When it comes to Moringa leaf powders currently being sold on the market, there are two different types. The first is known as a pure leaf powder, an example being our pure Moringa Leaf Powder. This is nothing but pure, raw Moringa leaf that has been dried and ground-up or pulverized into a fine powder. There is nothing added, and the powder is not processed in any way.
The second type is known as a leaf powder extract. This is formed by taking a pure, raw dry Moringa leaf powder, and tincturing it with a blend of alcohol and water. This blend acts as a solvent which dissolves the components of the powder that are soluble within it. However, this does not include things like beneficial oils, and chlorophyll, which gives the powder its green color. When the water and alcohol solution is filtered, the chlorophyll and oils are lost. The resulting alcohol and water filtrate is then processed in order to remove the water and alcohol. Once the alcohol and water are removed, the result is the dry matter that was extracted. That dry matter is then ground-up, resulting in a leaf powder extract. Because chlorophyll is removed through tincturing, leaf powder extracts are brown in color.
To sum it up, leaf powder extracts are concentrated components that are water and alcohol soluble. They are different from pure leaf powders in the sense that they are not just simply a ground-up form of an herb. Because they undergo tincturing, leaf powder extracts often lack some of the more stimulating properties of the herb they are derived from. However, because pure leaf powders are not extracted, tinctured, or cooked as a leaf powder extract is, they rely solely on the digestive system to extract the medicinal chemicals from the plant.
The benefit of leaf powder extracts is that they are water soluble at any temperature. This is a nice benefit over Moringa powder, which is not soluble in water, and must be blended into something such as a smoothie. Leaf powder extracts are also sold with a ratio on their label, usually indicating the proportion of herb to solvent during the process of extraction. For example, a 4:1 ratio may indicate that 4lbs. of the plant were needed in order to produce 1lb. of extract powder; However, because this is not actually a regulated measurement, ratio claims are very misleading. The meaning behind the ratios displayed on leaf powder extracts can differ between products and brands, and they usually don't account for the important components of the plant that are removed during tincturing.
There is widespread debate over whether pure leaf powders or leaf powder extracts are more beneficial for you. Many doctors argue that the process of extraction removes any co-enzymes that aid in absorption; so even though they may be believed to be stronger or more potent, leaf powder extracts are not so easily absorbed by the body. Similarly, it is argued that pure leaf powders naturally contain a full set of balanced components that work together to provide your body with the optimal effect of the plant - the components that leaf powder extracts often lack due to extraction processes. This is why Moringa Source CEO and Founder, Jim Fitzpatrick, suggests that raw, pure Moringa is the best:
"Whenever possible, eat the leaves right from the tree. If that is not available, the best alternative is pure, unprocessed Moringa powder (or Moringa powder capsules) because it still contains the plant's co-enzymes and the full set of nutrients it has to offer. If pure powder isn't an option, get the benefits of the Moringa plant through pure Moringa tea or extract."
Most leaf powder extract capsules also contain various fillers, such as magnesium stearate and silicon dioxide, which act as flow agents that lubricate the powder and make it easier to place inside the capsule.
It is clear that leaf powder extract has undesirable qualities; however, liquid leaf extract can be a great alternative for those who still prefer an extract over a pure leaf powder. Liquid extract does not require fillers, and it has potential to actually taste pretty good - when prepared the right way, that is. Take our Liquid Moringa Extract, for example. It is glycerin-based, making it sweet, while many other liquid extracts are alcohol-based and bitter-tasting. Additionally, adding it to drinks such as tea may be a more convenient method for some people rather than swallowing capsules.
A simple fact is that not everyone's digestive system can handle leaf powder extracts, so many users experience discomfort upon taking them. Ultimately, it is up to each individual to make the decision of whether they prefer a pure leaf powder or a leaf powder extract. For those who prefer an extract but want to skip out on the negative qualities of leaf powder extracts, shoot for a liquid extract.