Moringa oleifera AKA "miracle tree," "tree of life," "drumstick tree", or "horseradish tree." It is considered a fast growing, hardy tree that's native to Northwestern India. This green has been used for thousands of years in Ayurveda practice as prevention for many types of diseases.* Since then this vegetable has spread globally through cultivation. Today this tree is grown in the tropics and subtropics such as the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, parts of Africa, Central and South America.
Harvesting and Uses
Leaves, flowers, and seed pods of the Moringa are all edible. Raw leaves have a slightly sweet, peppery taste similar to horseradish or raw radish. When cooked, the spicy taste disappears.
It's common to find Moringa leaves and flowers cooked in Indian cuisine. The young seed pods, resembling drum sticks, are cut small and cooked in a curry. Mature seed pods are usually not as tender as the younger seed pods so only the seeds and interior of the pods are consumed.
Other South Asian regions, Moringa leaves and seed pods are commonly used in soups. Boiled until soft, the leaves release a mild sweetness and a unique flavor in the soup.
All parts of the Moringa tree are highly nutritious, but the leaves have the most nutritional value. Some of the nutrition the leaves contain are vitamin A, B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin K, calcium, potassium, protein, iron and the essential amino acids.* 100 grams of dry Moringa leaves may contain the following:
- 9X Protein than yogurt
- 10X Vitamin A than carrots
- 15X Potassium than bananas
- 12X Vitamin C than oranges
- 17X Calcium than milk
- 25X Iron than spinach
Vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and essential amino acids of Moringa may benefit your energy level, skin health, slowing aging process, health of cardiovascular system, blood sugar, digestion, health of joints and detoxifying the liver.*
In the fast paced environment we live in, dried Moringa leaves are used as an additive in foods, smoothies, juices, or just in a glass of water as a quick way to nourish our body.