Monday, September 9, 2013

Morninga can be Deadly too. Plant Interactions with Medicines.

Seems lessons are always learned the hard way for me.  It is my own fault though.
Moringa oleifera, a very powerful herb that can cause bleeding
I had always read about the many benefits of the plant moringa, especially as a food and source of vitamins, minerals and nutrients.

In fact, moringa provides solutions to far more issue than just health.  The tree can remove pollution from water, grows easily where water is scarce and provides livestock with protein.

As a plant biologist, I've always munched on berries, leaves, nuts and fruit from plants in the garden and plants in the wild.  And I've never had a problem, until the other day after a week of eating a handful of moringa leaves each day.

Immediately after eating the moringa leaves I began feeling full of energy.  There is quite a bit of literature available pointing to how the phytochemicals in moringa can actually improve peripheral circulation.

But within a couple of days I began to urinate blood, lots of blood.

At first I thought I was passing another kidney stone.  It'd only been a couple weeks since I passed three very large stones and they did some serious damage on the way down, creating lots of blood flow with their razor sharp edges.

But the kidney stone damage cleared up within a couple of days.

After a week of urinating blood I began to think the problem at hand was not a kidney stone issue.

Then someone sent me a link to a website where the information suggested moringa could cause internal bleeding.  So I began to research moringa's effects on bleeding and clotting.  There are several quite complicated scientific papers on how moringa's chemical components can interfere with blood clotting.  After reading and rereading the medical terms I realized that the plant is actually a very powerful anti-coagulant and even an abortifacient.

So the morning habit of eating moringa leaves stopped.  And within a day there was no more blood in my urine.

The more I read and researched, the more I realized this plant is not a plant to be taken lightly when ingested for any reason.

Moringa was causing me to hemorrhage.  I was actually bleeding out internally.

Now before I would had scoffed if I had read this.  I would have said something to the effect of 'it was a fluke interaction with other medications', or 'actually something else and not moringa'.

But once you experience first hand the power, good or bad, of this plant, you stand in awe of it.

We have several moringa trees planted around the yard.  Now everytime I walk by one I shiver just a little.  The plant can be a blessing.  The plant can also be a monster.

Lesson learned the hard way.  Herbs, leaves and berries can be good.  They can also be deadly. 


  1. Thanks for letting us know. Sometimes, it's easy to get wanderlust in the world of herbs and plants, forgetting that it is medicine.

  2. This is quite a shocking one. Well, some medicinal herbs do cause side effects, especially if taken in high dosage. But anyway, thanks for sharing your accidental discovery. It may not sound good to realize it the hard way, but sharing your experience alerts others. They just have to remember that Moringa is still a good source of vitamin, like you said, but like any other things in this world, too much of it can cause side effects. Asking experts for advice would be wise.

    Hope Wallace

  3. I took a moringa capsule tablet the other day. I noticed that my heart was beating fast, almost like palpating. I started to feel extremely dizzy, and a squeezing feeling on the left side of my arm. I also began to feel a squeezing/poking pain in the left side of my chest. I didn't go to the ER because I thought I could rest it off. This feeling lasted a long time. I usually take Metoprolol to help my blood pressure and heart rate. My sister recommended moringa to me because she read so many benefits about it. I'm wondering if you had similar feelings as I did. I did feel energetic when I first took it, but then I started to become extremely dizzy, where I was sitting down and almost fell over.