Moringa: Why is it called The Miracle Tree?
MORINGA is a valuable source of protein, calcium, beta-carotene, vitamin C, potassium and many more.
EMANUEL CHIBESAKUNDA, Lusaka
MORINGA Oleifera originally comes from India, it has established well in Zambia and other countries in the Southern African region. It grows well in most ecological regions countrywide and many different parts in Africa and the world. It is a fast-growing tree whose leaves are uniquely imputed by nature with nutritional and medicinal benefits. It has often times been referred to as the “miracle tree,” “drumstick tree,” or “horseradish tree,” has small, rounded leaves that are packed with an incredible amount of nutritional value.
Moringa trees grow easily from seeds or cuttings. They grow quickly even in poor soil and bloom within eight months after planting. Moringa seeds have no dormancy periods and can be planted as soon as they are mature. In the ground, it is best to plant the seeds directly where the tree is intended to grow and not to transplant the seedling. The young seedlings are fragile and often cannot survive transplanting.
Grow Moringa from Cuttings
To grow Moringa from a cutting, simply cut the trees that have stopped producing fruits each year. It is important that branches are cut off so that fresh growth may take place. These branches are excellent for growing new trees. Make a cutting at least 1” (2.5cm) in diameter and at least six feet (1.8m) long, dig a hole 3 ft. (1m) x 3 ft. (1m) and 3 ft. (1m) deep, place the cutting in the hole and fill with a mixture of soil, sand and composted manure. Fill firmly around the base of the cutting. Form a slight dome or cone shape, sloping down away from the cutting as this it is desirable that water not touch the stem of the new tree and thereafter water generously, but do not drown the cutting in water.
Moringa Growing Environment
Moringa is a resilient tree. It can survive in a variety of climates and substandard soils. It is as fast-growing as it is hearty. Normal growth ranges from 3-5 meters per year if left un-cropped. It is one of the fastest growing biomasses on the planet when properly nourished. There are some varieties known to grow seven meters in one year if left unchecked. A fully mature Moringa tree can grow to as much as 35 feet (Moringa Tree Care and growing Moringa; Susan Patterson).
Moringa Out- and Indoor Tree
Moringa is also an ideal plant to grow indoors or, depending on where one lives, including in one’s own backyard. Once mature, fresh Moringa, leaves harvested from one’s tree make a delicious addition to a household salad. The leaves are also great for making tea, as well as an ingredient in a variety of chicken, meat and vegetable dishes.
Moringa Multiple Benefits
Growing a moringa miracle tree is a great way to help rural communities improve their livelihood. Moringa trees are also interesting to simply have around as they attract multiple pollinating insects. It is for these amazing multiple benefits contained by moringa tree that it is often referred to as the moringa miracle tree. This tree contains more vitamin C than an orange, more vitamin A than a carrot, more calcium than milk and more potassium than a banana. It contains about four times as much calcium as that contained in milk, three times the amount of potassium that can be obtained from bananas. It is, therefore, a natural gift to humankind that can practically empower rural communities with a nutritional bank and ecological incentive (Moringa farms, Inc).
Moringa is also rich in minerals, vitamins, essential amino acids, phytochemicals, vegetable proteins, anti-oxidants, anti-inflammatory agents, and carbohydrates.
Technical Synopsis & Nutritional benefits
Moringa is a valuable source of protein, calcium, betacarotene, vitamin C, potassium and many more. Parts of the tree, such as leaves, flowers, and seeds, are edible and provides important source of protein, calcium, iron, carotenoids, and phytochemicals, and it is employed for several applications for nutritional purposes. This product is reputable for improving health and nutrition of people and livestock as it significantly boost their health and nutritional state. As an example, carrots only have 25 percent of the vitamin A that can be obtained from the same amount of Moringa Oleifera.
Previous studies have observed that it is also an interesting source of milk clotting enzyme and reported to offer caseinolytic and milk-clotting activities of M. oleifera flowers using azocasein and skim milk as substrates, respectively. M. oleifera seed extract was also used as a milk-clotting agent and the resulting curd was white and firm.
Moringa Harvested All Year Round
The fact that Moringa grows rapidly and easily makes it especially appealing and adaptable to many ecological areas and one of the fastest plant-based investment to successfully contribute to nutritional intake as well as support ecological balance. In these areas, Moringa may be the most nutritious food locally available, and it can be harvested all year round.
