If there’s one tree you should plant in your garden, it’s moringa. At least that’s what researchers around the world say. The subject of numerous studies in various parts of the planet, this species native to Asia and Africa is promising in the fight against hunger. A natural resource that you can take advantage of its leaves, roots, flowers and seeds, both for food and health care.
Moringa (Moringa oleifera) is a tree rich in nutrients and antioxidants. It comes to have up to four times more calcium than animal milk and three times more potassium than bananas.
It is native to India, but it is also known in other tropical countries, such as East Timor or Indonesia.
Nutritional value of Moringa.
This plant is rich in nutrients, vitamins, mineral salts and antioxidants. This is why it is considered the most nutritious plant on the planet. 90 nutrients and 46 antioxidants have been discovered.
This plant has a high nutritional value:
- Seven times more vitamin C than orange.
- Four times more vitamin A than carrots.
- Four times more calcium than cow’s milk.
- Three times more iron than spinach.
- Three times more potassium than bananas.
- Rich in iron, beta-carotene, phosphorus, zinc, selenium, vitamins B and E.
The literature on the composition of moringa reports that the dry powder obtained from its leaves is very rich in protein (27% by weight), vitamin A, calcium (2 g per 100 g of dry leaf powder), potassium and vitamin C. (17 mg per 100 grams).
Moreover, it is known to be green meat, as it contains protein and a wide variety of nutrients. The most interesting thing is that all its parts are edible: root, leaves, flowers, pods and seeds.
Are you impressed? There is more: the plant still has essential amino acids in its composition (those that must be ingested, because the human body does not produce them) and has medicinal properties. It is known as a super food.
Moringa tree species.
There are 13 species of Moringa trees in the world, in the genus of the family MoringaceaeThe most common are Moringa stenopetala and Moringa oleifera.
There Moringa oleifera It is a fast growing tree, it can grow up to 4 meters in a year and can reach a height of 12 meters. It adapts to hot, dry and arid areas. It is able to store water in the roots and the stem. It can be evergreen or deciduous, depending on the habitat.
The pods and seeds have been used for thousands of years to purify water. According to laboratory tests carried out by researchers from the Institute of Agricultural Sciences of the Federal University of Minas Gerais, the species can eliminate up to 99% of the residues present in the water.
The secret lies in the seed, which contains oil and special proteins and, when pressed, generates a powder with properties capable of attracting bacteria, silt and clay. The power of nature is always impressive.
Research conducted by the Department of Chemistry, Agricultural University, Faisalabad, Pakistan, stands out for its abundant mineral profile, a good source of amino acids and protein, vitamins, beta-carotene and antioxidants from all kinds, as well as different phenolic compounds. compounds (zeatin, quercetin, beta-sitosterol, caffeoylquinic acid and kaempferol).
He the oil from its seeds It can be used both in salads and fuel in lamps. It is also used to make biodiesel.
Its wood can be used as firewood and to make charcoal or pulp.
Its leaves can be used as a fertilizer and as a fungicide to fight against fungi that attack the roots.
Interest in Moringa is growing worldwide, in Ethiopia for example, its production is expanding across the country. Moringa powder is increasingly available in supermarkets in Ethiopian towns. Research is being conducted on the tree and its nutritional value.
Moringa properties and benefits.
Among its properties we can highlight:
- Increases body energy.
- It can relieve minor pain.
- Stimulates the immune system.
- It can regulate insomnia or anxiety.
- One of the main properties of moringa is its antioxidant power. They protect our cells against aging and degenerative diseases.
- Fight anemia.
- Improve breast milk.
- It can improve glucose tolerance in diabetics. It can help lower blood sugar.
- Stimulates cell metabolism.
- It can help in hair growth.
- Anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties.
- The seeds have a high antibacterial power. This will help us fight infections.
- It can help strengthen muscles and bones.
- It can help lower blood pressure.
- It can help fight asthma.
Where does it grow?
This tree is native to northern India, Ethiopia, the Philippines and Sudan, although it is abundant in many other countries. It is currently grown in Africa, tropical Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, Florida and the Pacific Islands.
In Latin America, it is mainly found in Cuba and the Dominican Republic. Also in Paraguay and Argentina.
Experts recommend moderation in its consumption, as one can find side effects such as loss of sleep, excess red blood cells or heartburn.
It has been used for many years to fight famine in poor countries, but we cannot use it indiscriminately because we it’s harmless. Always consult a specialist or your doctor before changing your diet.
How can it be consumed?
All its parts are edible, both by humans and animals.
The roots are similar in shape to carrots, but smaller and with a spicier flavor. They can be used in salad. But it is important to remove the skin, as it is poisonous.
Its leaves can be used in salads, cooked, in the form of tea or as a seasoning for soup.
The flowers can be used in pineapple, apple, orange, lemon or carrot and beet juices.
With the flowers, you can also make a medicinal herbal tea, which is taken against colds and flu.
The pods can be cooked and eaten for lunch or dinner.
Its seeds can be eaten roasted and cooked (like beans). It is possible to extract its oil.
Passionflower, properties, benefits and uses
Passionflower is a medicinal plant highly valued in herbal medicine for its sedative properties…
12 Herbal Medicines for Stomachaches and Other Digestive Problems
We talk about some of the most common herbs for tummy issues, and for…
Medicinal plants against cough: discover the most effective to relieve a dry cough
At this time of year, dry cough usually affects many people. Today we are talking…
Yarrow, properties, benefits and uses
Yarrow is a medicinal plant used in traditional medicine to treat…
Properties, benefits and use of Yucca
Cassava has highly recommended properties and benefits for our health. Let’s talk about uses…
Garlic. a thousand and one benefits
Garlic is a food with many benefits and properties. Here you will learn the infinity of…