Moringa - The Miracle Tree
Recently, you might have heard a lot about the moringa tree, also known as the drumstick tree, the ben oil tree or the horseradish tree. Maybe the most fitting name is the miracle tree, but what is so special about moringa?
Moringa has many miraculous properties, the three we will talk about today are:
- Moringa's incredible nutritional qualities
- Moringa's numerous health benefits
- How moringa can profoundly improve the lives of some of Africa's poorest people
The miracle tree is a super-food that actually lives up to the name. While it may not turn you into a superhero, it won't leave you far off! The leaves are an excellent supplement to any diet, and when it is ground into a powder it blows all other superfoods out of the water:
- It has 7 x more vitamin C than oranges
- 15 x more potassium than bananas
- 17 x the calcium of milk
- 15 x the iron of spinach
- more beta-carotene than spinach
- more protein per calorie than sirloin steak
There are many medicinal uses for the miracle tree, many of them have been clinically tested, and some are yet to be verified by Western medicine but have been used by indigenous people for centuries.
One study found women who took seven grammes of moringa leaf powder daily for three months reduced their fasting blood sugar levels by 13.5 percent. Separate research revealed that adding 50 grammes of moringa leaves to a meal reduced the rise in blood sugar by 21 percent among diabetic patients.
Moringa can also significantly reduce cholesterol and reduce the chances of developing cardiovascular disease. There is even evidence that moringa can purify water more efficiently than the synthetic materials currently in use, reducing the risk of contracting water-borne illnesses.
Moringa and TREE AID
TREE AID uses moringa in a variety of projects in the drylands of Africa. The moringa is drought resistant, and droughts are common, which makes it an essential resource for the local population.
The local indigenous population has been using moringa for centuries but the knowledge is not as present in this generation. TREE AID is helping to rekindle that knowledge for this and future generations.
In West Africa where this tree is now being widely promoted by TREE AID, we are providing cooking classes for communities, teaching people how to make leaves into a baby food, and a nutrient dense sauce as well as adapting moringa to give vital nutrition to pregnant and nursing mothers. The minerals and vitamins in the leaves are not only important to general good health but also combatting some of the region’s most damaging illnesses.
TREE AID helps people plant moringa, provides access to the moringa forests for local people, trains communities on the uses of moringa and perhaps most importantly empowers people (mainly women) to make an income from it. Moringa, the miracle tree, is central to TREE AID's philosophy and is vital to the continued survival and success of the communities we work with.
- In West Africa, moringa is an essential supplement to a diet that is extremely low in nutrition, for pregnant women and new mothers, moringa can be the difference between their baby getting the nutrition it needs to develop, or not.
- Moringa has a multitude of incredible health and medicinal properties, for some isolated communities where conventional medicine is not as accessible, moringa can be an important part of medical treatment.
- By setting up village enterprises, and working with communities to maximise the income of tree products, TREE AID also enables some of the poorest people in the world to make an income to buy other life essentials such as medicine, school uniforms and books.
In Africa, trees mean life, and moringa, the miracle tree, brings more life than any other.
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You can buy a moringa tree from our 'gifts that grow' shop, a beautiful and meaningful gift for someone you care about.
http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs13197-012-0859-9 Journal of Food Science and Technology November 2014, Volume 51, Issue 11, pp 3464-3469
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http://www.uu.se/en/research/news/article/?id=3080&area=2,5,10,16&typ=artikel&lang=en M.S. Hellsing, H.M. Kwaambwa, F.M. Nermark,B.B.M. Nkoane, A.J. Jackson, M.J. Wasbrough, I. Berts, L. Porcar, A.R. Rennie, Structure of flocs of latex particles formed by addition of protein from Moringa seeds, Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects (2013)