I consider myself fortunate enough to have spent more than two months at Chikodi (Belgavi District) Karnataka and visited adjoining areas like Kolhapur, Sangli in Maharashtra and adjoining areas of Belgavi District of Karnataka.
As a plant lover during the visit of these areas I saw farmers growing Moringa trees in their fields which tempted me to study more on this tree. However even before that I was growing this plant/ tree in my terrace garden in Jammu and using a part of the leaves in our daily routine food.But on seeing the huge plantation in those areas and it’s marketing prospects I was impelled to study it more. On further studies, it was revealed that Time Magazine touted it as next Quinoea in 2015. The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations named it as the crop of the month.
Moringa oleifera is a fast growing drought- resistant tree of the family Moringaceae, native to Indian subcontinent, comman names include Moringa, Shahgen, Drumstick tree, Horse Reddish Tree, Benoil Tree etc. Moringa leaves have been used for continuousally due to its medicinal properties and health benefits.It also has antifungal, antiviral, anti depressant and anti infilmmatory properties.
Health benefits of Moringa.
Moringa leaves are nutritionally very rich leaving behind carrots,oranges and even milk in terms of nutritional value. Its leaves have seven times more vitamin C than oranges 15 times more potassium than bananas.
Rich in Amino acids :- 18 types of Amino acids are found in Moringa leaves and each of them makes an important contribution in our well being.
Fight inflammation :- Its leaves are helpful in reducing inflammation ,inflammation is the root cause of arthritis,rheumatoid arthritis and autoimmune disease,so intake of these leaves reduces the inflammation.
Rich in antioxidants :- The leaves are rich in Vitamin C and beta carotene and act against free radicals.
Good for detoxification :-Moringa leaves help to increase the immune system against various infections and also helps enhancing in the energy level.
Good for nervous system :- Many nervous disorders have been known to show positive results.The in take of Moringa leaves powder act as mood balancer as they stabilize the production of neuro transmitters.
Good for skin and hair:-Due to an abundance of antioxidants Moringa leaves improve the health and appearances of skin and hair.Moringa leaves are part of many cosmetics.They improve the skin tone and add glow due to their purifying nature and therapeutic properties.
Helps in weight management :- Its leaves extract help in burning fat in the body. It slim downs the person without depleting energy resources. Its leaves also lower cholesterol.
Improves lactation :-Extract of Moringa leaves are used to increase lactation in nursery mothers,since they are rich source of proteins ,important vitamins and essential nutients,consuming Moringa leaves is very good for health of the mother and baby.
An Antiseptic :- Moringa leaves paste is beneficiary towards wound healing and helps to heal bruises,minor cuts and burns quickly as they reduces clotting time.
Moringa leaves are rich in calcium and phosphorous and helps even healing bones that are demaged.
This article has been written for the information of plant lovers and persons interested in consuming traditional Indian products. Drumstick and Moringa leaves should be taken after proper consultation and recommendations of the local doctors and proper study. As already mentioned I have raised these trees in my terrace garden and are consuming myself and marketing Moringa leaves at Bonsai and Flower Paradise Gandhinagar Jammu.
(The author is former Director Floriculture Jammu)