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MORINGA TREE: A MEDICAL PHARMACOPOEIA

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Moringa Tree
Moringa tree has been identified as the vegetable with the highest nutritional value among many types of food species studied.
 
Moringa Tree
Combat climate change, desertification, malnutrition, food shortages and help families and communities getting purified water with the Moringa tree.

Moringa Tree - A local solution to malnutrition

Moringa is a small, fast-growing tree found in all tropical regions. Moringa tree leaves are among the world’s richest vegetables. Moringa tree is a plantfood of high nutritional value, ecologically and economically beneficial and readily available in the countries hardest hit by the food crisis.

The Moringa oleifera tree has been identified as the vegetable with the highest nutritional value among many types of food species studied. Easy to cultivate and resistant to drought, the Moringa tree produces abundant leaves with a high concentration of proteins, vitamins, and minerals: 100 grams of fresh Moringa tree leaves provide the same amount of protein as an egg, as much iron as a steak, as much Vitamin C as an orange, and as much calcium as a glass of milk.

Moringa tree grows throughout the developing world and has already been used by programs to reduce child malnutrition in India. Moringa tree dried leaves, can be easily preserved and used. Eating 30 grams of Moringa tree leaf powder a day, a child can satisfy all his daily requirement of Vitamin A, 80% of daily calcium needs, 60% of daily iron needs, and nearly 40% of protein needs.

Given the world food crisis, the use of local resources like Moringa tree is critical to reduce the dependence of developing countries on imported goods, and to improve nutrition among poor households. Two or three Moringa trees in a courtyard are sufficient for the needs of one family.

Moringa the Miracle Tree

Often referred to as the "miracle tree" because of its uniquely diverse array of nutritional, medicinal, and purifying properties, Moringa oleifera is a "superfood" treasure with incredible potential to greatly improve health and eliminate hunger around the world.

Moringa oleifera tree contains high amounts of protein, all eight essential amino acids, a full spectrum of vitamins and minerals, and a large quantity of phytonutrients and other powerful disease-fighting antioxidants. Because of its many valuable uses, and the fact that it grows so quickly and easily in semi-arid, tropical, and subtropical climates, Moringa tree is quickly becoming a go-to plant for combating malnutrition, treating inflammation, promoting healthy blood flow, and preventing infection, among other things.

What is particularly unique about Moringa tree is the fact that every part of the plant, including its bark, leaves, flowers, and roots serves a unique purpose in promoting human health. Rich in amino acids - The leaves of the moringa tree contain 18 amino acids, eight of which are essential amino acids, making them a "complete" protein - a rarity in the plant world. Indeed, moringa tree protein content rivals that of meat, making it an excellent source of protein for vegetarians and vegans. Protein is, of course, needed to build muscle, cartilage, bones, skin and blood and is also needed to produce enzymes and hormones.

Moringa tree calcium and magnesium - One serving of Moringa tree leaves provides us with approximately 125 percent of our RDI of calcium and 61 percent of our RDI of magnesium. These two trace minerals work in synergy; while calcium is needed to build strong bones and teeth, we also need magnesium to help us absorb it. Since moringa contains generous quantities of both, it is especially good at guarding us from osteoporosis and other bone conditions.

Moringa tree nourishes the skin - Due to their trace mineral content, dried and powdered Moringa leaves are great for nourishing the skin. Indeed, more and more cosmetic companies are starting to include Moringa tree extracts in their products for this reason. Moringa tree creams and lotions can be applied topically on the desired areas, thus allowing the nutrients to soak into, and rejuvenate, the skin.

Regularly consuming Moringa tree leaves has also been linked to lower blood pressure, improved digestion and mood, immune-boosting effects and, thanks to their high fiber levels and low fat and calorie levels, weight loss.

Moringa Tree Green Superfoods Revolution

The Moringa tree leaf is a nutritionally rich, ecological, economical vegetable available in practically all countries with malnutrition issues.

The Moringa tree is known worldwide for its nutritional and medicinal benefits and industrial uses. Almost every part of the Moringa tree has nutritional value. The Moringa tree pod is cooked as a vegetable in India and exported to many countries for Indian expatriates, fresh or canned. The Moringa tree root can be used as substitute for horseradish. Moringa tree foliage is eaten as greens, boiled, fried, in soups or for seasoning. Dried Moringa tree leaf powder can be added to any kind of meal as a nutritional supplement. The Moringa tree seed can be roasted and eaten like a peanut.

Moringa tree leaves are an inexpensive source of proteins, vitamins and minerals for developing countries. Dried and milled, Moringa tree leaves are easily stored and used by families who can then add the powder to their daily meals. The Moringa powder can also be used by food businesses to enrich their products in nutrients. Moringa tree leaves can help decrease developing countries’ dependence on imported goods, such as vitamin and mineral complexes that ward off nutritional deficiencybut are too expensive to be used in a sustainable way

MORINGA TREE, A POWERHOUSE OF NUTRITION


“Much of the problem with nutrition is not the quantity of food but the quality of food. You need about 40 different nutrients to be healthy.” Ideally, good nutrition is assured by a varied diet rich in meat, root, grain, fruit and vegetable foods.

“If you have a poor diet it makes you less able to resist disease, so the diseases come more frequently and they last longer. And when you get over your diarrhea or respiratory chest infection or your coughing or cold, if you are on a poor diet you don’t have the convalescence so you don’t regain the weight you have lost. So you stutter from infection to infection.”

Micronutrient deficiencies are now recognized as an important contributor to the global burden of disease.

MORINGA TREE NUTRITIONAL VALUE

Still septical about the Moringa Tree? Here below some very stubburn Moringa facts!

