Moringa oleifera is the most widely cultivated species of the genus Moringa, which is the only genus in the family Moringaceae. English common names include: moringa, drumstick tree, horseradish tree, ben oil tree, or benzoil tree. It is a fast-growing, drought-resistant tree, native to the southern foothills of the Himalayas in northwestern India, and widely cultivated in tropical and subtropical areas where its young seed pods and leaves are used as vegetables. It can also be used for water purification and hand washing, and is sometimes used in herbal medicine.
Health benefits of moringa
Moringa plant possesses unique nutritional qualities that hold promise to millions of impoverished communities around the world who in need of nutritional supplements like protein, minerals, and vitamins.
Moringa greens (leaves) are an excellent source of protein which is a unique feature for any herbs and leafy-greens in the entire plant kingdom. 100 g of fresh raw leaves carry 9.8 g of protein or about 17.5% of daily-required levels. Dry, powdered leaves indeed are a much-concentrated source of several quality amino acids.
Fresh pods and seeds are a good source of oleic acid, a health-benefiting monounsaturated fat. Moringa, as a 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 carry 7564 IU or 252% of daily-required levels of vitamin A! Vitamin A is one of the fat-soluble anti-oxidant offering several benefits, including mucus membrane repair, maintenance of skin integrity, vision, and immunity.
Furthermore, its greens (leaves) are one of the finest sources of minerals like calcium, iron, copper, manganese, zinc, selenium, and magnesium. Iron alleviates anemia. Calcium is required for bone mineralisation. Zinc plays a vital role in hair-growth, spermatogenesis, and skin health.