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Moringa“Breastmilk is best for babies up to 2 years.”, the most commonly used statement for any breastfeeding campaign. But, how can a mother breastfeed her child if she’s not capable of producing it? Worry no more because the solution is just a step away from your backyards. Malunggay (Moringa oleifera), is a popular plant known for high nutritional value as well as an herbal medicine. Malunggay is a plant that grows in the tropical climates such as the Philippines, India, and Africa. It is widely used as vegetable ingredient in cooking, as herbal medicine for a number of illness and other practical uses. The plant can grow to as high as 9 meters with erect white trunks. The compound leaf has about 3 to 9 leaflets. It has white fragrant flowers that produces long pods with 3-angled winged seeds.

Malunggay leaves are a natural galactagogue - a substance that promotes or increases the flow of a mother's milk. It has been used since ancient times to boost breast milk supply as well as providing a source of nourishment for babies and mothers alike. In 2013, the Philippines Journal of Pediatrics published a report which reviewed the findings of five scientific studies examining moringa and its impact on breast milk supply. The report reviewed all the published data from five small randomized controlled studies and found that Moringa produces an increase in breast milk volume compared to placebo. A second study evaluating the use of moringa to increase volume of breast milk among mothers of preterm infants, had similar results. There have been no known reported side effects of consuming moringa whilst breastfeeding and most women report only benefits - increased breast milk supply, energy and a stronger immune system. 

Widely acknowledged to be the most nutrient-dense food in the world, moringa leaves are rich in 5 essential vitamins & minerals including iron, calcium, vitamins A, E & K. It is also a complete source of plant protein with all 9 essential amino acids, high in fibre and contains exceptionally high levels of antioxidants.

All of these nutrients but particularly protein, iron, vitamin K and calcium are needed in good supply for new mothers, and especially for those who are breastfeeding.

  • Iron is essential for the reduction of tiredness and fatigue - something experienced by the vast majority of new parents for whom sleep deprivation quickly becomes the new norm. New mothers are often deficient in iron as they can lose blood during birth, and this can leave to extreme exhaustion and feeling generally weak. A single serving of Moringa Powder contains 46.8% of your iron requirement - so mixing some up into a green smoothie with other leafy greens or taking a shot mixed in apple juice is a great natural way to reduce tiredness and fatigue
  • Calcium is important for strong bones and teeth for both mother and baby. Newborns suck up a lot of their mother's calcium supply when breastfeeding so mothers need to supplement to ensure both themselves and their babies are getting the calcium they need for optimum health and growth.
  • Vitamin K contributes to normal blood clotting and is particularly important for new mums and their babies. Vitamin K is actually given to newborns via an injection or oral tablet when they are born. Vitamin K is also important for new mothers post birth who can often be bleeding heavily.

Moringa has been used traditionally for many years. For instance, in the Philippines, moringa’s bright green leaves are prepared as part of a chicken soup that’s used to increase milk supply. News about the benefits of moringa and breastfeeding spread to the Western world over the past decade or so, and many mothers use moringa to enhance their milk supply. Usually, moringa is consumed in capsule or liquid form. And of course, it can be eaten as a cooked vegetable or as part of a traditional soup. For maximum absorption, it is best to have moringa leaves first thing in the morning as an empty stomach maximizes absorption of the nutrients. However, if that is not feasible, you should have moringa leaves whatever time your schedule allows you to.  

 

NO I Zamubec Alomar C. Adlawan, RND

 

References:

Malunggay (Moringa Oleifera) Herbal Medicine

http://www.medicalhealthguide.com/articles/malunggay.htm

moringa and breastfeeding

https://aduna.com/blogs/learn/improve-your-breast-milk-supply-with-moringa

HOW IS MORINGA USED FOR BREASTFEEDING?

https://www.motherlove.com/blogs/all/moringa-and-breastfeeding-an-herb-that-has-been-used-for-generations

Best time to have moringa

https://www.freshlymoms.com/blogs/news/moringa-benefits-for-new-mothers