Moringa, especially Moringa oleifera is a multi-purpose plant, with uses including food (leaves, flowers, fruit and seeds[verification needed]) and water purification (the powdered seed as a flocculant). The tree have many names in different languages and regions, and can be planted in most of the regions where there is malnutrition and big risk for malnutrition and famin. While it grows best in dry sandy soil, it tolerates poor soil, including coastal areas. It is a fast-growing, drought-resistant tree
Nutrition[edit | edit source]
The most notable use of the Moringa tree is in treating malnutrition. The leaves are highly nutritious, containing up to 30% protein by dry weight. The leaf powder contains a significant quantity of vitamins and minerals, especially Calcium and Potassium. It is an ideal food supliment for pregnant and nursing mothers, and babies who are being weaned. The recommended dose, is one table spoon of dryed leaf powder mixed into each meal portion after cooking.
The immature green fruit pods are triangular, ribbed with winged seeds. These are probably the most valued and widely used part of the tree. They are commonly consumed in India and are generally prepared in a similar fashion to green beans and have a slight asparagus taste.
The seeds are sometimes removed from more mature pods and eaten like peas or roasted like nuts. The seeds can be pressed to produce a liquid oil. This can be refined into a clear and odorless oil and resists rancidity at least as well as any other botanical oil. The seed cake remaining after oil extraction are used as fertilizer or as a flocculent to purify water.
The flowers are edible when cooked, and are said to taste like mushrooms.
The roots can be shredded and used as a condiment in the same way as horseradish; however, it contains the alkaloid spirochin, a potentially fatal nerve-paralyzing agent.
Medicine[edit | edit source]
The bark, sap, roots, leaves, seeds, oil, and flowers are used in traditional medicine in several countries. Moringa leaves are attributed to having a large number of medicinal uses including anti-parasite qualities, and the ability to regulate blood sugar in diabetics. Oil extracted from the seed has antibiotic properties, and has been used to treat staph infections.
Fertilizer[edit | edit source]
Liquid extracted from leaves may be used as a fertilizer
Water treatment[edit | edit source]
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/9780471729259.mc01g02s16/full Bioremediation of Turbid Surface Water Using Seed Extract from Moringa oleifera
Growing[edit | edit source]
Moringa is extremely fast growing tropical tree (up to 15 feet in the first year). It is drought resistant, and grows even in poor quality soil. Moringa does not tolerate flooding or frost.
Agriculture development workers can obtain a trial packet of Moringa seeds free of charge from ECHO (Educational Concerns for Hunger Organization). See their website: www.echotech.org.
See also[edit | edit source]
Notes[edit | edit source]
- The presence of this compound is not worrying because large amounts are required to elicit deleterious effects, and spirochin even displays antibacterial properties when consumed in smaller amounts.
- http://www.tfljournal.org/files/Moringa%20for%20fodder%20&%20spray%20(screen).pdf Moringa for fodder and fertilizer, Foidl
- In my reading, Moringa oleifera was described as a flocculant, Strychnos potatorum as a coagulant. I have assumed the terms were used to mean the same thing, but the technical difference is quite subtle (see Wikipedia:Flocculation). The traditional method for Strychnos involves allowing sedimentation, so I assume it's flocculation. Please correct if you know more about this. --Chriswaterguy 13:08, 8 April 2010 (UTC)
- http://www.tfljournal.org/files/presentation/Moringa%20Presentation%20%5BGeneral%5D%20print.pdf Page 31-
- http://www.moringanews.org/doc/GB/Papers/Amaglo_Newton_text_GB.pdf Similar reports from Ghana
[edit | edit source]
- Wikipedia:Moringa oleifera
- The Moringa Tree - ECHO Technical Note, Dr. Martin Price
- Field Guide for Emergency Water Treatment with Moringa
- Moringa oleifera Lam. - the many uses of Moringa oleifera - James A. Duke. 1983. Handbook of Energy Crops, unpublished.