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.
|Analyses of the leaf composition
have revealed them to have significant quantities of vitamins
A, B and C, calcium, iron and protein. According to Optima of
Africa, Ltd., a group that has been working with the tree in
25 grams daily of Moringa Leaf Powder will give
a child the following recommended daily allowances:
Vitamin A 272%,
Vitamin C 22%.
Scientific research confirms
that these humble leaves are a powerhouse of nutritional value.
These numbers are particularly astounding;
considering this nutrition is available when other food sources
may be scarce.
Gram for gram, Moringa leaves contain:
- SEVEN times the vitamin C in oranges,
- FOUR times the Calcium in milk,
- FOUR times the vitamin A in carrots,
- TWO times the protein in milk
- THREE times the Potassium in bananas.
The Moringa tree has great use medicinally both as preventative
and treatment. Much of the evidence is anecdotal as there has been
little actual scientific research done to support these claims.
India's ancient tradition of ayurveda says the leaves of the Moringa
tree prevent 300 diseases. One area in which there has been significant
scientific research is the reported antibiotic activity of this
The immature pods are greatly
valued and widely used. The pods are extremely nutritious,
containing all the essential amino acids along with many vitamins
and other nutrients. The immature pod can be eaten raw or
prepared like green peas or green beans, while the mature
pods are usually fried and possess a peanut-like flavor.
The pods also yield 38 - 40% of non-drying,
edible oil known as Ben Oil. This oil is clear, sweet and
odorless, and never becomes rancid. Overall, its nutritional
value most closely resembles olive oil.
The leaves are
eaten as greens, in salads, in vegetable curries, as pickles
and for seasoning. They can be dried and pounded and sprinkled
over food or added to milk. Leaves and young branches are
relished by livestock. In developing tropical countries.
Moringa trees have been used
to combat malnutrition, especially among infants and nursing
on the video links to view a You Tube video on Moringa 'The