The Moringa oleifera tree also known as the Horseradish or Drumstick tree is one of the most underutilized of tropical crops. The tree is native to India but has been planted all around the world. Order the finest Moringa seeds here!
This tree is known by many names worldwide. In the Philippines, it is called Malunggay and Marungay. The Haitian people call it Benzolive, in Punjab, it is known as Surajana. In Nicaragua, it is called Marango.
How about some more names for Moringa? Okay, here they are: Ben Oil Tree, Murunga, Sojina, Murungai Maram, Sahjan, Brède Mouroum, Saragvo, Kelor, Shobhanjana.
Moringa trees grow best at temperatures between 77 and 95 degrees F. They can even deal with a light frost! Moringa prefers a well-drained sandy loam or loam soil, but tolerates clay. It will not survive under prolonged flooding and poor drainage. Moringa can grow in a soil pH range between 5.0–8.0.
Grow trees in full sun for best growth and production of leaves, flowers and pods.
Irrigate newly transplanted trees immediately to promote early root development. When planting during the dry season irrigate regularly if temperatures are high and less when temperatures drop below 60 degrees F. Once established, Moringa rarely need watering. The well-rooted tree tolerates drought and needs irrigation only when persistent wilting is evident.
Moringa trees are fast growers and can be harvested while just five or six feet tall. Harvesting is done by cutting away two feet from the tops and drying the leaves in the shade. Trees also bear flowers that produce bean pods also called drumsticks.
Container grown trees need more attention to watering and temperature variations. Do not over water your container grown tree! Root rot can come on very quickly. This is especially true if the tree is planted in a pot that is way too big for its root system. Transplant gradually from 1 gal to 3 gal to 7 gal etc.
Food & Nutritional Value:
In many parts of the world the leaves of the tree and its beans are cooked and eaten by the locals. Many people in the United States and Europe take Moringa leaf powder in capsule form for better health. A standard capsule generally contains 500 mg of pure Moringa leaf extract. Moringa leaf is believed to be a remedy for hypertension and lowering cholesterol.
The dried leaves are made into powder and also added to stews, salads and other foods to increase the amount of protein in the meal. Many sources also claim that the powder helps to increase lactation and fortify mother’s breast milk. When adding fresh leaves to salad you should rinse them off with clean water. Some people blanch the leaves for about three minutes in boiling water to reduce any potential pathogens.
The pods are extremely nutritious and they contain essential amino acids, vitamins and minerals. The immature pod can be eaten raw or prepared like green peas or green beans. Mature pods are usually fried and have a flavor much like peanuts. Immature green pods are often preferred to mature beans. The pods also yield edible oil known as Ben Oil. This oil is odorless, clear and sweet.
Moringa leaves contain:
Seven times the vitamin C in oranges.
Four times the Calcium in milk.
Four times the vitamin A of a carrot.
Twice the protein in milk.
Three times the Potassium in a banana.
They also provide high levels of Iron, Magnesium, vitamin B and minerals.
Many people use the root as a substitute for horseradish. This is not a good idea! The roots contain powerful alkaloids and they can cause severe poisoning.
Other uses of the powder and beans are in water purification.
Moringa can also be used as animal feed and as a green manure for organic gardening. The composted leaves and stems make an excellent fertilizer. Moringa leaves provide all of the essential amino acids necessary for human well being. It is an excellent balanced vegetarian source of usable calcium.
Moringa leaf extract contains a plant growth hormone, called Zeatin. Zeatin has been reported to increase yields by 25-30% for nearly any crop.
A fresh juice may be prepared from fresh moringa leaves and used as a foliar nutritional spray. Zeatin is a plant hormone from the cytokinins group. This foliar spray should be used in addition to a balanced nutritional fertilizer program containing NPK and minerals. Tomato plants benefit tremendously from the calcium provided by the Moringa. Calcium helps to prevent blossom end rot in tomatoes.
How to prepare a foliar nutritional by using moringa leaves:
5 lbs of leaves mixed with 5 cups of water and strained in a cloth. Collect all the juice and mix at the rate of 1:8 spray all parts of plants a few hours before sundown. Be sure to spray under and over the leaves of your crops. Use this spray about one week after seedlings emerge and once per month before plants begin to flower. Are you interested in an amazing compost tea that contains Moringa? Check out Organikthrive!
Antifungal and Antibacterial Compounds of Moringa:
It may be surprising to you, that Moringa trees have been researched in India since the 1940's. They are truly amazing trees in so many ways.
Let me share with you what I discovered a few weeks ago. This is real life, real world, hands on experimentation on my Moringa trees.
All knowledge is based on trial and error. Anything you do based on this information is at your own risk. Do not play doctor on yourself. The information below is intended for your consideration in treating plant diseases not any human, animal disease etc. Call your doctor for that!
Okay? Good! Now think about this.
Moringa contains the compounds benzyl glucosinolate and isothiocyanate. You may also find mention of a compound referred to as pterygospermin. These compound are found mainly in the seeds, flowers and roots of the moringa tree. Moringa extracts are believed to be very powerful antibacterial, and antifungal remedies.
I have used the juice extracted from moringa roots on branches and trunks of trees to heal some nasty infections. Recently, I treated a young Soursop tree suffering from what I believe was a fungal bark disease. The Soursop tree had a black tar oozing from the main central trunk approximately two feet above the soil. Based on my own research and my own speculation, I applied the moringa root extract three times a week for three weeks. Amazingly the tar like substance slowed and stopped completely by week two. The Soursop tree is doing great now and all you can notice is a slight indent at the site of the disease. Consider using moringa extracted from the root on cankers and other fungal/bacterial diseases. I think you will find similar results. Let me know your results and let's advance the power of natural remedies to heal and prevent diseases.
Fahey JW, AT Zalcmann, and P Talalay (2001)
Dayrit FM, AD Alcantar, and IM Villasenor (1990)
Eilert U (1978) Antibiotic principles of seeds of Moringa oleifera. Indian Medical Journal
Other common names for Moringa trees
Drumstick tree, Horseradish tree, Mother’s best friend, West Indian ben
Ben, Árbol del ben, Morango, Moringa, Palo de aceiti, Palo de Libertad, Angela, Marango, Palo Jeringa, Teberinto, Perlas, Maranga calalu, Marango, Jacinto, Resada
France: Bèn ailé, Benzolive, Moringa
Benin, Patima, Burkina Faso, Kag n’dongue, Aleko, Haleko, Hevu-ti, Zingerindende, Mronge, Zôgla gandi, Ewe ile, Bagaruwar maka, Neverday, Sap-Sa,p Dangap, Mlonge, Baganlua, Yovovoti, Mupulanga
Cambodia: Ben ailé
India: Sahjan, Murunga, Moonga
Sri Lanka: Murunga
Taiwan: La Mu