In the plant kingdom Mother Nature has provided us food, fiber, and health. We only need to know which plants and how and when to use them. Out of this Moringa oleifera is such a gift that all people need to know the qualities of this plant. All parts of this plant have benefits to health in one or more ways.
Moringa has been used to treat anemia, arthritis, rheumatism, asthma, cancer, constipation, diabetes, diarrhea, epilepsy, stomach pain, stomach and intestinal ulcers, intestinal spasms, headache, heart problems, high blood pressure, kidney stones, fluid retention, thyroid disorders; and bacterial, fungal, viral, and parasitic infections.
Moringa is also used to reduce swelling, increase sex drive (as an aphrodisiac), prevent pregnancy, boost the immune system, and increase breast milk production. Some people use it as a nutritional supplement or tonic.
Moringa is sometimes applied directly to the skin as a germ-killer or drying agent (astringent). It has also been traditionally used topically for treating pockets of infection (abscesses), athlete’s foot, dandruff, gum disease (gingivitis), snakebites, warts, and wounds.
Oil from Moringa seeds is used in foods, perfume, and hair care products, and as a machine lubricant.
Moringa is an important food source in some parts of the world. Because it can be grown cheaply and easily, and the leaves retain lots of vitamins and minerals when dried, Moringa is used in India and Africa in feeding programs to fight malnutrition. The immature green pods (drumsticks) are prepared similarly to green beans, while the seeds are removed from more mature pods and cooked like peas or roasted like nuts. The leaves are cooked and used like spinach, and they are also dried and powdered for use as a condiment.
The seed cake remaining after oil extraction is used as a fertilizer and also to purify well water and to remove salt from seawater.
Leaves: The leaves are the most nutritious part of the plant, being a significant source of B vitamins, vitamin C, provitamin A as beta-carotene, vitamin K, manganese, and protein, among other essential nutrients. When compared with common foods particularly high in certain nutrients per 100 grams fresh weight, cooked Moringa leaves are considerable sources of these same nutrients. Some of the calcium in Moringa leaves is bound as crystals of calcium oxalate, though at levels 1/25th to 1/45th of that found in spinach, which is a negligible amount.
The leaves are cooked and used like spinach and are commonly dried and crushed into a powder used in soups and sauces.
Antioxidant Activity—According to analysis, the powdered leaves of the Moringa tree (which is the way most people consume Moringa) contains 46 types of antioxidants. One serving, in fact, contains 22 percent of our recommended daily intake (RDI) of vitamin C, one of the most important antioxidants on earth, and a whopping 272 percent of our RDI of vitamin A. Antioxidants help to neutralize the devastating impact of free radicals, thereby guarding us from cancer and degenerative diseases such as macular degeneration and cystic fibrosis.
Rich In Amino Acids—The leaves of the Moringa tree contain 18 amino acids, eight of which are essential amino acids, making them a “complete” protein--a rarity in the plant world. Indeed, Moringa’s protein content rivals that of meat, making it an excellent source of protein for vegetarians and vegans. Protein is, of course, needed to build muscle, cartilage, bones, skin and blood and is also needed to produce enzymes and hormones.
Calcium and Magnesium—One serving of Moringa leaves provides us with approximately 125 percent of our RDI of calcium and 61 percent of our RDI of magnesium. These two trace minerals work in synergy; while calcium is needed to build strong bones and teeth, we also need magnesium to help us absorb it. Since Moringa contains generous quantities of both, it is especially good at guarding us from osteoporosis and other bone conditions.
Extensive Nutrient Concentrations—Moringa leaves contain 90 different types of nutrients, including four times more calcium than milk, four times more potassium than bananas, four times more vitamin A than carrots, 50 times more vitamin B3 than peanuts, 36 times more magnesium than eggs, and 25 times more iron than spinach. It also includes high amounts of additional nutrients such as dietary fiber, iodine, lutein, zinc, selenium, zeatin and beta-carotene.
Produces Healthy Oil—Although Moringa is mostly celebrated for its leaves, its seeds also have a worthwhile purpose: the pods contain almost 40 percent of edible, non-drying oil called “ben oil,” which is comparable to olive oil in nutritional and antioxidant value. Ben oil is odorless, sweet-tasting, and clear and—most importantly—lasts indefinitely. In fact, Moringa leaf powder is also immune from spoiling, making both the tree’s oil and leaves excellent survival foods.
Nourishes the Skin—Due to their trace mineral content, dried and powdered Moringa leaves are great for nourishing the skin. Indeed, more and more cosmetic companies are starting to include Moringa extracts in their products for this reason. Moringa creams and lotions can be applied topically on the desired areas, thus allowing the nutrients to soak into, and rejuvenate, the skin.
Regularly consuming Moringa leaves has also been linked to lower blood pressure, improved digestion and mood, immune-boosting effects and, thanks to their high fiber levels and low fat and calorie levels, weight loss.
How to Grow Easily:
Put the seeds in small well filled pots and water it regularly (not too much water till germination). Transplant the plants in frost protected area or keep in big pots. It is a very easy growing plant with priceless values for health.
WARNING: The benefits mentioned in this article have not been endorsed by the FDA. Please consult with your physician before treating any ailments. This article is intended for educational purposes only.
Avtar Singh Dhindsa is the owner of Beauscape Farms, a producer and exporter of flowers seeds in Punjab, India. Avtar is also a skilled and passionate botanist, with a strong dedication towards promoting the use of Moringa not only in India but worldwide.