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The Moringa Tree

Updated on March 4, 2015
One of my young Moringa trees
One of my young Moringa trees

A Tropical Tree That is Incredible and Edible!

All right, now really - when was the last time you heard about, read about, or saw an edible tree; I mean a tree that you could plant from seed, and actually - eat? Never? Well, THAT is about to change! Once you become acquainted with Moringa, you will be addicted... period. The first time I saw one, I liked it. The first time I smelled one, I was enchanted. The first time I tasted the leaves, I was enamored, and with me, it was "love at first bite" - literally. The romance started in 2007, and has become a full-fledged love affair!spectacular plant. There are so very few really good sources of complete protein in the vegetable world; plants that contain all of the essential amino acids necessary for a human being to survive. It is also hard to find a balanced vegetarian source of usable calcium. Well, this one has them all, and then some! If you are into organic gardening - the "green scene" - if you enjoy plants that grow fast, if you just love trees, if you gravitate towards the unusual, or if you simply want to make every mouthful of food count, delve into Moringa. One taste of its lush, green leaves, and you will say, as I do - "I love Moringa"!

Allow me to introduce you to the incredible edible Moringa tree! Oh, by the way, that's pronounced "MORE-ING-GAH", emphasis on the middle syllable! I type so much about Moringa, that I have a hard time typing the word "morning" anymore!

"Morey" is on a billboard

What Got Me Started...

My search for edible landscaping, rapidly brought me "smack-dab", face-to-face, with Moringa.

Once I discovered the wonders of the Moringa Tree, I decided that we needed a mascot, so...I created "Morey", the Moringa Oleifera Seed. He holds a place of honor, on my desk - where I can see him at all times.

"Morey" is the "billboard" that I use, to get people's attention. Most people would never glance twice at the Moringa Fact Sheets that I designed, to educate people about Moringa - without his darling face on it. That strange fact just serves to enforce my opinion, that people would usually rather be entertained, than educated by someone simply throwing a lot of facts at them. "Morey" is quite the entertainer, which relegates ME to the position of educator.

Don't you think he is adorable?

Moringa can be put in just about any food dish. This is a photo of some chili I made, with Moringa leaves added, right before serving it.
Moringa can be put in just about any food dish. This is a photo of some chili I made, with Moringa leaves added, right before serving it.

Why Should You Eat Moringa?

Practically speaking, there are only so many greens that you can comfortably eat, on a daily basis. It seems that most people consider that they have had a "good daily dose" of greens, if they eat a salad.

The book featured below, will give you all sorts of good reasons for you to eat Moringa. I own it, and consider it to be the most complete book written on the ever-amazing Moringa tree!

Malunggay in the Philippines, or Moringa in the United States

MORINGA (Malunggay Philippines)
MORINGA (Malunggay Philippines)

I have a daughter-in-law from the Philippines, and when we first got to know her, she was very excited to learn that her mother-in-law grows Moringa here in the United States. She is living here now, and I can hardly wait to share this book with her.

It is literally a textbook on Moringa, complete with full-color photographs, and lots of useful advice on how to utilize every part of the Moringa tree.

Some of the most interesting chapters - in my opinion, are:

1. The Moringa Story

4. The Moringa Plant

5. Different Species and Cultivars

8. Medicinal Uses of Every Part of the Plant

In Chapter 10, which is entitled "Moringa As Plant Food", are several sub-sections that are full of valuable information about the amino acids, vitamins and minerals, phytonutrients, antioxidants, chlorophyll, somatids, and fatty acids in Moringa, In addition, there are several charts that are full of important information about Moringa.

The book also covers Moringa as processed food, Moringa as skincare, and for the chefs among us, there are quite a few Moringa recipes.

The book is NOT inexpensive, but it is worth every cent you spend on it. You will find yourself referring to it over and over again, and as a bonus, the book, is hardbound, too!

 
One of my FAVORITE ways to eat Moringa!
One of my FAVORITE ways to eat Moringa!

How You Should Eat Moringa

...any way you want to...

