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Health Benefits and Other Uses of Malunggay

Updated on November 15, 2019

What is Malunggay or Moringa?

Moringa oleifera or malunggay in Tagalog and the common names in English are Moringa, Drumstick Tree, Horseradish Tree and Ben Oil Tree or Benzoil Tree is also known as the Miracle Tree. Comes from the family of Moringaceae Kingdom Plantae, it is the most widely cultivated species of the genus Moringa. Moringa is widely found in tropical and sub-tropical belts. It is a medicinal plant used in Central and South America, Mexico, Malaysia, Philippines, India, Sri Lanka and Africa.

Health Benefits of Malungay or Moringa

There are many Health Benefits that we can get from Malunggay because it is loaded with vitamins and minerals that can be an effective remedy against many kinds of ailments. It contains more than 90 nutrients and 46 types of antioxidants. Here are some of the health benefits we can get from eating Malunggay.

  1. Malunggay helps fight against diabetes because it helps normalize the blood sugar level.A study of the Department of Science and Technology confirmed that malunggay leaf extract has a hypoglycemic property that can be used as hypoglycemic drugs. Thus, it can be used in treating diabetes.
  2. It helps fight and treat anemia because it contains three times iron than spinach.
  3. It helps increase the quantity of breast milk for lactating mothers.
  4. Malunggay can help increase semen count. A recent study conducted by experts at the Bureau of Plant and Industry showed the fruit of the malunggay helped "immensely" in raising the sperm count of men who ate it, according to BPI's VivencioMamaril.
  5. Malunggay helps strengthen the immune system.
  6. Malunggay helps restores skin condition.
  7. Malunggay helps control blood pressure.
  8. Malunggay helps relieve headaches and migraines.
  9. Malunggay helps relieve cough and cold.
  10. Malunggay helps people with sleep disorder.
  11. Malunggay helps heal ulcers.
  12. Malunggay helps protect the liver and kidneys.
  13. Malunggay helps fight cancer.
  14. Malunggay helps treat diarrhea
  15. Malunggay helps stimulate metabolism.
  16. Malunggay helps in balancing the cholesterol levels in the body.
  17. Malunggay helps delay aging.
  18. Malunggay helps treat skin infections and sores.
  19. Malunggay is one of the best natural source of anti-oxidants because it has over 46 antioxidants and 36 anti-inflammatory compounds.
  20. Malunggay helps combat malnutrition.
  21. Malunggayhelps treat arthritis and rheumatic pains
  22. Malunggay helps treat gout and cramps.
  23. Malunggay helps people with STD.
  24. Malunggay helps treat boils.
  25. Malunggay helps treat urinary problems.
  26. Malunggay aids in deworming.
  27. Malunggay is also known for its anti-bacterial properties.
  28. Malunggay is seven times the vitamin C in oranges
  29. It is four times the Calcium in milk
  30. It is four times the vitamin A in carrots
  31. It is two times the protein in milk
  32. It is three times the Potassium in bananas

Antioxidants and Anti-inflammatory Compounds Present In Malunggay

Antioxidants:
Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Vitamin B (Choline), Vitamin B1 (Thiamin) , Vitamin B2 (Rivoflavin), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Vitamin B6, Alanine, Alpha-Carotene, Arginine, Beta-Carotene, Beta-Sitosterol, Caffeoylquinic Acid, Campesterol, Carotenoids, Chlorophyll, Chromium, Delta 5- Avenasterol, Delta 7 Avenasterol, Glutathione, Histidine, Indole Acetic Acid, Indoleacetonitrile, Kaempferal, Leucine, Lutein, Methionine, Myristic-Acid, Palmitic Acid, Prolamine, Proline, Quercitin, Rutin, Selenium, Threonine, Tryptophan, Xanthins, Xanthopyll, Zeatin, Zeaxanthin, Zinc.