Nutritional value of Moringa tree. Moringa pods, Moringa fresh (raw) leaves and dried Moringa leaf powder contain the following per 100 grams of edible portion:

Moringa Tree Nutritional Value

Moringa Pods Moringa Leaves Moringa Powder
Moisture (%) 86.9 75.0 7.5
Calories 26.0 92.0 205.0
Protein (g) 2.5 6.7 27.1
Fat (g) 0.1 1.7 2.3
Carbohydrate (g) 3.7 13.4 38.2
Fiber (g) 4.8 0.9 19.2
Minerals (g) 2.0 2.3 -
Ca (mg) 30.0 440.0 2,003.0
Mg (mg) 24.0 24.0 368.0
P (mg) 110.0 70.0 204.0
K (mg) 259.0 259.0 1,324.0
Cu (mg) 3.1 1.1 0.6
Fe (mg) 5.3 7 28.2
S (mg) 137.0 137.0 870.0
Oxalic acid (mg) 10.0 101.0 0.0
Vitamin A - B carotene (mg) 0.1 6.8 16.3
Vitamin B -choline (mg) 423.0 423.0 -
Vitamin B1 -thiamin (mg) 0.05 0.21 2.6
Vitamin B2 -riboflavin (mg) 0.07 0.05 20.5
Vitamin B3 -nicotinic acid (mg) 0.2 0.8 8.2
Vitamin C -ascorbic acid (mg) 120 220.0 17.3
Vitamin E -tocopherol acetate (mg) - - 113.0
Arginine (g/16g N) 3.6 6.0 0.0
Histidine (g/16g N) 1.1 2.1 0.0
Lysine (g/16g N) 1.5 4.3 0.0
Tryptophan (g/16g N) 0.8 1.9 0.0
Phenylanaline (g/16g N) 4.3 6.4 0.0
Methionine (g/16g N) 1.4 2.0 0.0
Threonine (g/16g N) 3.9 4.9 0.0
Leucine (g/16g N) 6.5 9.3 0.0
Isoleucine (g/16g N) 4.4 6.3 0.0
Valine (g/16g N) 5.4 7.1 0.0

Many of the above vitamins, minerals and amino acids are very important for a healthy diet. An individual needs sufficient levels of certain vitamins, minerals, proteins and other nutrients for his physical development and well-being. A deficiency of any one of these nutrients can lead to health problems. Some of the problems caused by deficient diets are well known: scurvy, caused by lack of vitamin C; night blindness, caused by lack of vitamin A; kwashiorkor, caused by lack of protein; anemia, caused by lack of iron. Many other health problems are caused by lack of vitamins or minerals which are less known, but still essential to a person's bodily functions.

Actual need for different vitamins, etc., will vary depending on an individual's metabolism, age, sex, occupation and where he/she is living. Recommendations for daily allowances (RDA) also vary according to whom is doing the study. WHO/FAO recommend the following Moringa daily allowances for a child aged 1-3 and a woman during lactation:

MORINGA VITAMINS

Moringa Tree

(RDA, in milligrams):

Child Woman
A Beta-carotene 1.5 5.7
B1 Thiamin 0.5 1.6
B2 Riboflavin 0.8 1.8
B3 Niacin 9 20
C Ascorbic acid 20 95
PROTEIN (grams): 16 65

MORINGA MINERALS

Moringa Tree

(RDA, in milligrams)

Child Woman
Ca Calcium 400 1,200
Cu Copper 0.8 2
Fe Iron 10 15
K Potassium 800 3,000
Mg Magnesium 150 340
P Phosphorus 800 1,200

The following lists the composition of Moringa tree pods, Moringa tree fresh leaves, Moringa tree leaf powder and what this represents in terms of recommended daily intake for children aged 1-3 and women during lactation. The listing of Moringa pod and Moringa fresh leaf content is for each 100 grams of edible portion. However, the CWS/AGADA project recommended use of Moringa dried leaf powder as a nutritional additive to sauces and infant formulas, whereby one or more spoonfuls of Moringa powder would be stirred into the sauce or formula before serving. One rounded soup spoon (tablespoon) contains about 8 grams of powder (100 grams of powder is a bit less than one and a half cups American measure). As such, the listings of Moringa leaf powder content are per heaped soup spoon.

As an example, 100 grams of the edible part of Moringa tree pods will contain 2.5 grams of protein. 100 grams of Moringa tree fresh leaves will contain 6.7 grams of protein and one heaped soup spoon of Moringa tree leaf powder will contain 2.2 grams. It is recommended that during the months a woman is pregnant or breast-feeding she should be consuming 65 grams of protein daily. So, a meal of 100 grams Moringa tree pod will satisfy 3.8% of her protein needs and a meal of 100 grams fresh Moringa tree leaves will satisfy 10.3% of her protein needs for that day. Each rounded soup spoon of moringa tree leaf powder added to her diet will satisfy 3.3% of her protein needs.

MORINGA PROTEIN

Moringa Tree MORINGA PODS (100g) MORINGA LEAVES (100g)
MORINGA POWDER (8g)
PROTEIN (g) 2.5 6.7 2.2
RDA
Child aged 1-3: 16 15.60% 41.9% 13.60%
Lactating woman: 65 3.80% 10.30% 3.30%

Proteins are essential constituents of all body tissues and help the body produce new tissue, so are extremely important during growth and pregnancy and when recovering from wounds. Deficiency can cause growth retardation, muscle wasting, kwashiorkor and edema (abnormal swelling; collection of fluids in the body). Synthesis of protein by the body requires intake of vitamin A. Fresh Moringa leaves contain more than twice the amount of protein found in spinach (2.8g/100g).

MORINGA CARBOHYDRATES

Moringa Tree

MORINGA PODS (100g)

MORINGA LEAVES (100g) MORINGA POWDER (8g)

CARBOHYDRATES (g)

3.7 13.4 3.1

Carbohydrates are compounds which provide heat and energy for all forms of body activity. Deficiency can cause the body to divert proteins and body fat to produce needed energy. This can lead to depletion of body tissue.

MORINGA FIBER

Moringa Tree

MORINGA PODS (100g)

MORINGA LEAVES (100g) MORINGA POWDER (8g)
FIBER (g) 4.8 0.9 1.5

An important part of any diet, fiber aids in digestion. Recommendations are that an average adult should consume 18-32 grams of fiber daily.

MORINGA CALCIUM

Moringa Tree

MORINGA PODS (100g)

MORINGA LEAVES (100g) MORINGA POWDER (8g)
CALCIUM Ca (mg): 30 440 160.2
RDA
Child aged 1-3 400 7.5% 110% 40%
Lactating woman: 1200 2.5% 36.7% 13.4%

Calcium builds healthy bones and teeth and assists in blood-clotting. Calcium intake is very important during the childhood growing years. Deficiencies can cause rickets, bone pain and muscle weakness. Women frequently suffer from calcium deficiencies during pregnancy and breast-feeding periods. Fresh Moringa tree leaves contain almost four times the amount of calcium found in cow's milk (120mg/100g) and more than double the amount found in spinach (170mg/100g).

MORINGA MAGNESIUM

Moringa Tree

MORINGA PODS (100g)

MORINGA LEAVES (100g) MORINGA POWDER (8g)

MAGNESIUM Mg (mg)

24 24 29.4
RDA

Child aged 1-3:

150

16.0% 16.0% 20.6%
Lactating woman:

340

7.1% 7.1% 8.7%

Magnesium helps the body maintain and repair cells, and provides energy. Deficiencies can result in weakness, tiredness, vertigo, convulsions, nervousness, cramps and heart palpitations.