So many people have asked me how to eat Moringa? Well, I eat it:

  • raw, right from my trees
  • sautéed
  • stir-fried
  • in soup
  • in chili
  • on pizza
  • in quiche
  • in wraps,
  • in dips
  • in salad
  • in scrambled eggs
  • mixed into peanut butter

When I think about it, there are so many ways to add Moringa to your diet, that I have only scratched the surface! You can use the fresh leaves, the dried leaves, the Moringa leaf powder, the Moringa buds and blossoms, and the seeds. I tell people to be creative. Think about it - how many ways are there, to prepare eggs, or corn, or tomatoes, or rice, or chicken? LOTS!

Are there any ways NOT to eat Moringa.? Yes! DO NOT OVERCOOK IT! Not only will you destroy a lot of the vitamins, and alter how the minerals are assimilated in your system - but if you overcook it, the taste turns bitter.

Moringa Links Below - The First One is The Most Important!

There are many other places to learn about the amazing Moringa Tree. If more people knew about it, there would be less photos like the one at the right.

I have included a few links below, to illustrate how Moringa can overcome worldwide hunger, how we eat Moringa, and how to grow a Moringa tree. At one of the links, you can view photos of young Moringa trees, seeds, seedlings, flower buds, flower blossoms, leaves, and pods. You will see both Moringa Oleifera and Moringa Stenopetala photos, and a few photos of the other varieties. Even if you cannot grow Moringa outside, due to your climate, you can still plant them as an annual, and eat their leaves all summer long!

Do your health a favor, and make the acquaintance of the incredible, edible Moringa tree. Better yet, tell others about it. At a couple of the links, you'll meet our copyrighted characters, "Morey" and "Stan", too - they're just NUTS about Moringa, and rightly so - they are where it all begins!

Comparisons of Some Common Greens

What is the first thing you think of, when you conjure up an image of a salad? Head lettuce - right? If you polled most Americans, they would tell you that they usually eat a salad that starts with Iceberg Lettuce. It is certainly cold and crisp and crunchy, but how much nutrition does a serving deliver? In the United States, the most commonly greens appear to be those below. We have listed some vital nutrients that 100 mg of each in its RAW state, supplies - and THEN - look at what you derive from MORINGA.

Just look at the Protein, the Vitamin C, and the Calcium content!

~ Nutrition Facts on Iceberg Lettuce, Romaine Lettuce, and Spinach - courtesy of the USDA.

~ Nutrition Facts on Moringa - courtesy of The Moringa Tree, published by CTA and CWS - 2001 - edited by Lowell J. Fuglie.

Some of our delicious, edible, Moringa leaves!
Some of our delicious, edible, Moringa leaves!

Tree of Many Faces

Moringa is good to eat, but that's not all!

Most of us who are familiar with the plant family technically known as Moringaceae, generally think of it in regards to its health benefits, but Moringa has a lot more practical uses than that! People in other countries use the bark to make a lovely blue dye, and in one country, its name literally means fence post wood. That should give you an idea of what THEY use it for!

The wood pulp from Moringa trees can be effectively used to make paper. In a pinch, Moringa wood can be used for firewood, although it is not the best wood to use. We have found that the stripped branches, chopped in 6"-10" pieces, make excellent mulch. In fact, the Moringa mulch we made, has consistently outperformed any commercial mulch we have purchased.

The trees are used for shade in many countries, and beekeepers love them, because bees are drawn to the Moringa flowers, for their sweet nectar. The bees help the Moringa farmers, too, because they keep those flowers pollinated, which is a benefit to everyone. The oil that comes from the Moringa seeds of any variety of Moringa, is very fine, and used in the watch industry to lubricate the works in timepieces.

So, the next time you think about Moringa, remember - it is not just a tree that supplies extreme nutrition in a very small serving of its leaves. Moringa has so many valuable uses, that it should has its rightful place in the "Most Valuable Trees Hall of Fame". Oh, that's right - there isn't one...well, perhaps we need to establish it.

Just me, peeking out from behind our Moringa leaves...
Just me, peeking out from behind our Moringa leaves...

Moringa Mama

Well, that's what they call me...

One of my sons actually started this one, because he noticed I have a lot of Moringa "babies", and because I talk about it all of the time, to anyone I can get to listen to me. So,...it "sort-of" stuck, just like I am "stuck" on Moringa!

