Moringa (drumstick tree)
Moringa oleifera, known popularly as drumstick tree, is
an herbaceous plant grown for its nutritious greens, flowers, and
mineral-rich pods. It is a well-recognized member in the Moringaceae family
of trees and thought to be originated in the sub-Himalayan ranges of
Indian subcontinent. The plant possesses horseradish-like
root and, hence, known to the western world as horseradish tree. The
seed pods are popular as murnga
in Tamil, and malunggay
benefits of moringa
Moringa plant possesses unique nutritional
qualities that hold promise to millions of impoverished communities
around the world those lack in many nutritional supplements such as
protein, minerals, and vitamins.
leaves are an excellent source of protein that
can be rarely found in any other herbs and green leafy vegetables. 100
g of fresh raw leaves provide 9.8 g of protein or about 17.5% of
daily-required levels. Dry, powdered leaves indeed are a
much-concentrated source of many quality amino acids.
Fresh pods and seeds are a good source of oleic acid, a
health-benefiting monounsaturated fat. Moringa as high-quality oilseed
crop can be grown alternatively to improve nutrition levels of
populations in many drought-prone regions of Africa and Asia.
Fresh leaves and growing tips of moringa are
the richest source of vitamin
A. 100 g
of fresh leaves 7564 IU or 252% of daily-required levels.
Vitamin A is one of the fat-soluble anti-oxidant offering several
benefits, including mucus membrane repair, maintenance of skin
integrity, vision, and immunity.
Fresh moringa pods and leaves are excellent
sources of vitamin-C.
100 g of pods contain 145 µg or 235% of daily-required levels of
vitamin C. 100 g of greens provide 51.7 µg or 86% of daily-recommended
intake values of this vitamin. Research studies have shown that
consumption of fruits/vegetables rich in vitamin C helps the body
develop immunity against infectious agents, and scavenge harmful
oxygen-free radicals from the body.
The greens as well as pods also contain good
amounts of many vital B-complex vitamins such as folates, vitamin-B6
(vitamin B-1), riboflavin, pantothenic acid, and niacin. Much of these
vitamin functions as co-enzymes in carbohydrate, protein, and fat
Furthermore, its leaves are one of the fine
sources of minerals like calcium,
iron, copper, manganese, zinc, selenium, and magnesium.
Iron alleviates anemia. Calcium is required for bone strengthening.
Zinc plays a vital role in hair-growth, spermatogenesis, and skin
Sources for this article include: