Moringa is genuinely one of the most nutritious foods in existence. Gram for gram, it’s full of more vitamins and minerals than almost any fruit or vegetable you can buy in the store.
It’s loaded with free radical-fighting antioxidants. It can help manage diabetes, can help lower cholesterol, and can help lessen anxiety.
But pregnant women should be nervous about trying new things during pregnancy or while nursing a child. Tons of people keep asking about
How Much Moringa Can a Pregnant Woman Take?
Research shows that pregnant or breastfeeding mothers can take 1 to 2 tsp of Moringa powder daily. Pregnant or breastfeeding mothers should avoid Moringa root, Moringa bark, Moringa gum, and Moringa flowers while pregnant because these parts of Moringa can cause a risk of uterine contractions.
Basically, just stick to the moringa powder from your moringa tree.
Let’s take a look at how moringa has been used historically by pregnant women and nursing mothers, at current research, and whether or not adding Moringa leaves or powder to your diet might be right for you and help to promote a healthy lifestyle.
Also, some more relevant reading: Is There Anyone Who Should Not Eat Moringa?
Want to know where to find the right gear to grow your Moringa? Or is it the right Moringa Product to buy? Check out our Buyer’s Guide, we review it all there!
Taking Moringa Leaves While Pregnant Is Fine
Humans have been cooking with Moringa leaves for longer than written record exists.
Whether we were grinding the leaves into powders or adding them entirely to meals, humans used it so much that the use of the Moringa leaf as a food product has now spread from India and Africa to the rest of the world.
It’s used as a remedy for a dozen and one different illness and maladies.
In fact, Moringa is so nutritious that in a number of countries doctors and aid workers actually treat malnourished children and nursing mothers with moringa.
Moringa leaves have been part of the daily diet of millions, including pregnant or nursing mothers, since antiquity.
All of our available research shows that that’s a good thing.
Nutrient deficiencies can be extremely dangerous not only for pregnant persons but also for unborn children; some nutrient deficiencies (particularly folic acid) have been linked to birth defects, and adequate vitamin/nutrient intake is incredibly important for overall health.
Moringa leaves and powder, as we know, are full of those vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, including folate/folic acid.
Moringa also helps ward against high blood pressure, which can potentially cause dangerous complications for both mother and unborn child.
Not a single study has concluded that consuming Moringa leaves while pregnant will lead to negative or harmful side effects.
In fact, all our available research says otherwise.
However, You Should Absolutely Avoid Moringa Root, Bark, Gum, and Flowers
There is a reason you may have heard conflicting information regarding the use of Moringa Oleifera while pregnant.
It’s because some of the more uncommonly-used parts of the Miracle tree can absolutely be dangerous for pregnant women.
Most people don’t eat Moringa root, Moringa tree bark, or Moringa flowers, and mostly stick to the moringa leaf powder.
This is a good thing; while the roots and flowers do play a role in a few culinary dishes, Moringa root bark contains two alkaloids that can be very harmful in incorrect doses.
We generally recommend avoiding them even if you aren’t pregnant.
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, however, that danger increases.
The chemicals in Moringa root and Moringa bark can induce uterine contractions, which (especially in the first month or two of pregnancy) could be especially dangerous. The flowers, roots, bark, and gum have traditionally been used as abortifacients.
Don’t eat the moringa root or moringa tree bark while pregnant.
Most people won’t ever eat it; as there really isn’t a strong reason to ever eat either of these two, and neither the root nor the bark is often sold.
You’re not ever going to find them at famous retailers, for example on Aduna, Kuli Kuli, or Thrive Market, you won’t find these stocked.
But if in the event you ever do come across them while pregnant, avoid them all.
The Moringa tree is wonderful, but in this instance stick to either the moringa leaf or the moringa powder.
Where and how you grow Moringa is important, check out Can You Grow Moringa in Cold Climates? to learn more.
What About the Drumsticks and Moringa Seeds?
The honest answer is that researchers just don’t currently have enough data to give an answer one way or the other at this point.
Pregnant women have been cooking with Moringa drumsticks for centuries, and have likely been using seed oil for just as long.
Here’s our guide on How to Make Your Own Moringa Oil. (This guide uses the seeds!)
