As we reported in a previous blog post about the Healthiest Foods in the World, moringa leaves are amazingly nutrient dense: 7 times the vitamin C of oranges, 4 times the vitamin A of carrots, 4 times the calcium of milk, 3 times the potassium of bananas, 3 times the iron of spinach, and 2 times the protein of yogurt. In addition, moringa has minerals, 46 antioxidants, significant amounts of beta-carotene and all the essential amino acids. Aid agencies consider moringa a vital tool in the fight against malnutrition around the world. Maybe that’s why some call it the Tree of Life or Miracle Tree.

Other benefits and uses of moringa include: anti-aging properties, lowers cholesterol, helps detoxify your body, makes your body more alkaline, plant based protein is easy for your body to process. Moringa oil can be used for cooking, lubrication for fine instruments, put on cuts or burns and as skin lotion. After the oil is extracted from seeds, the remaining material (press cake) is used to purify water. Some claim moringa reduces risk of coronary heart disease, diabetes, cancer and other diseases. Some use moringa as part of a weight loss program.

The focus of this blog post is on how to grow and process moringa for consumption. While you could buy it over the Internet as tea or powder, obviously it’s less expensive to grow your own. Fortunately, moringa is easy to grow. It doesn’t need high quality soil or a lot of special care. I even heard it can grow where other trees will not survive. Moringa is drought tolerant and suited to arid regions. That’s why it’s so popular in Africa and India.

The first video above shows how moringa trees can be coppiced (pruned) repeatedly for decades to produce a bountiful crop. That method produces flowers and seeds, in addition to lots of leaves. You can also grow moringa close to the ground in garden beds as explained in the second video: Plants are spaced 10 cm (3”) apart in 1.2 m (4’) wide garden beds (100 plants per sq. meter). Harvest every 8 weeks when plants are about 3’ or 1 m tall or less. Cut back to about 10 cm above ground and the plants will quickly regrow. This method produces up to 650 tons per hectare (2.5 acres). Leaves are washed and then slow dried in shade, because sunlight will zap the nutrients. The dry leaves can be pounded into powder with mortar and pestle or pulverized in a blender.

A friend writes: “I steam moringa and mix with salt, onions and olive oil. Tastes good with no bitterness. I have a bucket of leaves and stems I will shred and extract liquid from and make spray fertilizer. (Moringa leaf extract is a plant stimulant.) Oil can be extracted from moringa seed in the home. Seed from mature pods-which can be 60 cm (24 in) long-are roasted, mashed and placed in boiling water for 5 minutes. After straining and sitting overnight, the moringa oil floats to the surface. ”

Related:
The Miracle Tree was written by Dr. Monica Marcu, Pharm.D., and Ph.D. as a result of her study of medicinal plants and her definitive research of one of our greatest trees, the Moringa oleifera. This book defines the hundreds of substances such as vitamins, enzymes, amino acids, fats, minerals, specific phytochemicals, each with clear importance and numerous applications in healing and nutrition.

Lower cost books about moringa
Pruning for thicker growth
Moringa propagation
Moringa YouTube channel
Moringa farm in Thailand (exporter with over 20,000 trees)
Moringa health benefits video
Search YouTube for moringa recipes


Comments

Growing Moringa, the World’s Most Nutritious Tree — 18 Comments

  1. I live in the United States in Toledo Ohio area. The winters are very cold here but can we harvest the seeds and grow them indoors

  2. I have a huge tree from a cutting given by a friend since 2008.It is very fast to grow from cuttings and when I prune the tree all the branches are given away! People love it.

  3. Moringa oleifera is amazing and Ken Brailsford has found a way to bring this miracle plant to your table in drink form. He watched the documentary and brought this to the people. To learn more. Contact me. Rosscoxworldwide. We are looking to help others with Real life, real health, real hope.
    Drinklifein

  4. So the rumors about the healthiness of Moringa are true… It’s been suggested by a few of my friends for treating my high blood pressure, so I guess it couldn’t hurt to give it a shot for myself

  5. I am glad to know that the health benefits of moringa has been recognized world wide. I have seen the miracles of
    moringa myself!

  6. We have 5 baby moringas that are growing like crazy. I’m excited to plant them out in a few months. I’m surprised you’re having trouble with them in your climate, Owen – have you asked around for insight on what could be the issue? I assume you haven’t seen any pods yet – how old our your trees now?
    These videos are really good, and although they never address the issue directly, they are the perfect response to anyone who tries to claim that fossil fuel/laboratory based industrial agriculture is the way to feed the world, as opposed to what it really is – a way to feed the profits of biotech/agrochemical/etc corporations. Very inspiring stuff.

    • Our soil is really bad here. Lots of plants die even with regular watering and fertilizer. Many have plant diseases probably due to lack of nutrients. Ex: The leaves get eaten by some tiny insect and all die or fall off. That’s why we started making liquid fertilizer (see earlier post on this subject). Soon all plants will get much better fertlization.

      We have four trees about two years old. They grow like crazy during the rainy season, but then diseases hit them hard in the dry season. I just cut them back and replanted the branches as 8″ cuttings. So there’s good potential for 80 more plants soon.

      Good point about industrial agriculture. I’ve almost always eaten natural foods since I was about 20, but more and more almost everything is polluted in some way — GMO, preservatives, pesticides, etc. Now we’re trying harder to grow more of our own food because I’m fed up with the unhealthy food supply. But again, our soil is really bad and that’s why we’re working on liquid fertilizer and trying to plant the most nutritious super foods.

  7. I grew moringa last year. One thing I didn’t notice being mentioned above it that it doesn’t like the cold. Also it doesn’t really do all that well in pots. Last year I got 5 plants out of 6 seeds. They got about 3ft tall in 5 gallon pots. I had hoped to over winter them in the house, but only one made it. They love the heat and well drained soil.

    • Right. They grow in hot climates and like well drained soil. We added a bit of extra sand and rice hulls to loosen our soil. See if it works…

  8. Comment from: http://first-thoughts.org/on/Moringa+Oleifera/

    “Moringa Oleifera was the National Institute of Health Plant of the year in 2008 and has been vetted by The World Health Organization, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine as well as numerous others and has been found to resolve over 300 medical conditions including obesity (weight loss), high-blood pressure, regulating blood sugar levels (diabetes), high cholesterol, hormonal imbalance (menopausal heat flashes), migraine headaches, joint inflammation and pain (arthritis), just to name a few. it’s pretty cool to give the body what it needs and then let it self-correct.”

  9. Already ordered..Shop!! before purchasing. Lot of gouging going around. $5 for 100 seeds,and free shipping… not $18 for 30 seeds..

  10. An excellent article about a wonderful tree. I have been trying to propagate a moringa from seed for a very long time. Most of the seed I bought hasn’t been viable but I have managed to get one little seedling to grow and will be nurturing it up until I can plant it out on our property. Cheers for this invaluable information :)

    • Glad you liked the article. We’re also struggling a bit with our moringa trees. Something kills the leaves each year this time of year. But we’re making progress. We now have four moringa trees about the size of dwarf fruit trees, and I just planted 80 cuttings in a raised bed.

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