Moringa Oleifera: The Wonder Nutritional and Medicinal Tree of Nature

In the medicine world, scientists have come up with many types of medicine to cure or alleviate human as well as animal suffering. On of the least exploited areas of medicine source is the natural resources especially the plants. Moringa oleifera, popularly known as shonje in Begali, malungay in Filipino and drumstick in other spheres is a highly nutritious vegetable with potential uses. It grows to approximate height of ten meters and is trimmed annually to maintain a arms reach for quick and easier harvesting of its leaves and pods.

This plant is a fast growing draught resistant and does very well in semi-arid, tropical and sub tropical climatic zones. It is also known to thrive on sandy soils and withstands poor soils like ones found in coastal areas. Moringa is classified as one among the most useful trees world over and every part of it has special uses; for food, livestock forage, sap used as a natural killer of parasites and aids in enhancing other drugs and in developing countries it aids against endemic diseases. In Africa, it is used for nutritional boosting purposed as well as checking food security and rural sustainable development ventures. Due to its fast growing ability it has also been used to improve on sustainable land care.

Its nutritional value needs not to be emphasised; the immature green pods also known as drumsticks is the most valuable part of the tree. Despite their asparagus taste, they are commonly consumed in India and are cooked just like the normal green beans. Upon maturity the pods are eaten like peas or roasted ground nuts. Surprisingly, the flowers, just like mushrooms are due to their edible nature. The roots contains a nerve paralyzing agent and care needs to be observed when shredding and using them however only in large quantities does it have adverse effects if consumed. It also contains, albeit in small quantities, anti bacterial properties. 

The highly nutritious leaves are source of vitamin C, potassium and beta carotene. Leaves are cooked just like spinach or leaves are dried and used in sauces and soups. The drumstick is used as a source of calcium and phosphorous hence vital ingredient to alleviate sexual dysfunction in men and prolonging sexual activity in women. Moringa leaves enhance breast milk for breastfeeding mothers. The odourless oil is normally extracted is botanical and the cake extracted is used as fertilizer and a water purifier. Finally, moringa tree is used in combating malnutrition among infants and nursing mothers.

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