Moringa Tree Of Life
It is reported to be a very hardy plant that can grow in very dry climates, though it will grow bigger and faster with more water. With proper care and watering they can grow up to 16 feet in a year. It is recommended however, to cut it back and keep it short and bushy for ease of harvesting the leaves and pods.
The tender young pods (referred to as drumsticks) can be cooked like asparagus. Older green pods can be cooked much like okra, and the inner flesh scraped out and eaten. I recommend eating the leaves sparingly raw as they are very potent. They can accent a salad or be cooked like collards or other greens. The leaves can be dried and powdered and used in drinks or teas. So it has a myriad of ways that it can be consumed and enjoyed.
Caution: Moringa flowers can act as an abortifacient so do not use in pregnancy. The flower buds and blossoms should be cooked. They can be made into a tea, as well as fried by themselves or battered and fried. The flowers can be used as a natural pesticide, as insects and other pests are repelled by the flower essence.
Seeds can be used to purify water.
Every part of Moringa Oleifera is useful. Many parts of the tree have traditionally been used for treating many diseases like lung diseases, hypertension, chest infections, everyday aches and pains as well as skin infections.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has undertaken scientific researches on the moringa plant, and has come to the conclusion that it is extremely nutritional and medicinal. The benefits have also been documented in some medical and nutritional journals as well.
Moringa Oleifera is among the popular power greens such as wheat grass, chlorella and spirulina. Moringa is rich in minerals like potassium, iron, calcium, and sulfur, as well as B vitamins and many amino acids, including all of the essential amino acids. Its nutritional profile is competitive with any beneficial plant on the planet.
We Are What We Eat
Modern food processing and farming methods have robbed much of our food of the nutritive qualities that make it healthy for our bodies. With the advent of big agribusiness (mega-corporate farming), the use of pesticides, fungicides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers have significantly increased crop yields, but this heavy use of chemicals has produced fruits and vegetables that are not as high in nutrients as they have been historically.
The fact that our food is less nutritious is made worse when you consider what happens to food once it leaves the farm. For convenience, safety and marketing purposes, food is subjected to all kinds of preserving, irradiating, heating and treating that changes the nature of food from its natural state. Most major food companies pay more attention to packaging and marketing than the preservation of the nutritional content of the food.
We believe that through the growing of Moringa along with other organic foods, one can achieve nutritional freedom and return to an era when the food we eat is pure and unadulterated. Moringa may be the closest thing to a multi-vitamin in a single plant source, helping to fill in any gaps that may exist in one's normal diet, thus helping to provide one with all of the nutrition one needs to live a long and healthy life. And it is relatively maintenance free.
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“He who plants a tree, plants a hope.”
Lucy Larcou – “Plant a Tree”
Growing and Harvesting Moringa
Cultivation of Moringa Seeds – Plant seeds one inch deep; keep the soil moist after planting. As there is much genetic diversity among Moringa Oleifera, sprouting can occur within a week or as long as two or three weeks. We have also observed seeds germinating faster in warm weather than cool. Seedlings grow rapidly, reaching 9-15 inches in a couple months. Cutting off the tops of the trees to a height of 3-4½ feet encourages branching and bushing at lower stem positions. Moringa prefers well drained soils and has high drought resistant but is not cold tolerant. Temperatures below 35 degrees Fahrenheit will cause it to die back to ground level or even kill the plant altogether if the roots are allowed to freeze. Moringa trees are prolific and can grow up to 15 -20 feet in a year.
Harvesting Moringa trees – Harvest very young whole plants, young leaves and even older leaflets and flowers for food. Pick the slender young pods (referred to as drumsticks) for eating whole like asparagus, or boil the older pods and then the seeds and the white, fleshy interior can be scooped out and consumed. Repeatedly prune the older flowering branches to stimulate production of new branch shoots.
For more information about Moringa, visit this website, Trees for Life, a non profit organization dedicated to raising awareness about this miracle tree:
About the Moringa Oleifera Tree