Moringa

The Moringa Leaves with a flower from the Ecovillage Silimalombu

Scientific Name: Moringa oleifera

Bahasa Indonesian: Kelor

Batak: Kelor

Basic Information: 

Moringa oleifera is a fast-growing, drought-resistant tree of the family Moringaceae, native to the Indian subcontinent.[2] Common names include moringa,[3] drumstick tree[3] (from the long, slender, triangular seed-pods), horseradish tree[3] (from the taste of the roots, which resembles horseradish), and ben oil tree or benzolive tree[3] (from the oil which is derived from the seeds).

It is widely cultivated for its young seed pods and leaves used as vegetables and for traditional herbal medicine. It is also used for water purification.[4][5] Although listed as an invasive species in several countries, M. oleifera has “not been observed invading intact habitats or displacing native flora”, and so “should be regarded at present as a widely cultivated species with low invasive potential.” [2]

Health Benefits

Moringa tree is also known as the ‘miracle tree’ and there is a good reason why. The leaves, fruit, sap, oil, roots, bark, seeds, pod and flowers of the tree have medicinal properties. The products from the tree have many uses. It is also known as the ‘drumstick tree’. It is found mostly in Asia, Africa, and South America.

Moringa Leaves – High in Nutrients

Rich in Vitamins and Minerals
  • Moringa leaves are rich in vitamins A, C, B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B6 and Folate. They are also rich in magnesium, iron, calcium, phosphorus, and zinc.
  • One cup of moringa leaves will contain 2 grams of protein, magnesium (8 per cent of the RDA), Vitamin B6 (19 per cent of the RDA), Iron (11 per cent of the RDA), Riboflavin (11 per cent of the RDA)  and Vitamin A (9 per cent of the RDA).
Rich in Amino Acids
  • Moringa leaves are rich in amino acids, the building blocks of proteins. 18 types of amino acids are found in them and each of them makes an important contribution towards our wellbeing.
Fight Inflammation
  • Inflammation is how a body naturally responds to pain and injury. Moringa leaves are anti-inflammatory in nature due to the presence of isothiocyanates. They have niazimicin that is known to reign in the development of cancer cells. Inflammation is the root cause of many diseases like cancer, arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and many autoimmune diseases. When we suffer an injury or infection, the body suffers increased inflammation.
  • Basically, it is a protective mechanism against trauma but because of wrong lifestyle and an unhealthy diet, inflammation can increase in the body. Long-term inflammation leads to chronic health issues. Eating moringa leaves helps to reduce inflammation.
  • Read More: 10 Top Anti-Inflammatory Food to Include in Your Diet
Rich in Antioxidants
  • Moringa leaves have anti-oxidative properties and protect against the damaging effects of free radicals present in the environment. The damage caused by free radicals is responsible for many chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart problems and Alzheimer’s.
  • Moringa leaves are rich in vitamin C and beta-carotene that act against free radicals.
  • They also have Quercetin which is an antioxidant that helps to lower blood pressure. Another antioxidant that is present in moringa leaves is Chlorogenic acid which helps to stabilize blood sugar levels post meals.
  • A study in women showed that taking 1.5 teaspoons of moringa leaf powder regularly for three months had shown a significant increase in blood antioxidant levels.
Lower Blood Sugar Levels
  • Sustained high blood sugar levels lead to the development of diabetes in individuals. Diabetes, in turn, can cause heart problems and organ damage in the body. To avoid this, it is good to keep the blood sugar levels in check. Moringa leaves are a perfect resource for that as they stabilize the blood sugar levels due to the presence of isothiocyanates.
Lowers Cholesterol
  • Apart from oats, flaxseeds, and almonds, moringa leaves are a dependable remedy against high cholesterol. Cholesterol is the major reason why people suffer from heart diseases and eating moringa leaves has known to show considerable improvement against high cholesterol levels. Moringa oleifera can lower those levels and protect against the risk of heart disease
  • Read More: 6 Simple Ways to Reduce Cholesterol Levels
Protects the Liver
  • Those who have tuberculosis can benefit greatly from moringa leaves as they reduce the negative effects of anti-tubercular drugs. The leaves accelerate the repair of the liver cells. The leaves have a high concentration of polyphenols that protect against oxidative damage to the liver and may even reduce it. They increase the protein levels in the liver.
