Now and then I get letters inquiring about moringa (malunggay). Let us share some amazing information about this tree.
- The nutritional contents of fresh moringa leaves compared to common foods, gram for gram is as follows: 7 times the vitamin C of oranges; 4 times the calcium of milk; 3 times the potassium of bananas; 4 times the vitamin A of carrots; 50 times the vitamin B3 of peanuts; 36 times magnesium of eggs; 25 times iron of spinach; 4 times vitamin B of pork; 63 times potassium of milk; 50 times vitamin B2 of bananas; 13 times vitamin A of spinach.
- The malunggay tree known as the moringa oleifera (simply referred to as moringa for short) has an economic life span of 30 to 50 years. Each tree can produce 10,000 seeds per year. The seeds of Moringa produce 38-40% oil.
- Moringa can be used to fortify noodles, soups and bread. It is a low-cost health enhancer.
- Moringa is not only a natural ingredient with cosmeceutical, nutraceutcal food and pharmaceutical applications but it is a highly promising source of bio-fuel (renewable source of energy). Cosmeceutical products are cosmetic products that use natural ingredients that offer some health benefits as compared with conventional cosmetics.
- Of all the parts of the Moringa, leaves are used the most. An effective plant growth hormone can be extracted from fresh leaves of the Moringa which research experiments have shown to increase crop yields by 25-30%.
- When Moringa leaves are dried and turned into powder form, its potency increases. A dried Moringa leaf has three (3x) to five (5x) times more nutrients than a fresh Moringa as confirmed by researchers and laboratory analysis. The dried leaf powder increases its mineral concentrations due to water loss. Another advantage of the dried leaf powder is that it can be stored to a longer shelf-life. The dried leaf powder form is a nutritious add-on to baby food, soups, vegetables, and other food preparations without altering the taste of the food.
- The Moringa tree begins to flower after about 8 months to a year and continues to flower all year-round thereafter. The flowers of Moringa are edible; tastes like mushroom; and is rich in calcium and potassium.
- The flowers of the Moringa (and the roots as well) contain a compound called pterygospermin which has powerful antibiotic and fungicidal effects. It is highly effective in the treatment of cholera.
- Moringa pods emerge from the flower clusters. One Moringa tree can produce 300 to 400 pods every year and a mature tree can produce up to 1,000 pods. A seed pod can contain 2 to 26 seeds per seed pod. The young Moringa pods are edible and its delicate flavor is likened to asparagus.
- The tree is wildly cultivated in Africa, Central and South America, Sri Lanka, India, Mexico Malaysia and the Philippines. Almost every part of the moringa tree can be used for food or has some other beneficial property. The bark, sap, roots, leaves, seeds, oil and flowers are used in traditional medicine in several countries. In fact the sap is used for dyeing;
- The fruit of the tree is used as a vegetable in Asia and Africa. The fruit is a long, thin pod, resembling a drumstick. In India and elsewhere, the fruit is called drumstick. In the Philippines and in Africa the moringa leaves are eaten as a leaf vegetable;
- Unbelievably, the leaves of malunggay prevent three hundred (300) diseases. Amazingly, it have been reported and supported by medical research that the malunggay leaves are in fact a “powerhouse of nutritional value” ;
- Malunggay leaves abound in essential disease-preventing nutrients like vitamin A (a shield against eye disease, skin disease, heart ailments, diarrhea, and many other diseases); Vitamin C, fighting many infections and illnesses including colds and flu; calcium , which builds strong bones and teeth and helps prevent osteoporosis; potassium, essential for the functioning of the brain and nerves; and protein, the basic building blocks of all our body cells;
- Malunggay is used by doctors to treat diabetes in West Africa and high blood pressure in India. It is also reported to contain properties which help rheumatism, arthritis and other joint afflictions as well as being cardiac and circulatory stimulants. Biological studies have also confirmed that malunggay has anti-flammatory, antispasmodic and diuretic activities;
- In the provinces, nursing mothers eat the malunggay leaves usually with broth as this is believed to increase a woman’s milk production. Also prescribed for anemia. The leaves are also considered to be anthelmintic ( able to kill intestinal worms), as well as used to treat fevers, bronchitis, eye and ear infections, scurvy, catarrh ( inflammation of the mucus membrane); a remedy too for dysentery and colitis; and to reduce glandular swelling. Some rub the leaves on the temples for relief from headache;
We should realize that there are many essential nutrients that are lacking in our diets. No matter how expensive the foods we are eating. Malunggay leaves undoubtedly is one of the richest sources of such nutrients that are lacking in our diet. And we are greatly blessed because malunggay trees abound in our country. Easily accessible to everybody at a very affordable price. The trouble with many of us is that we prefer the imported expensive food and medicines. We have to change our thinking on a lot of things. Including educating us about the beneficial value of malunggay as well as other herbs and plants that are all around us.
(Many of the information that I am sharing with you come from the moringa (malunggay)book 9”x12”, 350 pages, 750 colored pictures that is authored by Luis R. Villafuerte and Lalaine V. Abonal. My husband and daughter, both of whom are passionate crusaders of moringa (malunggay), the miracle plant. The book is a comprehensive reference guide book on the moringa plant and the numerous moringa products that are created and marketed worldwide. The book is already sold out mostly patronized by buyers abroad.)
Have a joyful day!