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Using Dried Malunggay Leaves as Herbal Medicine

Medically reviewed by Stephanie Nera, RPh, PharmD · Pharmacology

Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. · Updated Mar 14, 2023

Using Dried Malunggay Leaves as Herbal Medicine

Considered a superfood, malunggay leaves have long been hailed as a healthy ingredient, used to help boost breastmilk production in mothers and boost immunity. But what are the other benefits of consuming dried malunggay leaves? Learn more here.


Malunggay (Moringa oleifera) is a tall plant, reaching as high as 9 meters. It has very distinct leaves: small, thin, and circular. The bark can be described as “gummy” in nature and its roots taste like horseradish.

Malunggay has small white flowers that produce white pods, both of which are regarded for their medicinal properties. What is amazing about malunggay is that it is highly accessible and it needs little maintenance, hence it is often found in the backyards of Filipino homes. 

What are dried malunggay leaves used for?

Dried malunggay is equally beneficial as fresh malunggay. Malunggay is known for its range of health benefits, including:

  • Malunggay has properties that lower blood sugar and decrease blood pressure.
  • Because it helps the body absorb more iron, it can greatly help in treating anemia.
  • It helps lactating mothers produce more milk
  • It soothes stomach upset, especially one caused by constipation.
  • Malunggay helps fight infection, because of its natural antibacterial properties.
  • Malunggay is a great source of phosphorus and calcium, so it can help strengthen bones.
  • It is great in promoting general health because it is rich in antioxidants.
  • How does it work?

    The health benefits of dried malunggay leaves are the same as the benefits you will get from fresh leaves and pods. Either way you decide to prepare them, the nutritional and medicinal properties of malunggay are not reduced. 

    Precautions & Warnings

    The benefits of dried malunggay leaves are made even better by the fact that they have minimal side-effects. Still, to ensure peace of mind while using it, take note of the following reminders. 

    What should I know before using malunggay?

    Malunggay is an edible plant. Its leaves are often an ingredient in various dishes, together with the stalk and the white pods.

    How safe is malunggay?

    Dried malunggay leaves along with other fresh parts, such as the pods and stem, are generally safe, either as food or as a form of short-term medication.

    However, one should be very careful when dealing with the bark and roots as they are found to have certain toxins that may not be safe for consumption.

    There is not enough information about its safety for topical use, but performing a skin patch test will help in determining if you may have an allergic reaction to it. 

    Special Precautions & Warnings

    Although malunggay is generally safe for everyone, stay on the safe side by talking to your physician if you have any pre-existing health conditions or allergies, take maintenance medications, or are on a special diet.

    Because malunggay is already marketed as a food supplement that increases milk production, it is safe to say that it is okay for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers. But again, you must consider pregnancy and breastfeeding as sensitive conditions, so talking to your physician or OB-GYN is a must.

    Whatever you do with malunggay, avoid its bark and its roots as they may be dangerous for consumption.

    Side Effects

    Malunggay may help with hypertension, but you need to be careful in case it causes a sudden and excessive drop in blood pressure. And while it is also great for managing the blood sugar level of diabetics, patients may experience hypoglycemia (low level in blood glucose) when taking excessive doses. For this reason, should you use malunggay for a specific medicinal purpose (i.e. managing diabetes, high blood pressure, etc.), consult your doctor 


    As a natural herb, malunggay is generally safe for consumption. However, researchers need more exhaustive studies to fully understand its health benefits. For any concerns, consult your doctor.

    Dosage & Forms

    If you are going to take malunggay as medicine, whether you prepare it on your own or buy it in its commercially produced forms, you must talk with your physician. The suggestions below are here to help and educate you on the benefits of Moringa.

    How To Prepare Malunggay

    To harness the benefits of dried malunggay leaves, you must first dry the. To do so, collect malunggay stems. Wash your collected Moringa with baking soda solution. To create the solution, mix 2 tablespoons of baking soda with 1 liter of water. After washing the malunggay, air-dry it. Do not place it under direct sunlight. You can even dry it indoors for 2 to 3 days.

    Once the malunggay is completely dry, the leaves will fall off. To hasten the process, shake the stem and collect the leaves. Now that you have the dried leaves, crush them with your clean hands, and store them in an airtight container.

    Use the dried leaves by mixing it into your dough for bread and noodles. You can also add it in hot water to enjoy instant tea, or you can simply sprinkle it on your dishes. 

    What form does malunggay come in?

    You may eat fresh or dried malunggay. It is also readily available in the following forms:

    Food supplements in capsules. The capsules contain dried leaves. These are for breastfeeding mothers who have difficulty producing milk. 

    Tea bags. Simply enjoy moringa steeped in hot water and enjoy as tea. 

    Key Takeaways

    Malunggay is very generous not just with its medicinal and nutritional benefits, but also because it grows widely in the country. Having one in your backyard, or at least knowing someone who has a malunggay tree, will be a good advantage, especially if you want to reap the health benefits of dried malunggay leaves.

    Learn more about Herbal Medicine here


    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Medically reviewed by

    Stephanie Nera, RPh, PharmD


    Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. · Updated Mar 14, 2023

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