  • The liver is the site of blood detoxification, fat metabolism and for nutrient absorption and it can function properly only if the liver enzymes are normal. Moringa leaves stabilize these liver enzymes.
Protects Against Arsenic Toxicity
  • In many parts of the world, arsenic contamination is a common problem. Arsenic has found its way in our systems through many food items, particularly rice.
  • Long-term exposure to this element can lead to the development of cancer and heart disease. Research on lab animals has shown that moringa leaves combat effects of arsenic toxicity.
Good for the Stomach
  • Moringa leaves are beneficial against digestive disorders. Those who suffer from constipation, bloating, gas, gastritis and ulcerative colitis should add Moringa leaves to their diet.
  • The leaves have antibiotic and antimicrobial properties which make them an ideal remedy against digestive disorders. Even the high amount of B vitamins in the leaves helps in improving digestion.
Improves Bone health
  • Moringa leaves are rich sources of calcium and phosphorus. Both of these elements are needed for good bone health. Since moringa leaves have an anti-inflammatory nature, they help combat arthritis and may even heal bones that are damaged.
  • Moringa oleifera also fights against osteoporosis and keeps bone and teeth strong
An Antiseptic
  • Moringa leaves are antiseptic and fight off many bacterial infections. They are even beneficial towards wound healing and help to heal bruises, minor cuts, and burns quickly as they reduce the clotting time.
Improve Lactation
  • In traditional Ayurvedic medicine, moringa leaves were used to increase lactation in nursing mothers. Since they are a rich source of protein, important vitamins, and essential nutrients, consuming moringa leaves is very good for the health of the mother and the baby.
  • Helps in Weight Management
  • Moringa leaves increase fat burning in the body. They slim down the person without depleting energy reserves. This keeps the person feeling buoyant and nourished. They reduce cravings for food and boost metabolism. They also lower cholesterol.
Good for Skin and Hair
  • Due to an abundance of antioxidants and nutrients, moringa leaves improve the health and appearance of skin and hair. They add suppleness to the skin and shine to the hair. The antioxidants present in moringa leaves reduce the appearance of fine line and wrinkles on the skin. They have about 30 antioxidants present. Not just this, a paste of moringa leaves when applied to the scalp and the hair reduces dandruff and adds life and bounce to dull, lifeless hair. The leaves also strengthen the hair follicles. They are also good for acne-prone skin. This is why moringa leaves are part of many cosmetics. They improve the skin tone and add a glow due to their purifying nature and therapeutic properties.
  • Read More: 7 Home Remedies for Glowing Skin
Good for Nervous System
  • Many nervous disorders have been known to show positive results against the use of moringa leaves. They support brain health and work as neuro-enhancers. The high concentration of vitamins E and C combat neural degeneration and helps improve brain function. Those who have a migraine or suffer from recurring headaches must eat moringa leaves regularly. These leaves also work as mood balancers as they stabilize the production of neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, and noradrenaline which are important for memory, mood and for stimulus-response.
Good for Detoxification
  • Moringa leaves are natural cleansers and help to detoxify the system. This helps to keep the body and increases immunity against various infections. They also increase the energy levels in the body.

Conclusion

Moringa leaves provide a powerful punch of nutrition and have an anti-inflammatory nature. Their antioxidative properties combined with their cellular-health protective properties make them a new ‘superfood’. They suppress the production of inflammatory enzymes and lower sugar levels. Make these a regular part of your diet to reap rich health benefits.

How to plant Moringa?

There are different ways to plant Moringa. You just can take a small part of a branch and plant it to the earth. Also you can take some roots and out of this a new tree will come or you take the seeds and grow with them.

The Moringa Tree don´t need a lot. Only he don´t want to stay in the wet. He don´t needs a lot of nutrition and especially he can go around with only a little bit of water. Two month of no rain is no problem for the tree.

We made seedlings from small branches in Polybags, but also we use the seeds to make seedlings. Even in two weeks already they grow up to 5 cm and we have to give them a bigger polybag.

If you want to harvest the leaves, then you let the tree just growing only around 1,7 m high and you cut him. All the time for harvesting you cut him down to this high. then you get more then a bush and you can harvest a lot of leaves.