Moringa is a plant that grows mainly in the tropics and subtropics the plant has 13 known species, it is called the miracle tree because of the various benefits it has to mankind, livestock and the environment in general. It is widely available in Nigeria; it is called zogale, Ewe ile, Bagaruwar makar, depending on the location from north to south.
Scientific research confirms that these humble leaves are a powerhouse of nutritional value. Gram for gram, Moringa leaves contain: SEVEN times the vitamin C in oranges, FOUR times the Calcium in milk, FOUR times the vitamin A in carrots, TWO times the protein in milk and THREE times the Potassium in bananas.
Protein 42%, Calcium 125%, Magnesium 61%, Potassium 41%, Iron 71%, Vitamin A 272%, and Vitamin C 22%. These numbers are particularly astounding; considering this nutrition is available when other food sources may be scarce
After the oil is extracted from the pods, the seed-cake remaining contains the active components for removing turbidity (solid particles) from water. Because bacteria adhere to the solids, this seed-cake also effectively removes bacteria. At the Thyolo Water Treatment Works in Malawi, Africa, two researchers from the University Of Leicester, England, have worked on substituting Moringa seeds for alum to remove solids in water for drinking. Not only were the tests successful in removing as much solid material as alum, but the seeds used were "purchased from enthusiastic villagers in Nsanje Region in Malawi" (Folkard and Sutherland, 1996. Not only is Moringa oleifera as effective as aluminum sulphate (alum) in removing suspended solids from turbid water, it has a major advantage. Because it can be produced locally, "using Moringa rather than alum would save foreign exchange and generate farm and employment income." The potential for Moringa to create a new market for a community is there, and studies and projects are taking place examining this potential. Use of this natural substance would also remove a source of aluminum contamination.
Moringa can also provide oil for making biofuels. The seeds contain 30-50% oil, or 112-185 gal/acre/year. The oil contains 65-75% oleic acids and, unlike Jatropha oil, is beneficial for both humans and fuel.
Visit www.treesforlife.org/moringa for more information on the Moringa plant.