In every blooming season, moringa flowers are cooked in our house. I remember to go with my grandfather in my childhood to grab these little flowers from moringa trees as a routine. Moringa trees are common in our agricultural lands and houses. Now my wife cooks moringa flowers with mutton, and it has always been one of my favorite dishes. Some families dry the flowers to prepare them and offer as a delicacy even when the blooming season is over.
However, I feel the cooking method has never been suitable as fresh flowers are boiled to remove their bitterness. This also removes most of the nutrients that these flowers contain. Yet, some powerful properties still remain to end in our digestive system. The cooked moringa flowers are always considered a source of energy during sickness in our villages.
Lately, scientific studies have proved that the Moringa oleifera plant contains unique medicinal properties. Moringa flowers, leaves, and seeds contain a host of bio-active compounds that are helpful in various diseases like diabetes, high cholesterol, liver problems, obesity, etc.
Scientific nutrition facts of moringa flowers were not known to our forefathers. But they still named this tree as a miraculous tree from their own experiences.
The Moringa flowers are not only right for delicacies but also contain various medicinal properties. Isolation of these compounds can be a great advantage to modern medicine, especially as these compounds are natural and thus are less toxic. Moringa flowers have little or no side effects and exhibit an improved safety profile compared to the synthetic therapeutic agents used in modern medicines.
Moringa plant has yellowish-white bisexual flowers borne on hairy stalks and arranged in spreading or hanging pyramidal loosely branched clusters. The flowers are developed in unequal groups of fives with thin veins. The petals (spatulate), and stamens are arranged in groups of fives with a single-celled ovary and delicate style.
There are just a few pieces of research about the phytochemical screening of Moringa flowers to this date. However, a research article published by the Journal of Pharmacopuncture identified a few phytochemicals in different extracts of moringa flower. Phytochemical from the parts of the Miracle tree is unique in chemical composition, the components identified by this research include D-mannose, isoquercetin, D-glucose, ascorbic acid, kaempferol, and kaempferitrin.
Moringa flowers are also considered to supply a massive deposit of alkaloids, quercetin, and kaempferol. These constituents have been theorized for decades to have significant antioxidant and anti-cancer properties.
Mohamed E. Abd El-Hack et al. have observed in their report on "Effect of Forage Moringa oleifera L. (moringa) on Animal Health and Nutrition and Its Beneficial Applications in Soil, Plants and Water Purification that:
"Some flavonoid pigments, such as kaempferitrin, isoquercitrin, rhamnetin, kaempferol, and quercetin are found in moringa flowers. Cytokine-type hormones were observed in MLE in 80% ethanol. Al-Asmari et al. reported that such ethanol extracts had cancer preventative effects when they assayed the activity against human promyelocytic leukemia cells."
You might have known some basic processing techniques of preparing Moringa flowers for use; however, from our findings methods of preparation seems to be region-specific according to culture and generalized use of the flower.
In parts of Asia, the young, immature flower is harvested, washed, and cooked after detaching the stamen and pistil as in other edible flowers. Locals soak the flower bale in bowl of warm water to dislodge any diet or insect. Sometimes, the moringa flowers are boiled to remove bitterness. Natural sweeteners such as honey may be added or seasoned with different flavors. There are also well prepared traditional recipes to make tonics, salad, and snacks from the flower. (1)
You might have probably heard of edible flowers on different health blogs and wondered if this claim was valid. With a host of other plants, the flowers of Moringa oleifera are edible and considered a medicinal wonder in ethnomedicine. Nutrition-wise, this flower is consumed after processing. Some may find their taste closer to that of mushrooms. However, I always feel a unique flavor. They contain noodles of calcium and potassium. The young flowers are believed to of more importance and are thus harvested for processing before full maturation.
Various researches have proved these benefits of moringa flowers.
Have you heard about a saying connecting Philippines mothers and Moringa?
The use of Moringa flower extract as an herbal supplement to augment milk production during lactation is a widespread practice among nursing mothers in the Philippines. In medical science, synthetic and natural products that induce, maintain and increase the production of milk in humans are called Galactogogues. A study published by the Belitung Nursing Journal claimed that treating postpartum mothers with a regimen of Moringa flower extract significantly increases the activity of prolactin in producing milk with an improved sleep duration for the baby (2)
This invariably confirms that nursing mothers with a history of the significant reduction in postpartum milk production can now use moringa flower as a supplement to increase milk production.
Extracts from seeds, bark, leaves, and kernel of moringa are generally known and proven to contain bioactive agents, which reduces inflammatory reactions in humans (3). Moringa flower has been shown to suppress inflammation by a process different from other parts of the plant. The flower extract reacts with principal components produced by the outer membrane of bacteria and inhibits their ability to breach the body defense and cause inflammation. Various researches are still on to discover other useful properties of the flower, which are yet not known.
Yes, you heard, right! Moringa extracts from flowers help the liver to fight against toxic chemicals ingested into the body. This is perhaps the least investigated property of the Moringa plant parts. The liver is the main organ that breaks down and disposes harmful components from the body. In cases of drug overdose, alcoholism, and food poisoning, the liver acts as a natural detoxifier. In a bid to investigate the liver-protecting properties of Moringa oleifera flower extracts, the Journal of Pharmaceutical Biology published a study in 2013. This study examined the therapeutic potential of Moringa flower extracts against liver damage caused by over-dosage of acetaminophen in rats, and the researchers concluded that crude extract of Moringa, especially from the flowers has a significant ability to protect the liver against acute chemically-induced injuries. (4)
You are welcome with your point of view, your personal story of using Moringa or even new research which refutes or alleviates moringa benefits. You are requested to share it with our visitors.