Saturday, September 9, 2023

Moringa oleifera

Moringa oleifera is a fast-growing, drought-tolerant tree that is native to the Indian subcontinent. It is also known as the drumstick tree, the horseradish tree, or the miracle tree. Moringa is a highly nutritious plant that is packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It has been used for centuries in traditional medicine to treat a variety of health conditions.

Moringa is relatively easy to cultivate and is recommended for USDA Zones 9-11, or it can be grown as an annual crop in colder climates. It prefers full sun and well-drained soil. The trees will quickly grow to a height of 10-20 feet. To encourage leaf production and to make harvesting easier, keep the trees topped to force a more bushy habit. Moringa trees can be harvested for their leaves, flowers, seeds, or pods throughout the year.

Moringa leaves and flowers can be eaten fresh, cooked or dried. They can also be made into a powder or tea. The leaves have 7 times more vitamin C than oranges, 10 times more vitamin A than carrots, 17 times more calcium than milk, 9 times more protein than yoghurt, 15 times more potassium than bananas, and 25 times more iron than spinach, according to the National Institute of Nutrition in India (Gopalan C., B.V. Rama Sastri & S.C. Balasubramanian. 1981. Nutritive values of Indian foods. National Institute of Nutrition, Indian Council of Medical Research, Hyderabad, India).

The tender young pods can be eaten raw or cooked.

Moringa seeds can be eaten raw or roasted. They can also be pressed for oil that is high in oleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid.

Some of the benefits of using moringa include reduced blood sugar levels, lowered cholesterol levels and boosted immunity. It has also been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties.