Drumstick leaves/moringa leaves/sahjan leaves have many medicinal values

Drumstick leaves or moringa or sahjan (Hindi) leaves are packed with nutrients that have powerful medicinal values. They can treat diarrhoea, anaemia, fatigue, high blood pressure, joint pain and other ailments. Find out why these miracle leaves must be included in your daily diet.

Drumstick leaves (or moringa) or sahjan as they are called in Hindi are a rich source of vitamins, minerals and proteins, and have strong antioxidant benefits. Sadly, except in the southern parts of India where it is readily available, these leaves often end up as manure in farms. Instead, they belong at the dining table, where they can help to cure many ailments. In fact, people in most other parts of the country are blissfully unaware of the dietary and medicinal uses of the drumstick leaves.

Treats anaemia

Drumstick leaves are a rich source of iron, which makes them very effective in treating anaemia. Studies have further shown that the leaves may also increase iron absorption and that the iron they provide is easily absorbed by the body.

If you suffer from iron deficiency, fry 2 cups of drumstick leaves with half a teaspoon of black pepper powder in ghee and enjoy with chapatis or rice. This is an Ayurvedic recipe. There are other ways of preparing moringa leaves, of course, including with lentils. Note that the leaves are slightly bitter, and it is best to add them towards the end of cooking curries or lentils, to keep the nutrition intact. Let them stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Ayurveda recommends eating moringa leaves for 40 days to restore iron.

Removes blood impurities

The leaves help to detoxify the blood. According to an Ayurvedic recipe, you can extract 2 tablespoons of juice from fresh leaves and add to a teacup of warm milk. Stir and drink the same to purify your blood. Moringa leaves are known to increase red blood cell count.

Wonderful antioxidants against cell damage

Studies have been conducted to prove that moringa leaves are full of antioxidants like rutin, zeatin, kaempferol etc. These antioxidants protect cells against damage from free radicals and protect the body from serious illnesses.

Protects against liver damage

Research on the leaves has found that moringa leaves may have very powerful effects against liver damage that has been caused by drugs for tuberculosis. The leaves can also speed up recovery in TB patients. It helps to restore the levels of the essential antioxidant glutathione. It is believed that the leaves have this ability because of the presence of phytochemicals like ferulic acid, catechin and vitamin C.

A cure for diarrhoea

Moringa leaves are rich in isothiocyanates, which helps to treat stomach disorders like diarrhoea, constipation, colitis and gastritis. There have been many studies to show that the leaves can make excellent antihistamines and antacids. It also has antibacterial properties and can kill bacteria that lead to diarrhoea.

To treat diarrhoea the traditional way, you can extract 2 tablespoons of the leaf juice and sip with a teaspoon of honey. Follow this up with a glass of coconut water.

A remedy for skin conditions

The leaf extract can be used to apply on blackheads and pimples often, to help treat them naturally. Moringa seed oil hydrates the skin and protects the skin cells from damage by heavy metals. This is why the extract is often used in skincare products. The leaves also have antifungal properties that can help to heal acne.

Heals joint paint

Pain in the knees, hips and joints may be relieved by applying a poultice of moringa leaves fried in hot castor oil. Regular application of this poultice can show remarkable improvement.

Soothes sore throat

For a sore throat or a cough, Ayurveda recommends mixing a teaspoon of leaf juice with a pinch of slaked lime or 'chunna' (which is used in betel leaf or paan preparations) and ½ a teaspoon of honey. Apply this externally on your throat for some relief.

The leaves are known to offer a host of other benefits for wound healing, sexual and bone health, against neurodegenerative diseases, the effects of immunosuppressants, asthma and hypertension.

Drumstick leaves when eaten as a vegetable provides significant amounts of fibre. The fibre, like every other green leafy vegetable, is both soluble and insoluble. The soluble fibre helps clear the arteries of plaque and also brings down the levels of LDL, the bad cholesterol. The insoluble fibre adds bulk to the stool and cures constipation. It aids easy evacuation and in doing so improves the health of the digestive tract.

Article by Juana
Juana is a freelance writer, with years of experience, creating content for varied online portals. She holds a degree in English Literature and has worked as a teacher and as a soft skill trainer. An avid reader, she writes on a variety of topics ranging from health, travel, education and personality development.

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