The Money Tree
WHAT IS MORINGA?
Moringa is a plant that is native to areas of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan. It is also grown in the tropics. The leaves, bark, flowers, fruit, seeds, and root are used to make medicine.
Moringa is taken by mouth for “tired blood” (anemia), arthritis and other joint pain (rheumatism), asthma, cancer, constipation, diabetes, diarrhea, seizures, stomach pain, stomach and intestinal ulcers, intestinal spasms, headache, heart problems, high blood pressure, kidney stones, symptoms of menopause, thyroid disorders, and infections.
Moringa is also taken by mouth to reduce swelling, as an antioxidant, to prevent spasms, increase sex drive (as an aphrodisiac), prevent pregnancy, boost the immune system, and increase breast milk production. Some people use it as a nutritional supplement or tonic. It is also used as a “water pill” (diuretic).
Moringa is sometimes applied directly to the skin as a germ-killer or drying agent (astringent). It is also applied to the skin for treating pockets of infection (abscesses), athlete’s foot, dandruff, gum disease (gingivitis), snakebites, warts, and wounds.
Oil from moringa seeds is used in foods, perfume, and hair care products, and as a machine lubricant.
Moringa is an important food source in some parts of the world. Because it can be grown cheaply and easily, and the leaves retain lots of vitamins and minerals when dried, moringa is used in India and Africa in feeding programs to fight malnutrition. The immature green pods (drumsticks) are prepared similarly to green beans, while the seeds are removed from more mature pods and cooked like peas or roasted like nuts. The leaves are cooked and used like spinach, and they are also dried and powdered for use as a condiment.
The seed cake remaining after oil extraction is used as a fertilizer and also to purify well water and to remove salt from seawater.