Could Moringa Seeds Stop Me From Getting Pregnant?
Eating as healthy as you can during pregnancy is important for your well being, but figuring out what foods and supplements are good for you can be a challenge with so much conflicting evidence online.
Moringa seeds are popular in the health food industry due to their medicinal properties and high nutritional content, when pregnant, it is not advised to consume Moringa seeds till after your pregnancy.
Down below, we’ve put together an extensive guide that will take you through where these seeds come from, benefits, disadvantages, how to take them and other foods to avoid during your pregnancy for optimal health.
Where Do Moringa Seeds Come From?
Before we discuss why pregnant women should avoid moringa leaf seeds, let’s discuss where these seeds come from, to begin with.
Moringa seeds originate from the Moringa oleifera plant which is also known as the drumstick tree, horseradish tree or even as the miracle tree, found mostly in Africa and Asian countries, it is highly nutritional, having protein and vitamins as well as being full of antioxidant properties.
The seeds are typically eaten by removing their pod and cover, you then eat the inside of the seed, and you can also find roasted seeds for easier consumption.
How Is Moringa Grown?
To grow moringa seeds, they are often done outside, and directly sowed into a garden. Moringa seeds, however, can be grown inside too and it is preferable to do so since this helps them stay in the best condition.
When they are grown inside, the seeds are first soaked in water overnight which helps to speed up the germination process, a container is then filled with soil and the seeds are planted an inch deep into it and watered.
Most of the time, germination will start in about two weeks, the seedling is then transplanted outside and watered lightly.
Why Should Pregnant Women Not Have Moringa Seeds?
It is typically advised that pregnant women should avoid Moringa seeds, due to their powerful properties and potential laxative effects.
Parts of the Moringa oleifera plant have been used as a natural alternative for preventing pregnancy and abortion, which is why the seeds are not recommended for pregnant women.
It might be possible to consume Moringa leaf powder rather than seeds at the early stages of pregnancy but you should always be double-checking with your doctor for the best advice.
How Does Moringa Seeds Prevent Pregnancy?
As we mentioned above, moringa can work as natural birth control as studies have shown in rats, this is not from moringa seeds, however, and is mainly shown in a study where people ingested the root of moringa which is said to have toxins.
We would not risk using the horseradish tree if you suffer from infertility problems and you are trying to get pregnant in this case.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Moringa?
Now we know where Moringa seeds come from and why you should not be consuming them while you are pregnant, we can move on to the benefits of Moringa and their antioxidant properties to see why they are so popular!
It Reduces Inflammation
Moringa leaves are well known for treating pain and inflammation in people, especially for arthritis and preventing chronic inflammation in parts of the body.
The compound of the moringa plant additionally stops enzymes that are inflammatory helping to hold off obesity or heart disease for example.
Can Help Blood Sugar
For people with diabetes, pre-diabetes or general high blood sugar, Moringa is proving to be more and more effective for people who want to control their blood sugar levels naturally.
This is because of its antioxidant properties, you should be careful however when taking this supplement with medication since it could lower your blood sugar levels too much.
Gives Anti Oxidants
This plant has now been concluded to have 46 different types of antioxidants, making them very good for your health and helping to battle any chronic diseases.
Gives You Better Energy
A high amount of B vitamins in the moringa leaf are great for energy, this in combination with the amino acids inside of the plant is great for your general emotional well-being.
Moringa medicinal plant extracts have high levels of vitamin C, vitamin A, more protein than yoghurt as well as high potassium levels. In total, an extract of the leaf can have up to 90 different nutrients, some including iron and zinc.
Can Help With Digestion
Moringa is very popular for people who suffer from digestive issues such as diarrhoea due to its natural laxative properties, especially when consumed as tea. This is because the moringa leaf is high in fibre, which helps to clean out your intestines.
Good For Skin
The omega 3 fatty acids in Moringa seeds and antioxidants are excellent for your skin. It’s proven to reduce inflammation and wrinkles, when applied topically on the scalp it can also be good for hair growth.