MORINGA PHOSPHORUS

Moringa Tree

MORINGA PODS (100g)

MORINGA LEAVES (100g) MORINGA POWDER (8g)
PHOSPHORUS 110

70

16.3
RDA

Child aged 1-3:

800 13.8% 8.7% 2.0%
Lactating woman:

1200

9.2% 5.8% 1.4%

Phosphorus provides energy and helps build the structure of bones and teeth. Deficiency can lead to loss of appetite, weakness, bone pain and mental confusion. However, phosphorus is present in many foods so deficiencies are rare.

MORINGA POTASSIUM

Moringa Tree

MORINGA PODS (100g)

MORINGA LEAVES (100g) MORINGA POWDER (8g)

POTASSIUM K (mg)

259

259

106
RDA

Child aged 1-3

800 32.4% 32.4% 13.2%
Lactating woman: 3000 8.6% 8.6% 3.5%

Potassium helps the body maintain normal water balance in cells, transmit nerve impulses, keep acids and alkalis in balance, and stimulate normal movement of the intestinal tract. Deficiencies can cause vomiting, acute muscle weakness, loss of appetite and coma.

MORINGA COPPER

Moringa Tree

MORINGA PODS (100g)

MORINGA LEAVES (100g) MORINGA POWDER (8g)

COPPER Cu (mg)

3.1

1.1

0.04
RDA

Child aged 1-3

0.8 388% 138% 5.7%
Lactating woman: 2 155% 55% 2.3%

Copper is a co-factor in many enzymes, including those which provide hair and skin color, help skin to heal, provide protection from infections, and form healthy blood and bones. Copper, along with iron, is necessary to promote recovery from anemia among malnourished children. Deficiencies in babies can cause depigmentation of skin and hair, slow growth and diarrhea. In adults it can result in anemia, irritability, brittle bones, loss of hair color and loss of sense of taste.

MORINGA IRON

Moringa Tree

MORINGA PODS (100g)

MORINGA LEAVES (100g) MORINGA POWDER (8g)
IRON Fe (mg) 5.3

7.0

2.3
RDA

Child aged 1-3

10 53.0% 70.0% 22.6%
Lactating woman: 15 35.3% 46.7%

Iron is a vital component of red blood cells which carry oxygen. Iron assists the muscles to keep reservoirs of oxygen and makes the body more resistant to infections. Iron deficiency can cause anemia, tiredness, headaches, insomnia and palpitations. In children, deficiency can cause slow growth and impaired mental performance. Fresh Moringa leaves contain over three times the amount of iron found in spinach (2.1mg/100g).

MORINGA SULFUR
Moringa Tree

MORINGA PODS (100g)

MORINGA LEAVES (100g) MORINGA POWDER (8g)

SULFUR S (mg)

137

137

Sulfur is a constituent of all proteins and an essential element for all life. In the body, the sulfur content is mostly found in the skin, joints, nails and hair. The more sulfur content in the hair, the curlier it will be (sheep hair is about 5% sulfur). Although involved in many metabolic processes, there is generally not a recommended dietary requirement for sulfur because the body can extract it from the amino acids cysteine and methionine.

MORINGA OXALIC ACID

Moringa Tree

MORINGA PODS (100g)

MORINGA LEAVES (100g) MORINGA POWDER (8g)
OXALIC ACID (mg)

10

101

1.60 % *

An acid also found in strawberries, rhubarb and spinach, oxalic acid can combine with calcium and iron in the body to form insoluble compounds which the body cannot absorb. However, only large amounts of oxalic acid consumption are liable to cause calcium and iron deficiencies.

(*Oxalic acid content in leaf powder is listed as a percentage).

MORINGA VITAMIN A

Moringa Tree

MORINGA PODS (100g)

MORINGA LEAVES (100g) MORINGA POWDER (8g)
VITAMIN A -Beta carotene (mg) 0.11

6.8

1.3
RDA

Child aged 1-3

1.5 7.3% 453% 86.9%
Lactating woman: 5.7 1.9% 119% 22.9%

Vitamin A in the form of retinol is found mainly in meat, eggs and dairy products. Beta carotene is the precursor to vitamin A which can be found in many plants, particularly those with yellow, red or dark green coloring. However, since absorption of B-carotene by the intestines is not very efficient, it is estimated that six milligrams of B-carotene are needed to give the dietary equivalent of one milligram retinol.

Vitamin A is important for developing good eyesight, healthy skin and hair, strong immunity and resistance to infection, strong bones, good growth and helps prevent anemia. Deficiency can cause intestinal and respiratory infection, poor hair quality, eyeball pain, poor eyesight, night blindness and xerophthalmia (a dry, thickened, lusterless eye condition) which can damage the cornea and lead to blindness. It is estimated that this causes 500,000 new cases of blindness a year in children in south-east Asia. Children who lack vitamin A are more likely to get respiratory, intestinal and other infections and are more prone to die from them.

Vitamin A is not destroyed by most methods of cooking. Some losses can occur at high temperatures, such as when leaves are fried in oil. Sunlight will also destroy vitamin A, so significant losses can occur if leaves are exposed to sunlight during the drying process. Carotene may cause some yellowing of the skin if taken in excess, but it is not harmful.

The vitamin A content of fresh Moringa tree leaves cited above is a very conservative estimate. Other researchers have found fresh leaves to contain as much as 9mg vitamin A per 100g.9 Nonetheless, even the conservative figure means that fresh Moringa tree leaves contain almost three times the Beta-carotene content of spinach (3.5mg/100g).

MORINGA VITAMIN B

Moringa Tree

MORINGA PODS (100g)

MORINGA LEAVES (100g) MORINGA POWDER (8g)

VITAMIN B -Choline (mg)

423

423

-

Choline helps with metabolism and fat-stabilization. Deficiency can cause nerve degeneration, senility, high blood pressure, reduced resistance to infections, strokes and thrombosis (presence or formation of blood clots).

MORINGA VITAMIIN B1

Moringa Tree

MORINGA PODS (100g)

MORINGA LEAVES (100g) MORINGA POWDER (8g)

VITAMIN B1 -Thiamin (mg)

0.05

0.21

-
RDA

Child aged 1-3

0.5 10.0% 42.0% -
Lactating woman: 1.6 3.1% 13.1% -

Vitamin B1 helps the body convert glucose into energy in nerves and muscles. It helps in improving mental ability and heart functions, digestion, and warding off rheumatism. Deficiency can cause easy fatigue, muscle weakness, loss of appetite, nausea, constipation, impaired memory and ability to concentrate, beri-beri. Deficiency is a risk during periods of pregnancy and breast-feeding.

