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If there is a tree that you should plant in your garden, it is moringa. At least, that's what researchers around the world say. The object of many studies in various parts of the planet, this species from Asia and Africa is like a promise for the fight against hunger.
Moringa oleifera, known asmoringa, ben, is a tree native to northern India. It grows in almost any type of soil, even in conditions of high seasonal aridity, which makes this plant a resource for the populations that live in these areas.
Why? Simple! This plant has a high nutritional value. Look at these 5 points:
- Seven times more vitamin C than orange.
- Four times more vitamin A than carrot.
- Four times more calcium than cow's milk.
- Three times more iron than spinach.
- Three times more potassium than bananas.
The bibliography on the composition of moringa reports thatthe dry powder obtained from its leaves is very rich in protein (27% by weight), vitamin A, calcium (2 g per 100g of dry leaf powder), potassium and vitamin C (17 mg per 100 grams).
The taste of moringa is pleasant and its parts can be eaten raw, especially the leaves and flowers (which are cream-colored and appear mainly in times of drought, when the tree usually loses its leaves) or cooked in various ways (for example in stews). The flowers are rich in carbohydrates and taste good. The leaves can be used to make juices and have a mildly spicy taste (a mixture of watercress and radish). It also bears fruit in the form of pods that, being green, can be cooked and have a taste similar to beans or green beans, when they are ripe they are boiled with a little salt, they are opened and the seeds are extracted, ready to eat, of flavor similar to chickpea and can also be roasted. The roots are edible, they look like carrots but with a spicy taste.
The oil extracted from its seeds has many applications. More than a third of the content of the seeds is high quality oil, rich in unsaturated fatty acids.
It can be used in the preparation of salads and as fuel for lamps. It is also cultivated as an important resource for making quality biodiesel. The crop has a yield of 2,500 kg / hectare, producing almost 1,500 l of oil and more than 1,400 l of biodiesel / ha, which has led to its cultivation being investigated in various parts of the world.
The pods and seeds are useful for water purification. They contain a cationic polyelectrolyte that has proven to be effective in treating water (removing turbidity), replacing aluminum sulfate or other flocculants. The advantage of using these seeds is twofold: it substitutes imported products for a local one that is easily accessible and, unlike aluminum sulfate, it is completely biodegradable.
In agriculture, the leaves are useful as compost and as a fungicide against fungi that attack the roots.
It serves as fodder with a long list of beneficial characteristics, since it serves both cattle, pigs, sheep, goats or poultry, among others, in which it generates significant increases in yield, both in weight gain and milk production. . Its wood is used as firewood and to make charcoal or cellulose for high quality paper.
Its roots are used to produce a seasoning.
The plant still has essential amino acids in its composition (those that need to be ingested, because the human body does not produce) and they have medicinal properties.
There are 13 species of the Moringa tree in the world, the most common being Moringa stenopetala and Moringa oleifera.
The plant is also capable of cleaning water. According to laboratory tests carried out by researchers from the Institute of Agricultural Sciences of the Federal University of Minas Gerais, the species can eliminate up to 99% of the residues present in the water.
The secret is in the seed, which contains oil and special proteins and, when pressed, generates a powder with properties capable of attracting bacteria, silt and clay. The power of nature is still impressive. Check out this video here
Interest in Moringa is growing worldwide and Moringa powder is increasingly available in the markets.
An investigation carried out by the Department of Chemistry of the Faisalabad Agricultural University, Pakistan, stands out for an abundant mineral profile, a good source of amino acids and proteins, vitamins, beta-carotene and antioxidants of different nature.
That is why many say that the Moringa tree promises to end world hunger.
How to grow it
If you want to know how to germinate seeds, here we provide you with a video: