Malunggay, scientifically known as Moringa Oleifera, is native to Republic of the Philippines. It is one of the varieties of genus Moringa that is widely cultivated in Asia. It belongs to the family of Moringaceae. Malunggay is an extraordinary vegetable tree which parts were noted to contribute potential uses. Its tree is slender that can grow as high as 10m. It has multiple branches that bear numerous tiny leaves.
This miracle tree grows in tropical and subtropical areas. It can grow faster in sandy soil but it can thrive in any type of soil, even salty soils in the coastal areas. It is can tolerate and resist drought seasons and can survive rainy seasons. The tree is not robust enough to stand intensive windy climate. Accordingly, most parts of the Malunggay tree are edible.
The young green pods that are called drumsticks are the popularly used part of the Malunggay tree. It tastes like slight asparagus and usually cooked like green beans. For mature pods, the beans will be taken out and can either roasted or eaten like peas. The flowers taste like mushrooms and very delicious. The leaves are like spinach that is added up to chicken or fish broths for a delicious finish. The tree contains calcium, beta-carotene, Vitamin C, protein, iron, phosphorous and potassium.
In Siddha medicine, malunggay seeds are taken to increase and prolong sexual activities and serve as the treatment for arousing and erectile disorders in both men and women.
Forty percent of edible oil, called ben oil, can be yielded by Moringa seeds. Ben oil may be used in cooking, cosmetics, and as lubricants. Once refined, the ben oil looks clear and odourless. It can also resist rancidity like any other botanical oils. The seeds being gathered after oil extraction are used to fertilize plants or as flocculants for water purifying.
Lots of scientific studies were conducted proving the humble plant's powerful and nutritional components. It has the ability to rebuild weak bones, enrich good blood flow, and nourish lactating mother's milk. Its containing calcium per ounces is compared to four glasses of milk. It has more of vitamin C than is compared to seven orange fruits and its potassium is like that of three bananas.
According to Lowell Fuglie, the nutrition and Vitamins we can get from a Malunggay is 10 times more than other food source such as carrots for beta carotene, orange for vitamin C, banana for phosphorus, spinach for iron, milk for calcium, and yogurt for protein.
The Malunggay tree also contains antibiotics and anti-inflammatory treatments. It is because the tree can be a good source of alkaloids that can pre-empt unwanted growth. It can heal wounds so easily and can even stop the bleeding of an open and internal wound.
The tree of moringa is therefore a miracle tree. At present, the World Health Organizations are enjoining the help of government and non-government organizations of tropical countries to plant, in massive scale, the tree of Malunggay. African and Asian countries are well supported to cultivate this plant to address hunger and malnutrition.
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