MORINGA B2

Moringa Tree

MORINGA PODS (100g)

MORINGA LEAVES (100g) MORINGA POWDER (8g)
VITAMIN B2 -Riboflavin (mg) 0.07

0.05

-
RDA

Child aged 1-3

0.8 8.8% 6.3% -
Lactating woman: 1.8 3.9% 2.8% -

Vitamin B2 helps the body convert proteins, fats and sugars into energy, and also helps the body repair and maintain tissues. Deficiency can cause bloodshot or tired eyes, inflammation and ulcers on the tongue and lips, hair loss, vertigo, slow-learning and insomnia.

MORINGA B3

Moringa Tree

MORINGA PODS (100g)

MORINGA LEAVES (100g) MORINGA POWDER (8g)

VITAMIN B3 -Niacin (mg)

0.2

0.8

-
RDA

Child aged 1-3

9 2.2% 8.9% -
Lactating woman: 20 1.0% 4.0% -

Niacin (nicotinic acid) is needed to help the body release energy from metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Deficiency can cause dimness of vision and eye muscle fatigue.

MORINGA VITAMIN C

Moringa Tree

MORINGA PODS (100g)

MORINGA LEAVES (100g) MORINGA POWDER (8g)

VITAMIN C -Ascorbic acid (mg)

120

220

1.4
RDA

Child aged 1-3

20 600% 1100% 6.9%
Lactating woman: 95 126% 231% 1.5%

Vitamin C is necessary for healthy development of bones, teeth, blood and sex organs. Deficiency can cause bleeding and inflammation of the gums, loosening of the teeth, weakness, lassitude and scurvy. Much of the vitamin C content will be lost when leaves are boiled in open pots or when the cooking water is discarded. Excess intake of vitamin C is not harmful.

MORINGA E

Moringa Tree

MORINGA PODS (100g)

MORINGA LEAVES (100g) MORINGA POWDER (8g)
VITAMIN E (mg) -

-

9.0

Vitamin E influences oxidation in body tissues, protects vitamin A and amino acids, and promotes the ability of white blood cells to resist infectious diseases. Some studies have indicated that vitamin E will help prevent cancer and Alzheimer's disease, as well as improve blood flow in people affected by arterial hardening, clotting or inflammation (atherosclerosis, thrombosis and thrombophlebetis). Deficiencies in children can result in irritability, water retention and hemolytic anemia. In adults, deficiencies can cause lethargy, apathy, lack of concentration, muscle weakness, irritability and decreased sexual interest. Recommendations for daily intake vary. For infants, formulas should contain at least 0.3mg per 100ml. For adults, recommendations range from 3 to 30mg per day, although extended intake of up to 3,200mg per day have not caused any negative effects. Other significant sources for vitamin E are soybean oil (87mg/100g), maize oil (66mg/100g), and roasted groundnuts (12mg/100g).

MORINGA AMINO ACIDS

Moringa Tree

MORINGA PODS (100g)

MORINGA LEAVES (100g) MORINGA POWDER *
AMINO ACIDS
Arginine (g/16g N) 3.6

6.0

1.33 %
Histidine (g/16g N) 1.1 2.1 0.61
Lysine (g/16g N) 1.5 4.3 1.32
Tryptophan (g/16g N) 0.8 1.9 0.43
Phenylanaline (g/16g N) 4.3 6.4 1.39
Methionine (g/16g N) 1.4 2.0 0.35
Threonine (g/16g N) 3.9 4.9 1.19
Leucine (g/16g N) 6.5 9.3 1.95
Isoleucine (g/16g N) 4.4 6.3 0.83
Valine (g/16g N) 5.4 7.1 1.06

Amino acids make the specific proteins required by the body's specialized tissues. With the lack of any one amino acid, production of the needed proteins cannot occur. Although the body is able to make most of the amino acids it needs, several are not made in sufficient quantities and must be obtained from the person's diet. These are called essential amino acids. The above amino acids represent every one of the essential amino acids. Argenine and histidine are especially important for infants who are unable to synthesize sufficient protein for their growth requirements.

(* Leaf powder amino acid content is listed in terms of percentage).

CONCLUSIONS MORINGA TREE NUTRITION

Leaves and pods of the Moringa tree can be an extremely valuable source of nutrition for people of all ages. For a child aged 1-3, a 100 gram serving of fresh Moringa tree leaves would provide all his daily requirements of calcium, about 75% of his iron and half his protein needs, as well as important supplies of potassium, B complex vitamins, copper and all the essential amino acids. As little as 20 grams of Moringa tree fresh leaves would provide a child with all the vitamins A and C he needs.

For pregnant and breast-feeding women, Moringa tree leaves and pods can do much to preserve the mother's health and pass on strength to the fetus or nursing child. One portion of Moringa leaves could provide a woman with over a third of her daily need of calcium and give her important quantities of iron, protein, copper, sulfur and B vitamins. Just 20 grams of Moringa tree fresh leaves will satisfy all her daily requirement of vitamin C. For both infants and mothers, Moringa tree pods can be an important source of fiber, potassium, copper, iron, choline,

Malnourished children can benefit from addition of Moringa leaves to their diet. The high concentrations of iron, protein, copper, various vitamins and essential amino acids present in Moringa tree leaves make them a virtually

Moringa tree leaves can be dried and made into a powder by rubbing them over a sieve. Drying should be done indoors and the Moringa tree leaf powder stored in an opaque, well-sealed plastic container since sunlight will destroy vitamin A. It is estimated that only 20-40% of vitamin A content will be retained if Moringa leaves are dried under direct sunlight, but that 50-70% will be retained if Moringa leaves are dried in the shade. This powder can be used in place of Moringa fresh leaves to make leaf sauces, or a few spoonfuls of the Moringa tree powder can be added to other sauces just before serving. Addition of small amounts of Moringa leaf powder will have no discernible effect on the taste of a sauce. In this way, Moringa tree leaves will be readily available to improve nutritional intake on a daily basis. One rounded soup (table) spoon of leaf powder will satisfy about 14% of the protein, 40% of the calcium, 23% of the iron and nearly all the vitamin A needs for a child aged one to three. Six rounded spoonfuls of Moringa leaf powder will satisfy nearly all of a woman's daily iron and calcium needs during times of pregnancy and breast-feeding.

