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Moringa oleifera Lam. is a tree that grows widely in many tropical and subtropical countries. It is grown commercially in India, Africa, South and Central America, Mexico, Hawaii, and throughout Asia and Southeast Asia. It is known as the drumstick tree based on the appearance of its immature seed pods, the horse- radish tree based on the taste of ground root prepara- tions, and the ben oil tree from seed-derived oils. In some areas, immature seed pods are eaten, while the leaves are widely used as a basic food because of their high nutrition content (Thurber and Fahey, 2009; Mbikay, 2012; Razis et al., 2014). No human clinical trials have been conducted looking at the efficacy of M. oleifera for treating undernutrition.
Seeds, leaves, oil, sap, bark, roots, and flowers are widely used in traditional medicine. Moringa leaves have been characterized to contain a desirable nutritional balance, containing vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and fatty acids (Moyoet al., 2011; Teixeira et al., 2014; Razis et al., 2014). Additionally, the leaves are reported to contain various types of antioxidant compounds such as ascorbic acid, flavonoids, phenolics, and carotenoids (Alhakmani et al., 2013; Vongsak et al., 2014). According to several commentaries (Anwar et al., 2007; Mbikay, 2012; Razis et al., 2014), various preparations of M. oleifera are used for their antiinflammatory, antihyperten- sive, diuretic, antimicrobial, antioxidant, antidiabetic,antihyperlipidemic, antineoplastic, antipyretic, antiulcer, cardioprotectant, and hepatoprotectant activities. The therapeutic potential of M.oleifera leaves in treating hyperglycemia and dyslipidemia was reviewed by Mbikay (2012). Razis et al. (2014) summarized po- tential health benefits of M.oleifera, focusing on their nutritional content as well as antioxidant and antimicrobial characteristics.
Also, referred to as the "Miracle Tree", Moringa has been revered for centuries in countries in Asia and Africa for its healing and nutritive properties as well as for its use in a wide variety of other applications. It is considered to be one of the most useful trees in the world, including by the World Health Organization (WHO). Use of Moringa can be traced back to the ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans, who highly valued it for use in medicine, perfumes and body creams.
Of all the different parts of the tree, the use of Moringa leaves is probably among the most commonly known and best documented. From a medicinal perspective, practitioners of traditional medicine throughout the world have for centuries used Moringa leaves to treat a host of diseases, from gout to various inflammations (arthritis among others) and fevers. More recent clinical studies show that Moringa leaves are indeed packed with powerful nutrition and compounds that are linked to an array of medicinal properties, showing that the claims of these practitioners may not be far-fetched. Meanwhile, Moringa leaves are used for a wide variety of other uses, including animal feed stock, green manure, and as a potent foliar spray (resulting from plant growth hormones naturally present in the leaves).
The moringa plant has been eaten by indigenous cultures worldwide for over 4,000 years. Moringa is a nutrient-dense plant, rich in calcium, iron, vitamins, and essential amino acids that are found in other complete proteins such as quinoa and meat. Moringa can benefit the body in many ways including improved energy, sleep, blood pressure level, blood sugar level, hair, and skin, to name a few.
In Ayurveda, moringa leaves are believed to prevent over 300 diseases and are used all the time in traditional healing. Moringa comes from Moringa oleifera, a fast-growing tree found in South Asia and throughout the tropics. The tree is hardy and thrives even in rough growing conditions, so it can be planted almost anywhere and harvested in a short time. It’s been used as a nutritional enhancement in developing countries such as Malawi, Senegal, and India because of its rapid growth rate and year-round harvest.
The color of the leaf powder when correctly processed is normally medium greenish color. In that form, chances are it retained 95% of all the nutrients (except vitamin C).