Actually, I feel like a Moringa Mama, because I really love those trees, passionately. From the moment when I plant a new seed, to when it germinates, puts up a stem and leaves, and bears flower blossoms and pods - I "mother" them.

When one of the little seedlings doesn't make it, for one reason or another, it bothers me. If one looks a bit "peaked", I want to know why. Once, when a neighbor's cat pulled up several of my Moringa Stenopetala seedlings to play with them - I was pretty "miffed".

I got my first seeds of that variety, from Africa. I import them with my USDA permit, and they are not inexpensive! That form is commonly called the African Moringa, and I am one of the few people who like to grow them, here in the US. It is a good thing I didn't get my hands on that cat who "yanked" it out of the ground!

Never will I be called a "tree hugger"; that's just not my mindset, BUT I do love Moringa. I believe people are to be hugged, God is to be worshipped, and our world and everything in it, is to be appreciated. Ever since I first learned what incredible trees Moringas are, I have been "shouting it from the rooftops", and trying to get others to appreciate it, too.

If we have to eat, which we do - then, why not pack the most intense nutrition possible, into our daily fare? After all, being a human being is 100% fatal, at least for life here on Earth as we know it, so why not be as healthy as we can? Now, I am all for eating as close to nature as you are able to, but I don't think it is advantageous to be fanatical about it.

However, if you can replace a few things that you normally eat, with a similar food that tastes good, but delivers a whole lot more nutrition - why not?

Moringa : Nature's Medicine Cabinet
Moringa : Nature's Medicine Cabinet

I have had a copy of this book on Moringa for many years. It is a great way to introduce others to the marvelous Moringa plant. Easy to understand, and easy to read; it is a great "starter" book for people who have never heard about Moringa before.

 

Some of Our Beloved Moringas - Green, organic, and good eating!

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Closeup of our Moringa Oleifera leaves. Ignore my fingers in the background - I wanted you to have a size comparison.A very heartening photo of one of our Moringa Stenopetala seedlings, that survived a very harsh winter, with temperatures in the 30's and 40's Fahrenheit. These poor babies looked like dead sticks, but they came back, and put out leaves all the way dNew growth, right in the center of the photo. Those teeny green leaves grew to their full size in less than a week. Moringas grow fast!A Moringa Oleifera blossom of ours, with some buds in the background. The flowers are only about the size of a quarter, but they are the beginning of some L-O-N-G pods!One of our ripe Moringa pods with the chubby brown Moringa Oleifera seeds still nestled inside, snug as bugs in a rug. It is leaning on a seed pod that fell off prematurely, as it is still green. This one was almost 30 inches long - the whole pod is OK - this is not a Moringa tree, but if you look closely, you'll see Moringa Oleifera leaves swimming blissfully - yes, they are! - around in our homemade chili. Make your own chili, and right at the end, stir in a bunch of fresh Moringa leaves, let These are some pods, growing on our Moringa Oleifera trees. It is hard to get them in a good close-up photo, because they are so long, but, you get the idea!Good pruned height for Moringa trees. This height, about 6 feet to 8 feet maximum, makes it easy to harvest all of its bounty.
Closeup of our Moringa Oleifera leaves. Ignore my fingers in the background - I wanted you to have a size comparison.
Closeup of our Moringa Oleifera leaves. Ignore my fingers in the background - I wanted you to have a size comparison.
A very heartening photo of one of our Moringa Stenopetala seedlings, that survived a very harsh winter, with temperatures in the 30's and 40's Fahrenheit. These poor babies looked like dead sticks, but they came back, and put out leaves all the way d
A very heartening photo of one of our Moringa Stenopetala seedlings, that survived a very harsh winter, with temperatures in the 30's and 40's Fahrenheit. These poor babies looked like dead sticks, but they came back, and put out leaves all the way d
New growth, right in the center of the photo. Those teeny green leaves grew to their full size in less than a week. Moringas grow fast!
New growth, right in the center of the photo. Those teeny green leaves grew to their full size in less than a week. Moringas grow fast!
A Moringa Oleifera blossom of ours, with some buds in the background. The flowers are only about the size of a quarter, but they are the beginning of some L-O-N-G pods!
A Moringa Oleifera blossom of ours, with some buds in the background. The flowers are only about the size of a quarter, but they are the beginning of some L-O-N-G pods!
One of our ripe Moringa pods with the chubby brown Moringa Oleifera seeds still nestled inside, snug as bugs in a rug. It is leaning on a seed pod that fell off prematurely, as it is still green. This one was almost 30 inches long - the whole pod is
One of our ripe Moringa pods with the chubby brown Moringa Oleifera seeds still nestled inside, snug as bugs in a rug. It is leaning on a seed pod that fell off prematurely, as it is still green. This one was almost 30 inches long - the whole pod is
OK - this is not a Moringa tree, but if you look closely, you'll see Moringa Oleifera leaves swimming blissfully - yes, they are! - around in our homemade chili. Make your own chili, and right at the end, stir in a bunch of fresh Moringa leaves, let
OK - this is not a Moringa tree, but if you look closely, you'll see Moringa Oleifera leaves swimming blissfully - yes, they are! - around in our homemade chili. Make your own chili, and right at the end, stir in a bunch of fresh Moringa leaves, let
These are some pods, growing on our Moringa Oleifera trees. It is hard to get them in a good close-up photo, because they are so long, but, you get the idea!
These are some pods, growing on our Moringa Oleifera trees. It is hard to get them in a good close-up photo, because they are so long, but, you get the idea!
Good pruned height for Moringa trees. This height, about 6 feet to 8 feet maximum, makes it easy to harvest all of its bounty.
Good pruned height for Moringa trees. This height, about 6 feet to 8 feet maximum, makes it easy to harvest all of its bounty.

