Sneezing, wheezing, red itchy eyes, a post-nasal drip… does this sound familiar? Spring is in the air and along with the welcome blossoms and new green buds, we are confronted with seasonal allergies.
It is reported that around 50 million Americans are affected by allergies each year and that trend repeats itself all over the world, including in South Africa. Antihistamines are sold by the wagon load at this time of the year, and they usually do the job, but often with side-effects like a dry mouth, sleepiness, and moodiness. Who needs that on top of the sniffles, right?
What causes all this mucus and misery? What are histamines and how do they affect us?
A histamine is a chemical that is released in the body’s cells when there is an injury, allergic reaction, or inflammation. Its purpose is to defend, but sometimes it can have the opposite effect, like an asthma attack!
Allergies in the body are caused by an overactive immune system. Your body can confuse harmless substances, such as dust or pollen, with dangerous germs. Immediately, it starts to attack them by producing antibodies. In addition, it releases chemicals such as histamines, in a similar way to fighting a cold. This can cause puffiness in the nasal passages. A running nose leads to coughing and heavy sneezing. Aaargh!!!!
Now for the good news…
A natural version of antihistamines that is potentially as effective as their drugstore counterparts, has been discovered by Western medicine. In the East, where Moringa originates, it has of course been used for thousands of years for this very reason (amongst many others), but we are finally cottoning on to this wonder herb. Moringa is what you call a natural antihistamine. This means that it helps to reduce the amount of histamine that is released in the body, and because of this, it can improve allergies and asthma.
There are a few reasons why Moringa leaf supplements are so effective at treating allergies and even asthma. There are a few super star natural antihistamines that occur in Moringa in bucket loads:
Quercetin & Kaempferol
These two powerful flavonoids/antioxidants have been shown to work together to fight everything from Cancer cells to inflammation (and of course allergies). Quercetin has been studied extensively for its antihistamine use and is said to be the herbal equivalent of over-the-counter antihistamines. It is found in, for instance, grapefruit and onions, but Moringa leaf contains five times more of it than these (1362.6mg/kg)!
By drinking our Moringa supplements, you are getting both Quercetin and Kaempferol flavonoids.
A 1992 study found that taking 2g of Vitamin C decreased histamine levels by 40 percent! In fact, Vitamin C damages the molecular structure of histamine, so it is recommended that you take a minimum of 500mg every day to fight off allergies.
Moringa juice extract contains seven times more Vitamin C than oranges. Thanks to a cold press process, our Moringa juice extract retains more of its Vitamin C than other Moringa supplements such as powder and capsules.
Omega 3, which acts as an anti-inflammatory, can help to protect you from allergic reactions, and Moringa is one of the very few plant sources of Omega 3 on the planet – very handy for vegans! A German study that was published in the journal, (wait for it…) Allergy, found that individuals who eat a diet rich in Omega 3’s have less allergies.
Moreover, a Swedish study discovered that little children who regularly ate fatty fish before they turn one, had less allergies by the time they were four years old.
As you know, fatty fish is quite expensive and many people do not like the taste of it, so drinking Moringa is a great alternative.
Moringin (like Sulforaphane, but better)
We saved the best for last. Perhaps the main secret to the success of managing asthma with Moringa, is the unique compound called Moringin. This is a recently discovered “active ingredient” that researchers believe is the key to why Moringa can be used to treat more than 300 diseases.
Moringin is very similar to the sulphur-containing compound, sulforaphane, found in broccoli sprouts. How does this help with Asthma?
A recent human study with 65 volunteers out of UCLA, found that sulforaphane triggers an increase of antioxidant enzymes in the human nasal airway that offers protection against free radicals like air pollution and pollen.
They found a two- to three-fold increase in antioxidant enzymes in the nasal airway cells. The study concluded that sulforaphane may protect us against inflammation and could possibly be used to treat various respiratory conditions.
Unfortunately, sulforaphane is not easy to use, as it needs to be stored at a very low temperature and is unstable. That is why scientists are so excited about Moringin – Moringa’s version of this miracle substance. It is as effective, if not even better than sulforaphane, and it is very stable, which makes it ideal for supplementation.
In addition to all the clever words above, Moringa boasts an incredibly high load of antimicrobials. In layman’s terms, that means that it contains stuff that kills the germs that might cause bronchial infections and, as a result, asthma down the road.
So, in conclusion: Can you drink Moringa to treat allergies and asthma?
YES! Early research shows that taking 6g of Moringa per day reduces the severity of asthma symptoms in adults with mild to moderate asthma. It is a great natural alternative that can be as effective as some medicines out there, but without the side-effects.