woman with aging signs

Did you just spot a wrinkle on your face? Are you depressed about the visible signs of aging? Before you run out and buy any chemicals (aka anti-aging creams) to cover up your wrinkles, please read up on the dangerous side effects. The global market for the anti-aging industry was $261.9 billion in 2013; but the world is still not wrinkle-free. The problem with most anti-aging products is that they only attempt to superficially cover up the wrinkles without improving the skin health. If you really want to improve the health of your skin, you need natural remedies; not synthetic chemicals. The answer? You guessed it: the super-plant Moringa.


moringa oleifera

Moringa Oleifera is a plant noted for its immense health benefits. The presence of significant amount of proteins, essential vitamins and minerals nicknamed as “the miracle tree”. It has been an important plant not only from the therapeutic and nutrition point of view, but also, for the cosmetic industry due to the presence of antioxidants, contributing to its anti-aging benefits.

National Institute of Health (NIH) defined antioxidants as vitamins and other nutrients that help protect body cells from the damaging effects of ‘free radicals’ (oxidative damage).

Free radicals are produced by the body as:

  • By-products of the normal processes in our body hormesis_and_antioxidants2_by_deliciosciphi-d5wum8b(e.g. glucose in the body is burned down for energy and the digestive enzymes are released for food breakdown).
  • Medicines break down in the body after consumption.
  • Result of exposure to pollutants.

Antioxidants are commonly found in fruits and vegetables. Some of them are:

Vitamin C, found mostly in citrus fruit varieties;

Vitamin E, found in vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, green leafy vegetables, and fortified in breakfast cereals, fruit juices, spreads, margarines, etc;

Selenium, found in Brazil nuts, tuna, sea foods, alfalfa, fenugreek, fennel seed, garlic, cayenne, peppermint, lemongrass, raspberry-leaf, etc;Vegetarian_diet

Flavonoids, found in fruits- berries, apples, plums; vegetables- peppers, tomatoes, eggplants; spices, nuts and beans, red wine, teas; etc;

Phenolics, found in fruits- citrus, apples, apricots, plums, grapes and cherries; vegetables- yellow onion, artichokes, potatoes, cherry tomatoes, celery, broccoli; grains- rye, oats, barley, corn, wheat and rice; spices- parsley and capsicum pepper; beverages- cider, coffee, green tea, soy milk, regular milk, cocoa, red wine, black and green teas, orange and grapefruit juices, etc.

Some benefits of antioxidants:

a) As mentioned earlier, antioxidants counteract the damaging effects of free radicals, which are naturally produced by the body. However, the production of free radicals mostly surpasses the naturally occurring antioxidants. Hence, to balance it, an external supply of antioxidants is indispensable. For instance; when skin is exposed to high levels of ultraviolet light, free radicals are produced. These damage cellular lipids, proteins, and DNA; which leads to erythema (sunburn), premature aging of the skin, freckles and skin cancers. Antioxidants help to neutralize these free radicals and remove it from the body through the bloodstream. Thus, it can prevent or delay the aging process of the body. 

b) Other Antioxidants have different functions namely:

i) Beta-carotene (and other carotenoids) helps to maintain eye and vision health ;

ii) Lycopene helps to maintain healthy prostate;

iii) Flavonoids helps to maintain healthy heart;

iv) Proanthocyanidins is useful for healthy urinary tract;

v) Astaxanthin helps to reduce wrinkles, improve skin moisture levels and overall skin health beneficial for boosting immunity, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, etc.

Studies supporting the antioxidant activity of moringa:

Moringa is reported to contain antioxidants; namely, phenolic acid (phenols), flavonoid/ bioflavonoid and tannic acid (tannins) named as polyphenols. [1]

In one study, the antioxidant capacity, total phenolic content and total flavonoid content of different extracts (methanol, aqueous, petroleum, benzene and chloroform) prepared from various parts of Moringa oleifera Lam were explored. The results showed that methanolic extracts have higher phenolic content, flavonoid content and antioxidant activity than the others. The study also observed that all the extracts acted as radical scavengers to a certain extent possibly due to presence of polyphenolic compound. The flower extracts exerted highest antioxidant activity followed by leaf, root, gum, bark, then seed. The study concluded that M. oleifera certainly exhibits strong antioxidant activity. [2] Another study published in Department of Plant Biology and Pathology, 2015 also concluded in their study that antioxidant compounds in moringa support for the therapeutic uses of polyphenol- and isothiocyanates- enriched moringa products. [3]

