The health benefits of Moringa: A Modern Miracle tree

In northern India, in the Himalayan foothills the moringa has appeared for a long time the region with its miracle fruit. ribbed pods, each a foot long, hanging in clusters of wiry branches of this tree. These pods, called drumsticks, have attracted the attention of mankind for thousands of years and for good reason.

While the aptly nicknamed cañafístula has a slimmer appearance, it is anything but fragile thing. A tropical native, this central prolific power has spread its roots in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and the Caribbean. And now, it seems to have anchored itself on American soil.

Part of a new wave of exotic vegetables Moringa oleifera is a botanical platypus. A member of the Brassicales order, which is a distant relative of both the cabbage and papaya. Rooted radish taste so much like his cousin, who has also earned the nickname “ben”. Its fruit, a popular Indian vegetable, looks like a cross between a okra and bean pole with the flavor of asparagus. Its flowers mimic cooked mushrooms in flavor, while its leaves allude to spinach and lettuce. Immature seeds are used as if peas and fried in maturity, resemble peanuts.

Indeed, it is difficult to find a part of moringa is not edible. Even the bark is sometimes taken internally for diarrhea. But that does not come as a surprise to the locals, who consider it to be a pharmacy. Moringa has proven to be a multipurpose arsenal that dispenses with some of the best secrets of nature has to offer. For centuries it has been used in Ayurvedic to treat a number of conditions including anemia, bronchitis, hyperglycemia, scurvy, and skin medicine.

Currently, several research studies seem to validate this knowledge. In a study by Jaiswal et al. (2009), in diabetic rats, it was shown that the leaf extract of moringa to significantly reduce levels of blood glucose. Within 14 days, but also it eliminates the presence of sugar and protein in the urine, two important warning signs of uncontrolled diabetes. In another study, moringa leaf extract has been shown to significantly reduce body weight, total cholesterol and triglyceride levels in rats with high fat levels in the blood. Moreover, not only it reduced the bad cholesterol (LDL), but also increased the good kind (HDL) (Rajanandh et al., 2012).

In addition, the leaf extract three times as powerful mosquitocide. At different stages of the life cycle, Moringa killed Anopheles stephensi , a major carrier of malaria in India. These effects may be due to rare and unique combination of phytochemicals found in moringa, including beta-carotene, zeatin, quercetin, beta-sitosterol, caffeoylquinic acid and kaempferol.

In general, the tree has many inflammatory, antioxidant, antibacterial, and antifungal effects, among others.

Hardy Drought and disease resistant, Moringa is a godsend during the dry season, when little food is available. Fresh leaves and branches serve as an excellent source of forage. In fact, a study in Nicaragua confirms the ability of moringa to increase milk production in cows without affecting the taste, odor or color.

The sheets also offer a spectrum of nutrition, rich in vitamins A, B, and C, as well as protein, calcium and iron. They are so nutritious, in fact, they contain more vitamin A than carrots, more vitamin C than oranges, more calcium than milk, more iron than spinach, more potassium than bananas, more protein than milk or eggs ! A traditional element in pickles and curry, raw leaves are also perfect for salads.

As a result, Moringa could play a key role as a source of healthy food in poor countries where malnutrition is often rampant. The World Health Organization has emphasized the importance of amino acids and protein for growing children. Luckily, Moringa leaves are rich in these nutrients, with the added benefit of omega-3 fatty acids and a number of protective phytochemicals.

When mixed with different cereals, children regained normal weight and health status of 30-40 days, while the recipe for the United Nations Industrial Development Organization for malnourished children took 80 days.

“[This] is a very healthy food satisfying that meets all nutritional needs. It is cheap to produce, can be cooked or eaten raw, sold on the market, or dried in the form of powder to be sold over long distances, “said Nikolaus Foidl, a leading global agricultural research on moringa.

Foidl has been studying the tree for more than a decade in collaboration with the University of Hohenheim in Stuttgart, Germany does. He has traveled to many countries such as Senegal, Honduras, Guinea Bissau, and Argentina, promoting miracle tree growing, working with the locals.

In Nicaragua, which helped farmers use the leaf extract in spray form of growth for other crops.

“Moringa leaves contain gibberellin growth factor, kinetin, and some lower levels of auxin. We got up to 25% more sugarcane and turnips, onions, and radish.”

this so abundant increase should not be ignored, especially in areas where food shortage is a problem. Foidl, with financial support from the Austrian Government, for the first time the tree by accident.

it is reported, “By chance, I had a Jatropha planting rows of moringa as windbreaks and damn cows were always breaking my fences to reach them. So I was wondering what is special about this tree that cows are willing to risk injury? “

this issue has led to a new understanding of the multifaceted potential of moringa. As Hardy vigorous grower, not surprisingly many requires much water or soil nutrients once established. This makes it one of the most valuable tropical trees in terms of general utility.