If one rounded tablespoon of Moringa oleifera powder is added to an infant's food, three times daily, the 25g of Moringa oleifera leaf powder will give him roughly the following

  • Protein: 42%
  • Calcium: 125%
  • Magnesium: 61%
  • Potassium: 41%
  • Iron: 71%
  • Vitamin A: 272%
  • Vitamin C: 22% During periods of pregnancy and breast-feeding, women are most at risk of suffering from nutritional deficiences. If a woman consumed six rounded tablespoons of Moringa tree leaf powder per day during these times, she would receive roughly the following in terms of RDA:
  • Protein: 21%
  • Calcium: 84%
  • Magnesium: 54%
  • Potassium: 22%
  • Iron: 94%
  • Vitamin A: 143%
  • Vitamin C: 9%

Many people arer ecognizing the nutritional value of Moringa tree

“Green leafy vegetables and fruits supply much needed essential micronutrients like beta-carotene [vitamin A], vitamin C, folic acid, and also calcium and potassium. Moringa tree leaves in particular are a rich, inexpensive source of micronutrients." - Dr. C. Gopalan, President, Nutrition Foundation of India

"Among the wide range of Green Leafy Vegetables, Moringa tree is the richest source of Beta-Carotene [vitamin A], apart from providing other important micronutrients. Small amounts of less than 10 gm of fresh Moringa leaves would meet the day's requirement of Beta-Carotene of preschool children." - Dr. Kamala Krishnaswamy, Director, National Institute of Nutrition, India

"As a source of nutrients and vitamins, Moringa tree leaves rank among the best of perennial tropical vegetables. It has been estimated that one glassful of fresh Moringa leaves contain the daily requirement of vitamin A for up to ten people, and adding two raw Moringa leaves to children's daily food intake, or mixing 2-3 teaspoons of dried Moringa tree leaf powder into other sauces living in high-risk areas." - Church World Service

"Among the leafy vegetables, one stands out as particularly good, the horseradish Moringa tree tree. The Moringa tree leaves are outstanding as a source of vitamin A and, when raw, vitamin C. Moringa tree leaves are a good source of B vitamins and among the best plant sources of minerals. The calcium content is very high for a plant. Phosphorous is low, as it should be. The content of iron is very good (it is reportedly prescribed for anemia in the Philippines). Moringa leaves are an excellent source of protein and a very low source of fat and carbohydrates. Thus the Moringa tree leaves are one of the best plant foods that can be found." In his Edible Leaves of the Tropics he adds that the leaves are incomparable as a source of the sulfur-containing amino acids methionine and cystine, which are often in short supply. - Dr. Frank L. Martin, in Survival and Subsistence in the Tropics

According to Dr. Lowell Fuglie, the West Africa representative of the Church World Service who used the Moringa tree as a base for a nutrition program, “for a child aged 1-3, a 100 g serving of fresh cooked Moringa tree leaves would provide all his daily requirements of calcium, about 75% of his iron and half his protein needs, as well as important amounts of potassium, B vitamins, copper and all the essential amino acids. As little as 20 grams of Moringa leaves would provide a child with all the vitamins A and C he needs."

"For pregnant and breast-feeding women, Moringa tree leaves and pods can do much to preserve the mother's health and pass on strength to the fetus or nursing child. One 100 g portion of Moringa tree leaves could provide a woman with over a third of her daily need of calcium and give her important quantities of iron, protein, copper, sulfur and B-vitamins."

“One rounded tablespoon (8 g) of Moringa tree leaf powder will satisfy about 14% of the protein, 40% of the calcium, and 23% of the iron and nearly all the vitamin A needs for a child aged 1-3. Six rounded spoonfuls of Moringa tree leaf powder will satisfy nearly all of a woman's daily iron and calcium needs during pregnancy and breast-feeding."

Would Moringa leaves, leaf powder and pods be visibly effective in treating malnutrition and promoting physical health and well being? "Successful treatment of malnourished children has been well-documented. Interviews with men and women who have made Moringa oleifera a regular part of their diets point out that they have a keen awareness of improvements in their health and energy. At one health post, the pharmacy is now selling Moringa oleifera leaf powder to mothers with malnourished children. "

There is limited awareness of nutrition and the importance of balanced diets. Would people see the value of adding Moringa to their foods as a purely nutritional measure? "It is apparent that one does not need an education in nutrition to know whether or not one is feeling healthy. People expressed every intention of continuing to include Moringa oleifera in their diets because of the sense of physical well being it gives them. In one village, virtually every household now maintains a stock of Moringa oleifera leaf powder."

Moringa Tree Nutritional Benefits


Moringa oleifera is a superfood to beat all superfoods, even in its supplement form. The amount of anti-oxidants, anti-inflammatories, vitamins and minerals it contains is everything your body needs and more. No other supplement is even remotely comparable. Scientific research proves that one serving of Moringa fresh leaves provides you with seven times the amount of vitamin C in oranges, four times the calcium in milk, four times the vitamin A in carrots, two times the protein in milk and three times the potassium found in bananas. Or how about trying this on for size? Each supplemental serving contains more than 90 different vitamins and minerals.

Health benefits of Moringa oleifera tree

  • Moringa tree possesses unique nutritional qualities that hold promise to millions of impoverished communities around the world those lack in many nutritional supplements such as protein, minerals, and vitamins.

  • Moringa tree leaves are an excellent source of protein that can be rarely found in any other herbs and green leafy vegetables. 100 g of fresh raw Moringa tree leaves provide 9.8 g of protein or about 17.5% of daily-required levels. Dry, powdered Moringa indeed are a much-concentrated source of many quality amino acids.

  • Fresh Moringa tree pods and seeds are a good source of oleic acid, a health-benefiting monounsaturated fat. Moringa oleifera tree as high-quality oilseed crop can be grown alternatively to improve nutrition levels of populations in many drought-prone regions of Africa and Asia.

  • Fresh Moringa oleifera tree leaves and growing tips of moringa are the richest source of vitamin A. 100 g of Moringa fresh leaves 7564 IU or 252% of daily-required levels. Vitamin A is one of the fat-soluble anti-oxidant offering several benefits, including mucus membrane repair, maintenance of skin integrity, vision, and immunity.

  • Fresh Moringa tree pods and leaves are excellent sources of vitamin-C. 100 g of Moringa tree pods contain 145 µg or 235% of daily-required levels of vitamin C. 100 g of greens provide 51.7 µg or 86% of daily-recommended intake values of this vitamin. Research studies have shown that consumption of fruits/vegetables rich in vitamin C helps the body develop immunity against infectious agents, and scavenge harmful oxygen-free radicals from the body.

