Moringa. Malunggay. The curious tiny leaves my mom adds to almost every soup or broth she makes — even in instant noodles. As a child, I wasn’t a huge fan of its taste; but dear mamma would insist we eat it. “Malunggay is very nutritious,” she would say.
Mothers do know best. Nutritionists classify Moringa oleifera as a superfood, and the title is well-deserved.
Moringa is one of the most nutrient-dense food there is with over 20 essential vitamins and nutrients, based on the USDA’s National Nutrient Database. One cup or 21 grams of chopped moringa contains almost 2g protein, 39mg calcium, 71mg potassium, 24mg phosphorus, 10mg Vitamin C (ascorbic acid), 79µg Vitamin A (retinol), and 8µg folate. The plant also contains antioxidants, regulates blood sugar levels, lowers cholesterol, and reduces inflammation due to infection or injury.
There’s no question that moringa can do wonders for the health when ingested, but is it just as good for hair and skin care? Beauty brands and skin and hair specialists seem to think so.
A Natural Skin Booster
Moringa, with its high nutrient content and anti-bacterial properties, is ideal for skin care products especially for brands that tout all-natural ingredients. Raw powder is easy to produce, and the oil isn’t difficult to extract. So skin care product manufacturers can pack the entire nutritional power of moringa in various mediums (e.g., creams, liquids, gels, soaps).
Many famous brands, like UMA (facial and skin care oils and masks), Human Nature (moisturizer, toner, and face mask), and Moringa-O (soap, toner, and therapy oils) now produce moringa-infused skin care products that:
- Improve complexion – The combined power of Vitamin C and anti-oxidants gets rid of free radicals and helps even out skin tone. Vitamins A and C also help brighten skin and lighten dark spots due to pimple scars and sun damage.
- Smoothen skin – The Vitamin C in moringa also boosts collagen production. It increases the skin’s elasticity, reduces fine lines, and prevents sagging.
- Prevent breakouts – Moringa’s anti-bacterial properties kills pimple-causing microbes without drying out the skin or causing irritation.
- Slow skin aging – The cumulative effect of the above promotes healthy skin. Furthermore, the nourishment from moringa revitalizes the skin and slows down aging.
Promotes Hair Growth and Health
Moringa has only just entered the hair care arena, and feedback from users from all over the world has been widely positive.
According to accounts, moringa shampoo isn’t as sudsy as most commercial shampoos. Some users have to use more products to produce a satisfying lather. It’s a good thing, though: manufacturers often add sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) in shampoo formulations to create foam. This surfactant, which is also in insecticides and floor cleaners, isn’t harmful in moderate quantities. But it can still irritate sensitive scalps.
On the plus side, users also say that moringa shampoo makes their hair feel softer and smoother, more so when they use moringa conditioner.
To keep hair gorgeous and healthy, however, you need to start at the roots. Moringa proves to be a reliable product for the scalp as well.
- Promotes hair growth – Hair loss has been linked to deficiencies in iron and zinc, both of which are present in moringa. Introducing these two minerals could help stimulate hair growth.
- Maintains scalp and root health – Iron is also responsible for delivering oxygen and nutrients from the bloodstream into the scalp.
- Strengthens hair strands – Moringa is packed with protein and amino acids, which are essential for strong and healthy hair.
- Protects hair – The antioxidants in moringa prevents free radicals from weakening hair follicles, while Vitamins E and C repair damage.
Moringa hair care products are ideal if you have dry, flaky scalp or frizzy hair. Choose a brand that uses natural ingredients and real moringa powder or extract.
Clearly, the humble malunggay many of us have taken for granted is anything but. Nourish your hair and skin by trying out moringa products.