Like the leaves, the flowers also are edible when cooked, and are full of calcium and potassium. As a bonus, they are not only incredibly fragrant, they also support populations of native bees.

roots and barks of Moringa, however, be used cautiously. The bark contains the moringinine spirochin toxic and chemicals, which can alter the heart rate and blood pressure. However, they are promising in the field of medicine. The inner flesh of the root is less toxic, and roots of young plants are collected for a hot sauce base, while the resin is added as a thickener. Interestingly, blue dye can be obtained from wood, which is also used in paper production.

The famous drumsticks moringa contain all nine essential amino acids that humans should only be taken from your diet. Often, the sticks are cut into logs, boiled, and divided into three parts along. The fibrous bark is inedible- it is the pulp and seeds soft gelatin are sought. These can be scooped or scraped by the teeth.

Hidden in the sticks are even more remarkable seeds. Loaded with protein, also they contain no special toxic polypeptides that act as natural filters Brita. When a powder and mixed with water, causing clumping and sediments settle. Then when strained through a cloth, which provide cheap access to clean water. Surprisingly, only two seeds are sufficient to purify a dirty liter.

“It has been widely used at the village level in Africa to transform the river water in drinking water,” shared Foidl. “I planned to work with the seeds of a plant for wastewater treatment in Nicaragua (4,000 wastewater). It was really 99.5% removal efficiency of turbidity in 30 minutes.”

A in turn, the seeds themselves produce a yellow oil valuable called ben oil. Sweet, clear and odorless, not easily-perfect for perfumes, cosmetics, and lubrication to decompose. It has also found use in cooking because of their high levels of healthy unsaturated fats.

For such a versatile tree, which is almost hard to believe that the moringa is easily grown from seeds or cuttings. Foidl said: “It grows almost better than the sauce.”

fresh seeds have the best chance of germination with a success rate of about 60-90%, provided they have not been in prolonged storage, and require no special pretreatment. The seeds should be planted ½ inch deep in well-drained, neutral to slightly acidic sandy franc and kept moist. Seedlings germinate easily within one to four weeks and do not transplant well due to its long root. Alternatively, branch cuttings can be used- these are genetically identical to the mother plant. For the best success, select wooden stakes that are 12 inches long and 1-4 inches thick, planting 1/3 length below ground.

Given its tropical nature, it is not surprising that moringa has quickly established roots in the southern states, especially in Florida, California and Texas, where there are large Asian communities. In northern climates, however, the tree can be treated either as a summer annual or a perennial plant pot. Moringa can be overwintered indoors, where they often go dormant and shed their leaves, only to re-emerge in spring.

As agriculture becomes more expensive, the management of long-term productivity of the land is essential. Moringa solves this problem through a practice called high density planting. The trees are grown closely together to increase performance per given area, while at the same time reducing the need for herbicides. Because moringa grows rapidly, it crowds out weeds and suppresses neighbors.

“The optimal density of 1 million plants per hectare (10 x 10 cm apart), where losses of plants by cutting are about 1% and losses are compensated through vigorous sprouting “said Foidl. “Moringa is cut to a height of 15 to 25 cm for the new vigorous growth.”

This practice can cut every 35 days, with a total of 10 harvests per year. In fact, 120 tonnes of dry matter can be harvested per hectare per year, 10 times more than corn and several times more than soybeans. As a result, there is a constant supply of fresh food, with little need for storage.

Moringa is uniquely positioned to address the problems of hunger, malnutrition, poverty, and lack of clean water at once, something that no other plant can boast. It is even more valuable considering that is widely found in the tropics, in areas where it is needed, so this ancient tree of a true modern day miracle.

  • Jaiswal D, PK Rai, Kumar A, S Mehta, Watal G. (2009). Effect of Moringa oleifera Lam. leaving the aqueous extract therapy in hyperglycemic rats. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 123 (3), 392-396.
  • Rajanandh MG, MN Satish Kumar, K Elango, Suresh B. (2012). Moringa oleifera Lam. A herbal medicine for hyperlipidemia: A pre-clinical report. Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Disease, 2 (2), S790-S795.
  • Prabhu K, K Murugan, Nareshkumar A, Ramasubramanian N, Bragadeeswaran S. (2011). Larvicide, repellent potential Moringa oleifera against malaria vector Anopheles stephensi Liston (Insecta: Diptera: Culicidae). Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine, 1 (2), 124-129.

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