Moringa Root - Do Not Eat It!

Moringa root
Moringa root

One Word of Caution!

Please read...

We caution people NOT to eat the root of the Moringa tree. Many people do. It is not a good idea. The root bark contains a neurotoxin, and as of yet, no one has been able to give us clear factual evidence of how much you need to eat, before you are in trouble. That's enough for me - just don't eat the roots.

In some of our other links, you'll hear me talk about it - over and over again. It bears repeating, even at the risk of being redundant.

DON'T EAT THE ROOTS of the "Horseradish Tree", another common name for Moringa. I don't care HOW much they taste like horseradish. It is not worth the risk - everything else is non-toxic. So --- go buy some horseradish, or grow it. Leave the roots alone!

Moringa Items - on Amazon! - Fall in love with the Moringa tree...

None of the products or books featured here are mine.

I grow Moringa, and sell it online, from my own website. I do not know any of the suppliers that we feature here who have Amazon products, but I DO KNOW that Moringa, and its bounty are superb.

For your health's sake - please investigate Moringa - it's called "The Miracle Tree" for a very good reason!

Moringa Leaf Capsules

Moringa Oleifera Superfood Capsules – Pure USDA Organic - 400mg each, 120 ct
Moringa Oleifera Superfood Capsules – Pure USDA Organic - 400mg each, 120 ct

Many people have a hard time incorporating Moringa Leaf Powder into their daily diet, and find that the capsules are an excellent option for them. A little bit of Moringa goes a LONG way, and we tell people to take it easy.

We can simply walk outside, into our yard, to eat fresh Moringa leaves, pods, flowers and buds, but many people are not so fortunate. The capsules are an easy, simple, affordable way to obtain the benefits of Moringa, even if you live in an area where you cannot grow it.

 

There are millions of people who know about Moringa, worldwide.

Many rely on it for essential vitamins and minerals, from a vegetarian source.

Are YOU familiar with it?

Photo Credits

Unless specifically noted, all images were photographed by me. E. Tack

© 2010 Emily Tack

Do you know about Moringa? - Have you eaten it? Do you grow it? Would you like to?

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    • profile image

      linda agustin 15 months ago

      I'm a Filipino-Canadian, born in thephilippines. my family and I when I was growing up love to cook malunggay with coconut milk together with jackfruit. it is so tasty and very good for your health. everytime I go to the Philippines I always ask that I want moringa everyday. It I easy to plant moringa, cut a matured branch, dig put water on the hole and plant moringa, it will just grow, but you have to water it everyday.

