In late autumn I bought two Moringa trees, one for my garden and one for our helper. This miracle tree is something I have wanted to grow for myself for quite some time. We had spoken about the benefits of the plant a few weeks before and I was also given some Moringa skin cream a couple of years ago at a conference on bioprospecting. The cream worked great, but due to the fresh ingredients and zero preservatives, it smelt very vegetable like and had to be used within a couple of months.
In any event I brought the two little plants home in autumn but I managed to snap the top right off of mine while transporting it from the garden centre. I decided to keep it going in the pot in the hopes that one of the lower little nubs would sprout. They did but grew very slowly in winter.
In early spring I transplanted it from the nursery bag into one of my pots with feet, from Tarlton Flower Palace. I used a mixture of perlite, potting soil and a bit of manure as growing medium. As soon as we got warm weather, my plant took off like gang busters! It is now bigger than when I originally bought it.
I’ve used the plant so far in the following ways:
– Dried & fresh leaves sprinkled on food while cooking
– Added fresh leaves to salads
– Added to smoothies
The leaves are pretty bland tasting so they don’t affect the flavor of anything I add them to.
So what are the benefits of Moringa? They are too many for me to name, so I’ll let WebMD fill you in.
Moringa is a plant that is native to the sub-Himalayan areas of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan. It is also grown in the tropics. The leaves, bark, flowers, fruit, seeds, and root are used to make medicine.
Moringa is used for “tired blood” (anemia); arthritis and other joint pain (rheumatism); asthma; cancer; constipation; diabetes; diarrhea; epilepsy; stomach pain; stomach and intestinal ulcers; intestinal spasms; headache; heart problems; high blood pressure; kidney stones; fluid retention; thyroid disorders; and bacterial, fungal, viral, and parasitic infections.
Moringa is also used to reduce swelling, increase sex drive (as an aphrodisiac), prevent pregnancy, boost the immune system, and increase breast milk production. Some people use it as a nutritional supplement or tonic.
Moringa is sometimes applied directly to the skin as a germ-killer or drying agent (astringent). It is also used topically for treating pockets of infection (abscesses), athlete’s foot, dandruff, gum disease (gingivitis), snakebites, warts, and wounds.
Oil from moringa seeds is used in foods, perfume, and hair care products, and as a machine lubricant.
Moringa is an important food source in some parts of the world. Because it can be grown cheaply and easily, and the leaves retain lots of vitamins and minerals when dried, moringa is used in India and Africa in feeding programs to fight malnutrition. The immature green pods (drumsticks) are prepared similarly to green beans, while the seeds are removed from more mature pods and cooked like peas or roasted like nuts. The leaves are cooked and used like spinach, and they are also dried and powdered for use as a condiment.
The seed cake remaining after oil extraction is used as a fertilizer and also to purify well water and to remove salt from seawater.
How does it work?
Moringa contains proteins, vitamins, and minerals. As an antioxidant, it seems to help protect cells from damage.