A group of researchers in Aligarh Muslim University conducted experiments with the aqueous extract of the leaf, fruit and seed of moringa to examine its ability to inhibit the oxidative DNA damage and to determine its antioxidant stability. It was found that these extracts could significantly inhibit the oxidative damage. Of the three extracts, the leaf extract has shown higher potential of inhibiting oxidative damage and antioxidant stability. This study has gathered experimental evidence on moringa as natural antioxidant; for its capacity to protect organism and cell from oxidative DNA damage associated with aging, cancer, and degenerative diseases. They have also stated that moringa may be an ideal component for functional food, nutraceutical and bio-pharmaceutical industries. [4]

Another group of scientists experimented on moringa leaf and seed powders to compare the nutritional profile and antioxidant potential of their tea infusions. The study indicated that moringa leaf powder contains high amounts of fiber and low amounts of fat unlike the seed powder. Also, the moringa leaf powder and tea were found to contain more calcium, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc, copper, phenols and flavonoids than the seed powder and its tea infusion and also their combination. On the other hand, moringa seed powder contains high amount of protein. Also, it was observed that the moringa leaf tea infusion has highest amount of total phenolic and flavonoids contents among all other tea infusions. Flavonoid, which is known to reduce the severity and onset of many diseases, is found in major amount in the tea infusions. Hence, the moringa leaf tea infusions were reported to possess higher phenolics and flavonoids contents than the green tea and black tea. Therefore, it can be concluded that leaf powder and seed powder and their respective infusions contained essential nutrients in significant amount and has good antioxidant properties. Thus, it can be a part of diet based therapy for the management of chronic diseases. [5]

How moringa can deter aging:

Moringa contains a plant hormone known as zeatin. The name ‘zeatin’ is derived from two Greek words (zytos = cell, kinesis = movement). Thus, it affects the cell division process and thereby influences in aging. Zeatin contains notable antioxidant properties which protect the skin and increase the antioxidant activity of the enzymes that can fight aging naturally. Studies demonstrated that zeatin interrupt with the cell growth, reduce the cellular debris and improve their oxidative stress response. Moreover, zeatin does not have any negative impact in the process of cell division. Hence, zeatin contains robust anti-aging properties. There are currently no other plants to be reported to possess the same, abundant levels of zeatin other than the moringa plant, making moringa the prized plant for anti-aging.

Moringa, especially its leaf, has high concentrations of phenolics and flavonoids. These bioactive polyphenols can protect our body from oxidative stress. Many serious diseasesDrumstickFlower
such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases start from the overproduction of free radicals which damages cells within our body. Increasing one’s antioxidant intake is
essential for optimum health, especially in today’s polluted world. Since, the body cannot keep up with antioxidant production, a good amount of these vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and enzymes must come from one’s daily diet. Thus, boosting moringa intake can help provide added protection for the body. From various studies it is proved that moringa is one of the perfect antioxidant sources, being both effective, safe, naturally found and cost effective.

Research Citations:

[1] Sulaiman Mohammed and Fazilah Abd Manan; Department of Biosciences and Health Sciences, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Malaysia; “Analysis of total phenolics, tannins and flavonoids from Moringa oleifera seed extract”; Journal of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Research, 2015, 7(1):132-135.


[2] Swati Vyas, Sumita Kachhwaha1and S.L.Kothari; Rajasthan, India “Comparative analysis of phenolic contents and total antioxidant capacity of Moringa oleifera Lam”; Pharmacognosy Journal; 2014; 7(1):44-51.


[3] Tugba Boyunegmez, Tumer, Patricio Rojas-Silva, Alexander Poulev, Ilya Raskin, and Carrie Waterman, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey “Direct and Indirect Antioxidant Activity of Polyphenol- and Isothiocyanate-Enriched Fractions from Moringa oleifera”, Department of Plant Biology and Pathology, Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2015, 63 (5), pp 1505–1513.


[4] Brahma N. Singh, B.R. Singh, R.L. Singh,, D. Prakash, R. Dhakarey, G. Upadhyay, H.B. Singh,  “Oxidative DNA damage protective activity, antioxidant and anti-quorum sensing potentials of Moringa oleifera”, Food and Chemical Toxicology, Volume 47, Issue 6, June 2009, Pages 1109–1116


[5] M. Ilyas1, M. U. Arshad1, F. Saeed1 and M. Iqbal, “Antioxidant potential and nutritional comparison of moringa leaf and seed powders and their tea infusions”, The Journal of Animal & Plant Sciences, 25(1): 2015, Page: 226-233