Moringa, or drumstick tree, is often called “miraculous tree”, “elixir tree”, or “mother’s best friend” in various part of the world as it meets all the nutritional needs, takes care of health. It even purifies water.
Moringa tree is a native plant of Northern India and since 2000 B.C. it has been described as a medicinal herb. It is in the family “Moringaceae”. It is a slender tree with drooping branches and grows around 7-11 meter in height. The wood trunk is brittle. It has oval-shaped leaves with small size in a single stalk. Moringa can grow well in the semiarid tropical and subtropical area. Its flower is white yellowish midrib hood brass and green flowers.
Moringa is common in India, where its triangular ribbed pods with winged seeds are used as a vegetable crop. It is particularly suitable for dry regions. The drumstick can be grown using rainwater without expensive irrigation techniques. The tree can be grown even on land covered with 10–90 cm of mud.
In developing tropical countries, Moringa trees have been used to combat malnutrition, especially among infants and lactating mothers. Three non-governmental organisations in particular – Trees for Life, Church World Service and Educational Concerns for Hunger Organisation – advocate Moringa as “natural nutrition” for the tropics. Leaves can be eaten fresh, cooked, or stored as dried powder for many months without refrigeration, and without loss of nutritional value. Moringa is especially promising as a food source in the tropics because the tree is in full leaf at the end of the dry season when other foods are typically scarce.
Scientific research confirms that these humble leaves are a powerhouse of nutritional value. In each gram, moringa leaves contain seven times the vitamin C in oranges, four times the calcium in milk, four times the vitamin A in carrots, twice times the protein in milk and three times the potassium in bananas!
Moringa contains more than 90 nutrients and 46 types of antioxidants. With all the health benefits of moringa, it can easily be termed as the most nutritious plant up on planet earth! It can be consumed by small children and adults alike. Therefore, it is being used in porridge, pastas and breads.
Moringa in Ayurveda
According to Ayurveda, its properties (guna) are: light (laghu), dry (rooksha) and sharp (tikshna). Its taste (rasa) is pungent (katu) and bitter (tikta). Its potency (virya) is hot (ushna). It has no toxic effect when consumed in normal dosage. According to Ayurvedic scriptures, it can be used against around 300 diseases.
It is Vata and Kapha suppressant. Due to its hot potency it is helpful in relieving pain and inflammation. It is also helpful against infections in the body. It is very much effective in stimulating the nervous system. Due to pungent taste it is effective in treating the digestive disorders, worm infestation, and constipation.
It stimulates heart and it increases the blood density because of its hot potency. It is also a good antitussive and helps remove extra mucus in the respiratory tract because of its bitter nature. It is helpful in maintaining the proper menstrual cycle due to hot potency. It is also very good against skin related problems as it generates sweat in the body.
Inside the Kitchen Drumsticks are used to prepare a variety of curries in south India Weste Bengal as in neighboring Bangladesh. It is made into a variety of curry dishes by mixing with coconut, poppy seeds, and mustard. Sometimes the drumsticks are boiled until they are semi-soft and consumed directly without any extra processing or cooking. It is used in curries, sambars, khormas, and dals etc. It is also used to add flavor to cutlets, etc. In Maharashtra, the pods are used in sweet and sour curries called aamatee.
Tender drumstick leaves are used to make many dishes. Finely chopped leaves are used as garnish for vegetable dishes, dals, sambars, salads, etc. It is also used in place of or along with coriander, as these leaves have high medicinal value. In some regions the flowers are gathered and cleansed to be cooked with besan to make pakoras.
Moringa as folk medicine around the world
- Rub the leaves against temple to relieve headache.
- A poultice of fresh leaves can stop bleeding from a shallow cut.
- Against gastric ulcers and diarrhea, a tea is made of its leaves.
- It is widely used against malnutrition.
- Dried Moringa leaves treat diarrhea in Malawi, Africa
- Flower juice enhances the quantity and the quality of mothers’ milk.
- Flower juice is used for urinary problems as it encourages urination
- In Haiti, villagers boil Moringa flowers in water and drink the tea to relieve cold.
- Villagers in Oman use Moringa oil to treat stomach disorders. They also use it in perfume and hair oil.
- The roots and bark are used for cardiac and circulatory problems, as a tonic and for inflammation.
- The bark is an appetizer and digestive.
- The gum is diuretic, astringent and abortifacient and it is also used against asthma
- The drumstick seeds are used as a sexual virility drug for treating erectile dysfunction in men and also in women for prolonging sexual activity.
Moringa leaf – a wonderful healer!
- High presence of vitamin A; helps vision, fights blindness.
- Rich source of Vitamin C, calcium, protein, potassium, zinc, iron and essential amino acids. Boosts immunity
- Absolutely safe and organic. Has no proven bad effects.
- Natural enhancer of energy levels for longer duration.
- Remarkable source of nutrition.
- Anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory. Heals wounds, insect bites, ulcers and tumors.
- Fruit extract or powder can heal bacterial or fungal skin complaints.
- Reduces arthritis pain and inflammations.
- Controls blood pressure and promotes good sleep.
- Heals the skin problems and
- Has detoxifying effect, can purify water.