Anti- Inflammatory Compounds:
Vitamin A, Vitamin B1, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Arginine, Beta-Sistosterol, Caffeoylquinic Acid, Calcium, Chlorophyll, Copper, Cystine, Omega 3, Omega 6, Omega 9, Fiber, Glutathione, Histidine, Indole Acetic Acid, Indoleacetonitrile, Isoleucine, Kaempferal, leucine, Magnesium, Oleic-Acid, Phenylalanine, Potassium, Quercitin, Rutin, Selenium, Stigmasterol, Sulfur, Tryptophan, Tyrosine, Zeatin, Zinc.

Nutrients Found in Malunggay (Moringa) Leaf, raw

Nutrients
Unit
Value per 100 g
Water
g
78.66
Energy
kcal
64
Protein
g
9.40
Total lipid (fat)
g
1.40
Carbohydrate
g
8.28
Fiber
g
2.0
Calcium
mg
185
Iron
mg
4.00
Magnesium
mg
147
Phosphorus
mg
112
Potassium
mg
337
Sodium
mg
9
Zinc
mg
.60
Vitamin C
mg
51.7
Thiamin
mg
0.257
Riboflavin
mg
0.660
Niacin
mg
2.220
Vitamin B-6
mg
1.200
 
 
 

Source: USDA Nutrient Database

Downside of Moringa

It is good to know that there are no side-effects of eating Malunggay tree leaves even when you eat it everydaywhich have been proven till date.That is why children and adults alike can eat this plant. It is according to Dr. Lowell Fuglie which is based in Senegal and expert in Malunggay.

Eventhough eating Malunggay is proven to have no harmful effects on human, it is still advisable to consult your doctor before drinking any supplements of this plant.

Uses of Malunggay

We are already amazed of the many health benefits of Malunggay and here are other various uses of it:

  1. Malunggay can be used in alley cropping systems.
  2. Malunggay can be used for animal forage.
  3. Malunggay can also be used as domestic cleaning agent. The crushed leaves are used to scrub utensils or to clean walls in Nigeria.
  4. Malunggay can also be used as a blue dye in Jamaica and Senegal.
  5. The seed cake or the leftover after crushing the seeds for oil extraction or water purification of Malunggay can be used as a fertilizer.
  6. The powdered seeds can be used as honey clarifier without boiling.
  7. The bark of the tree can also be used to produce ropes or mats
  8. The paste of Malunggay leaves can help beautify the skin.
  9. It can also be used as a water purifier. The seeds can be used to remove impurities from dirty water and help make it drinkable.
  10. The Malunggayseeds can also be used not only to purify water but to soften water as well.

In the Philippines

I remember when the many benefits of Malunggay is not yet discovered, we can only see Malunggay pods being sold in the public market. When Malunggay became popular because of its various nutritional values even the leaves itself are already sold like swamp cabbage (kangkong in the Philippines) and camote tops (talboskamote).

In Philippine cuisine,Malunggay is being substituted or added with other leafy vegetables that is being mixed in dishes. Chili leaves in Tinola, a chicken soup dish in the Philippines,can now be substituted by malunggay.Bitter melon leaves usually mixed in cooking sauteed mongo is now also being replaced with Malunggay. Malunggay is also being included in some dishes like lumpiang shanghai, pinakbet, bulanglang, diningding and other dishes to give an added aroma and taste with bountiful health benefits.

Some also added Malunggay to their smoothies and shakes and even in their salads and burgers.

There are also dishes that were created whereinMalunggay is the main ingredient when moringa became popular in the Philippines. Some dishes are Malunggay soup, Malunggay California Maki, Ginataangmalunggay, crispy malunggay, chicken with corn and malunggay and many many more.

Because of the popularity of malunggay, new products have also been created out of malunggay. From malunggay powder, malunggay noodles, malunggay bread or pandesal, malunggay ice cream and malunggay candies and delicacies.

