Termed the ‘Miracle Tree’ or ‘Tree of Life’, the Moringa Tree is one of the most nutrient-dense plants on the planet. This fast growing, drought-resistant tree is native to North-Western India, and has, for centuries been prized for its nutritional and healing properties. Persistent droughts, soil degradation and malnutrition are increasing. However, the Moringa thrives in arid and semi-arid environments, tolerating a wide range of soils ranging from old, depleted pasture lands to lands bordering desertification. As such, it is a particularly useful source for food during dry seasons.
The Moringa Tree can play a vital role in combatting malnutrition in Asia and Africa, as the young leaves, stalks, and pods can be eaten as a vegetable. When grown from cuttings, the first harvest can be taken within six months of planting. Fruits often do not appear in the first year, and for the first few years yields are generally low. However, by year two a single tree can produce around 300 pods, by year three around 400-500 and more than 1000 in subsequent years.
When broken down, the wealth of natural minerals and compounds contained within the plant are some of the most important essential nutrients for human health and well-being. The leaves and seeds are packed with 27 vitamins, 9 essential amino acids, 46 anti-oxidants, numerous minerals, and high concentrations of protein. Studies have shown the micro-nutrient content is even greater when dried.
For example, it is an extremely rich source of antioxidants such as quercetin and chlorogenic acid. For people who deal with diabetes and high blood sugar, regular consumption of Moringa leaves, roots and seeds can help to significantly lower blood sugar levels. Other studies have found that they can help to regulate hormonal imbalances, alleviate stress, reduce fatigue, improve digestive health, and fight colds and infections.
What is more, a paste made from the leaves can provide anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory treatment for insect bites, wounds or fungal skin problems, and crushed seeds can be used to aid cramps, rheumatism, arthritis, and as a natural antibiotic.