Since we want to make sure you have a healthy pregnancy, moringa consumption should be either moringa leaf extract from the moringa leaf or fresh moringa leaves from your garden.
The drumsticks and seeds lack the alkaloids and chemicals that make the root, bark, gum, and flowers dangerous to eat.
However, the mature seeds do often possess some vitamins and minerals in much higher concentrations than the leaves do.
This might sound like a good thing, but too much of anything can be dangerous.
Even Vitamin A, which is necessary for building up vision and immune function in fetuses can be extremely dangerous for babies if a pregnant person eats too much of it.
At this point, there isn’t enough research on the subject of eating the drumsticks while pregnant for us to recommend it or not.
We would, however, recommend that during pregnancy or breastfeeding at a minimum avoid the seeds.
The health benefits (Like Vitamin C and other cardiovascular benefits) from these two aren’t worth the risk to your pregnancy and or your breast milk.
How About Taking Moringa Leaves While Breastfeeding?
The answer to this question is much simpler: yes, you absolutely can. And the effect of Moringa (drumstick tree) is one of the best natural remedies for low production of breast milk.
Moringa leaves, in addition to containing dozens of vitamins, minerals, nutrients, amino acids, and antioxidants, also contain something called plant sterols. Plant sterols work to lower cholesterol and can actually help prevent heart disease.
The plant sterols in Moringa also help increase estrogen, which in turn increases the production of milk. In fact, the United Nations’ Food and Agricultural Organization itself recommend Moringa leaves and powder to both pregnant nursing mothers:
Leaves are rich in protein, vitamins A, B and C, and minerals – highly recommended for pregnant and nursing mothers as well as young children.Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations
Moringa leaves are a natural galactagogue: a product that increases lactation and milk supply.
A number of studies have concluded that Moringa’s rich nutrient profile is capable of doubling milk production by as much as 100% and that it’s entirely safe, with minimal to no negative effects.
Moringa is even recommended by world health organizations to nursing mothers.
In other words, all available data says yes: Moringa is safe to use while breastfeeding.
When Should I Avoid Moringa Leaves while Breastfeeding?
We do not run into this all the time, but sometimes after pregnancy moringa can increase lactation so much that you get a little too “leaky”.
We hope you get what we mean, but some mothers will lactate to the point that their milk constantly ruins every shirt they wear.
As a new mother, there will be some “leakage” but if it’s overbearing, it could be from our favorite super food, Moringa.
If this is happening to you, we suggest you lower your daily dose of Moringa.
Taking Moringa during pregnancy is awesome for improving lactation, but for some, it increases it to the point that new mothers struggle to even go outside.
Is Moringa Safe for Pregnant Women?
Pregnant woman and nursing mothers have used Moringa leaves for millennia.
All of our available research shows that in commonly used doses, Moringa leaves are entirely safe.
For common dosage, check out How Much Moringa Should I Take Each Day?
Now, you should always speak to a doctor before adding any sort of supplement to your diet while pregnant.
Every single body is different, and while Moringa can genuinely change most lives for the better, your doctor will have a much better idea of how Moringa may affect you.
Before you buy a pound of Moringa powder, talk to your doctor. See if there’s any reason you shouldn’t introduce Moringa into your diet.
The answer will probably be “no reason at all,” but it is always, always, always better to make sure.
Moringa’s benefits are great, no matter if it’s just a simple moringa extract or leaf powder, this green leaf is such a great food that can be added postpartum to help with blood pressure or body weight.
Pregnant women complain about the weight gained from pregnancy, and energy levels in the postpartum period. Luckily, a daily routine of regular consumption of Moringa leaves has been shown to improve both.
Moringa helps not only with its rich nutritional content but has shown to give a significant increase in iron deficiency, something we know recent mothers deal with.
We get many emails from mothers that don’t really want to start taking traditional medicine and wonder if they should take Moringa.
We say yes, and we hope you email us back with reviews on how it went.
Interested in learning more about Moringa? Check out Morning Garden’s Comprehensive Introduction to Moringa Oleifera. Ready to buy? Take a look at our favorite resources for buying, planting, or growing Moringa.