Table of Contents
- Awesome Moringa Facts
- 1. Water Purifier
- 2. Natural Adsorbent For Waste Treatment
- 3. All Parts Are Edible
- 4. Rich In Health Properties
- 5. Boost Plant Growth
- 6. Improves Plant Yield
- 7. Excellent Poultry Feed
- 8. Higher Calcium Than Milk
- 9. Reduce Cyanobacteria Blooms
- 10. Potential Natural Insect Repellants
- 11. Repel Mosquitoes
- 12. Cure Plant Diseases
- 13. Important Crop In India
- 14. Endemic To Madagascar and Northeast Africa
- 15. Moringa Is Invasive In Florida
- Final Thoughts
Let us briefly introduce you to this plant before further discussing moringa facts. Moringa is a superfood that is famous for its nutrition. It is believed that Moringa, especially the Oleifera species, can cure 300 diseases due to its abundant health properties.
All parts, including the moringa leaf, tree, flower, and seed, have their respective benefits.
Awesome Moringa Facts
In addition, there are tons of benefits of Moringa that only a few people know about. Hence, we compile the most intriguing Moringa facts you should know. Starting from the benefits for humans to plants. It also includes the cons of cultivating this plant because it is invasive. Curious?
Check out the facts about Moringa below!
1. Water Purifier
Maybe all this time, you only know that Moringa is a very nutritious plant. Considering its health properties, Moringa leaves are often used as raw materials for making health supplements. Generally, pharmaceutical companies sell it as Moringa powder or capsules.
But apparently, the benefits of Moringa are far from being just a plant to improve your health and well-being. Besides being rich in nutrients, its seeds are also helpful for filtering water. How come? Well, a study proves the effectiveness of moringa seeds in purifying river water. The researcher uses copper, moringa seed powder, and water to make a natural purifier mixture. The result showed that the seeds work effectively as a natural coagulant, thus making the filtration process more manageable.
Meanwhile, Cooper is an antibacterial agent, so river water is suitable and safe for consumption. This finding has potential, especially during a disaster where it is difficult to access clean water.
2. Natural Adsorbent For Waste Treatment
In addition to the water purifier, recent studies suggested that Moringa Oleifera seeds are an excellent alternative to the chemical adsorbent. The seeds contain water-soluble, positively-charged protein that works efficiently to coagulate solid waste.
One study revealed that Moringa Seeds Waste (MSW) from the Moringa seeds oil extraction industry is useful for reducing synthetic dye pollution waste. Hence, it is vital to reduce the negative environmental impacts of hazardous chemical substances.
Furthermore, from an economic perspective, using MSW can cut industrial waste treatment costs. Meanwhile, indirectly, the use of MSW also reduces the waste of moringa seeds, which are usually thrown away after extraction.
3. All Parts Are Edible
Unlike some plants where only some parts are edible, all parts of the moringa Oleifera tree are safe to eat! No wonder this plant has been named a very nutritious plant. Moringa leaf is the part that is most often used. In general, people in South Asian and tropical Asian countries consume it raw and cooked.
They will add the leaves to clear soup or stir-fry them. People in India, particularly, use them in curry making. Meanwhile, the leaves also dried into Moringa powder to make a supplement, a.k.a superfood.
Furthermore, the Moringa pods usually are picked in India. Yet, they are also tasteful and eaten fresh while they are green. These pods are typically added to clear soup with the leaves in Indonesia.
What’s even more interesting about Moringa facts are the seeds that contain oil, which later became known by the trade name Moringa oil. Ancient people used it as a raw material for topical and moisturizer for the skin. In addition, you can also use it as a way healthier cooking oil than commercial ones. It is rich in antioxidants and sterols, helping to regulate cholesterol.
If you are interested in consuming the seeds, you can add them to curry or dry and steep them for tea. On the other hand, Moringa seeds waste has coagulant properties that are useful for water filtration and solid waste management.
4. Rich In Health Properties
As a superfood, it is no wonder that Moringa has a bunch of health benefits for those who consume it. The leaves, to be specific, are the best part loaded with bioactive compounds, such as phenolic acids, flavonoids, saponins, tannins, antioxidants, and vitamins.
In a study, the researcher used obese Zucker rats with metabolic diseases and fed them with Moringa Oleifera leaves. The results demonstrated that the leaves showed anti-diabetic, hypolipidemic and hypotensive properties. Those benefits came from quercetin, one of the most potent antioxidants contained in the leaves.
Meanwhile, phenolic acids offer antimutagenic, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. In the dried MO leaves, gallic acid was the highest, followed by chlorogenic and caffeic acids. They can reduce total plasma cholesterol and lower blood sugar. Furthermore, flavonoids, tannins, and saponins both have anticancer properties. If you are wondering about Moringa side effects, there are no reports that this plant poses threats to our health.
5. Boost Plant Growth
Besides being beneficial for human health, Moringa Oleifera (MO) leaves also enhance plant growth. They contain zeatin which is a growth hormone to produce dense plants.
