Moringa oleifera is the variant of Moringa that is native to India and south-east Asia.
While Moringa Oleifera has risen in fame in recent years, the plant has been considered a super food in Ayurveda for centuries. The plant’s leaves, flowers, drumsticks, roots and seeds each offer value in terms of nutrition or as natural remedies. Moringa leaves are especially beneficial for new mothers, and have been a part of their diet in many cultures since hundreds of years.
Fresh moringa leaves are known for being very rich in nutrients. When they are shade dried correctly, their per gram nutritional content increases further by 300% – 500% (except for Vitamin C) and they become super dense in nutrients. This makes dried leaf powder a fantastic natural source of nutrients, earning them the title of superfood.
4 benefits of Moringa leaves for new mothers
1. Boosts production of breast milk
Moringa is commonly considered a galactagogue in Asia. Anecdotally, nursing mothers swear by it, and one study on effect of Moringa leaves in breastfeeding found a positive impact on the supply of breastmilk, more than doubling the milk production in many cases. Due to its effectiveness and nutritional goodness, even lactation consultants recommend moringa leaves to induce lactation.
To ensure the best absorption of nutrients, moringa leaves tea is considered the most effective - brew hot and consume either hot or chilled.
2. Helps replenish lost nutrients
A mother’s nutrients are depleted during pregnancy and this often continues into the ‘fourth’ trimester. When you are tending to a newborn around the clock, it can be difficult to make the time to eat - or to remember to eat when you do have some precious time to yourself.
In Ayurvedic care practices, a new mother is often surrounded with nutrient dense snacks. Moringa leaves tea is a great example of what you can consume quite easily to replenish lost nutrients, which helps in boosting recovery and overall energy levels.
The leaves are rich in calcium, protein, potassium, iron, zinc and vitamins A, B and C, making it a super food for new mothers – one that is even recommended by the United Nations for pregnant women, nursing mothers and young children.
Gram per gram, Moringa leaves is touted as containing more nutrients than whole foods. 100 grams of moringa leaves contains:
- 9 times the protein of yoghurt
- 10 times the vitamin A of carrots
- 15 times the potassium of bananas
- 17 times the calcium of milk
- 12 times the vitamin C of oranges
Of course it’s impractical to consume 100 grams of chopped moringa leaves, which is why it is more commonly consumed in as tea.
The high protein and calcium content of moringa leaves make it an excellent source of nutrients for vegan mothers in particular.
3. Promotes hair growth
Elevated hormones do wonders for a woman’s hair while pregnant, boosting hair growth. Sadly, this reverses quite suddenly during the postpartum period as hormones return to their normal levels.
Personally, I thought this was inevitable and that the only cure was ‘time.’ Horrified by the sudden splatter of hair across the house, my husband urged me to speak to my doctor about it. She was quick to correct me, and recommended nutritional supplements to strengthen my hair follicles.
It turns out that the nutrients present in Moringa leaves, specifically zinc, iron, amino acids, vitamin C and vitamin E, are all beneficial in addressing postpartum hair fall. And since moringa leaves tea is entirely natural, it’s easier for the body to absorb.
4. Balances new mother’s vata energy
According to Ayurveda, the process of childbirth creates space in the mother’s body and upsets her vata energy (which is related to air). Moringa leaves can reduce the imbalance in vata. Moringa leaves tea also provides warmth to the body and can improve digestion, which is beneficial during the postpartum recovery.
Above and beyond all this, Moringa leaves also contain isothiocyanates, flavonoids, and phenolic acid, which have anti-inflammatory properties. It’s no wonder this plant is referred to as a ‘Miracle Tree!’
Sip on warm moringa leaves tea
Nothing is more soothing for new mothers than warm tea. Add a dash of honey, lemon, crushed dates if you like. Always brew it hot then enjoy it either hot or chilled.
Another way to enjoy moringa leaves tea it by brewing 1-2 teabags in 1-2 litres of boiling hot water then allowing it to cool down and enjoying it instead of water all day long.
Tipson Tea offers 12 herbal blends that contain Moringa
Leaves as their ingredient. You can enjoy them like Latte with non-dairy milk - excellent coffee replacement.
Best time to have moringa leaves to promote lactation
For maximum absorption, it is best to have moringa leaves first thing in the morning, as an empty stomach maximizes absorption of the nutrients. However, if that is not feasible, you should have moringa leaves at whatever time your schedule allows you to. The simplest way is drinking chilled moringa leaves tea instead of water all day long.
*Please note that only Moringa Leaves are safe during pregnancy and breastfeeding, avoid any other parts of Moringa tree which can be found in powders.