What is Moringa actually?
Young Moringa treeOriginally, the Moringa tree comes from the Himalayas, but is now widespread and known worldwide and is also known as horseradish tree due to its sharp taste.
The Moringas grow very fast and need only little water. They grow up to six metres a year and produce up to 5,000 seeds. The tree is also almost undemanding with regard to the soil.
The special feature is that every part of the plant is suitable for human consumption.
In addition, the Moringa tree contains more nutrients than any other plant on earth.
In India, Moringa has been used for over 5000 years. Already in the Vedas, the ancient Indian scriptures, Moringa is mentioned. It has special significance here in Ayurvedic medicine. Ayurveda is the science of life and uses Moringa for more than 300 diseases. Examples include asthma, bacterial infections and diabetes. For Ayurveda, the tree is the perfect remedy. There are now more than 700 studies demonstrating the versatile positive health effects of Moringa and no side effects are known to this day.
Through trade relations, Moringa became known and popular with the Romans about 2000 years ago.
In Jamaica in 1817 an application was made for the cultivation of Moringa and shortly thereafter approved in the House of Representatives. Since then, the plant has become indispensable here too.
Meanwhile, Moringa is known almost worldwide and all humanity can benefit from this particular plant.
In Europe, Moringa is sold mainly in the form of powder.
First a short summary of the most important nutrients:
The leaves of the miracle tree contain various vitamins.
These include on the one hand beta-carotene (vitamin A), which among other things is responsible for the growth, the visual process, as well as for the development of skin and mucous membranes. But also for the metabolism, this vitamin is indispensable.
Different B vitamins - B vitamins have a variety of tasks. For example, vitamin B1 and B3 are important for the nervous system, vitamin B2 has an important function for the metabolism.
Vitamin C is also water-soluble and performs some tasks in the cardiovascular system. Important: Vitamin C is responsible for calcium and iron intake and strengthens the connective tissue.
Vitamin E has antioxidant properties and is also essential for the skin and hair.
This vitamin should not go unmentioned either. It can prevent vascular calcifications and thus has a preventive effect.
Many different antioxidants have been found in the Moringa leaves. But what are antioxidants? Almost every day we hear this term or read it on different product packaging. However, few people know what antioxidants actually are and do in our body.
Antioxidants prevent oxidative stress by trapping free radicals that could otherwise damage the cells. In simple terms, this means that antioxidants protect the body's cells.
Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids:
These fatty acids are essential, which means that our bodies cannot synthesize them on their own and we therefore need to take them up with food. They perform important tasks in our immune system and play an important role in hormone and protein synthesis, among other things.
Essential amino acids:
Altogether there are eight essential amino acids, all of which could be detected in the leaves of the Moringa tree. Amino acids are the building blocks for proteins (proteins) and are therefore significantly involved in muscle building and indispensable for the human organism.
Minerals and trace elements:
Numerous minerals and trace elements have been discovered in the moringa plant, which carry out different tasks in our body. These include magnesium and calcium, zinc, iron and many more!
Zeatin is a growth hormone responsible for the rapid growth of the tree. However, this hormone has other properties, which will be discussed later in the text.
This brief insight into the composition of the moringa plant alone makes it clear how high the nutrient density must be and, as a result, the health benefits that can be derived from this plant.
Cultivation and harvest of Moringa:
The Moringa plant grows predominantly in subtropical and tropical countries on sandy soils and survives due to the extraordinarily good storage function of the roots even dry weather periods easily. However, it should be noted that, especially for the organic cultivation of Moringa, more mineral-rich soils are better suited and have a positive effect on the nutrient richness of the plant.
Humid climates and temperatures between 25 ° C and 37 ° C are optimal conditions for the plant. Frost, on the other hand, is just as unsuitable for it as waterlogging, where the roots and seeds rot and the tree eventually dies. To prevent this waterlogging, the tree is often planted on hills, or a slight increase, or it is a kind of gutter pulled next to the roots so that the water can drain through this.
The Moringa tree is characterized among other things by its thick trunk. In addition, the growth of the ‘Miracle Tree’ is remarkable: within one year, the tree can grow up to six metres, depending on the growing area.
Moringa pods with seeds
During this time, the smallest hair roots form, which serve to consolidate in the soil. Thereafter, the upper part begins to form and spread. Both the treetop and the roots need a lot of space, which is why the individual seedlings should not be planted too close to each other.
The plant should be protected from drafts during the first months of its growth. The leaves should also be protected against rain because of their high sensitivity to water, otherwise they may turn yellow and rot. In the best case, the plant should be poured with lime-free water near the roots. It is important to ensure that the soil is permanently moist to create the best conditions for the development of the Moringa tree.