A study tried to prove this by spraying moringa leaf extract on the foliar of okra. Spraying was carried out with two treatments at 40, 80, and 120 days after sowing as the first treatment. The second one was 40 and 80 days after planting. This time was chosen because it is the growth stage of okra.
Furthermore, they made the extract by pounding 100 grams of moringa leaf into 8 liters of water. Then, they obtained an exciting result, where the extract could encourage lateral bud growth in okra, resulting in more branches. This is due to the supply of macro and micro minerals that meet the plant’s needs to thrive.
6. Improves Plant Yield
Along with boosting plant growth, Moringa Oleifera leaves also improve crop’s yields because they contain phosphorus and sulfur, which are beneficial for their development. A report mentioned that 100 grams of fresh Moringa leaves contain around 70 mg phosphorus, 137 sulfur, and 2.3 other vital minerals for the plants.
One study stated that the more the leaves extract of Moringa is given, the yields of black cumin will also increase. This is because the extract encourages hormone growth. These hormones work by altering the pathway of photosynthesis. As a result, they can boost flowering and fruiting in the plant.
This finding was supported by other research, reporting that spraying Moringa leaf extract to the foliar increased rice grain yields (Oryza Sativa L.) even under drought stress. Drought can usually affect crop performance, such as lowering yields, reducing grain weight, and reducing starch synthesis due to disruption in photosynthesis.
7. Excellent Poultry Feed
We have discussed some Moringa facts and how great Moringa leaves are as a biostimulant for plant growth. But apparently, these nutritious plants are also useful for providing quality feed for livestock, such as poultry. This is because Moringa has significant contents of vitamins (A, B, and C), minerals, and bioactive compounds we cannot even mention one by one.
A study stated that the addition of Moringa leaf meal to the diet of laying hens considerably improved the quality of their egg yolks with a more intense color due to the high content of carotene in Moringa (around 15.25 to 16.30 mg per 100 grams).
In addition, including a Moringa leaf meal in the broilers diet can help reduce cholesterol in their eggs since the leaves contain a hypocholesterolemic effect. It, of course, benefits breeders because such eggs are preferable to consumers. Another finding showed that broiler chickens fed with 5% Moringa for seven weeks experienced favorable weight gain.
8. Higher Calcium Than Milk
Calcium is one of the most essential minerals for humans. It helps to strengthen your bones and teeth. In addition, this essential mineral also plays a vital role in preventing blood clotting and regulating heartbeats and nerve functions. For the muscles, calcium aids them in contracting. And interestingly, one of the most surprising facts about Moringa is that the leaves contain higher calcium than milk.
One study reported that 8 ounces of fresh Moringa contain 1000 mg of calcium, whole milk only has 300 to 400 mg. The content is even more significant in Moringa powder which accounted for 4000 mg. What a number! Other minerals, like iron, consist of 28 mg, while beef only has 2 mg. Hence, Moringa powder is often used as an alternative to Iron tablets to treat anemia.
9. Reduce Cyanobacteria Blooms
Cyanobacteria are a type of bacteria that produce energy through photosynthesis. They usually form blooms commonly found on lakes, beaches, streams, soil, glaciers, and hot springs and quickly spread in late summer to early fall. Although they help produce oxygen in the atmosphere, they are potentially dangerous to humans and animals.
These bacteria can produce cyanotoxins and harmful gasses. Generally, the exposure can cause sore throat, nausea, headache, and bloody diarrhea if the symptoms are not treated properly. In addition to humans, cyanobacteria can absorb oxygen that will be detrimental to marine life.
Recently, scientists discovered that Moringa seeds have anti-cyanobacterial properties that help control these bacteria’s growth. The filtrate of the seeds treated to the cyanobacterium Microcystis aeruginosa for two weeks was proven to kill cyanobacteria in 80 and 160 mg/L concentrations.
However, this study was under laboratory conditions. Therefore, further research is needed to determine the influence of Moringa on reducing cyanobacteria.
10. Potential Natural Insect Repellants
One problem that often arises when storing wheat grain and flour in the warehouse is the emergence of insect pests. These culprits can reduce the quality and quantity of stored products. A report mentioned that around 40% was lost during storage. Of course, this is very detrimental for farmers and producers of wheat flour.
Luckily, a study stated that Moringa seeds have the potential as natural insect repellants because they contain lectin. Lectin is known to be often included in pest control because it can reduce insect weight, inhibit feeding and development, and mortality.
Moreover, this study used powdered seeds, flowers, and bark and then dusted from outside the sacks filled with grains and flour. Then, they are stored for 1, 2, and 3 months. This study showed that the moringa seeds powder was the most effective for eradicating ephestia kuehniella and tribolium castaneum moths with a repellent effect of 87.17% compared to flower powder with only 69.76%.
In addition, the optimal storage time is one month. Meanwhile, the weight loss recorded only 0.04% in the treated sack with powder dust, much lower than the untreated one, which had a 15.96% loss.
