If there's just about anything that Covid-19 has helped us see, it's that our country's standing can quickly break down if there are troubles with the food supply.
So while most Americans still don't know the ugliness of malnutrition in it's most raw form, we still struggle with so many illnesses that have Hippocrates retort with: "Are you all getting the proper nutrition you can so you stay healthy?"
Which leads us to the humble but miraculous moringa tree, a tree which has been popular for
many years due to its rich medicinal properties and health benefits.
It has anti-inflammatory, antifungal, and antidepressant qualities, and can be used as a nutritional dietary supplement so much better than the average multivitamin.
For these reasons, Moringa is sometimes referred to as the miracle tree, ben oil tree, the drumstick tree, or even the "Never Die" Tree.
The tree is native to India but also grows in Asia, Sub-Sahara Africa, and South America.
Currently, there are thirteen species of Moringa, which vary in size; there are leafy shrubs and tall trees. The most commonly known species is the Moringa oleifera, which is a small and fast-growing tree which is truly changing the face of the planet.
medicine growth factors, animal feed, dyes, and tannins (for commercial and industrial use), natural pesticides, and even water purification.
Moringa as a Superfood
This miracle tree has copious health benefits. Although every part of the tree is edible, the commonly used parts are the seeds, leaves, and flowers. Due to its nutritional benefits, people are encouraged to use the Moringa to curb hunger and malnutrition, especially in regions where the crops struggle to grow due to drought.
Moringa is a life-saving organism in many ways. Not only is the whole tree edible, it also grows very well with little water and soil.
Additionally, the moringa tree can provide income to those who farm it for it's other uses.
Why is this? The moringa tree isn't just about food. It also provides medicine, This makes it sustainable, and highly nutritious with it being used to fight hunger and help the most vulnerable, like poor pregnant women, give abundant, healthy life to another generation.
Indeed whole societies have been formed around the tree with the tiny leaves, and societies continue to be formed and nurtured by this precious gift.
Naturally, one would want to preserve a gift so precious, so there is a good way to store the leaves, the most nutritious part of the plant.
While dried Moringa leaves can last up to 6 months, this part of the plant is best stored in powder form. The powder offers a back-up nutrition source for families living in marginalized areas. Taking two tablespoons a day can help battle malnutrition.
Make Moringa Powder Yourself
To make the powder, you need to:
Harvest the healthy, dark green leaves.
Remove the stems
Dry the leaves
Grind in a grinder or blender
Store the powder for years!
Taking advantage of moringa extracts is not limited to people living in disadvantaged regions. It's a medicinal plant that you can't afford to miss regardless of where you live. The plant gives you the following nutritional benefits:
Has 18 different antioxidants and is full of essential amino acids.
The leaves are rich in Vitamin A, B, and C, minerals, and protein. You can eat them dried, fresh, or cooked. The leaves have similar quantities of Vitamin C as oranges and more potassium than bananas.
The seeds are usually roasted, fermented, cooked, or ground into flour. They are rich in proteins, lipids, and fiber. Moringa seeds have twice the amount of Vitamin A as carrots, and the calcium amount is nine times that of milk.
Even the flowers are rich in minerals and vitamins.
Other than the nutritional benefits, Moringa seeds are useful when purifying water. The seeds have flocculating and coagulating properties that make organic matter present in water to form sediments and settle at the bottom of the filter. After sedimentation, the water can be purified, further making it suitable for consumption.
The seed pods are also used to remove organic pollutants and pesticides from wastewater.
These facts are extremely important as civilization is at a crossroads.
Overa billion people lack clean drinking water access: more than 1 of every 10 people on the planet. Women and girls spend an estimated 200 million hours carrying water every day. The average woman in rural Africa walks almost 5 miles each day to haul 40 pounds of water.
But fresh water is an essential ingredient for all of human life. And now over 2.7 billion experience water scarcity at least one month a year. By 2025, two-thirds of the world's population may be facing water shortages based on current projections.