  • The Moringa oleifera greens as well as pods also contain good amounts of many vital B-complex vitamins such as folates,vitamin-B6 (pyridoxine), thiamin (vitamin B-1), riboflavin, pantothenic acid, and niacin. Much of these vitamin functions as co-enzymes in carbohydrate, protein, and fat metabolism.

  • Furthermore, Moringa oleifera leaves are one of the fine sources of minerals like calcium, iron, copper, manganese,zinc, selenium, and magnesium. Iron alleviates anemia. Calcium is required for bone strengthening. Zinc plays a vital role in hair-growth, spermatogenesis, and skin health.

Adoption of Moringa Tree to combat under-nutrition

Over 143 million children under the age of five in developing countries were undernourished in 2006. Food insecurity, lack of access to health care (including international food aid), and social, cultural, and economic class, all play a major role in explaining the prevalence of under-nutrition. The regions most burdened by under-nutrition, (in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean) all share the ability to grow and utilize an edible plant, Moringa oleifera, commonly referred to as “The Miracle Tree”. For hundreds of years, traditional healers have prescribed different parts of Moringa tree for treatment of skin diseases, respiratory illnesses, ear and dental infections, hypertension, diabetes, cancer treatment, water purification, and have promoted its use as a nutrient dense food source. The leaves of Moringa tree have been reported to be a valuable source of both macro- and micronutrients and is now found growing within tropical and subtropical regions worldwide, congruent with the geographies where its nutritional benefits are most needed.

Anecdotal evidence of benefits from Moringa tree has fueled a recent increase in adoption of and attention to its many healing benefits, specifically the high nutrient composition of the plants leaves and seeds. Trees for Life, an NGO based in the United States has promoted the nutritional benefits of Moringa tree around the world, and their nutritional comparison has been widely copied and is now taken on faith by many: “Gram for gram fresh leaves of Moringa tree have 4 times the vitamin A of carrots, 7 times the vitamin C of oranges, 4 times the calcium of milk, 3 times the potassium of bananas, ¾ the iron of spinach, and 2 times the protein of yogurt” 

What started as traditional practice and knowledge is being disseminated by international aid agencies, health care workers, and the private sector, to educate people around the world as a sustainable innovation to combat under-nutrition including micronutrient deficiencies. 

Once the Moringa tree leaves are harvested and cleaned, they can either be used fresh in meals or dried in the shade to be used at another time. In countries that suffer from annual drought or famine before harvest season, dried Moringa tree leaves can be made into a powder and used throughout the year. Moringa oleifera powder is made by crushing and sifting dried leaves. There have been studies on the retention of heat sensitive vitamins, such as vitamin A, during the drying and storage of Moringa oleifera leaves. For many rural agricultural societies storing grains is common practice, and for many grains shade drying or blanching, is used prior to storage of the food source. Retention of total carotene, β-carotene, and ascorbic acid (vitamin C) was measured following storage for 0, 1, 2, and 3 months. Leaves that were blanched and sulfited compared to blanched-only leaves initially retained more total carotenes, β-carotene, and ascorbicacid but within about 3 months β-carotenelevels were about half of original levels, with either method of drying. On the other hand, there were significant benefits of sulfiting on ascorbic acid retention.

MORINGA TREE: A MEDICAL PHARMACOPOEIA


Moringa tree is already highly esteemed by people in the tropics and sub-tropics for the many ways it is used medicinally by local herbalists. Some of these traditional uses reflect the nutritional content of the various tree parts. The following are but some of the ways the Moringa tree is used in Asia, Africa and the Americas. In recent years, laboratory investigation has confirmed the efficacy of some of these applications.

Moringa tree leaves

In India, juice from Moringa leaves is believed to have a stabilizing effect on blood pressure and is used to treat anxiety. In Senegal, a infusion of Moringa leaf juice is believed to control glucose levels in cases of diabetes.

Mixed with honey and followed by a drink of coconut milk 2 or 3 times a day, Moringa leaves are used as a remedy for diarrhea, dysentery and colitis (inflammation of the colon).

Moringa leaf juice, sometimes with carrot juice added, used as a diuretic (to increase urine flow). Eating Moringa leaves is recommended in cases of gonorrhea on account of the diuretic action.

In India and Nicaragua, Moringa leaves and young buds are rubbed on the temple for headache.

In India and the Philippines, a poultice made from fresh Moringa leaves is applied to reduce glandular swelling.

It was reported that Malaysians sometimes applied a Moringa leaf poultice to the abdomen to expel intestinal worms.

Moringa leaf juice is sometimes used as a skin antiseptic.

In India, Moringa leaves used to treat fevers, bronchitis, eye and ear infections, scurvy and catarrh (inflammation of the mucus membrane).

Moringa leaves are considered to be anthelmintic (able to kill intestinal worms).

Leaves are used as an irritant and as a purgative.

In Nicaragua, Guatemala and Senegal, Moringa leaves are applied as poultice on sores and skin infections.

In the Philippines, eating Moringa leaves is believed to increase a woman's milk production and is sometimes prescribed for anemia.

Moringa tree flowers

Moringa flowers are traditionally used as a tonic, diuretic, and abortifacient.

Flowers are considered to be anthelminitic.

Used to cure inflammations, muscle diseases, tumors and enlargement of the spleen.

In India, juice pressed from Moringa flowers is said to alleviate sore throat and catarrh.

In Puerto Rico, an infusion of the flowers is used as an eyewash and a decoction from Moringa flowers has been used to treat hysteria.

Moringa tree pods

Moringa pods are believed to be anthelminitic

Moringa pods are used in affections of the liver and spleen, and in treating articular pains (pain in the joints).

Moringa tree roots

In India, Moringa roots are used as a carminative (promotes gas expulsion from the alimentary canal, against intestinal pain or spasms) and as a laxative.

Moringa roots are considered useful against intermittent fevers and are sometimes chewed to relieve cold symptoms.

Juice from Moringa roots is applied externally as a rubefacient (skin tonic), counterirritant or vesicant (agent to induce blistering).

Moringa roots are used as an abortifacient, diuretic and a cardiac and circulatory tonic.

Moringa roots are used to treat epilepsy, nervous debility and hysteria.

In Senegal and India, Moringa roots are pounded and mixed with salt to make a poultice for treating rheumatism and articular pains. In Senegal, this poultice is also used to relieve lower back or kidney pain.

Moringa roots are used as a purgative.

In India, Indo-China, Nicaragua and Nigeria, a Moringa root poultice is used to treat inflammations, especially swelling of tissues in the foot (pedal edema).

A decoction of Moringa roots is used to cleanse sores and ulcers.

In India and Indo-China Moringa roots are used to treat cases of scurvy.

