Moringa

“Moringa Oleifera” also known as “Moringa” is growing in popularity among health conscious people worldwide. Some call it the “Miracle Tree” while yet others call it “The tree of life”. The Moringa plant was  originally native to the Himalayan foothills of Asia but due to it’s popularity and fast growth, it’s now being cultivated all over the tropical and subtropical regions of the world.

It was brought by Germans in Bolivia in 1996 to purify water in the Chiquitania region.

Moringa the superfood!

A plant with multiple medicinal uses and benefits. A superfood to rival most other superfoods due to its incredible nutritional value!

Moringa en Bolivia
Image: Moringa leaves and seeds after harvesting them in Bolivia

The name: Moringa

The word moringa comes from the Malayalam word murinna, or the Tamil word murungai. In the Philippines it is known it as malunggay, which also differs across local dialects like Bicolano (kalungai) or Bisaya (alungai). Moringa is also known as maroenga in Indonesia, Kachang Kelur or Lemunggai in Malaysia, and Ma rum in Thailand.  In countries outside of Asia, moringa is also called a drumstick tree or horseradish tree.

 

Moringa
Image: Moringa leaves in the palm of my hand in Paraguay. BTW did you know that raw Moringa leaves tastes slightly like a “bite” of watercress or radish.

Moringa – all you can eat!

Much of the plant is edible by humans or by animals. Every part of the Moringa tree can be used in medical science. People eat the leaves, flowers, seeds, pods, its flower blossoms and its buds.

Moringa Health Benefits

Great source of protein

Some consider Moringa protein better than soy protein as it is non-allergic. Proteins are digested into smaller units known as amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins which are needed to grow, repair and maintain cells. Moringa contains 18 of the 20 amino acids required by the human body including all 8 of the essential amino acids found in meat products.

 

Many vitamins

The leaves of Moringa Oleifera are nature’s multi-vitamin providing 7 x the vitamin C of oranges, 4 x the calcium of milk, 4 x the vitamin A of carrots, 3 x the potassium of bananas, and 2 x the protein of yogurt. A 100-g portion of fresh moringa leaves has 9.3 g protein, 434 mg calcium, 404 mg potassium, 738 μg vitamin A, and 164 mg vitamin C.

 

Animal nutrition

Feeding the high-protein leaves to cattle has been shown to increase weight gain by up to 32% and milk production by 43 to 65%. The seeds contain 30 to 40% oil that is high in oleic acid, while degreased meal is 61% protein.

 

What are antioxidants?

Moringa has over 92 nutrients and 46 natural antioxidants, as well as anti-inflammatory compounds.

Antioxidants help protect the body against “free radicals” – unstable molecules that cause damage to our bodies over time. Many of the benefits of moringa leaves are attributable to the rich antioxidant content, which comes from vitamins and other unique plant phytochemicals.

 

World Spread of Moringa Tree

Where does the Moringa tree grow?

This tree can be found growing naturally at elevations of up to 1000 meters above sea level. It can grow well on hillsides but is more frequently found growing on pastureland or in river basins. It is a fast growing tree and has been found to grow to 6 – 7 m in one year in areas receiving less than 400 mm mean annual rainfall.

The moringa tree is grown mainly in semiarid, tropical, and subtropical areas. Moringa is a sun- and heat-loving plant, thus does not tolerate freezing or frost. Moringa is particularly suitable for dry regions, as it can be grown using rainwater.

Moringa Seeds
Image: A few dry moringa seeds

 

Moringa Health benefits

Moringa leaf is best known as an excellent source of nutrition and natural energy booster. This energy boost is not based on sugar, and so it is sustained. Moringa is also soothing. It helps lower blood pressure and is a sleep aid. Its detoxifying effect may come from Moringa’s ability to purify water.

 

Moringa Water Purification

How to clean water with crushed Moringa seeds:

  1. Allow the Moringa seed pods to dry naturally on the tree before harvesting them.
  2. Remove the seed husks, leaving a whitish kernel.
  3. Crush the seed kernels to a powder with a stone or mortar.
  4. Mix the powder with a small quantity of clean water in a small cup.

Water clearing with Moringa

In many parts of the world river water which can be highly turbid is used for drinking purposes. This turbidity is conventionally removed by treating the water with expensive chemicals, many of which are imported at great expense.  Natural coagulants have been used for centuries in traditional water treatment practices throughout certain areas of the developing world.     Crushed Moringa seeds clarify and purify water to suit domestic use and lower the bacterial concentration in the water making it safe for drinking. By using Moringa seeds people will no longer be depending on expensive means originating from the West. Using Moringa to purify water replaces chemicals such as aluminium sulphate, which are dangerous to people and the environment, and are expensive.

Moringa seed powder can be used as a quick and simple method for cleaning dirty river water. Studies showed that this simple method of filtering not only diminishes water pollution, but also harmful bacteria. The moringa powder joins with the solids in the water and sinks to the bottom. This treatment also removes 90-99% of bacteria contained in water.

Moringa

Medicinal Qualities of Moringa

  • Juice from the leaves is believed to have a stabilizing effect on blood pressure and is used to treat anxiety. It is believed to control glucose levels in cases of diabetes.
  • Mixed with honey and followed by a drink of coconut milk 2 or 3 times a day, leaves are used as a remedy for diarrhea, dysentery and colitis.
  • Leaf juice, sometimes with carrot juice added, is used as a diuretic. Eating leaves is recommended in cases of gonorrhea because of the diuretic action.
  • Leaves and buds are rubbed on the temples for headache.
  • A poultice is made from fresh leaves and applied to reduce glandular swelling.
  • Leaf juice is used as a skin antiseptic.
  • Leaves are used to treat fevers, bronchitis, eye and ear infections, scurvy, and catarrh (inflammation of the mucus membrane).
  • Leaves are considered to be anthelmintic (kill intestinal parasites and worms).
  • Leaves are used as a purgative.
  • Eating leaves is believed to increase a woman’s milk production and is sometimes prescribed for anemia.

Mooring products in Santa Cruz, Bolivia

Kusiy, Santa Cruz, Bolivia (3) 3229559 www.kusiy.net

Our direct contact is Yasser 71016411
Moringa Seeds
Image: The Moringa seeds ready to be planted :-) now we only need a place to plant them.
Moringa Tea
Image: The Moringa Tea tastes a little like grass. So with some honey mixed I like it better.

 

Moringa Salt
Image: Moringa salt is interesting because it’s dehydrated moringa leafs with red salt from the high mountains of Bolivia without any Iodine!
Moringa Oil
Image: The Mooring “Tintura”  should help for fighting inflammations from the outside to the inside. Im using it now for my foot.

 

Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moringa

http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-1242-MORINGA.aspx?activeIngredientId=1242&activeIngredientName=MORINGA

Ya Go

Founder PermaTree.org, Photography, Permaculture, Off-grid, DIY, Healthy lifestyle.