The nutritional advantages of Moringa have been valued for centuries in several parts of the planet as a highly nourishing dietary food source. The leaves are among those special green superfoods that exemplify the healing strength of chlorophyll-rich plants.
Moringa is actually a tree species, Moringa oleifera, native to tropical climates where it grows rapidly producing a viable food for indigenous populations.
It is prized as a multi-purpose tree with all parts being usable either as a raw or cooked nutriment, medicine or as a water purification additive. The leaves are often the most common part used as an edible green, dried and ground into a powder that can then be added to various foods and drinks.
The whole leaf powder is essentially a natural plant-based mineral, amino acid and multivitamin complex with an impressive selection of nutritive components, extensively researched for its polyphenol content, antioxidant properties and usefulness as a natural anti-inflammatory agent.
Although used in the past as a traditional folk cure for various health issues, government agencies in developing countries, specifically in parts of West Africa, have taken steps in recent years to reintroduce Moringa cultivation to suburban villages experiencing malnutrition.
Due to these efforts, Moringa is now available to these communities for use as a vitamin-mineral supplement that is quite effective at balancing nutritional uptake needed for greater dietary balance. The leaves are harvested and steamed as a green vegetable, but are also dried and ground into a powder utilized in sauces, soups and cooked grains.
The original species of Moringa is native to the Himalayas of northwestern India. Sometimes called “shigru”, it is famed in Ayurvedic legends to “prevent 300 diseases.” In some parts of India the leaves and pods are still used as a household vegetable and ingredient in soups and chutneys.
While Moringa has been used worldwide as a nutritional supplement in impoverished countries, it has only recently become fashionable for use as a health enhancing herb amongst modern industrialized societies.
Adding some kind of green powdered superfood to the diet on a regular basis can be very good for short term as well as long term health.
What exactly is Moringa?
Moringa is a simple, yet elegant looking, leafy green tree with drooping branches and tiny rounded leaves. There are up to 14 species of the genus Moringa but Moringa oleifera (also referred to as M. pterygosperma), coming from the family Moringaceae, is believed to be of a better quality. The Ethiopian M. stenopetala species from the same family is native to Kenya and also contains similar components to that of M. oleifera.
All Moringa thrives in subtropical and tropical climate zones as well as hot, dry climates, but can be cultivated in many other regions of the planet where moderate temperatures persist. It is a fast growing plant and, in the ultimate weather conditions, the leaves can be harvested only 2 weeks after planting and will continue to produce edible leaves through the entire entire year. It is a drought-resistant tree and prefers sandy dry soil.
Although Moringa goes by lots of different names around the globe, some of the common English nicknames are drumstick tree or horseradish tree. These names refer to a certain aspect of the roots which taste a little like horseradish, and the long bean-like seed pod that resembles the shape of a drumstick.
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