Can Be Used For Cooking
The oil inside of Moringa is similar to olive oil and is full of nutritional benefits for cooking, it also has a fairly high smoke point so can be used for frying and sautéing foods as well as drizzling on salads.
Does Moringa Benefit Women?
Although Moringa is not ideal for pregnant women, it does have many benefits for females such as better breast milk flow after giving birth.
We’ve listed a few more advantages of the moringa leaf and seed for women below.
- Helps with PMS – Moringa vitamins and energy can help with symptoms of PMS or period cramps in general, improving moods and pain levels.
- Good for PCOS – As we mentioned above, moringa leaf can stabilise your blood sugar, which is excellent for women suffering from PCOS since these people often struggle with insulin resistance and blood sugar levels.
- Helps breast milk production – Moringa has an excellent level of calcium which contributes to high breast milk production in women, the leaves are also a natural galactagogue for breast milk production.
Are There Any Disadvantages To Having Moringa?
Although Moringa leaf, moringa seeds and powder have a huge amount of health benefits, it’s worth noting that this plant can have some negative health effects for some users.
- It can give you an upset stomach – Since moringa is a laxative for some people it can cause diarrhoea in people and give them digestive issues such as abdominal pain and gas.
- Could cause heartburn – If your chew moringa seeds are taken it directly without anything else it could potentially give you heartburn, it might be better to cook it in this case.
- It can be poisonous – Some parts of the Moringa tree are poisonous, for example, the root of moringa contains spirochin which could cause death in some people or paralysis in others who have consumed the plant.
- Bitter taste – When ingesting Moringa through the mouth, the seeds and powder can often have a very unpleasant aftertaste in users which takes some time to get used to.
- You need to check where you buying from – Nowadays, you can find the extract of a moringa leaf online or in most health shops, but you should always ensure that you are buying from a reputable company to avoid fake flowers of moringa.
- It can interfere with medications – Whether you taking medication for blood sugar control or blood pressure, you should always consult your doctor beforehand since the activity of seeds can interfere with how they work due to their medicinal effects.
How Do You Take Moringa Seeds?
Moringa seeds can be eaten in a variety of ways, whether you eat them as roasted seeds in curries or top them on salads.
We’ve listed a few ideas for ingesting moringa below.
You can consume Moringa seeds when they are young by simply eating them, to make them more palatable, you can pop them the way you do with popcorn, frying them with salt or oil.
It should be noted that you do not want to go overboard when eating Moringa seeds this way, if you are not used to them, this can be a shock to the body as it cleans toxins out and result in digestive problems if you are not careful.
Moringa pods can be boiled, steamed or fried like green beans, pods should be younger for eating so they can be more tender. To check the age of a moringa pod you can simply send it to see if it snaps, if it does not then it’s likely too old.
This powder is a little more versatile than pods and seeds, it can be an excellent addition to soups and stews. Adding your powder to sauces at the end is recommended since you want to avoid cooking the moringa too much as it can take away benefits.
Moringa oleifera Lam powder is very strong, so we suggest ingesting it in moderation to your taste, some flavours might work better with it than others like lemon for example.
How Much Moringa Should I Eat?
Figuring out how much Moringa to eat can be difficult, whether you’re taking it for blood sugar or breast milk production.
This is because the official FDA has not studied Moringa properly yet, however, as a guideline they recommend that people who are new to taking Moringa should start with between 500mg and 1g.
Over time, you can then increase this moringa in small amounts till your body gets used to it.
The amount of moringa grams changes according to whether you are having seeds, powder or pods. To give you an example, a cup of Moringa leaves has 21g.
How Long Does It Take For Moringa To Work?
If you’ve recently started to take Moringa for breastfeeding or other health benefits, you might be curious as to how long it takes to work.
Most of the time, you will see obvious benefits of Moringa after around a month of taking the supplement, but it also depends on how regularly you are taking it and how much of a dose.
Does Moringa Benefit Men?
We’ve spoken about the general benefits of moringa and how they affect women, but what about men? Does Moringa have an effect?
- Could help erectile dysfunction – The Moringa oleifera Lam plant contains a compound called polyphenols which can enhance blood flow in men and help them to get an erection.
