Moringa: the properties, uses and how to plant the tree that we should all have in the garden

The Moringa is a tree the subject of studies in different parts of the world and some believe that every garden should own one. Here because.

Moringa oleifera, simply known as moringa, is a tree native to northern India. It grows in almost all types of soil, even in conditions of high aridity, which makes this plant a resource for the populations who live in dry areas often subject to famines that make food supply difficult.

There are 13 species of moringa trees in the world, the most common being Moringa stenopetala and Moringa oleifera. But why would this tree be so precious?

Index

  • Properties of moringa
  • How to use moringa (in the kitchen and not)
  • How to grow moringa

Properties of moringa

The peculiarity of the leaves and seeds of this edible plant lies in its high nutritional value . In fact, moringa has:

  • Seven times more vitamin C than oranges
  • Four times more vitamin A than carrot
  • Four times more calcium than in cow’s milk
  • Three times more iron than spinach
  • Twice as much protein as yogurt
  • Three times the amount of potassium compared to bananas

The dry powder obtained from moringa leaves is very rich in protein (27% by weight), vitamin A, calcium (2 g per 100 g of dry leaf powder), potassium and vitamin C (17 mg per 100 grams) . It also contains all the essential amino acids.

It is therefore a plant food that we can consider a superfood and appreciated as a supplement all over the world where it is consumed mainly in the form of powder.

There are also several benefits that can be found following the intake of extracts of this plant so dear to popular medicine, especially that typical of the areas where moringa is more easily found. Among the advantages that this plant offers we mention:

  • Better circulation
  • Rebalanced metabolism
  • Anti-inflammatory principles
  • Prevent cellular aging
  • Normalize blood pressure
  • Faster digestion
  • Strengthened immune system
  • Regulation of hormone levels
  • Prevent Diabetes
  • Facilitate sleep
  • Aphrodisiac power

How to use moringa (in the kitchen and not)

The taste of moringa is pleasant and its parts can be eaten raw (especially the leaves and flowers) or cooked in various ways (for example in stews). The flowers are rich in carbohydrates and taste good, the leaves can be used to make juices and have a slightly spicy flavor that lends itself well to making different recipes.

Fruits in the form of green pods can be cooked and taste similar to beans, when ripe they are generally boiled with a little salt. The roots of the tree are also edible and somewhat reminiscent of carrots.

Since nothing is thrown away from this tree, there are those who consider Moringa a plant that promises to end world hunger.

The powder that is available in well-stocked herbalists or online can be used to make juices, extracts or infusions or can be added to the foods we commonly consume as a condiment. There is also moringa in the form of a supplement in capsules to be taken as needed.

An oil rich in unsaturated fatty acids is extracted from the seeds of the tree and has many possible uses. It can be used in the preparation of salads but can even serve as fuel for lamps. It is also grown as an important resource for producing quality biodiesel with good yields per hectare.

Few people know that the pods and seeds of the plant are also useful for water purification. In fact, they contain a cationic polyelectrolyte that has proven effective in water treatment (especially for the elimination of turbidity) by replacing other substances and with the advantage of being completely biodegradable.

According to laboratory tests conducted by researchers from the Institute of Agricultural Sciences of the Federal University of Minas Gerais, moringa can eliminate up to 99% of waste present in water. The secret lies in the seed which contains oil and some special proteins and which when squeezed turns into a powder capable of attracting bacteria, other organisms, silt and clay. In this regard, watch the following video:

In agriculture, moringa leaves are useful as fertilizer and fungicide and serve as fodder for animals. Wood, on the other hand, can be used as firewood or for the production of high quality paper.

To deepen the knowledge of moringa read also:

  • MORINGA OLEIFERA: PROPERTIES, BENEFITS AND USES OF THE “MIRACULOUS TREE”
  • MORINGA: FROM ITS SEEDS AN ANCIENT METHOD TO PURIFY WATER AND MAKE IT DRINKABLE

How to grow moringa

It is clear that moringa is a tree with a thousand potential and very versatile. Will it also adapt to our climate? Why not try planting it in pots or directly in the garden?

First of all, it must be specified that moringa can only grow in areas where the temperature does not drop below 10 °. If planted in pots, therefore, in the cold season it must necessarily be moved to a sheltered place, taking care to keep the roots protected above all. The good thing is that it adapts to all types of soil as long as they are well drained (in fact it is known to resist drought very well but not as much humidity).

To plant it starting from the seeds it is recommended to first immerse them in water for one night and then bury them at a depth of 1 cm in a pot of at least 12 cm in diameter. Within a maximum of 20 days you will see your Moringa plant appear, but remember that it needs sun and that it must be kept away from the wind.

 

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