Moringa root juice mixed with milk is considered useful against in hiccoughs, asthma, gout, lumbago, rheumatism, enlarged spleen or liver, internal and deep-seated inflammations, and calculous affections. Crushed root mixed with rum has been used as a liniment on rheumatism.

A snuff made from Moringa roots is inhaled to relieve earache and toothache.

A juice made from a combination of Moringa fresh roots, bark and leaves is inserted into the nostrils to arouse a patient from coma or stupor.

Moringa tree root, bark and stem

In Senegal, Moringa root and tree bark are used to treat sores and skin infections.

Moringa bark is regarded as useful in treating scurvy.

In India, Moringa stem and root bark are taken as appetizers and digestives.

In Senegal, a decoction of Moringa root bark, roots, leaves and flowers is used to treat epilepsy, hysteria, and intestinal spasms.

In India, a decoction of the Moringa root bark is used as a fermentation to relieve intestinal spasm and is considered useful in calculous affections (mineral buildup/kidney stones).

Moringa stem bark is used to cure eye diseases.

In India, Moringa stem and root bark are believed to be aphrodisiacs and anthelmintic.

In India, Moringa root bark is said to prevent enlargement of the spleen and formation of tuberculous glands of the neck, to destroy tumors and to heal ulcers.

Juice from Moringa root bark is put into the ear to relieve earaches and also placed in a toothache cavity as a pain killer.

Moringa bark is used as a treatment for delirious patients.

In the Philippines it is believed that, Moringa roots, chewed and applied to a snakebite, will keep the poison from spreading.

Bark is used as a rubefacient and as a vesicant.

In India, bark is sometimes mixed with peppercorns and used as an abortifacient (although often with fatal consequences).

Moringa tree gum

Moringa gum, mixed with sesame oil, is used to relieve headaches. This is also poured into ears for the relief of earache.

In Java, gum is given for intestinal complaints.

In India, gum is used for dental caries.

Gum is considered to be diuretic.

In India and in Senegal, Moringa gum is considered useful in treating fevers, dysentery and asthma.

Gum is used as an astringent and rubefacient (skin tonics).

In India, Moringa gum is sometimes used as an abortifacient.

In India, gum is used to treat syphilis and rheumatism.

Moring tree seeds

Moringa seeds are used against fevers.

Moringa flowers, leaves and roots used as remedies for various tumors, and the seed for abdominal tumors.

In Aruba, a paste of crushed seeds is spread on warts.

Moringa tree oil

In India, Moringa seed oil is applied externally to relieve pain and swelling in case of gout or rheumatism, and to treat skin diseases.

Oil is used to treat hysteria and scurvy.

Moringa oil is applied to treat prostrate and bladder troubles.

Oil is considered to be a tonic and a purgative.

 

Some of the above traditional remedies have been supported by recent laboratory studies. Among these:

Moringa leaf extract has been shown to be effective in lowering blood sugar levels within a space of 3 hours, albeit less effectively than the standard hypoglycaemic drug, glibenclamide. Effects increased with larger doses.

An extract taken from dried Moringa leaves showed an impressive ability to heal ulcers in laboratory animals. Administration of daily doses by injection caused a very significant improvement in the healing rate in induced gastric ulcers.

An extract made from dried powdered Moringa leaves was shown to have a very potent depressive effect on the central nervous system, resulting in significant muscle relaxation, decreased body temperatures and increased sleep time among laboratory mice. Subjects receiving the highest dosages spent twice as much time asleep as the control group.

An extract from dried Moringa roots, applied orally to laboratory mice, demonstrated clearly that the roots possess anti inflammatory properties. In another study, infusion of Moringa seeds, roots and flowers significantly inhibited the formation of pedal edema, although the authors concluded that the Moringa seed infusion may be the only one worthy of further investigation.

An infusion made from Moringa seeds demonstrated an ability to inhibit intestinal spasms, as well as some diuretic activity. However, other plant parts (leaves, roots, stalks and flowers) showed no significant antispasmodic or diuretic activity.

An in vitro study showed that an aqueous extract made from Moringa seeds is effective against Pseudomonas aeruginosaStaphylococcus aureus and Escheridia coli. This study showed the Moringa seed extract to be equally effective as Neomycin against S. aureus. Similar results were obtained with aqueous extracts from the roots. Fresh Moringa leaf juice has showed some positive inhibition of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and an extract from Moringa leaves was found to be effective at inhibiting the growth of the fungi Basidiobolus haptosporus and B.ranarum. The in vitro anti-fungal effects of the extract compared favorably the with the effects of some conventional drugs used to treat zygomycotic infections.

Aqueous extract from Moringa tree stem bark were shown to increase the rate of heart contractions at low concentrations and decrease the rate at high concentrations, with the effect of lowering blood pressure. Moringinine, from Moringa root bark, acts on the sympathetic nervous system and acts as a cardiac stimulant, relaxes bronchioles (bronchial tube inflammation) and inhibits involuntary intestinal tract movement. Anthonine, also found in Moringa tree root bark, is highly toxic to the cholera bacterium.

Spirochin, found in Moringa the roots, is anti-gram+ bacteria, analgesic, antipyretic, affects the circulatory system (by raising or lowering heart beat, depending on dose), and affects the nervous system. In high doses it can paralyze the vagus nerve. Also found in Moringa roots and seeds, benzylisothiocyanate (which works against fungi and bacteria) may be even better than medicinally utilized benzylisothiocyanate and other isothiocyanates.

CULTIVATION OF MORINGA TREE


Moringa oleifera is native to sub-Himalayan tracts of northern India but is now grown world-wide in the tropics and sub-tropics. It tolerates a wide range of soil and rainfall conditions. Minimum annual rainfall requirements are estimated at 250mm with maximum at over 3,000mm. Presence of a long taproot make Moringa resistant to periods of drought. Its temperature range is 25-350 Celsius, but the Moringa tree will tolerate up to 48 degrees in the shade and can survive a light frost. A freeze can kill the Moringa tree to the ground, but it will afterwards send out new shoots. Moringa trees will flower and fruit annually and in some regions twice annually. During its first year, a Moringa tree will grow up to four meters in height and produce flowers and fruit. Left alone, the tree can eventually reach 12 meters in height with a trunk 30cm wide; however, the Moringa tree can be annually cut back to one meter or less from the ground. The tree will quickly recover and produce leaves and pods within easy reach. Within three years a Moringa tree will yield 400-600 pods annually and a mature tree can produce up to 1,600 pods. Moringa trees can be easily grown from seed or from cuttings.

