What is the Moringa Tree?
Moringa Oleifera, also known as the moringa tree, the drumstick tree or the horseradish tree, is a small tree that is native to the foothills of the mighty Himalayan mountains in the northern part of India. For thousands of years, this small tree has been cultivated by different cultures throughout India and Africa because of its health benefits.
One of the biggest benefits of the moringa tree is that it can be grown in extremely arid regions where rainfall is in limited supply. It also tolerates a wide range of soils and can be grown in regions ranging from old, depleted pasture land to lands bordering desertification.
The moringa tree has been planted by peasant communities around the world, from arid regions in India and Africa to dry regions throughout Central America and Mexico. As it has gained popularity as a superfood, many people in the global north have also begun to add small moringa trees to their greenhouses.
Furthermore, the moringa tree has no known major pests meaning that it can quickly be established as a perennial tree crop that can be added to different agroforestry systems. The tender leaves and drumsticks are a favorite part of many eastern cuisines and a unique “green” flavor. The root of the moringa tree can also be consumed and has a flavor resembling horseradish. The seeds themselves can also be eaten for a wide range of health benefits that we will explore below.
All of the parts of the tree mentioned above are not only edible for humans, but also can be used as a fodder or forage crop for animals. The high protein content of the leaves make it an excellent supplement to homemade chicken feed and will help produce healthier eggs with bright orange yolks. If you have several moringa trees, you can also harvest the seed pods and feed them fresh to your cows, goats, sheep or other large animals.
In summary, then, the moringa tree is a multi-use tree that thrives in otherwise difficult growing conditions where arid conditions and nutrient depleted soils are prevalent. Almost every part of the tree (except the bark and wood) is edible and offers excellent nutrition to both humans and domestic animals.
Health Benefits of Moringa
• 25 times the Iron of Spinach
• 4 times the Protein of eggs
• 15 times the Potassium of Bananas
• 17 times the Calcium of Milk
• 10 times the Vitamin A of Carrots
• 7 times the Vitamin C of Oranges
• 10 times the Omega 3 of Salmon
In the last two decades different scientific and nutritional studies of the moringa tree have confirmed what these peasant populations have known for generations: that the moringa tree is loaded with incredible nutritional benefits.
The Phillipino people have used it for generations as a daily additive to stews, salads etc. and especially for anyone ill or a lactating mother to build their immune systems up and have good milk for the babies.
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