Here are some of the Recipes for Malunggay

Chorizo, Meatball and Malunggay Frittata

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper
  • malunggay leaves (I used 2 small stalks)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 – 8 meatballs, quartered (or your choice of deli)
  • 3 – 4 chorizos, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces (or you choice of deli)
  • 1/8 cup frozen green pease (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 160 C.
  2. Remove the malunggay leaves from the stems and wash under running water.
  3. Crack the eggs into a bowl. Add the milk. Beat until everything is incorporated well. Season with salt, pepper, red pepper flakes.
  4. Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the chorizo and fry until lightly brown and fat renders.
  5. Add the meatballs and green peas. Stir to incorporate everything together.
  6. Pour the egg-milk mixture onto the pan. Sprinkle with the malunggay leaves.
  7. When the edges of the omelet have begun to set, remove from heat and place it in the oven. Allow to cook for 10 – 13 minutes, or until the frittata has set all the way through.
  8. Remove from the oven (use an oven mit, the pan handle may be hot) and serve immediately. Enjoy!

Source:

http://thehungrygiant.net/2012/03/15/meat-and-malunggay-frittata/

Malunggay Juice

Ingredients:

5 cups malunggay leaves

2 pcs.Pandan leaves

10 cups water

15 pcs.Calamansi

Sugar or honey to taste

Preparation:

  • Boil malunggay leaves and pandan in 10 cups water for 10 minutes.
  • Remove the malunggay leaves and pandan leaves.
  • Let it cool.
  • Before drinking squeeze in 15 calamansi.
  • Add sugar or honey to taste
  • Add some ice

PINAKBET with fruit of MALUNGGAY

Ingredients:

Eggplant, sliced (Talong)
Bitter gourd (Ampalaya), sliced
Lady finger (Okra), sliced
Squash (kalabasa)

Fruit of Malunggay
Long Beans (sitaw)
Ripe tomatoes, diced (kamatis ) – 1 large
Onion, diced (sibuyas) – 1 medium bulb
Garlic, crushed (bawang)
Kamote tops (Sweet Potato leaves)
Bagoong Padas (fermented fish sauce) – 4 tbsp
Fish Sauce
Water
Ground pepper (pamintang durog)

Cooking procedure:

  1. Place water, onion and ginger and tomatoes in a pot bring to a boil. The amount of water will depend on how soupy or dry you want your pinakbet to be
  2. In a bowl, place the bagoongpadas sauce with some of its fermented fishes. Add boiling water then mash the fish to separate the meat from the fish bones. Pour the bagoong into the boiling water excluding the fish bones. Add the ground pepper and magi magic sarap/ Let it simmer.

The amount of bagoong to be used depends on your taste preference. Just be careful not to make it too salty. You can put additional fish sauce if needed.

  1. Add the squash and eggplant first and let it simmer.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook it until done.
  3. Remove the pot from fire and add the kamote tops. Let the heat of the dish cook the leaves.


Source: http://www.myfresha-licious.com/2012/03/pinakbet-na-may-bunga-ng-malunggay.html

Planting Malunggay

Malunggaygrow easily from seeds or cuttings. Even if you have poor soil, Malunggay will still grow on it. But if you want to have it sooner I suggest to plant it in cuttings. And because I want to have my own Malunggay in our backyard and to test if it is easy to grow, I experimented on planting it myself. Thanks to our neighbor who gave the cuttings of Malunggay to us when we requested it. Here are the pictures of my experiment:

One week after planting malunggay stems
One week after planting malunggay stems
Two weeks after planting malunggay
Two weeks after planting malunggay
One month after planting Malunggay
One month after planting Malunggay
2 months after planting malunggay
2 months after planting malunggay

After seeing how Malunggay grew on our backyard, I can now agree that it is really easy to plant. Just don’t forget to water it everyday since Malunggay needs generous water.

Conclusion:

Malunggay is one of the simplest, cheapest, common but nutritional plant that I have ever seen.All parts of the moringa from the leaves, pods, fruits, flowers, roots and bark of the tree can be used in different ways.As I was doing my research on this plant, I was really amazed with the benefits I discovered about Malunggay. I already know that Malunggay is a very nutritional plant but after searching and reading about this

plant, I have learned more about this plant. I was already a fan of this plant before when it became popular in our country, but when I learned other facts from Malunggay, there’s nothing that I can say about this plant. It is really amazing and I agree with the people who called Malunggay a “Miracle Tree”.

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