Moringa (Moringa oleifera)
Dr. med. Heinz Lüscher
One of the many names for the moringa tree is “wonder tree”. That says a lot about this interesting plant. The tree is one of the most nutritious plants of all. In the following report we are especially interested in the leaves of the miracle tree, which could be called a natural multivitamin preparation.
Many names for a special tree
German names for the tropical tree Moringa oleifera are Behenbaum (Behen tree), Klärmittelbaum (Clarification tools tree), Trommelstockbaum (Drumstick tree), Meerrettichbaum (Horseradish tree) or also Pferderettichbaum (horse radish tree). The last two names are derived from the content of mustard oil glycosides, which make the roots of the tree taste pungent and burning like horseradish. I personally like the name Wunderbaum (Wonder tree). This name tells you a lot about this special tree. Moringa is one of the most nutritious plants in the world and contains 90 essential nutrients!
Where does Moringa come from?
Moringa oleifera belongs to the family of Bennut plants and is spread from India via the Arabian Peninsula to the main focus in East Africa and with a gap to Madagascar as well as to Southwest Africa. Moringa grows exclusively in tropical areas with an average annual temperature of 12 – 40° and at least 500 mm annual rainfall. Moringa trees grow about eight meters high, they grow very fast, up to four meters per year.
Moringa, the perfect food in famine areas
Unfortunately, the extraordinary possibilities for use in Africa have largely been forgotten, so that Moringa trees are sometimes uprooted as weeds or people even starve to death under Moringa trees just because they know nothing about it. The high content of protein and carbohydrates makes Moringa the perfect food in famine areas. Vitamin A deficiency is the main reason for the high infant mortality and numerous cases of blindness in Africa. Millions of children also die of diarrhoea every year. These children could be helped with Moringa. Moringa is also an ideal food for pregnant and lactating women in these areas.
Practically the whole tree (root, bark, seeds, flowers, fruits and leaves) can be used for medicinal purposes. In the following, however, we will only consider the powder obtained from dried leaves.
The healthy ingredients of Moringa
Most striking is the high content of proteins, vitamin A, as well as potassium, iron and calcium. In addition, Moringa also contains almost all vitamins, many trace elements, amino acids and secondary plant substances. Moringa can be considered the best natural multivitamin preparation.
|Vital substances||100 g amount of dried leaves||comments|
|Protein||27,1 g||contains 10 different amino acids, 2 times more than yogurt, almost as much as eggs|
|Fat||2,3 g||oil can be produced from seeds|
|dietary fibre||19,2 g|
|Vitamin A||18,9 mg||25 times more than carrots|
|Vitamin B1||2,6 mg|
|Vitamin B2||20,5 mg|
|Vitamin B3||8,2 mg|
|Vitamin C||17,3 mg|
|Calcium||2000 mg||17 times more than milk|
|Iron||28,2 mg||20 – 25 times more than spinach|
|Potassium||1324 mg||15 times more than bananas|
(Source: Dr. Hans-Martin Hirt, Anamed)
What effects can be expected from Moringa?
Since there are practically no undernourished people in our latitudes, the main effect seems to be absent. But Moringa can be used very well for cachexia, for example. Cachexia is a side effect of serious diseases with significant weight loss and muscle loss, general weakness, anaemia and severe loss of strength (e.g. cancer, AIDS or old age). Moringa can also do good for anorexia. In AIDS patients, who are very weakened, Moringa brings back the courage to face life and a certain physical strength. Together with artemisia, it is therefore one of the best AIDS therapies available.
Supporting effect in cancer
In tumor patients artemisia has certainly the higher tumor-inhibiting effect, but Moringa supports the development of the immune system and the inhibition of inflammation in the vicinity of tumors so strongly that a combination is recommended. Since nobody finances studies on this, this combination therapy is empirically applied in mission hospitals, with very good success and low costs.
Further applications for Moringa are nutrient deficiencies, fatigue and exhaustion, high blood pressure, sleep disorders and to support the immune system during infections caused by bacteria, viruses and fungi.
Possible indications for Moringa:
- Nutrient deficiency
- Tiredness, exhaustion
- Type II diabetes
- Inflammatory diseases
- High blood pressure
- Macula degeneration (age-related visual impairment)
- Acts gently on the stomach
There are no known contraindications.