The Amazing Health Benefits of Malunggay (Moringa Oleifera)

Moringa oleifera, commonly known as “Malunggay” among Filipinos, is a plant that is native to India but grows in tropical and sub-tropical climates such as the Philippines, South America, and Africa. This plant can grow to as high as 9 meters with erect white trunks.

Its compound leaf has about 3 to 9 leaflets and it has white fragrant flowers that produce long pods with 3-angled winged seeds.

It’s because of these pods that hang from it during the major part of the year that moringa is also known as Drumstick Tree.” Among its other widely known names include “Horseradish Tree” and “Ben Oil Tree.”

For years malunggay has been dubbed as the “poor man’s vegetableuntil modern science recently discovered its value of imparting a multitude of health benefits, thereby gaining a new label as “Miracle Vegetable.” Malunggay was also promoted as the “Miracle Tree” of Africa because of its contribution to fighting malnutrition and offering seemingly miraculous cures for various diseases.

Today, malunggay is known for its amazing health benefits and nutritional value. Its usage has been encouraged by various humanitarian organizations to combat malnutrition and its effects in poverty-stricken regions, due mainly to its economic viability and rapid growth.

In the Philippines, malunggay seems to be everywhere except when you live in the cities. In fact, you can simply pick malunggay from your backyard or ask your neighbors. And if you prefer to buy it, it’s way too cheap. Did you know that most of its parts have a use – from its roots, pods, barks, leaves, and flowers?

So let’s take a look at some of the amazing health benefits of Malunggay.

The Amazing Benefits of Malunggay (Moringa Oleifera)

Medicinal Uses and Health Benefits of Malunggay

1) Malunggay reduces hypertension.

Malunggay works well to maintain blood pressure and cholesterol levels because it contains the bioactive components isothiocyanate and niaziminin which prevent the thickening of arteries and reduce the development of pulmonary hypertension. Studies have also confirmed that malunggay has hypocholesterolemic effects that help to reduce the high-fat rise in the liver, kidney, and cholesterol levels.

2) Malunggay is rich in antioxidants which help fight various types of cancer.

Besides antioxidants Vitamins A, C, and E, malunggay contains kaempferol, quercetin, and rhamnetin. Antioxidants are essential to the prevention of cancer, which is one of the most dreaded killers among diseases. Malunggay turns out to have loads of them which makes it great for keeping cancer away.

Coupled with a healthy lifestyle and regular exercise, you won’t have to worry about cancer at all throughout your life.

3) Malunggay helps improve immune function.

Regularly including malunggay in your diet helps increase immunity and offers protection against seasonal ailments. It also helps in enhancing the cellular immune response and has positive effects on various immune system values such as antibodies, hypersensitivity reaction, and total leucocyte count.

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4) Malunggay treats anemia and sickle cell disease.

Studies have provided supporting evidence that malunggay extracts are beneficial in the treatment of anemia and sickle cell diseases because it aids in facilitating the absorption of iron, increasing the red blood cell count, and helping to maintain normal blood parameters.

Recent studies have also validated the anti-sickling potential of malunggay plant extracts due to the presence of zinc and flavonols as well as phenolic acids.

5) Malunggay helps cure infertility and is also good for reproductive health.

Infertility has been a global challenge and it was shown from various research that herbal medicines can be applied to cure both male and female infertility. Based on the research, it was discovered that malunggay is the best herbal treatment because it is very rich in minerals, antioxidants, and Vitamins A (Beta Carotene), B1 (Thiamine), B2 (Riboflavin), B3 (Niacin), B6 (Pyridoxine), B7 (Biotin), C (Ascorbic Acid), D (Cholecalciferol), E (Tocopherol) and K.

Aqueous extracts of malunggay exert estrogenic activity which is beneficial in the prevention of sexual implantation in the body. Malunggay also has been shown to have aphrodisiac properties that increase libido and enhances performance.

Regular consumption of malunggay can also increase sperm count, thus making it great for couples who are looking to have a child.

6) Malunggay helps stimulate metabolism and aids in weight loss.

If you are trying to lose weight, you should definitely include malunggay in your diet. Aside from being nutritious, it can actually jump-start your metabolism and helps you burn off that unwanted fat. Malunggay also has an anti-inflammatory and diuretic effect which helps reduce water retention while its high fiber content reduces fat absorption in the gut.