Considerable variety exists within the  Moringa oleifera species. In India, Moringa tree hybrids have been developed to reflect local tastes for the fruit. A variety called Kodikalmurungai found in the district of Tamil Nadu produces short 15-23cm pods. The  Moringa Jaffna variety in southern India produces fruit 60-90cm long. Chavakacheri muruna, another Jaffna type, can produce fruits up to 120cm long and Chemmurunga types are said to flower throughout the year and produce heavy yields. One Indian Moringa tree variety cultivated as an annual crop will fruit in 150-165 days, bear continuously for one year and then become exhausted.

Growing Moringa Tree from seed

Seeds have no dormancy periods and can be planted as soon as they are mature. In the nursery, plant Moringa seeds every 2 cm in lines 20 cm apart. After a few weeks, remove excess plants to leave one seedling every 10 cm. The Moringa trees can be transplanted after one year, but will be very fragile. Alternatively, Moringa seeds can be planted directly in the field. Experience to date suggests that direct seeding will give faster growth.

Planted in plastic sacks, trees can be transplanted after four to six months. The soil mixture for the sacks should be light, i.e. 3 parts soil to 1 part sand. Plant two or three seeds in each sack, one half centimeter deep. Keep moist but not too wet. Germination will occur within two weeks. Remove extra seedlings, leaving one in each sack. Moringa tree seedlings can be out-planted when they are 60-90 cm high.

The ground where the Moringa trees are to be planted should be light and sandy, not heavy with clay or water-logged. Compost or manure can be added to planting holes, but are usually not necessary. Water the planting holes one day before out-planting the seedlings. Be careful, when out-planting, to keep the soil around the seedling's roots intact. Carefully cut open the sack with a razor and place the seedling in the planting hole. Plant seedlings in the late afternoon to avoid the hot sun the first day. Pack soil around the seedling base. Do not water heavily for the first few days. If the Moringa tree seedlings fall over, tie them to a stick for support.

Growing Moringa Tree from cuttings

Planting cuttings will result in the fastest growth, but it is debated whether the resulting Moringa trees are superior to those planted from seed. Some sources claim that trees grown from cuttings will produce superior fruit. Others, on the contrary, have observed that trees grown from cuttings produce inferior fruit and have a more shallow root development, thus making them more susceptible to drought.

Use hard wood, not green wood, for cuttings. Cuttings can be 45cm to 1.5m long and 4-16cm wide. Cuttings can be planted directly or planted in sacks in the nursery. Cuttings ends should be left to dry in a shady, dry place for three days before planting. When planting directly, plant the cuttings in light, sandy soil. Plant one-third of the length in the ground (i.e., if the cutting is 1.5m long, plant it 50cm deep). Add nitrogen to poor or degraded soils, if possible, to encourage root development. Do not overwater; if the soil is too heavy or wet, the roots may rot. When the Moringa tree cuttings are planted in the nursery, the root system is slower to develop. Cuttings planted in a nursery can be out-planted after 2 or 3 months.

Watering Moringa Tree

Moringa trees do not need much watering. In very arid conditions, water regularly for the first two months and afterwards only when the tree is obviously suffering.

Trimming Moringa Tree

If left alone, a Moringa tree has a tendency to grow up straight and tall like a mast, putting out leaves and pods only at its crown. To encourage production of many branches and pods within easy reach of the ground, cut off the central growing tip when the tree is 1.5 to 2m high. Regularly cut off the growing tips of the branches so that the tree will become bushier. (Growing tips can be eaten). Another suggestion is to cut each branch back by 30cm when it reaches 60cm in length. This will produce a multi-branched shrub.

If the Moringa trees are being grown for pod production, it has been recommended to remove the flowers the first year as this will increase the pod yield the second year. Older trees which are unproductive or too high for easy harvesting can be cut off at ground level. In southern India, unproductive Moringa trees are cut down to a stump from which one or two shoots are allowed to grow. Cuttings 2m long and 4-5cm in diameter are taken from these shoots for the plantation of new trees.

Spacing Moringa Tree

Spacing of trees in the plantation will depend on the type of soil and end-use of the trees. Recommended spacing is anywhere from three to five meters. For intensive production of green matter, Moringa can be densely seeded (i.e., 100 seeds per square meter) and the edible shoots cut, like grass, every two or three weeks.

Trees are often spaced one meter apart (or less) in a line to create living fence posts. Trees can be planted in gardens; the light shade given by Moringa trees will help those vegetables which are less tolerant to direct sunlight. Trees are often used to support climbing crops such as yam and pole beans. However, Moringa trees are said to be highly competitive with eggplant (Solanum melongena) and sweet corn (Zea mays) and can reduce yields of these plants by up to 50%.

Fertilizing Moringa Tree

Moringa trees will generally grow well without fertilizers. In some parts of India, however, ring trenches are dug about 10 cm from trees during the rainy season and filled with green leaves, manure and ash, then covered. This is said to promote higher yields of pods. Research done in India showed that applications of 7.5kg farmyard manure and 0.37kg ammonium sulfate per tree can increase pod yields threefold.52

Moringa Tree Pests and diseases

The Moringa tree is resistant to most pests. In very water-logged conditions, Diploidia root rot can occur. In very wet conditions, seedlings can be planted in mounds so that excess water is drained off. Termites can be a problem in some areas and various caterpillars will eat the leaves. Cattle, sheep, pigs and goats will eat Moringa seedlings, pods and leaves. Protect Moringa tree seedlings from livestock by installing a fence or by planting a hedge around the plantation. For mature trees, the lower branches can be cut off so that goats will not be able to reach the leaves and pods.

Harvesting Moringa Tree

Leaves: For making leaf sauces, use seedlings, growing tips or very young leaves. Older leaves must be stripped from the tough and wiry stems. These are more suited to making dried leaf powder, since the stems can be removed during the sifting process.  Pods: Moringa trees will flower and produce pods whenever there is water available. If rainfall is continuous throughout the year, Moringa trees will have a nearly continuous yield. In arid conditions, flowering can be induced through irrigation. In some cases, it may be necessary to prop up a branch which holds many pods to prevent it breaking off.  When harvesting Moringa tree pods for human consumption, harvest when the pods are still young and pliable for eating whole. Older pods develop a tough exterior, but their pulp and immature seeds remain edible until shortly before the ripening process begins. When producing Moringa seed for oil extraction, allow the pods to dry and turn brown on the tree. Harvest them before the pods split open and fall to the ground. Seeds can be stored in well-ventilated sacks in dry, shady places.

Become Ambassador of the Moringa oleifera tree - Spread the Moringa seeds!

  


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