- Boosts prostate – Moringa is high in glucosinolates, this has been proven to help stop the growth of prostate cancer cells in men and could prevent the onset of BPH as men age.
- Could improve fertility – Many men suffer from infertility problems, whether it’s reduced sperm count or even damaged sperm DNA. Moringa oleifera Lam can help to combat any damage to sperm via its antioxidants.
- Helps blood sugar – For men who suffer from type 2 diabetes moringa leaf powder can help with type 2 diabetes after consuming a meal.
Are There Any Negative Side Effects For Moringa & Men?
Although research has been done on men who take moringa to be beneficial, the research is limited, with most studies only being conducted on damage in mice or rabbits.
It had even been proven to lower testosterone levels in mice in some cases, so its benefits should be taken with a pinch of salt.
Which Supplements Are Good During Pregnancy?
Despite Moringa not being the most ideal choice during pregnancy, there are plenty of other supplements which can be beneficial instead.
- Prenatal vitamins – Since women need more vitamins during pregnancy, prenatal vitamins are essential before, during and after you give birth.
- Iron – A pregnant woman’s blood volume increases by 45%, to avoid low levels and deficiency it is recommended to supplement, this can stop anaemia which contributes to postpartum depression or preterm delivery.
- Vitamin D – Vitamin D during pregnancy needs to be at a much higher level than on average, a deficiency could cause negative health effects such as gestational diabetes or preterm birth.
- Folate – Taking folate during pregnancy is recommended since it’s hard to get through natural sources as a pregnant woman. Folate is good because it reduces the chance of any neural tube defects.
- Probiotics – Probiotics can be beneficial to your health during pregnancy in moderation, the chances of infection are low, and it could even be linked to reduced postpartum depression.
- Magnesium – Supplementing with magnesium during pregnancy is ideal, this is because a deficiency could lead to premature labour or even hypertension in some people.
- Ginger – Ginger is an excellent choice if you suffer from pregnancy nausea, do check the dosage with your doctor, however.
What Other Foods Should Avoid When Pregnant?
Trying to stay as healthy as you can during pregnancy is likely your top priority, but you should be cautious about the supplements you are taking as not all can be beneficial during pregnancy.
We’ve listed some supplements to avoid while pregnant below.
- Black cohosh – This herbal supplement is popular among women who want to help with hot flushes or menstrual cramps, during pregnancy it is not advised as it can induce labour early by causing uterine contractions.
- Goldenseal – Rumored to help respiratory infections, this supplement contains berberine which in a clinical study is shown to cause jaundice problems in infants.
- Yohimbe – A herbal remedy from tree bark in Africa, it’s been used to treat even obesity in some people. It does however have side effects like seizures in some people, so should not be used in pregnant women.
- Vitamin A – You should only be taking the vitamin A in your prenatal vitamins, do not supplement more than required otherwise it can have negative side effects such as birth abnormalities.
- Vitamin E – Vitamin E should not be supplemented by pregnant women, clinical study has shown that it could potentially cause abdominal pain in women.
Food To Avoid During Pregnancy
Now we’ve talked about supplements, we can move on to foods that you should avoid during pregnancy too.
- Dairy – Avoid unpasteurised milk or cheese while you are pregnant because they can contain listeria which could lead to potential stillbirth.
- Raw eggs – Any raw or partially cooked eggs should be avoided, this is because you could get salmonella poisoning, it will unlikely harm the baby, but you can get severely ill.
- Pate – Pate, liver or any undercooked meats are not safe to eat during pregnancy, this is because they could contain toxoplasmosis which could cause miscarriage in pregnancy.
- Smoked fish – You should limit oily and smoked fish when pregnant, this is because oily fish can have pollutants and tuna can have extra high levels of mercury.
- Caffeine – Caffeine should be kept lower than 100mg in your diet during pregnancy or avoided entirely.
Tips For Using Moringa In Your Diet
If you are new to using Moringa in your diet before or after birth, there are plenty of beginner tips for starting your journey with this supplement so that you can use it safely and get the most out of the plant.
