What’s leafy, green, and known to have health boosting vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, vitamin A, calcium, iron, and essential amino acids? This sounds like a riddle, though the countless benefits of moringa are no joke. Earning the nickname “the miracle tree,” this herb touts as many health promoting properties as turmeric and as many nutrients as today’s most popular superfoods.
Moringa the Herbal Superfood
Moringa, or Moringa oleifera, is a plant that has been celebrated in India and other Asian countries for years. The leaves, bark, roots, flowers, and even sap are used for specific health benefits, while the young pods with seeds are used as a popular and delicious vegetable called drumstick. In addition to all of this, it is known to contain many of the essential amino acids needed to form a complete protein. With all of these merits, it’s no wonder the plant is so highly revered and considered by many to be auspicious.
The light, dry, sharp, and heating qualities make moringa a great herb for pacifying kapha dosha. Likewise, its astringent, pungent, and bitter tastes are a perfect combo for balancing the heaviness and stagnancy of spring. Still, moringa’s profound value should not be reserved for certain doshas or seasons.
Through centuries of use and modern research, it has been shown that moringa has strong health promoting properties. It is said to have an affinity for drawing natural toxins from the blood and, in turn, can support healthy cholesterol levels within the normal range. It can help fuel the digestive fire (agni) and support healthy metabolism and an appropriate weight loss program, yet at the same time it can reduce pitta and heat in the joints. And notably working magic outside the body, the seeds have been used as a natural filtration system for water!
After learning the myriad of benefits from one single plant, it’s only natural to look for ways to incorporate this herb into your life. Why not make it the foundation of your day by creating a revitalizing morning tonic?
The vibrant green powder and bitter taste that comes from moringa is comparable to matcha, the green tea powerhouse that’s already won its way into many morning routines. As such, moringa could be easily incorporated into drinks like matcha, or be used on its own in a similar way. Ultimately, it could be preferred over matcha as a morning wake-up call, since it not only gives a vitamin driven energy boost, it does so without caffeine. Of course, it goes without saying, its nutritional profile could make any wellness enthusiast weak in the knees.
Lemon Moringa Latte Recipe
This latte recipe uses ingredients that complement the natural flavor and qualities of moringa. It is an energizing alternative to caffeinated lattes, such as those using espresso or green or black tea. And while it’s a great morning drink to enjoy while you read or journal, it could also be a great midday pick-me-up that won’t leave you with the lingering effects of caffeine.
- 4 ounces almond milk, warm
- 4 ounces filtered water, hot
- 1 teaspoon moringa powder
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon honey, or to taste
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- Pinch of bee pollen to top
Heat the water till hot, and stir in the moringa powder until it dissolves. Blend in lemon juice, honey, and vanilla. Add warm almond milk and stir with a spoon to mix, or use a milk frother, whisk, or blender to increase creaminess and foam. Top with a pinch of bee pollen.
This latte can be enjoyed by all doshas, though the properties of moringa are most equipped to balance kapha dosha. To enhance the vata pacifying qualities, add a tiny pinch of salt. For a more tropical, pitta pacifying version, substitute almond milk with coconut milk, and use maple syrup instead of honey.