We need the sustainability and versatility of moringa as a water purifier more than ever.
Moringa seeds make some of the best, high-quality oil. Commonly known as Ben Oil or Oil of Ben because of its high concentration of behenic acid, Moringa oil boasts an array of benefits.
It can be used in the biodiesel and cosmetics industry to manufacture great skin conditioner, thanks to its natural hydrating properties. It also does not go rancid easily and is thus used to make Moringa cooking oil, which is oxidation resistant and is more stable than oils obtained from other seeds. Besides, once the oil is extracted, the residue can be used to make organic fertilizers.
Medicinal Uses of Moringa
Moringa extracts are rich in bioactive plant compounds and healthy antioxidants. That makes it useful when it comes to treating high blood pressure, bacterial infections, digestive problems, and wounds as well as nourish hair and skin.
It can also treat some stomach complaints, such as gastritis, ulcerative colitis, and constipation. The antibacterial and antibiotic properties of Moringa can help inhibit the growth of different pathogens, and its high content of vitamin B helps with digestion.
Recent studies show that Moringa leaf extracts are also useful in treating anxiety and depression, and have anti-cancer and anti-diabetic properties too.
Moringa as a Sustainable Food Source
Moringa grows in little to no rainfall areas, making it a reliable food source for people living in areas prone to drought. It can thrive in areas where other crops develop stunted growth due to extreme heat, poor soil, and lack of adequate water supply.
Individuals living in semi-arid and arid areas are encouraged to plant Moringa trees to take advantage of its relentless food source. The crop boasts nutritional and medicinal qualities, making it useful to people who do not have access to enough food supply throughout the year.
How to add Moringa to your diet:
Besides eating from the tree itself, there are many Moringa products available in health food stores that you can incorporate in your diet. You will mostly find Moringa in powder form, although there are other products like tea, wellness shots, and energy bars. You can add the powder to soups, salads, drinks, and smoothies.
You can also roast the seeds or cook them with the leaves, or mix the seeds with other cereals to increase the nutrient value of your meal. Besides, Moringa oil is one of the best cooking oil in the market.
Moringa Tree Reforestation
The great news is that moringa grows fast and can reach almost 10 feet within the first year, and up to 30 feet when it's fully mature. People living in areas without enough tree cover are encouraged to plant this miracle tree to promote reforestation. Planting Moringa trees can benefit the soil, making it healthier for farming in the future.
Many regions of the world are experiencing deforestation, including South America (Brazil), Southeast Asia (Indonesia), Eastern Europe, and Central Africa (Congo). These areas can significantly benefit from planting Moringa trees to increase their food security, income, and replenish the nutrients lost in the soil.
Imagine spreading this secret knowledge to combat the depletion of our tropical forests!
Moringa to Help Eliminate Poverty
Moringa is considered to be a high-value export product. In fact, several companies are investing in educating their customers on the benefits of growing Moringa as an export product that can help generate income. Instead of relying on aid, farmers are getting empowered to earn from planting Moringa. They can sell the tree they harvest and use the proceeds to improve their lives.
Moringa is a high nutrient plant that has more benefits than most plants do. Often described as the new kale, it's rich in essential minerals, vitamins, phytochemicals, and highly-digestible proteins. Unlike leafy greens like spinach, almost all the parts of this plant can be used for different purposes, can purify water, and grows where most vegetables won't.
Moringa, unlike other greens, is low in soluble oxalates, so one can quickly restore one's body with maximum nutrition, as one takes advantage of the body's built-in immune system and ability to heal.
Finally, compared to other superfoods, moringa is very affordable. You are really missing out if you aren't making it part of your diet.
Would you like to learn more about moringa or even see if it's right to incorporate into your diet? Michael DiSalvo of Coconut Country Living has written a free e-book with all sorts of moringa research, hacks, and recipes, so you can enjoy your moringa in everything from yogurt, to chocolate to muffins, so pick some up today.