What Is Moringa?

Moringa is a nutrient-packed superfood that comes from the Moringa oleifera tree in India. Moringa oleifera leaves, seeds, bark, roots, sap, and flowers have long been used in traditional medicine throughout Southeast Asia. Its preparations are now being studied primarily in animal models.

Moringa powder is often added to smoothies, nutrition bars, and energy drinks or drank as tea. In oil form, it is used topically for hair and skincare.

This article discusses the potential uses, risk factors, and side effects of taking moringa.

Moringa oleifera
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Dietary supplements are not regulated like drugs in the United States, meaning the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not approve them for safety and effectiveness before products are marketed. When possible, choose a supplement tested by a trusted third party, such as USP, ConsumerLabs, or NSF. 
However, even if supplements are third-party tested, that doesn’t mean they are safe for all or effective in general. Therefore, it is important to talk to your healthcare provider about any supplements you plan to take and check in about potential interactions with other supplements or medications.

Supplement Facts

  • Active Ingredient(s): Phytochemicals, minerals, vitamins, polyunsaturated fatty acids, phytosterols
  • Alternate Name(s): Drumstick tree, horseradish tree
  • Legal Status: Not currently regulated by the FDA
  • Suggested Dose: No suggested recommended dose; needs more research.
  • Safety Considerations: Not recommended for pregnant people or children. Moringa may also lower blood glucose levels.

Purported Uses of Moringa

Supplement use should be individualized and vetted by a healthcare professional, such as a registered dietitian nutritionist, pharmacist, or healthcare provider. No supplement is intended to treat, cure, or prevent a disease.

Research on the potential health benefits of moringa is limited. While moringa has been studied in lab and animal studies for health conditions, there is NOT enough evidence to support its use for any of these conditions due to a lack of human research. Additionally, it is often studied in combination with other herbs. Therefore, researchers are unsure if the health benefits can be attributed to moringa or another supplement.

More research is needed. Few well-designed and credible human research studies have been published.

Below is a look at some of the evidence in humans regarding moringa and diabetes.


The majority of research completed on the effects of moringa on diabetes control has used animal models. This means the researchers studied moringa in animals like rodents rather than humans. Animal studies alone are insufficient to make any conclusions about moringa's use.

However, in one small human study, researchers looked at moringa leaf powder's effects on blood sugar response in people with diabetes. The study included 17 individuals with diabetes and 10 healthy participants.

Overall, the results showed that moringa leaf powder reduced post-meal blood sugar spikes in people with diabetes by up to 40 milligrams per deciliter. Moringa did not significantly impact blood sugar in those without diabetes.

More research is needed on the effects of moringa and diabetes control.

What Are the Side Effects of Moringa

Although few human studies have evaluated moringa, those that did showed it to be well tolerated without any side effects reported.

Some researchers have found that a high intake of moringa may cause an increase of iron in the blood, which can cause stomach problems and hemochromatosis. It is not recommended to have more than 70 grams per day.

Talk to your healthcare provider and pharmacist before taking any dietary or herbal supplements.


Pregnant people and children should not take moringa in any form, as not enough research has been done in these populations. Always speak with your healthcare provider before starting any supplement.

Moringa has been used as a galactagogue (something that increases milk supply) in Asia. However, several studies have shown that it likely will not assist with increasing the milk supply. If you are interested in taking moringa while lactating, please talk with your healthcare provider or lactation consultant before starting.

Dosage: How Much Moringa Should I Take?

Always speak with a healthcare provider before taking a supplement to ensure that the supplement and dosage is appropriate for your individual needs.

There is not enough scientific evidence to determine a standard or appropriate dose of moringa at this time. More research is needed on dosages for specific health needs and populations.

What Happens If I Take Too Much Moringa?

As a general guideline, never take more than the manufacturer's recommended dosage. If you experience side effects of any kind, stop taking moringa and call your healthcare provider.


More research is needed on the interactions between moringa, medications, and herbal supplements. There has been some research suggesting that the below medications may interact with moringa:

  • Rifampin, which is used to treat tuberculosis along with other medications
  • Januvia (sitagliptin), an anti-diabetic medication for type 2 diabetes

It is essential to carefully read a supplement's ingredient list and nutrition facts panel to know which ingredients and how much of each ingredient is included. Please review the supplement label with your healthcare provider to discuss potential interactions with foods, other supplements, and medications.

How to Store Moringa

Store moringa according to manufacturer's directions on the package. Discard as indicated on the packaging.  

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What does moringa taste like?

    Moringa powder tastes similar to other greens like kale or spinach when it’s eaten as a leaf. The powder has a more intense taste since it’s concentrated. Moringa seeds have a bit of a sweet taste, like green beans. Often, moringa’s flavor is disguised when it’s added to drinks or energy bars. 

  • Why is moringa known as the miracle tree?

    Moringa got its name because it grows well in extreme climates and can survive periods of drought. It also provides more vitamin C than oranges, vitamin A than carrots, calcium than milk, and iron than spinach.

  • Can I take moringa every day?

    Before taking moringa, you should talk to your healthcare provider to ensure that the supplement won’t cause any interactions with the medications you’re taking or the medical conditions you have.

Sources of Moringa & What to Look For

Moringa is sold in health-food stores and online in capsule, powder, and extract forms. The dried pods and seeds are also available.

Always check with your healthcare provider before starting any supplement.


Moringa comes from the Moringa oleifera tree in India. Moringa oleifera leaves, seeds, bark, roots, sap, and flowers have been used in traditional medicine throughout Southeast Asia. It is now also cultivated in other parts of the world, such as Africa, South and Central America, and Mexico.

As a supplement, it is often found in capsule, powder, and extract forms. The dried pods and seeds are also available.

Currently, it’s too soon to recommend moringa for certain health-related purposes. If you're thinking of supplementing with moringa, make sure to consult your healthcare provider first. No supplement should be used to replace standard medical care.

9 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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  5. LactMed. Moringa.

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  7. Olurishe C, Kwanashie H, Zezi A, Danjuma N, Mohammad B. Chronic administration of ethanol leaf extract of Moringa oleifera Lam. (Moringaceae) may compromise glycaemic efficacy of Stiagliptin with no significant effect in retinopathy in a diabetic rat model. J Ethnopharmacol. 2016;194:895-903. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2016.10.065

  8. Chodur GM, Olson ME, Wade KL, et al. Wild and domesticated Moringa oleifera differ in taste, glucosinolate composition, and antioxidant potential, but not myrosinase activity or protein content. Sci Rep. 2018;8(1):7995. doi:10.1038%2Fs41598-018-26059-3

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By Alena Clark, PhD
Alena Clark, PhD, is a registered dietitian and experienced nutrition and health educator

Originally written by Cathy Wong
Cathy Wong

Cathy Wong is a nutritionist and wellness expert. Her work is regularly featured in media such as First For Women, Woman's World, and Natural Health.

Learn about our editorial process