Moringa oleifera Tree[P1]
Moringa oleifera – A Miracle Tree
Moringa is considered to have many functions and medicinal properties in holistic practices. All the parts of the tree have health benefits. Combining the uses for the different parts there are over 250 reputed illnesses and diseases that can be treated. It contains anti-bacterial chemicals, flavonoids, and compounds being researched for the treatment of cancer and Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, 18 amino acids which includes all 9 essential amino acids, high concentrations of minerals, and a host of vitamins. The leaves, flowers, and seed pods are used in many food preparations. It is increasingly being used in nutritional poor areas to relieve malnutrition and as a natural treatment for some illnesses. In this article, I will be sharing with you some of Moringa’s nutritional benefits and values.
Natural Medicine – Ancient Treatments and Cures
For thousands of years mankind has looked to nature for various treatments and cures for what ailed him. Mankind can learn much from natural products and folk or traditional medicines. Many plants that have been used through the years providing many chemicals that may prove beneficial as both active and synergic chemicals. Synergic compounds can offer greater benefits than the individual chemicals. The combined agents working together can achieve greater healing power than either acting alone.
Below is listed some plants used in Chinese traditional medicine, what it is was used to treat and the period it was first mentioned.
Plants Used in Ancient Chinese Medicine – A Natural Cure
Plant Source Used to Treat First Mentioned
Artemisia annua [1,2] Anti-Malaria Jin Dynasty 266-420 AD
Gastrodia elata [3,4] Anti-convulsion Donghan Dynasty 25-220 AD
Pueraria lobate  Diabetes Donghan Dynasty 25-220 AD
Salvia miltiorrhiza [6,7] Cardio- and Cerebrovascular diseases Donghan Dynasty 25-220 AD
Saussurea lappa  Curing dysentery and ulcers Donghan Dynasty 25-220 AD
A few other Ancient traditional medical treatments are Ayurveda (India: 4,000BC), Unani (India: 500 BC), and Kampo (Japan: 600 AD).
Not only can many of these plants provide substances that can be used as medicines but also provide nutrients for humans and animals.
For these reasons it is imperative that we protect the biodiversity of our planet and reverse the global warming trend.
Moringa oleifera – the Miracle Tree
One plant that is showing great results as having medicinal and nutritional benefits is Moringa oleifera. The NIH (National Institute of Health – USA) has spotlighted it vast potentials as a food source in addition to it treatments for many ailments through many research papers .
I will be discussing the tremendous nutritional advantages of this tree and sharing with you a couple of my recipes.
There are about 13 different species in the family Moringaceae. The country of origin for Moringa oleifera is India. Currently, Moringa oleifera is found throughout the tropical and sub-tropical regions worldwide.
If you live in a tropical or subtropical region you will find that Moringa oleifera is easy to grow and maintain. Additionally, you are the one in control of the nutrients supplied and what treatments you use to decrease insect infestations. At Pristine Farms we apply organics for fertilizer and rarely use any pest treatment. When we do it is natural (soapy water/neem oil mixture or one of our other natural mixtures. [Even grasshoppers need to eat.] If you live in a region where Moringa oleifera can be grown you can purchase seeds on Amazon. Make sure that is permitted to import seeds from the seller into your country.
The Tree of Life – Super Nutritional Value
Many NGOs is Africa have encouraged and help the villagers grow Moringa oleifera trees for their nutritional values and as a water purifier. Every part of the tree is valued for nutritional and medicinal values. The leaves, blossoms and seed pods can be consumed.
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Moringa oleifera Leaves[P2] Blossoms[P3] Immature (green) Seed Pods[P4] Mature Seeds[P5]
Uses of Moringa oleifera leaves as an oral herbal treatment for many illnesses is practiced in a large number of cultures for varied illnesses. Some of the illnesses treated are: anemia, arthritis, cancer, constipation, diabetes, diarrhea, gastritis, headaches, high blood pressure, inflammation, infections, kidney stones and has been used to increase the quantity and quality of breast milk in nursing mothers. [Not all of these claims have been verified by research].
One group of researchers concluded that eating the leaf can lower LDLs and cholesterol while increasing the HDLs.
Malnutrition affects many people throughout the world. There are several NGOs in Africa that are sponsoring the production of Moringa and teaching uses of Moringa as a weapon against malnutrition and other health issues.
A Starving Child in Africa[P2] Rachel and daughter Carole teaching a community about Moringa[P3]
Moringa oleifera is a rapidly growing tree that can easily be grown in nutrient-rich or deprived soil and in arid or moisture sufficient regions. It is the perfect solution for those needing or wanting a natural, super nutrient source of food.
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Malnutrition Conquered–Magic Gift of Moringa Oleifera
The villages that have incorporated Moringa oleifera into their regular diet have witnessed its magical benefits.
