Moringa: Energy Beyond Breastfeeding

Can Moringa assist with breastmilk production? Better yet, can it provide energy and hormone balance to women whenever needed?


Moringa (Moringa Oleifera) is an extremely versatile plant or herb

found in the tropical or subtropical parts of world such as Africa, Asia and in South America; though it was first grown or originated in India.


Moringa is called a phytomedicine.

According to an article in Pubmed, “Phytomedicines are believed to have benefits over conventional drugs and are regaining interest in current research (1)."

It has high nutritional value (Vitamin K, Iron, B-vitamins, etc) and all parts of the plant can be used. Its leaves, seeds, fruit pods, and powder can be used in a variety of dishes including stews and sauces and even smoothies or drinks. There are even Moringa supplements but they are not FDA approved as with all supplements. Moringa is relatively safe, however, check with your healthcare provider (physician and registered dietitian nutritionist) first to review any food-herb-drug interactions.



Hormonal Benefits?

Works on thyroid hormone which is responsible for metabolism and energy balance. Some animal studies show it may be beneifical for those with hyperthyrodism however, more studies are needed (2).


Moringa seems to play a positive role in the way insulin works (3). Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas which helps reduce blood sugar in the body. An imbalance of insulin (not enough or too much) can dramatically throw off your metabolism-basically how you process food and use it for your cells function. This may result in a host of issues such as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), Diabetes, or more serious life threatening disorders.


So what about breast-milk production?

Research continues to show breast milk is the best milk for babies. However many mothers especially those of color tend to have low breast feeding initiation rates due to many factors such as low breast-milk production. Some mother turn to herbs – Morgina is considered a galactogogue (improves breast milk production). Morgina leave and pods have been shown to increase the volume of breast milk by increasing prolactin production. More research is needed – a randomized, double blind, placebo controlled study (4) (highest quality study) is actually being conducted and mothers are being followed until 2022.


Bottom line, Morgina shows potential benefit in energy balance

whether it’s assisting in breastmilk production, providing iron and B-vitamins, or providing homeostasis to the way insulin and thyroid hormone functions, it’s definitely a phytomedicine not to be ignored!


Before changing your diet or lifestyle regimen like starting a supplement or herb, consult with a registered dietitian nutritionist, specifically a women's health dietitian, if your concerns are pertaining to girls and women’s health.



References

1. Health benefits of Moringa oleifera

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25374169/

2. Role of Moringa oleifera leaf extract in the regulation of thyroid hormone status in adult male and female rats

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10675284/


3. Effects of Moringa oleifera on Glycaemia and Insulin Levels: A Review of Animal and Human Studieshttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6950081/


4. The effect of Moringa oleifera capsule in increasing breastmilk volume in early