Medicinal Plants: Moringa

Moringa, Drumstick Tree, Horseradish Tree (Moringa olifera
)

Part Used: Leaves, Roots & Seeds

Uses:

Leaves: Highly nutritious, they are a great source of vitamin C, protein, iron, carotenoids, calcium and phosphorus. Moringa leaves and pods are helpful in increasing breast milk in the breastfeeding months. One tablespoon of leaf powder provides 14% of the protein, 40% of the calcium, 23% of the iron and most of the vitamin A needs of a child aged one to three. Six tablespoons of leaf powder will provide nearly all of the woman’s daily iron and calcium needs during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Roots: Used cuisine like horseradish, they have some toxicity, but can be used for excessive mucus discharge from the sinuses, especially if it is clear.

Seeds: Used for erectile dysfunction and to prolong sexual desire in women. They yield an edible oil and after they are pressed the left over fiber purifies water as a filter.

Note: Flowers and green seed pods are both edible when cooked. The tree sap and bark produce a blue dye. The leaves are best consumed in large quantities cooked, as they have high amounts of calcium oxalate, which over time can form kidney stones. It grows easily from cutting and is an important plant in impoverished semi-arid, sub-tropical and tropical areas.