Combining it with other foods that do the same and regular exercise will help you shed pounds in no time. Malunggay itself is low in fat and calories, so consuming it regularly should be alright.

7) Malunggay acts as an antibacterial agent.

Scientific research has shown malunggay to possess antibacterial, anti-fungal, and antimicrobial properties and is effective against the growth of disease-causing microbes. Malunggay extracts are shown to exert a wide spectrum of protective activity against food-borne microorganisms such as E. coli, Salmonella, Enterobacter aerogenus, Staphylococcus aureus, and Proteus aeruginosa.

This defensive activity of malunggay extracts makes it perfect for sanitation and preservation purposes and its inhibitory effects prevent the growth of diseases that cause contaminant fungi such as Aspergillus and Penicillium species.


There are a lot more amazing health benefits of malunggay and its nutritional values are undeniable. Do you know that having a malunggay tree in your garden is sufficient to meet the nutritional requirements of your entire household?

Aside from being a storehouse of several vitamins and minerals, the green leaves of malunggay are excellent sources of calcium, making it a must-eat for nursing mothers so they can give their babies more nutritious breast milk. It is also rich in protein; it contains four times more protein than what eggs provide and twice more of that in milk, it has thrice more potassium than bananas, seven times more Vitamin C than oranges, and four times more Vitamin A than carrots.

Malunggay is a magnificent vegetable that is indeed heaven-sent for everyone because of its affordability and the amazing things it can do for everyone’s well-being. Having it at your dinner table is doing you and your family a favor.

16 thoughts on “The Amazing Health Benefits of Malunggay (Moringa Oleifera)”

  1. Hi Alice!

    I did not know that there were so many health benefits of malunggay. I used to work for a Filipino chef, Sherwin, and he never mentioned this. That’s pretty odd because he was a good chef!

    Anyway, thanks for sharing this great information and good luck!

    1. Hey Michael,

      I’m not surprised chef Sherwin never mentioned about malunggay. He maybe is a good chef but if he’s no advocate for healthy eating, he wouldn’t bother recommending something that has a lot of health benefits such as malunggay. Or perhaps, he is not really aware of its amazing health benefits.

      But today, more and more health conscious people are consuming malunggay whether it be the vegetable itself or in powder and capsule. I just got back from my annual vacation in the Philippines and I brought with me here to the Middle East where I am currently based malunggay powder and flakes; powder for my favorite hot or cold drinks such as coffee, juice, tea or soup and flakes for my rice, pasta, or any dish.

      I hope you consider trying this amazing vegetable.

  2. Wow! You learn something new every day. I’ve been around for 62 years and I had never heard of this vegetable. In 2016 my hubby & I went vegan and I learned about a lot of new vegetables I had never tried before, but this one wasn’t on the list. It certainly sounds interesting and I’m going to try it in the future. Buy it on Amazon? I’m so going to buy some, for sure.

    1. Hello Susan,

      I’m glad you came to know about Malunggay through my site. I really hope that more and more people will get to discover the amazing health benefits of this miracle vegetable.

      For someone who wishes to go vegan and aims to stay healthy, malunggay is a great option. And although you may not always find this vegetable in fresh form, it is readily available in powder form and capsules in most supermarkets worldwide and is also available to buy at Amazon.

      I hope you’ll like it!

  3. Wow, what does it taste like? Is it good? Or is it intense, like bitter melon. Do you have any specific recommendations for malunggay supplements, from Amazon or anywhere else? Thanks for the info, I’d never honestly heard of this vegetable before!

    1. Hello Penelope,

      How does malunggay powder and supplement taste like? Adding malunggay powder to any of your favorite drinks or dish will not give bitter or unpleasant taste. In fact, it will not alter the taste at all, while adding more essential nutrients. You should give it a try.

      Malunggay comes in powder form, extract, and capsules and they are available in most supermarkets in the US, Walmart and Amazon.

  4. Wow ! I never heard of Malunggay ? Is it tasty ? Could it be mixed into a veggie shake ? The ingredients clearly are exactly what the doctor ordered. Why is it not marketed in the U.S. more ? What are the negatives about this plant or vegetable ? Is it offered up as a healthy drink ? Please tell us. Thank you !