Recommended uptake of two capsules twice per day, or about one bottle per month directly replace traditional vitamins and can help to eliminate the worry of one’s life where one get the right vitamins and minerals into dietary food uptake only. Moringa in tea bags, which makes it quite convenient to get your daily dose of the supplement simply by steeping a tea bag during your morning routine.
Livelihood & Rural Development Opportunity
Moringa oleifera offers a unique opportunity as it stimulates nutritional and rural economic empowerment. It is an energising product that helps with healing and medical prevention as well. It can be used to redress skin disorder treatment, diabetes, sleep improvement, relief for anxiety and depression. It can give consumers a significant boost in energy, it has the ability to even out your blood sugar levels, and it can even help you recover more quickly after a workout.
Moringa Soil Requirements
The trees have the resilience to flourish even in areas where it is dry and sandy and does not easily die off due to insufficient water or poor soil. It offers farmers with a good market for their seed, people benefit from cheaper, good quality cooking oil and the mills bring employment. Moringa oil has been used in skin preparations and ointments since Egyptian times. The bright yellow oil with a pleasant taste has been compared in quality with olive oil. The kernel contains 35-40% by weight of oil.
Zambia – Plant A Million
The Plant – A – Million Initiative is a tree planting movement with the expanse and ambition to become Africa’s premier example of a ‘Tree-based economy’. The vision of the initiative is to create a ‘Tree-based Economy’ which will enable to mitigate climate change with economic benefits for Zambia. Growing Money from Trees!
Stop Talking. Start Acting!
For information contact Emanuel Chibesakunda at info@PlantAMillion.co.zm: +260(211)257800
When it comes to then growing list of superfoods, moringa always seems to be top of the pile.
Native to northern India, moringa oleifera has quickly become a favorite supplement among health enthusiasts. They often use it in the form of a powder, capsule, oil or tea. Unlike most plants, all parts of the moringa tree are used – the seeds, leaves and pods. While the seeds are often roasted and consumed like nuts, the leaves actually contain more nutrients. These nutrients include folate, antioxidants like phytonutrients, vitamin A, B vitamins, fiber, iron, calcium and zinc.
Aside from its nutritional value, moringa is also important for a earth-friendly standpoint. The plant has been used to not only filter water but also to improve soil fertility and conjunction with forest restoration efforts (1).
Also, moringa can grow in virtually any climate, making it accessible to individuals all over the world. In fact, the National Institute of Health once referred to it as the plant of the year in 2008 (2).
With such a rich nutritious value, one has to wonder the potential health benefits that moringa can have on the body. If that’s the case, read on to find out exactly why it could be this year’s top superfood.
Moringa health benefits
Anti – cancer properties
It seems that moringa seeds contain properties that might prevent the growth of cancer cells.
A recent study published in the International Journal of Biological Macromolecules revealed how a protein found in moringa seeds can decelerate the growth of liver cancer in both human and animal cells. Aside from chewing on the seeds, try these 7 tips to help reduce your breast cancer risk.
Boosts heart health
In regards to cardiovascular health, moderate levels of cholesterol are important. This means levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol which levels of HDL (good) cholesterol remain elevated.
According to a study published in the journal Frontier in Pharmacology, the monounsaturated fats found in moringa can help to lower high levels of LDL cholesterol. if you’re looking to boost your levels of HDL cholesterol, try eating these foods.
Maintains healthy skin and hair
Moringa contains both antioxidants and protein. This not only prevents premature aging of the skin but it also helps to strengthen both skin and hair cells.
As a beauty ingredient, it is touted for its ability to kill bacteria, reduce odor and moisturizes the skin.
Reduces elevated blood sugar levels
In regards to diabetes, high blood sugar is the biggest risk factor for this chronic disease.
Moringa contains a compound called chlorogenic acid and animal studies have revealed how this compound helped to lower blood sugar levels in diabetic rats (3). In regards to human studies, a piece published in the Journal of Food Science and Technology revealed how the daily consumption of a teaspoon of the leaf powder over a three-month period also reduced blood sugar levels.
Whether you’re drying the leaves to use as a powder, drinking the tea or chewing on its seeds – moringa is rich in antioxidants and thus it could potentially be the next big superfood.