Sahjan Or Moringa oleifera - Nutrition And Health Benefits
Sahjan Or Moringa oleifera
Moringa oleifera or Sahjan is a medicinal plant that is native to India.
Indian names : Sahjan, drumstick, shinga, seeng, etc.
Common names : Moringa, drumstick tree, horseradish tree, clarifier tree, the miracle tree, tree of life, multipurpose tree etc.
Moringa or sahjan is an awesome tree with incredible nutritional and health benefits and uses.
Sahjan or Moringa Pods
Moringa oleifera Or SahjanClick thumbnail to view full-size
About Sahjan or Moringa Tree
The moringa tree is native to the foothills of the Himalayas of Northwest India. It can grow in tropical to subtropical areas and grows best in dry, sandy soil even thriving in the harshest of soils. Its water requirement is very low but it can also be grown in coastal areas.
India, Africa, Nepal, Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Central and South America are among the many other countries where it is cultivated.
Moringa tree is slender and its branches tend to droop. In cultivation the tree is often cut back to a height of 5 -7 feet to make for easy collection of its leaves and pods. Untrimmed sahjan tree can grow to a height of 30-35 feet and lives for 20 years.
Propagation of moringa is by planting about a meter long cuttings but it can also be propagated through seeds. Moringa is a fast growing tree reaching a height of about 9 feet within a year of planting. It starts bearing pods about 6-8 months from planting.
If you live in USDA Hardiness zones 9,10 or 11, you can grow this tree easily in your backyard.
Nutrients In Sahjan or Moringa
Moringa or sahjan is a nutritional dynamite. Consider these facts.
Dry moringa leaves provide gram for gram,
- 10 times more vitamin A than carrots.
- 1/2 times more vitamin C than oranges.
- 17 times more calcium than milk.
- 15 times more potassium than bananas.
- 25 times more iron than spinach.
- 9 times more protein than yogurt.
Fresh moringa leaves provide gram for gram,
- 3 times more iron than spinach.
- 2 times more protein than yogurt.
- 7 times more vitamin C than oranges.
- 4 times more vitamin A than carrots.
- 4 times more calcium than milk.
- 3 times more potassium than bananas.
Moringa or sahjan contains 92 nutrients, 18 amino acids and all the 9 essential amino acids the human body needs. Also,
- It is a good source of protein with fresh leaves providing 17.5% of the daily requirement per 100 grams.
- Fresh pods and seeds are a good source of oleic acid.
- 100 grams of fresh leaves provide more than 250% of the daily requirement of vitamin A.
- 100 grams of fresh pods provide 235% of the daily vitamin C levels while 100 grams of fresh leaves provide 86% of the daily vitamin C needs.
- The leaves contain very good levels of several B complex vitamins.
- The leaves also contain very good levels of minerals iron, magnesium, phosphorus and calcium.
Apart from the plethora of vitamins, minerals and amino acids, moringa contains about 46 antioxidants.
Also, it contains 539 known compounds, which according to Ayurvedic medicine treat almost 300 diseases.
Nutrients In Sahjan Or Moringa
Moringa (drumstick) pods and leaves, raw,
Nutritive value per 100 grams
Percentages of daily-recommended values are marked in brackets.
(Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)
37 Kcal (2%)
64 Kcal (3%)
8.53 g (6.5%)
2.10 g (4%)
9.40 g (17%)
0.20 g (1%)
0 mg (0%)
0 mg (0%)
3.2 g (8%)
2.0 g (5%)
44 mcg (11%)
40 mcg (10%)
0.680 mg (4%)
2.220 mg (14%)
0.120 mg (9%)
1.200 mg (92%)
0.074 mg (6%)
0.660 mg (51%)
0.053 mg (4.5%)
0.257 mg (21.5%)
74 IU (2.5%)
7564 IU (252%)
51.7 mg (86%)
42 mg (3%)
9 mg (0.5%)
461 mg (10%)
337 mg (7%)
30 mg (3%)
185 mg (18.5%)
0.36 mg (4.5%)
4.00 mg (50%)
45 mg (11%)
147 mg (37%)
50 mg (9%)
112 mg (20%)
0.45 mg (4%)
0.60 mg (5%)
Health Benefits Of Sahjan Or Moringa
Moringa or Sahjan has been used in traditional medicine in many countries since centuries, for treating common ailments.