    • Shades-of-truth profile image
      Author

      Emily Tack 2 years ago from USA

      peachpurple, are you sure it is really Moringa that you have? There are so many trees that are similar to it. If you really do have a Moringa tree, and are not eating its leaves and pods, you are missing out on some marvelous nutrition.

      Glad you liked the Hub!

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      oh I have moringa but didn't know it can be eaten, thanks for the hub

    • profile image

      marie-anytastegifts 3 years ago

      i am growing 6 trees now. started about a month ago. they look good and healthy. will transplant trees in about 4 months - from pots to soil.

    • Shades-of-truth profile image
      Author

      Emily Tack 3 years ago from USA

      @anonymous: Suzi,

      I just saw your question - I don't know! The bark of the root is toxic to humans, but toxic to gophers? I do not know - sorry. If it is, sounds like it will take care of any gopher problem you may have!

    • profile image

      anonymous 3 years ago

      We have a lot of gophers here, and I'm wondering if they will be poisoned if they eat the roots of the Moringa. What do you think? Wouldn't bother me at all!!

    • profile image

      laurenrich 4 years ago

      I am not familiar with the Moringa tree, but this is very interesting information. Thanks

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I spent 2 weeks in western Africa and just returned. The woman who cooked for our travel group made tea from fresh moringa sprigs every morning and I learned to like it very much. I would like to know how to obtain seeds to grow some moringa plants in containers. Since I live much north of Florida (Illinois), I am sure I cannot grow it outdoors, except in summer-time, so it would have to be a potted plant... Even a smallish "bush" size moringa would likely give enough shoots and leaves to have some in our salads now and then, right?

      Thank you for any info you might make available to me!

      PS: Since my experience has been with the African species of moringa, that's the kind I'd like to try starting!

      Thank you again!

    • gottaloveit2 profile image

      gottaloveit2 4 years ago

      Another very important article about a wonderful food source. I love learning about Moringa. I'm going to see if it will grow here in MD.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      can I grow this tree in zone 14? I live in California, Suisun City. I'd like to order a live tree and maybe give it a try. thanks!!!

      evelyn

    • alternative-help profile image

      alternative-help 5 years ago

      Wow! I learned a lot here. I would love to grow one of these.

    • SoniaCarew profile image

      SoniaCarew 5 years ago

      Fantastic lens!

      I first heard of this amazing tree while I was on a non-profit NGO exchange visit to Mozambique. Some rural communities in Mozambique actually made the moringa part of their daily diets. Amazing!

    • lesliesinclair profile image

      lesliesinclair 5 years ago

      I value every part of this lens, with info on a plant I never heard of before. thank

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 6 years ago

      This is a wonderful informative lens and so well crafted, it is a joy to read and to look at. I have never heard of this plant but will certainly be on the look out for it. Featured on Save Planet Earth under gardens. Well done, Norma

    • Bellezza-Decor profile image

      Bellezza-Decor 6 years ago from Canada

      Sounds like a wonderful edible tree. I wonder what zones it grows in?

    • VarietyWriter2 profile image

      VarietyWriter2 6 years ago

      Blessed by a SquidAngel :)

    • VarietyWriter2 profile image

      VarietyWriter2 6 years ago

      Blessed by a SquidAngel :)

    • LizMac60 profile image

      Liz Mackay 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      What a fascinating tree. thanks for telling us.

    • profile image

      RinchenChodron 6 years ago

      Thanks for educating me about this tree. Think I'll try to get a seedling and plant it. Would it grow in Colorado in sandy soil?

    • Stazjia profile image

      Carol Fisher 6 years ago from Warminster, Wiltshire, UK

      I've never heard of this tree before but now I'm fascinate by it. Excellent page.

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 6 years ago

      another great lens on this subject...well done!

    • ZenandChic profile image

      Patricia 6 years ago

      I have not heard of this tree or that you can't eat a tree. How interesting! Blessing this lens!

    • profile image

      Kapalbility 6 years ago

      I currently have a WIP lens about this tree and its nutritional properties. This tree is a native here in the Philippines, and we call it malunggay. We even have one in out back yard! Lensrolled and you will see it when I publish it. Good stuff, boss!

    • profile image

      aishu19 6 years ago

      I only heard about Moringa from you! Nice write up....Now I do want to try a bite on one of these...

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