    1. Hey Rico

      I’m sure you’ve heard about this vegetable, not as malunggay but moringa. Anyone who’s looking into some really healthy and nutritious foods and supplements are sure to have come across this superfood.

      Malunggay goes really well with chicken and pork like in a soup dish. But you should add the malunggay leaves only when the meat is almost done so as not to overcook them.

      Malunggay is available in powder form so you can add them to your veggie shake, coffee, tea or even your smoothies. You can also add 1 tablespoon to every dish or salad and you will have the necessary nutrients required by your body. I believe moringa powder is available in all supermarkets in the US, you may wanna check out the one nearest you, they also have it at Walmart.

      What are the negatives about malunggay? So far there are no known negative side effects of malunggay powder for as long as you do not over do it. Yes, it’s is rich in nutrients and could help alleviate and cure a lot of body ailments and diseases but make sure to take only the necessary amount. Because like they always say, anything in excess is bad.

      1. Hi, Alice ! Just an FYI, my name is not Ronnie, but Rico ! Thank you for your reply and in regards to my questions, what can happen, if one over does it ? Thank you for answering all my questions. I will check for it at my local Trader Joe’s.

        1. Hi Rico, my apologies for getting your name mixed up with someone else’s. Must be the effect of working 12-hour night shifts for 3 consecutive weeks. Not an excuse though. Oh, and I already edited it.

          As for the negative effects of the over consumption of malunggay leaves powder, since it is rich in iron, it could really thicken your blood so it’s not advisable for those on blood-thinning medications. It could also cause diarrhea, nausea and heart burn so in case you experience this, you can just decrease the dosage of your intake.

          Thanks for checking back.

  5. Woah! What an amazing vegetable! I do believe I’ve seen this here locally in my neighborhood Asian market. How would this typically be prepared? It’s amazing that it has three times more potassium than even a banana! Thanks for the knowledge:)

    1. Hello Jennifer,

      Malunggay really is an amazing vegetable.

      I’ve seen it since my childhood years but I never thought it’s this amazing. Nobody ever told me it has all these health benefits. As a Filipino dish, we like to cook its leaves with chicken in a recipe called tinola. It’s kind of a chicken recipe with soup and it tastes really delicious. My Indian colleagues like to cook malunggay pods curry-style or with masala powder.

      I am pretty sure malunggay is available not only in Asian markets but also in every supermarket in the US. It may not always be available as fresh vegetables but often comes in powder forms. You can buy them from Walmart, Amazon and all other organic supermarkets. But don’t go looking for malunggay, you ask for moringa powder, extracts or supplements. Just by adding a tablespoon of malunggay powder in your meal, snacks or drinks will give your its much needed nutrients.

  6. Thanks for posting this article — I found it very informative. I’d read a little bit about malunggay and was glad I found your website. So, I am curious if there are malunggay supplements that are safe to take? I am looking for something that won’t interact with a turmeric supplement and a daily vitamin. Thanks again for your informative article — I look forward to learning more about this!

    1. Hello Laura,

      I am pretty sure malunggay supplements are safe to take or they would not be highly recommended by most nutritionists. And since it is pure and organic I don’t think it will cause any negative effects when taken alongside turmeric supplements and a daily vitamin.

      But why take malunggay supplements when you can buy them in powder form? You can just add a tablespoon of malunggay powder to your dish, salad or favorite drinks. The only difference between malunggay powder and supplements is that the latter are in capsules but they are essentially the exact same thing. Aside from the fact that the dosage in capsule form cannot deliver the benefits like malunggay powder can, you would need to consume several capsules at a time, daily which is rather costly.

  7. I never heard of this vegetable before but it sure does a lot for the body. My question is where would you get it and is there any recipes with Malunggay in it? I am thinking you might find it at some of these organic stores maybe. Thanks.

    1. Malunggay/moringa isn’t called the “miracle” and “complete” vegetable for nothing, and it sure does a lot for the body and our health. In the US, you can find this in powder form, tea, extracts or capsules as supplements. Moringa powder is available at Walmart, Amazon, and in almost all supermarkets and organic food stores. You can add them to your tea, coffee, juice, or smoothies, and to every dish, soup or salad.

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