11. Repel Mosquitoes
Not only is the Moringa plant beneficial to repel moths, but the leaves are also claimed to be a great repellent for mosquitoes. Especially the malaria vector Anopheles Stephensi Liston. It contains active bio compounds, such as quercetin and kaempferol that offer antioxidant action against the insect.
This claim is proven by one of the studies conducted by Prabhu et al. (2011), which used the seed extract sprayed into a tank filled with larvae of Anopheles stephensi. Then, the tank is left for 24, 48, and 72 hours. As a result, there was a reduction in larvae of 69.8%, 78.9%, and 89.8%, respectively.
Furthermore, the repellant activity was recorded. Scientists used human volunteers and starved female adult mosquitoes as research subjects. The plant extract was applied to the volunteer’s arms at 20 to 100 ppm at 20 ppm intervals. Then the mosquitoes were released. This process took place from 5 to 10 pm.
The results showed that the number of mosquitoes fed on the volunteer’s arms was less with higher doses. 56 mosquitoes suck on the arms at 20 ppm, while only 7 at 100 ppm. This finding showed the potential properties of Moringa Oleifera as natural Mosquitoes repellent. It can be used as a malaria prevention measure.
12. Cure Plant Diseases
As a multipurpose tree, Moringa Oleifera can treat some plant diseases. One of the diseases Moringa can cure is gray mold disease caused by botrytis cinerea. A group of scientists tried to prove this claim by examining the effect of Moringa leaf extract to inhibit the disease on tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum L.).
The result was that the 5mg/ml of moringa leaf extract could inhibit spore germination 100% compared to the synthetic that needed 0.2 mg/ml. Moreover, 98.10% mycelial growth inhibition was recorded at 10 mg/ml. It was possible because Moringa contains quercetin, kaempferol, flavones, and flavonoids which have antifungal properties.
This finding showed that Moringa benefits farmers as it can be a promising substitute for chemical fungicides that share detrimental effects on crops and the environment.
13. Important Crop In India
Although widespread in Asian and African countries, the Moringa tree originates in India. And in fact, it is an important crop in the country. People in India have been using this superfood for a long time as a natural remedy. Maurian warriors of India utilized leaf extract to relieve stress and pain during the war. They also drank it to provide energy.
Moreover, the Indians prefer to eat leaves and flowers to maintain good mental health. Besides M. oleifera, ancient Indians used Moringa Peregrina to cure skin rashes and paralysis by rubbing the leaves on the affected parts. Even more remarkable, they used it to treat symptoms of hyperlipidemia and hyperglycemia. But a recent study proved it by providing Moringa nutrition facts containing antidiabetic properties. The seed extracts lower blood sugar in hyperglycemia rats by 69.7% and 89.6%.
Furthermore, India covers 80% of this nutritious plant industry worldwide. According to the Economic Times, the industry could be worth around US$ 7 billion! If India uses this golden opportunity well, it can control the economy in this sector and reap huge profits.
14. Endemic To Madagascar and Northeast Africa
You may know Moringa as Moringa Oleifera. Whereas there are about 13 species of Moringa plants spread across several continents. But most of them are cultivated in Africa, Asia (particularly India), and South America because they are drought tolerant.
So, you don’t have to worry about the watering schedule while growing them in your garden. Among the 13 species, the four most popular cultivars are M. oleifera, M. peregrina, M. stenopetala, and M. concanensis. So, how about the other 9 species?
Surprisingly, they are all species endemic to Madagascar and Northeast Africa. And for that reason, research about them is lacking. Those who grew up in Southern Madagascar include M. drouhardii Jumelle and M. hildebrandtii Engler.
Meanwhile, M. arborea Verdcourt, M. borziana Mattei, M. longituba Engler, M. ovalifolia Dinter ex Berger, M. pygmaea Verdcourt, M. rivae Chiovenda, and M. ruspoliana Engler are spread between Somalia, Kenya, Namibia, and Ethiopia.
15. Moringa Is Invasive In Florida
While India and most parts of the world consider Moringa a superfood with a million benefits, it is a different case in Florida. Initially, Moringa was cultivated in the state because of its economic and health benefits. But due to their ease of spreading through seeds, they can quickly grow around them.
Moreover, Florida’s dry climate is favorable to Moringa. Also, this plant is highly adaptable, so it can easily adjust to any environment. Furthermore, the University of Florida has marked Moringa as a highly invasive exotic plant whose existence needs to be monitored. Invasive plants are a danger to the local ecosystem because they can suppress native species in the vicinity because of their high-speed growth.
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It is common knowledge that Moringa is a superfood that is rich in health benefits. It’s no wonder that Moringa, specifically Moringa leaves, is widely used as raw material for making supplements. But apparently, it has many other benefits for plants, such as organic fertilizer, pest repellant, treatment for diseases, and many more.
However, if you live in Florida, you must be careful in planting them because they are considered invasive.