It’s time to talk about something truly awesome. And no, I don’t mean the True Grit remake (though I just watched it, and yes, it is awesome). I mean Moringa oleifera, the Moringa tree.
This humble-looking little tree is ECHO’s flagship species. So much so that it forms part of the ECHO logo:
Why? Moringa happens to be one of the most spectacularly nutritious plants in the world. It is rich in calcium, betacarotene, a range of B vitamins, iron, and the list goes on. It is currently being used in many programs in Asia, Africa and Latin America as a nutritional supplement for women with nursing children. A supplement of powdered Moringa leaves can provide women with the nutrition they need to successfully breast feed, solving problems of low birth weight in infants. This is important because our bodies need more than calories to recover from malnutrition. Without the proper nutrients, the body can’t utilize even the calories that are available. So Moringa’s incredibly high vitamin content is key for children endangered by malnutrition. And it is totally natural and can be grown nearly everywhere in the tropics.
In addition, the seed pods are also nutritious, and can either be cooked or pressed for oil. And, incredibly, powdered Moringa pods act as a coagulent. When mixed with dirty water, they bind with the solid matter and separate it, leaving clean water.
And researchers in Nicaragua have found that a solution made from soaked Moringa shoots is a natural growth hormone, that when sprayed onto plants increases their size and yield.
And the shoots are a nutrient-rich feed for livestock.
And if Moringa is grown in a field then turned into the soil it acts as natural fertilizer.
And an extract from the seed is a natural antibiotic which can be used topically to prevent wounds from becoming infected.
That’s a lot of stuff for one little plant. But that’s why they call it the miracle tree. And that’s why ECHO ships Moringa seeds all over the world. It’s just that good.
The information here came from ECHO’s technical note on Moringa.
And treesforlife.org also has a document about amazing Moringa wonderfulness.