The benefits have included but not limited to:
- Eliminate malnutrition
- Eliminates early childhood blindness (higher Vitamin A than carrots)
- Reducing early childhood death
- Higher quality and quantity of nursing mother’s breast milk
- Cooking oil (Ben oil) from the seeds (Ben oil last a long time without going rancid
- Long storage of leaf powder with little loss of nutrients
- Stronger bones (more calcium than milk)
- The leaves, pods, and flowers are edible (flowers should not be consumed while pregnant or breastfeeding)
- Drought hardy and disease resistant
- Contains all 9 essential amino acids which must be obtained from one’s diet
- High in protein
- Leaf extract can be used to increase the yield of other crops
- Ground seeds (high in polypeptides) can be used as a water purifier. (8-10 ground seeds can purify 1 gallon of water)
- Can be planted as a high-density crop (1 foot apart), 121 trees in a 10 ft x 10 ft area
- Moringa grows rapidly and as a high-density crop can be harvested every 5-6 weeks
- Surplus fresh or dried and powdered leaves can be sold as a cash crop
- Reduced birth in many communities
If you think you know why Moringa has contributed to a lower birth rate or would like to know why please leave me your answer or request for the answer in the comment section below.
HINT: It does NOT affect reproduction by decreasing fertility.
Health & High Nutrition for Your Diet-Some Uses of Moringa Leaves
The leaves can be used fresh, dried, or powdered. The leaves can easily be dried by air drying or if using a dehydrator, it is best to use a temperature between 90-115oF (32-46oC) to avoid degradation of some of the nutrients.
Salads .. Omelets … Stir-fries … Soups … Vegetable dishes .. Smoothies Tea
All of the Fresh uses …..
With cooked Vegetable dishes ..
Mixed into Cereals
Tea (Recommend using a coffee filter)
All of the Fresh uses
Baking (1 part MO-3 parts flour)
Mixed in with ground meats
Mixed with Cereals
French Toast (blended with the eggs)
Dr. Seuss eggs & ham (see my recipe below)
Tea (recommend using a coffee filter)
Your imagination is the limit. I enjoy eating a few leaflets as a nutritious mini-snack during the day.
If you have other suggestions or recipes, leave them in the comment section below.
Moringa Seeds and Flowers – They Are Highly Valued, Also
Moringa oleifera young immature seeds pods can be prepared like green beans, whereas, the mature seeds (husk removed) can be roasted like nuts or cooked like peas. You can ‘pop’ the mature de-hulled seeds as you would popcorn.
The oil from the mature seeds can be extracted and have a variety of uses. The oil (Ben Oil) from Moringa is used in foods, cooking oil, hair products, perfumes, making soap, and as a machine lubricant. The cake that is leftover from the extraction of Ben oil can be used as a fertilizer and in the purification of water. It can also, remove the salt from seawater.
The flowers can be used as a garnish for food dishes. It is said they have a wonderful flavor.
NOTE: It is recommended that during pregnancy that the roots, bark, and flowers of Moringa oleifera should NOT be consumed . Chemicals that are known to cause uterine contractions are contained in these parts of the tree.
Nutritional Values of Moringa oleifera Seed Pods and Leaves
As one might expect the nutritional breakdown of Moringa varies dependent on the region in which it is grown, season, soil nutrition, and nutrients provided. The data below is a compilation average of research from many areas. For each table, I am providing the link used for the compilation.
Moringa oleifera Raw Seed Pods – Minerals, Vitamins, and Lipids
Nutrients for Moringa oleifera Leaves – Plants References Including Amino Acids, and Flavonoids
Compilation of Nutrient Composition Data for Moringa oleifera
Moringa Recipes – Add Extra Nutrition to Your Meals
Eat Breakfast Like a King – Lunch Like a Prince – Dinner like a Pauper – BUT HEALTHY
One of my breakfast smoothie recipes:
¼ cup Milk, ½ cup frozen yogurt (I like Kemp Black Jack Cherry), small amount of frozen chopped papaya, 1 banana (I let them get really ripe, place them in a freezer Ziplock baggie and smash them before freezing), and ¼ cup frozen blueberries, ¼ cup frozen chopped mango.
2-3 eggs and ~1/8 cup milk [blended together], [chopped onion, tomato, pepper -amounts vary], 15-20 leaflets of fresh chopped Moringa or 1 heaping tsp of Moringa powder. Seasonings to taste. Then cook over low heat and enjoy a great, healthy, very nutritious start of your day.
Dr. Seuss Green eggs and ham (or sausage, tuna, or whatever)
Add 1 teaspoon of powdered Moringa oleifera, 1 tablespoon milk and other ingredients that you might like to 1 or 2 eggs and scramble well. I personally like to add a little salt, pepper, chopped garlic, and chopped onion. Fry it at a low temperature in a nonstick pan with a little olive oil.
