa powder that you recommend?
The critical issues here are: (a) sanitation, (b) identity, and (c) responsible sourcing. Get reassurance from the vendor or retail supplier (e.g. Whole Foods) that the powder you are purchasing has been responsibly (e.g. sustainably and non-exploitatively, and ideally organically) produced, that it has been verified to be Moringa oleifera (the Latin binomial for what is commonly referred to as “moringa” in the USA markets, and that the levels of associated bacteria have been checked and do not exceed regulatory thresholds. Retailers should have this information on a batch-by-batch basis from their suppliers. The presence of “some” bacteria on leaves is unavoidable for these are not sterile commodities.
How sensitive is moringa powder?
Moringa leaves are very different in structure from broccoli sprouts. They are typically dried either outside in the sunlight, outside under shade-cloth, or in ovens or enclosed ventilated driers. Sunlight and excessive heat (after harvest) will rapidly degrade some of the phytochemicals and vitamins of interest in the leaves.