Malunggay benefits and risks for moms and moms-to-be
Malunggay is an affordable local vegetable with a slew of health benefits for moms and the whole family. However, there are some instances when expectant moms should shy away from it. Learn all you need to know about malunggay to maximize its health benefits!
Malunggay, also known as moringa, is the automatic galactagogue (a food or drug that boosts breast milk supply) of choice by most mothers in the country.
It has been a tradition for newly delivered mothers to be fed a steaming bowl of tinola (a clear chicken soup with garlicky broth) or ginisang monggo (a dish made with mung beans and some fish or pork), cooked with malunggay to invoke a surge in breast milk supply.
In 2014, malunggay was declared as the National Vegetable in view of its medicinal benefits as well as for offering malnutrition relief in dire areas, not just in the country but around the world.
- Malunggay can strengthen immune system – perfect for someone recuperating from pregnancy, delivery and all the exhausting days adjusting to a new baby
- Malunggay can heal inflamed joints and tendons – helpful for those who felt a little arthritic during pregnancy
- Malunggay can relieve constipation – beneficial to those recovering from pregnancy-induced bowel issues
- Malunggay can help normalize sugar levels – particularly helpful to diabetic moms or those who had gestational diabetes
- Malunggay can help normalize blood pressure – useful to those who had pregnancy-induced hypertension
- Malunggay can facilitate healing from a slew of illnesses, like asthma, ulcers and migraines, which some mothers suffer from
- Malunggay can boost milk supply – which profits breastfeeding mothers
Used for illnesses/conditions
- Heart problems
- High blood pressure
- Kidney stones
- Fluid retention
- Thyroid disorders
- Bacterial, fungi, parasitic and viral infections
- Reduce swelling
- Increase sex drive
- Prevent pregnancy
- Boost breast milk production
- Germ killer
- Athlete’s foot treatment
- Dandruff treatment
- Gum disease treatment
- Snake bites
Continue reading to learn about malunggay’s vitamin content and efficacy in boosting breast milk
Malunggay has the following vitamins compared to other foods in the same weight:
- Seven times more vitamin C than oranges
- Four times more calcium than milk
- Two times more protein than milk
- Four times more Vitamin A than carrots
- Three times more calcium than bananas
This explains how malunggay benefits new mothers: by boosting their immune system and ensuring that her own resources are not being depleted by breastfeeding. A healthy mother is also more likely to sustain milk production over a period of time.
In terms of efficacy, the culture prevails but the testimony varies. It may be that, as in the case of Fenugreek, mothers would have to consume more malunggay than they are used to in order for it to stop being a food and start working as a galactagogue.
In a study of actual pregnant/nursing women conducted in Ospital ng Makati, it was found that those who took malunggay supplements before and continued after giving birth showed earlier onset of milk and a greater volume of it.
While only proper and frequent feeding can really stimulate milk production and maintain supply, malunggay benefits a new mother by facilitating the breastfeeding process further.
Continue reading to know about the risks of taking malunggay
When consumed as food, malunngay is usually safe. There’s also less of a chance of it triggering allergic reactions and lesser possibility of it causing an overdose.
However, extra sensitive people may manifest allergic reactions to supplements. The use of malunggay roots, flowers or barks may have abortifacient effects (miscarriage) as it can promote uterine contractions in pregnant women.
Another thing to note is that supplements are not created equal across brands so one really has to do their own research and consult a doctor for recommended products.
In this case, malunggay benefits don’t outweigh the effects; therefore, it’s best to always seek advice from doctors before taking supplements.
There really is no prescribed dosage for malunggay supplements. Breastfeeding-supportive obstetricians, however, usually recommend pregnant patients to begin taking 2-3 malunggay capsules of their brand of choice two to three weeks before their due date.
Malunggay benefits not only the mom but the entire family. It’s best to get started on adding this national vegetable as a staple at home.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mec Arevalo
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