- Put it in a salad dressing – Figuring out ways to consume moringa can be difficult, one way to combine it in your diet is by using it in a salad dressing, this helps to mask the taste too.
- Start slow – Always start with a small dosage of moringa so your body can get used to it, don’t be tempted to take too much as it can upset your stomach, mixing into food rather than taking it on its own can help with this.
- Be careful of other vitamins – Moringa is exceptionally high in vitamins, so if you are supplementing with others at the same time you need to be careful, we would advise reducing them while integrating the plant into your diet.
- Bake it – To help hide the taste of moringa, putting the powder into baked goods is a good way of using the plant, it can be baked into anything from chocolate brownies to muffins, although beware the colour might change to green!
- Use in smoothies – Moringa oleifera Lam powder can be used in smoothies, especially green smoothies since its taste can complement fruit and it’s hidden in the colour.
- Take it before a workout – Dietary extracts in moringa are proven to be an excellent alternative to caffeine and can give you the boost you need before a high energy cardio workout or run.
- Always ask your doctor – Before dosing yourself with this plant, check with your doctor to see if it is appropriate, especially if you suffer from high blood sugar or blood sugar control.
- Check the weight of moringa capsules – Moringa capsules come in different sizes, from 100mg to 500mg, always check the dosage before consuming, especially if you are new to taking the plant or you are ingesting it in other ways through tea at the same time.
- Use it in guacamole – For an antioxidant boost, moringa can be combined with guacamole, and works well to make it even greener!
Frequently Asked Questions About Moringa & Pregnancy
What are the doses for moringa?
Moringa doses vary and are not regulated, it is suggested to start with 0.5g to 1g first then work your way up in increments. Different bodies will be able to handle different amounts of moringa, and it also depends on how it is ingested, for example, seeds are stronger than the powder.
Always start with a small amount of moringa as a beginner to stop the laxative effect from being too strong.
Are the flowers of moringa edible?
Yes, the flowers of moringa are edible but are often processed before eating, it is only the root of moringa which should not be eaten and is very toxic.
Why are the medicinal plant extracts from moringa good for you?
Moringa has so many benefits for your health, the plant itself is very potent, so it can be taken in a small amount with benefits such as weight loss, blood sugar control and purification of the body to help remove toxins and detox the body.
Can Moringa lower blood pressure?
The plant has been proven to lower blood pressure since it stops vascular dysfunction and helps to reduce oxidative stress in the body.
Can you eat moringa as roasted seeds?
Yes, moringa seeds can be roasted and popped like popcorn to help improve their texture and taste in some oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper then enjoy!
Could moringa cause a miscarriage?
In traditional medicines, moringa has been used as natural contraception and for abortions in women, therefore it could be possible that the moringa root could cause a miscarriage in some women if consumed.
Why does moringa help breast milk production?
It is scientifically proven that moringa can help breast milk production, this is because it’s naturally high in calcium, iron and vitamin K which are all essential for a new mum.
It’s a natural galactagogue to improve the flow of breast milk.
Which extract of leaves is best for health?
The best parts of moringa are the roots, leaves and seeds, this is because they are the most potent and easiest for the body to ingest, they are also easy to integrate into food and cooking.
Did moringa cause damage in mice when tested?
There have been many studies that have shown moringa has health benefits on mice, the most important time where damage occurs is when the moringa root was ingested since it has toxins, it had been shown to lower testosterone levels in some too.
What would happen if I drink moringa tea every day?
It would take about a month to see the benefits of moringa tea in your body, but if drunk daily you would likely see some reduction in blood sugar and cholesterol, it all depends on the dosage of moringa and how often you take it, benefits can also be faster or slower depending on different bodies.
To conclude, moringa has been used in traditional medicine before to prevent pregnancy and abortion, therefore, its seeds especially should be avoided if you are planning to get pregnant or you are pregnant.
This is not to say that moringa is bad for new mums however, the medicinal plant has been proven to have amazing effects on breast milk production in women too after giving birth thanks to all its vitamins.
Overall, we would suggest only taking moringa powder if you are pregnant if approved by your doctor, or waiting till after pregnancy when you have the all-clear to be on the safe side.