Our planet is diverse with resources. In fact, everything we need to survive is in it. Mother Nature has provided us with both living and non-living things as our source of food, shelter, clothing and medicine.
Yes, medicine. Various plant sources are rich with natural chemicals capable of producing therapeutic effects on human body. One very popular plant that is widely used in the Filipino culture is Moringa, also known as the Miracle Tree. It is also referred to as Drumstick Tree by the British people. In the Philippines, they are also referred to as malunggay. It is one of the more popular and publicized plants that is acknowledged for having nutritional and medicinal values.
This plant's leaves, flowers and seeds have various uses for consumption and medicinal purposes. Malunggay proves to be a low-maintenance plant to grow, meaning it grows and propagates in almost all kinds of soil. In Filipino culture Moringa leaves are almost eaten daily as part of a day's meal because of its accessibility in the country.
Nutritions and Benefits
It is rich in vitamins A, B & C, and minerals such as iron and amino acids. Scientific research confirms that these Moringa leaves are packed with nutritional value. They contain:
• seven times the vitamin C in oranges
• four times the calcium in milk
• four times the vitamin A in carrots
• twice the protein in milk
• three times the potassium in bananas
• three times more iron than spinach
Its other parts such as the seeds, the young pods, and the flowers have antioxidant and anti-diabetic properties and can enhance blood circulation.
There have been other claims that Moringa can lower blood pressure and relieve pain in rheumatism, headaches and migraines.
It as well has anti-tumor and anti-fungal properties.
Lactating mothers can also benefit from moringa as it has been proven to increase the quantity of breast milk.
Amazingly, it can also act as a wound cleanser by crushing the leaves with the extracted juice and applying to the affected area directly. In all instances, cleanliness should be observed to avoid complications.
With all these benefits, we can't help but wonder if there are unwanted effects of this plant too. Experts suggest that to date there has not been any known negative side effect even in the daily consumption of moringa.
Moringa is widely found in tropical and sub-tropical countries and used in countries in Central and South America, Mexico, Malaysia, Philippines, India, Sri Lanka and Africa.
Moringa is now even produced commercially in the form of capules containing dried young leaves and commercial oil extracts of the malunggay flowers. So those people who live in places where Moringa is uncommon and want to have the benefits of Moringa, they can now easily purchase and choose a wide variety of Moringa derived products in the market today.
Indeed, we should be very thankful to nature for providing us this wonder plant. It is a wonder plant for its uniqueness; even in small amounts, it can supply us daily with a wide variety of nutrients and health benefits with just few calories as suggested by Dr. Marcu, a clinical pharmacologist and researcher.