MIRACLE TREE (Moringa Oleifera) – Hero ISHOLA OLATAYO
MIRACLE TREE (Moringa Oleifera)
If you are familiar with Nigeria, you would definitely understand the concept of miracles. And it is due to this that I believe the man or scientist that gave Moringa its popular name; Miracle tree, must have been a Nigerian (just a joke). Examples of other names that Moringa is known for include: Drumstick (from the appearance), Horseadish (from the taste of the roots which resembles Horseradish), Ben oil tree or Benzoil tree (from the oil which is derived from the seeds) .Moringa is an exceptional tree in that both the leaves, stalk, flower and the bark, in fact the entirety of the tree has been known to have great medical purposes.
It is a fast-growing drought-resistant tree, native to the southern foothills of Himayas in Northwestern India and it is widely cultivated or most cultivated in the Northern part of Nigeria. It can grow to a height of 10-12m, and the trunk can reach a diameter of 45cm. The tree has an open crown of drooping, fragile branches and the leaves build up feathery foliage of tripinnate leaves.
Moringa leave is stacked with large amount if Vitamins, Minerals and Essential Amino acids. Moringa leaves or bark have been known to reduce Asthma symptoms if about 3grams is taken daily, about 250mg of Natalac which is a supplement derived from Moringa twice daily after child birth increases breast milk production. Also it is used to cure or reduce Constipation, Diabetes, Diarrhea, Epilepsy, Stomach pain (gastritis), Stomach and Intestinal ulcers, Headache, Insomnia, Thyroid disorders. Also to Increasing sex drive, Stimulating Immunity, remove Kidney stones, reduce Inflammation, protection against Arsenic toxicity, it is also used to maintain healthy Cholesterol levels, it lowers Blood sugar levels, it is a huge Antioxidant (this include Vitamin C, β-carotene, Quercetin and Chlorogenic acid), and many more medical properties known to Moringa. Clinically, there is huge demand for more proof of its potency against all these. But it is largely known to be able to tackle all without stress, side effects, and future effects and it is popular amongst local herbs merchant.
Moringa is almost overall safe except for its root. The root is suspected to contain toxic substance(s) that can cause paralysis. Also to use the root, bark or flower of Moringa when pregnant is likely unsafe. It is known that chemicals in the root, bark and flower can cause the uterus to contract and this might cause miscarriage. But for those that patronize local mid-wives for delivery, the root, bark and flower might be present in the concoction that is usually given to pregnant woman during or before labor.
AS A VEGETABLE
Moringa have been widely used by house wives, local food joints and vendors, as spice, or as addition to vegetable stew. It can be added to any leave you feel like preparing because its taste can be easily suppressed.
It doesn’t need crushing to extract the juice from the leaf as it can be taken ordinarily. It doesn’t require any special type of technique to prepare. It can be added to your tea, coffee, pap (Akamu), stew, sauce, est.
Having gone through the benefits of Moringa, you would agree that it is truly a miracle tree because every part is useful for medicinal purpose and other uses depending on individual.
(Sources: Mercola.com, Wikipedia, WebMD.com)