ECHOcommunity Conversations

Has anyone seen this research on Moringa and anti-fertility?

I came upon this doing a search on the internet:


I read through the paper and would classify it as unreliable given the tiny sample size (a total of 14 rats) with no research replication (why not do the experiment one more time?). The paper was published in 1986, so I think it’s likely more rigorous research has been completed that will answer the question better: does moringa leaf extract cause abortions in humans?
I found this paper helpful, and it provides a great summary of the research conducted on Moringa oleifera.

Happy researching!

Normally, doesn’t research replication Follow an initial finding.? Such research would not be found in the original experiment.
The part of the article that I found interesting was the statement that Moringa is used regularly as birth control in some countries. That involves more than just a few rats.
I also found this article.

There is a lot of conflicting information available about the abortive properties of Moringa plant parts. I recently did a little literature search about this topic. Its roots, flowers, gum, and parts of stem tissue have pretty clear abortive properties. The compound found in the tissue causes uterine lining expulsion (which leads to endometriosis) which is extremely dangerous in the first trimester as this will most likely cause the loss of the fetus. BUT what some studies are claiming is that leaf powder also causes the same abortive process. I was very confused because all of the chemical compound articles said the leaves did not contain the same compound. So finally I dug in someone’s thesis and they explain a bit what the phenomenon could be caused by - processing!!! If you are not the one processing your moringa, there is a possibility that some material from the stem or flowers can make it into the processing and therefore be in a “leaf” product. The little green or red stems that run up the leaflets of moringa are very difficult to remove from a ground leaf powder process because the leaves are so small (see image below). Also there is a lot of confusion because botanically, the leaf of moringa includes inter-stem tissue because it is a compound leaf! So you can say “leaf” but include leaf and stem tissue… so that’s also confusing.

The abortive rate of 175mg/kg found in this article is of leaf extract keep in mind. If it were 175 mg/kg of the leaves or even powder, I would be concerned because for me at 62 kg, that would mean 10.85 g would be abortive! But this was 175 mg/kg of extract (take out all of the water, fiber, chlorophyll - till all you have is basically moringa essential oil). That’s a great deal more than 10.85 g of leaves. It’s probably a few kg of leaves to get that much oil. And again, it looks like they may have included stem tissue as they refer to leaflets in the materials and methods section.

I would be concerned if you aren’t the one processing your leaf powder and aren’t sure if there is flower/stem tissue in it. Unless the baby needs the added nutrition to survive, I would stay away from moringa the first trimester at least. After the first trimester, there is decreased risk of endometriosis. If you are looking for moringa just as a boost to nutrition (not needed), I’d probably just stay away from it all together unless you are making the powder yourself. The important thing to remember is that anything, even good things, in excess can be a bad thing.

There is an interesting discussion by the world’s leading expert on moringa (Mark E. Olsen) at Are there side effects from taking moringa?

Please share any other questions or insights!

Also, I talked to an intern here are our Research and Demonstration Farm at ECHO and she said that when they feed moringa (leaves and stems) to pregnant rabbits, they seem to have smaller litters than when we don’t feed them moringa. We always feed moringa after they give birth to increase milk production. Just some observations to share