- The juice from leaves stabilizes blood pressure and reduces anxiety.
- Moringa leaf juice regulates blood glucose levels.
- The leaves reduce fever, treat bronchitis, inflammation of mucus membranes, eye and ear infections, diarrhea, dysentery, colitis.
- Leaves kill intestinal parasites.
- It increases milk production in breast feeding women, controls anemia.
- It detoxifies the blood.
- Moringa has antibiotic, antibacterial and antifungal activity. it is active against a large range of bacteria and fungi, including H.Pylori which causes gastritis, gastric and duodenal ulcers and is a risk factor for gastric ulcer.
- Moringa has tumor inhibiting property.
- Due to the high levels of various nutrients, Moringa prevents and treats malnutrition and therefore, prevents disease and even fights disease.
- The excellent Vitamin A content of moringa prevents vision problems, boosts immunity, fights infections and prevents pregnancy and lactation related problems.
- Due to its abundant Vitamin C content, moringa prevents scurvy, high blood pressure, gum problems, etc.
- Excellent iron levels prevent anemia, fatigue, weakness, decreased appetite, irritability, etc.
- The good levels of calcium prevents osteoporosis, muscle and nerve damage and abnormal heartbeat and functioning.
- Moringa has good protein content which helps to prevent weight loss, hair loss, skin problems, edema, weakness, muscle weakness and cramps, sleep problems, anxiety, depression, mood swings, etc.
- The potassium content prevents high blood pressure, digestive system problems, fatigue, muscular weakness, skin problems, heart problems, ringing in ears, etc.
- It contains a plethora of antioxidants that provide preventative effect against prostate and skin cancers and is antitumor as well.
- Due to its anti inflammatory properties, it relieves joint pain, arthritis and rheumatism.
- The anti viral, anti microbial and anti bacterial property makes it effective against UT infections, syphilis, typhoid, fungus., herpes, HIV AIDS, etc.
- It treats disorders of the nervous system like migraines, hysteria and epilepsy.
- It is effective against scorpion and snake bites as it has excellent detoxifying properties.
- It protects the kidney and liver.
- It benefits in asthma.
- Moringa also contains plant hormones, so a spray of moringa leaf extract on plants increases its growth and yield and has been used effectively on commercial cultivation.
- Moringa seeds not only reduce turbidity and clean the water, but reduce the bacteria as well.
These are some of the health benefits of Moringa or Sahjan.
How to Dry Moringa and Make Green Powder - A New Raw Super Food
Uses of Sahjan or Moringa tree
All parts of the tree have been traditionally used for medicinal purposes, both in Ayurveda and Siddha forms of medicine.
The wood pulp is used for making paper for wrapping, newsprint, printing and writing and the pulp is also suitable for textiles and cellophane manufacturing.
The immature pods of the moringa are edible. In fact, almost all parts, the pods seeds , leaves and flowers, are all edible.
The seeds also yield 30-40% by weight of an edible oil, called Ben oil that is nutritionally equal to olive oil, is sweet and odorless and never goes rancid.
Ben oil can also be used as a bio fuel, for lubricating fine machinery and in the manufacture of perfume and hair care products.
The seed cake can be used as a fertilizer or to purify water. It removes the turbidity from water and is as effective as alum.
The leaves can be eaten as greens in salads in curries, pickles, etc.They can also be dried and eaten. Dried leaf powder does not spoil. They can be used to scrub utensils.
The leaves and young branches are also used as fodder for livestock.The bark is used for tanning and also yields fiber.
Sahjan or Moringa can provide nutritional, medicinal and economical sustenance to the developing countries.
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- Fuglie LJ (1999) The Miracle Tree: Moringa oleifera: Natural Nutrition for the Tropics. Church World Service, Dakar. 68 pp.; revised in 2001 and published as The Miracle Tree: The Multiple Attributes of Moringa, 172 pp
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