Moringa oleifera, which is most commonly known as the drumstick tree, is often associated with some south Indian delicacies like Sambar and Rasam, in which the seed pods, called drumsticks are used.
It is known as ‘sahajan’ in Hindi and it is quite widespread in all parts of India. Despite its populous state, what we often fail to regard is the very high nutritional values that almost all the parts of the tree carry. Be it the high calcium content that its roots and leaves contain, the anti-inflammatory properties of its flowers, or its oil-rich seeds.
Moringa has a long-standing history of being regarded as a superfood. It not only provides a great deal of nutrition but also houses a lot of antibodies that have great medicinal uses.
Apart from that, Moringa is also an established name in the cosmetic industry where its properties have been fully exploited to incorporate them into various perfumes, body washes, and creams.
For instance, The Body Shop launched its Moringa collection in 2012 where it had every single item enhanced with the moringa spirit. After that, several brands recognized the medicinal and therapeutic values of it, thereby launching their own lines pertaining to the same palate.
All the parts of the tree are edible, but some have to be consumed in limited amounts. Here’s a brief of how each part of Moringa is good for you:
The Moringa leaves
They carry an abundant amount of vitamins and minerals. When compared with other considerable nutrient-rich sources, we found out that moringa leaves contain:
· 7 times the vitamin C than of an orange
· 4 times the vitamin A than of a carrot
· 25 times the iron than of spinach
· 4 times vitamin B than of pork
· 50 times the vitamin B3 than of peanut
· 4 times the calcium than of milk
· 36 times the magnesium than of egg
· 2 times the protein than of yogurt
· 3 times the potassium than of bananas
This clearly shows that the moringa leaves can act as a great substitute. Also, they’d be an amazing addition to one’s diet.
They are used in various ways, the most common include making a dried moringa leaf powder and incorporating it in daily dishes. The powder can also be brewed to make moringa tea.
The leaves can be cooked like our usual green vegetables and consumed. In this protein-conscious world, where everyone wants to live a longer and better life, moringa can definitely be used as a catalyst.
The Moringa seed pods and seeds
The seed pods are extremely rich in antioxidants and can be eaten as it is when they are tender. Once they ripen, the seeds enlarge and the pods become hard, thereby making them partially inedible. The seeds retain these
antioxidants and if consumed, can lower cholesterol levels, stabilize blood sugar, reduce the chances of a heart stroke and improve the immune system.
The oil extracted from the seeds have a lot of anti-inflammatory properties and vitamin E thereby making them a part of various organic cosmetics. The oil can be used to treat bacterial infections, cuts, and wounds. It can also be used as a moisturizer for dry skin and combat rashes.
It produces a calming effect and can also be used as an essential oil to aid insomnia. Moreover, the seeds have ample vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin A-12 which improves eyesight.
In short, the seeds along with their pod can not only be consumed for a healthier life but also be used to treat various inflictions.
Also Read: 20 Interesting Indian Food Facts
The Moringa bark
It has generous antibiotic properties which makes it a remedy for various infections. It can also be used to cure gout and arthritis and is used to treat sexually transmitted diseases.
Due to the high concentration of antibodies, it can do more harm than good if its consumption or usage is not restricted.
The powder made from dried moringa bark is often used to make tea and can be used as a dietary supplement (in limited amounts of course).
The generosity of antibodies makes the bark wholesome and healthy, but only if taken in the right amounts.
The Moringa flower
It tastes like mushroom and thus, can be used like that too. In many places across the globe, they are considered a delicacy and added to soups and salads. They can also be fried and eaten like a fritter. The moringa flower tea is also quite healthy and can be used to cure common colds and coughs. The flowers have high medicinal and herbal values and hence, can be taken like a pressed juice. This juice can be used to cure urinary tract infections and be given to breastfeeding mothers to increase lactation.
The flower perfectly justifies the ‘beauty with brains’ status that is given to it.
The Moringa roots
The Moringa roots contain the highest amount of nutritional content than any part of the tree, but due to the very same reason, they can paralyze the nervous system or prove to be lethal.
The roots, pertaining to their high-antibiotic percentage, have large medicinal and therapeutic values. They are used to treat conditions such as asthma, gastritis, digestive disorders, dysentery inflammation, and skin disorders.
In rural areas, it is also used as permanent contraception.
Just like the bark, the nutritious merit of the roots can easily be overshadowed by the dangerous effects of its over-consumption. Regardless, once we include the roots in our lives, we will definitely see a positive difference.
The Moringa tree is known as the ‘Miracle Tree’ in some parts of the world. I wouldn’t disagree, taking into consideration the fact that it contains more nutrients than what can ever be found in a single source of food.
Moringa is a growing name in the food and cosmetic industry.
During the COVID times, when people were focused on building their immunity, now more than ever, moringa came into the limelight. Given its amazing health benefits, one can easily say that it is here to stay.
What started off with some occasional occurrence in sambhar, can be easily embodied in our daily diets, now that we know what it signifies.
Moringa brings in a lot more than just some measly little health benefits. Little by little, Moringa can provide us an ailment-free life, something that we all aspire to achieve.