The plant ‘lives’ in the root and ‘feeds’ on the leaves. Photosynthesis takes place in them and provides the plant with everything it needs. Another peculiarity of Moringas is that you can cut them back to the root and grow them again. So you can harvest them completely and use all ingredients. Even the roots would be suitable for human consumption, but then the tree would die. The leaves can be harvested three to six times a year in a full-grown tree. After drying, which should not take place in full sun and always in a well-ventilated, dry place, they are powdered or chopped without stalks. This product can then be used as a spice or tea. Moringa tea is a treat both hot and cold.
Health benefits of Moringa oleifera:
For several thousand years, the Moringa tree has been used by humans for a variety of purposes. For example, the Indians saw the convenience of the brain, metabolism, bone and nervous system, while the shaman's analgesic headache and wound care were in the foreground.
Even today, Moringa is accorded great importance as a remedy for Ayurvedic medicine, as also Ch. Murali Manohar, Doctor of Ayurveda, clarifies in his book ‘Ayurveda for All’.
A study carried out by French scientists shows that the roots of the Moringa tree have an anti-inflammatory effect. The journal ‘Dakar med’ already reported on the promising results of this study. Diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis or bronchitis should be treated successfully with the extract of Moringa roots. The researchers found that the root extract had a similar effect to the also anti-inflammatory agent indomethacin, as both substances inhibited the edema within five hours.
The study is therefore very promising and provides clues as to what ‘healing’ effect is in the Moringa plant.
Zeatin is, as mentioned above, a growth hormone. But not only that is worth mentioning in terms of this hormone, great attention should also be given to the cell-regenerating effect, because this feature of the so-called fountain of youthful wells can support and accelerate the regeneration of skin cells, which is why Moringa is also said to have an anti-aging effect.
Culinary applications of Moringa:
In addition to the health benefits, the culinary use of the plant should be more and more envisaged.
But how is Moringa used in the kitchen?
The most well-known use of the Moringa leaves is the Moringa tea. For this, the leaves are dried, pulverized and chopped and then poured with about 80 ° C hot water. After five to eight minutes of brewing, the hot drink is ready and tastes great with a teaspoon of tobacco honey.
But not only as a tea, also as a spice Moringa is versatile.
A delicious Moringa soup with vegetarian dumplings is a tasty and meat-free alternative to the popular in autumn and winter chicken soup and is at least as tasty and healthy.
In the Himalayas, the leaves are most often given freshly over salads or vegetables, this is mostly used the young leaves.
As already mentioned, all parts of the plant can be consumed by humans. For example, the roots have a sharp taste very similar to that of horseradish.
The fruits of the Moringas are processed and used as a kind of beans like vegetables.
Oil is pressed from the seeds, just like today, that can be used both for consumption and for the production of, for example, ointments.
Did you know?
Did you know that the term ‘tea’ is actually wrong? The Moringa leaves, and thus the powdered product, contains no tea. Teein is the caffeine contained in tea. This is not included in Moringa ‘tea’, which is why the term is strictly speaking incorrect. Colloquially, we use the term tea but to make it clear that this is a brewed with water hot drink.
Special features of Moringa seeds:
Most people are aware of the health benefits of consuming the plant, but do not know that the seeds of the moringa tree also have an incredibly beneficial human benefit.
If they are comminuted, they can bind contaminants from contaminated drinking water and kill bacteria contained in them. This means that Moringa seeds provide us with a method of treating water without the need for elaborate filtering equipment, which would be very important, especially in developing countries, and could help more people around the world gain access to clean drinking water. Every day around 5,000 children die as a result of contaminated drinking water.
In the show ‘The Great Show of Natural Wonders’, the cleansing effect of the Moringa seeds was impressively presented by Ranga Yogeshwar, as shown in the Youtube video below.
You can also filter the contaminated water through the seeds and catch the clean water in a separate container. Scientists working on the efficiency of this method found that one seed is enough to purify one liter of water and 99% to remove harmful bacteria.
Moringa as a weapon in the fight against malnutrition:
But with Moringa not only can the drinking water be treated and made an important contribution in the developing countries, also the serious problem of malnutrition, especially of children, is addressed with the help of the miracle tree. The FOCUS reported in 2016 on a project called ‘OKI Moringa Kindertafel ©’, launched by Wiehl-hilft e. V.
25% of Congo's children die of malnutrition and its consequences in less than five years. The aim of this project is to reduce this number.
What does that have to do with Moringa? Quite simply: Moringa is the most nutritious plant in the world, needs little water and grows fast. An optimal condition to tackle the famine in the Congo.
With success! About 1,500 children were rescued each year from their life-threatening condition. To prevent relapses, the mothers of the children receive some moringa seeds and an introduction to the cultivation and use.
In 2008, Moringa was voted plant of the year by the National Institute of Health. This institution conducts research in the fields of biomedicine and human health. The research results should help to develop products that maintain and promote human health.
It should now have become clear how important Moringa oleifera is because of its high nutrient density and unbelievable versatility for all people worldwide. On our homepage under the category 'recipes' you will find various recipe ideas for Moringa oleifera and many more of our products!