|Scientific classification |
Moringa is the only genus in the family Moringaceae. There are 13 Moringa species, they are all trees that grow in tropical and sub-tropical climates.
It is known to have a number of beneficial uses such as food and a basis for folk remedies.
As a food, the pods of the moringa tree are commonly eaten in India and some other Asian countries. The seeds are sometimes removed and eaten like peas or roasted like nuts. The flowers can be cooked and eaten, and are said to taste like mushrooms. And the roots are sometimes shredded and used as a condiment like horseradish.
The leaves are highly nutritious, a significant source of beta-carotene (a precursor to Vitamin A), Vitamin C, protein, calcium, iron and potassium. For this reason, interest is growing in the use of moringa in addressing malnutrition in developing areas of the world.
The seeds may be crushed and used to purify water. They also contain a high-quality oil that can be used in cooking, cosmetics, and lubrication. The crushed seed cake can be used as a fertilizer.
The bark, sap, roots, leaves, seeds, oil and flowers are used in traditional medicine in several countries.
In Jamaica, the sap is used for a blue dye.
- Church World Service Moringa Site (http://www.churchworldservice.org/moringa/index.html)
- Moringa Blog (http://www.moringablog.com)
- Trees for Life Moringa Site (http://www.treesforlife.org/moringa/Moringahome.htm)
- Moringa Home Page (http://www.mobot.org/gradstudents/olson/moringahome.html)
- Purdue University: Moringa oleifera (http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/duke_energy/Moringa_oleifera.html)