A comment from my daughter, Chris regarding the picture of Green Eggs and Sardines; “It looks strange but the Moringa makes it very nutritious.”
Sun Moringa Tea (less degradation of the nutrients)
Place 1 heaping teaspoon of dried, crushed, or powder in a coffee filter and secure it with a string or twist tie.
Place the filter in an appropriately sized jar add 8-10 oz of water.
Seal the jar and place it in the sun for several hours.
Rotate the jar to mix the solution several times
Use 16 heaping teaspoons of Moringa and 1 gallon of water.
Place the Sealed jar in the sun for 4-6 hours
Mix the solution several times
You may eliminate the filter paper and filter it before drinking.
In a coffee maker
Brew it as you would coffee. 1 teaspoon per 8-10 oz of water.
As a sweetener, I prefer honey or Stevia
If you have a special recipe using Moringa, share it in the comment section.
I hope you enjoyed this information on the nutritional values of Moringa oleifera. This amazing tree is finally getting the attention it deserves. The research is becoming mind-boggling. The potential for Moringa is currently being investigated for cancer, diabetes Type 1 and Type 2, heart health, and much more. Currently, I have been examining the research on diabetes which is showing promise. I am hoping to acquire enough valid research data to present it shortly.
If you have a topic you would like me to consider, leave your request in the comments.
Thanks for your interest and support.
1. Zhao, S.X.; Ye, W.C.; Gu, J.H.; Liu, J.H.; Zhang, X.Q.; Yin, Z.Q.; Wang, H.; Zhang, L.H.; Guo, Y.Z.; Feng, J.X. Medicinal plant resources in Lingnan area and emergency medicine in Ge Hong zhou hou bei ji fang. Asia Pac. Tradit. Med. 2012, 8, 11–12.
2. Li, Y. Qinghaosu (artemisinin): Chemistry and pharmacology. Acta Pharmacol. Sin. 2012, 33, 1141–1146. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
3. Gong, Q.H.; Shi, J.S.; Yang, D.L.; Huang, B.; Xie, X.L. Pharmacological action and its mechanism of gastrodin in central nervous system. Chin. J. New Drugs Clin. Rem. 2011, 30, 176–179.
4. Gong, D.H.; Zheng, W.H.; Luo, N.; Tang, G.C. Effects and the mechanism of gastrodin on chemotherapyinduced neuropathic pain through the expression of Ibal of spinal dorsal horn. Chin. J. Chin. Pharmacol. Ther. 2014, 19, 743–746.
5. Zhong, Y.; Zhang, X.; Cai, X.; Wang, K.; Chen, Y.; Deng, Y. Puerarin attenuated early diabetic kidney injury through down-regulation of matrix metalloproteinase 9 in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. PLoS ONE 2014, 9, e85690. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
6. Ma, C.; Yao, Y.; Yue, Q.X.; Zhou, X.W.; Yang, P.Y.; Wu, W.Y.; Guan, S.H.; Jiang, B.H.; Yang, M.; Liu, X.; et al. Differential proteomic analysis of platelets suggested possible signal cascades network in platelets treated with salvianolic acid B. PLoS ONE 2011, 6, e14692. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
7. Lou, Z.; Peng, J. The Advance in Research on the Cardiovascular Protective Effects of Magnesium Lithospermate B and the underlying mechanisms. Chin. J. Arterioscler. 2013, 21, 855–858. 6
8. Wei, H.; Peng, Y.; Ma, G.X.; Xu, L.J.; Xiao, P.G. Advances in studies on active components of Saussurea lappa and their pharmacological actions. Chin. Tradit. Herb. Drugs 2012, 43, 613–620.
11. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference:https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/search/list/?manu=&fgcd=&ds=&qlookup=Drumstick%20pods,%20raw
12. P.T. Olagbemide, P.C. Alikwe: Proximate Analysis and Chemical Composition of Raw Defatted Moringa oleifera Kernel, Adv. Life Sci. Technology 24(2014) p. 503-510
13. I. Oduro, W.O. Ellis, D. Owusu. Leafy Potential of Two Leafy Vegetables: Moringa oleifera and Ipomoca batatas leaves. Sci. Res. Essays. 3(2008) p. 57-60
14. L.J. Fuglie. The Moringa Tree: A Local Solution to Malnutrition. Church World in Senegal. 2005
P1. By Mokkie – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=33257680
P4. Moringa leaves: By Forest and Kim Starr – starr-060921-9049-Moringa_oleifera-leaves-Kahului-Maui, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=70608964
P5. Moringa oleifera flower: By J.M.Garg – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3553079
P6. Green pods and mature seeds: By Piouswatson – Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5256680
P7. Mature seeds: By T.K. Naliaka – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=36567627
P8. Ted Geisel author of Dr, Seuss: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ted_Geisel_NYWTS.jpg