Various components of moringa can cause low blood pressure, low heart rate and DNA mutations. The substance can interact with some drugs, while long-term use of moringa leaves may cause liver and kidney damage and its extracts can decrease fertility, according to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. It can cause uterine contractions in pregnant women that can lead to miscarriage, according to WebMD.
When used medicinally, Moringa is purported to reduce blood glucose levels and have anticancer properties, according to MSKCC. Taken internally, moringa is used to boost breast milk production and to treat asthma, anemia, arthritis, constipation, diabetes, diarrhea, epilepsy, stomach ache, ulcers, headache, high blood pressure, heart conditions, kidney stones, inflammation and thyroid disorders, and it is used topically to treat athlete’s foot, warts, gingivitis and snake bites, according to WebMD.
Its scientific name is Moringa oleifera, and it is native to parts of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, where it is used as a cheap and plentiful source of food. The immature seed pods can be cooked and eaten like green beans, while more mature seeds can be removed from the pods and cooked like peas or roasted like nuts. Its leaves can be cooked and eaten like spinach, or dried and used as a condiment or a supplement, according to WebMD.
According to WebMD, studies have shown that eating up to 6 grams of moringa per day for up to three weeks is safe. Not enough research has been done to determine whether larger doses are safe.