The Moringa Tree ~ Learn How It Empowers Families
WHAT IS MORINGA & WHY DOES IT MATTER?
Moringa is a multi-faceted, multi-purpose tree that thrives in the tropics.
- Its leaves contain high amounts of vitamins, minerals, protein, anti-oxidants, and amino acids and are an excellent weapon in the fight against malnutrition.
- Moringa seeds are able to clean drinking water and can also be pressed for a high-quality oil.
- It is easily propagated from either seeds or cuttings and grows well in marginal soils.
- This amazing tree also provides a multitude of products that can be sold in local markets, creating additional streams of family income.
Moringa is an excellent resource for those facing issues of poor nutrition, unsafe drinking water, and a lack of economic opportunities.
Why does it matter?
Because good nutrition, clean water, and economic opportunities affect everything in life.
- Families who have a secure source of nutritious food, safe drinking water, and additional sources of income are more vibrant members of their communities.
- Pregnant women are stronger and healthier, giving birth to more robust babies and reducing the infant mortality rate.
- Children receive essential nourishment, becoming healthier, allowing them to regularly attend school and to retain what they learn.
- Parents are stronger and better able to work, providing for their families and participating in creating strong local and national economies.
Because empowering families to lift themselves out of poverty changes the world.
- 2 x the Protein of yogurt
- 4 x the Calcium of milk 3 x the Potassium of bananas
- 4 x the Vitamin A of carrots
- .75 x the Iron of Spinach
- 7 x the Vitamin C of oranges
Moringa also contains Antioxidants and ALL of the Essential Amino Acids, which are the building blocks of proteins and must be taken in through the diet. Moringa leaves may be eaten fresh, cooked, or as a dried powder, which is then added to other foods. When moringa leaves are dried, their nutrients become highly concentrated.
Dried moringa leaves made into a powder contain (gram-for-gram):
- 9 x the Protein of yogurt
- 17 x the Calcium of milk
- 15 x the Potassium of bananas
- 10 x the Vitamin A of carrots
- 25 x the Iron of spinach
- .5 x the Vitamin C of oranges (vitamin C is water soluble, so most of it is lost when the leaves are dried)
Moringa effectively combats malnutrition,
increases milk production in lactating mothers,
and improves the overall health of children and adults when added to the daily diet. Click here to see the full nutritional power of moringa!
Learn how to add moringa to your daily diet at Moringa Basics ~ Your “How To” Guide.
In addition to the rich nutrition in moringa leaves, the seeds contain a beautiful, golden, high-quality oil, similar to olive oil, which may be used for cooking, skin and hair care, lamp oil, or as a light machine oil. Moringa oil is also becoming a sought-after ingredient in the cosmetics industry. To learn how to press the oil, see our blog post, Seeds to Oil in 4 Easy Steps!
“The seed kernels contain significant quantities of a series of low-molecular-weight, water-soluble proteins which, in solution, carry an overall positive charge. The proteins are considered to act similarly to synthetic, positively charged polymer coagulants. When added to raw water the proteins bind to the predominantly negatively charged particles that make raw waters turbid (silt, clay, bacteria, etc.). Under proper agitation these bound particles then grow in size to form the flocs, which may be left to settle by gravity or removed by filtration. This process will remove 90-99.9% of the bacteria which are attached to the solid particles, as well as clearing the water.”
(Folkard, G., Sutherland, J. and Al-Khalili, R, Water clarification using moringa oleifera seed coagulant. The Miracle Tree, edited by Lowell Fuglie, 2001.)
In the photo, the container on the left is drinking water from a well in Kashaguru, Tanzania. The water in the container on the right was drawn from the same well at the same time, but has been treated with moringa seed powder. It took less than two hours to complete this treatment. Normally, it will take anywhere from two to twenty-four hours to complete the treatment. Treating drinking water with moringa has the ability to drastically reduce water-borne illnesses which are a major cause of death in children under 5 years of age.
Learn more about the moringa seed water treatment process at Moringa Basics ~ Your “How To” Guide.
Moringa Trees contribute to the economic health and vitality of families and entire communities. When moringa gains value in a community, it naturally becomes a commodity that can be sold in the local market providing additional income to families in need. This means that parents will be able to pay for the essentials:
- School fees
- Doctor visits and medicine
- Shoes and clothing
- Mosquito nets
- And much more!
Moringa products include:
- Fresh leaves
- Dried leaf powder
- Seed powder (for water purification)
- Oil (highly nutritious oil from seeds for cooking, light machine, cosmetics)
- Animal feed – branches, leaf powder and seed cake (remaining after pressing for oil)
- Fertilizer (from seed cake that remains after pressing for oil)
- Leaf extract for crop spray (to enhance growth)
For those who wish to use moringa as an additional source of income, Strong Harvest assists in the identification of local, regional, and international market pathways.
Go to Moringa Basics ~ Your “How To” Guide to learn how developing-world families can create economic opportunities with moringa.
- Just a few moringa trees will provide enough leaves and seeds for family use.
- A moringa tree provides 20 years of prime leaf and seed production and will continue to produce for many more years.
- Moringa is easy to grow with the first leaf harvest occurring within 3 to 6 months.
- It can also be planted intensively, yielding a large amount of nutritious leaves while using a very small amount of land.
- Moringa can be used for erosion control and reforestation.
- Farmers can intercrop it with other food crops; it will provide a light shade cover to protect surrounding crops.
- It is highly drought-resistant and needs little water once established.
- Moringa can be planted as a living fence.