The Moringa oleifera plant has been identified as an extremely useful medicinal plant with significant health benefits. Scientific studies have shown that moringa supplements can reduce damage to the liver caused by prescription and over-the-counter medications and, in some cases, may even repair the damage and protect against further injury to the liver from illness or the use of prescription and nonprescription drugs. The therapeutic effects of moringa supplements are still being investigated, but medical research has already proven several beneficial effects of this versatile herb in treating and protecting against liver dysfunction in sensitive patients.
Dysfunction of the liver can cause fluctuations in blood sugar, nervous disorders, and digestive problems and, in advanced cases, the buildup of toxins within the body that can prove damaging or fatal. Alcoholism, drug abuse, long-term prescription drug use, overdose and certain diseases can cause liver dysfunction, especially in sensitive individuals. Patients with advanced liver disease typically must maintain a strict diet and may require dialysis in order to purify the blood and provide the filtering function typically performed by the liver. In some cases, moringa supplements may help to reduce and reverse the effects of liver disease and restore improved functioning to the liver, allowing it to more effectively filter toxins from the body.
Moringa and antitubercular drugs
The drugs used to treat tuberculosis can cause significant liver damage in patients, in part due to the toxic properties of these drugs. A research study published in 2003 in the Journal of Medicinal Food outlined the protective effects of moringa supplements in preventing serious liver damage in vulnerable patients. The antioxidant properties of the moringa plant helped to flush these toxic chemicals from the liver before they caused serious damage, thus protecting the health of the patient without compromising the effectiveness of the course of treatment.
Moringa and acetaminophen overdose
A study published in the August 2008 issue of Food and Chemical Toxicology indicated that moringa supplements offered significant protection against acetaminophen overdose and resulting liver damage in laboratory rats. The rats were fed moringa supplements in controlled doses before being administered a single overdose of acetaminophen. The supplements prevented a decrease in the level of glutathione, a necessary antioxidant compound that helps the liver process toxins and eliminate them from the body. By allowing the liver to maintain adequate levels of glutathione even when an overdose of acetaminophen was administered, moringa supplements provided solid protection against the negative effects and potential liver damage that typically results from such an overdose.
In January 2010, Food and Chemical Toxicology published a study that described the healing properties of moringa seed extract in cases of liver fibrosis. The researchers administered carbon tetrachloride to laboratory rats over the course of eight weeks in order to induce liver fibrosis, one of the most serious symptoms of advanced chronic liver disease. Liver fibrosis is caused by the buildup of proteins and collagens within the liver that reduce its ability to function; the disease typically requires dialysis or liver transplantation in its advanced stages. The research study showed significant reduction in the levels of collagens and proteins present in the liver over the course of the moringa treatments. Previously, medical researchers had believed that the course of liver fibrosis could only be slowed, not reversed. This study appears to present evidence to the contrary and provides new hope for patients suffering from advanced stages of liver fibrosis.
Moringa and arsenic poisoning
Arsenic is one of the most common pollutants in water supplies and can cause serious health problems if ingested in larger quantities. Moringa supplements have been proven to offer some protection against the damage caused by arsenic in the water supply; a study published in Acta Poloniae Pharmaceutica – Drug Research showed that Moringa oleifera extracts protected the body against the worst effects of exposure to arsenic and helped eliminate the substance from the body more efficiently.