10 Traditional yet surprising uses for Moringa Oleifera
“Munga” (Hindi), “Sainjna” (Punjabi), “Munaga” (Telegu), “Saijna” (Assamese), “Murungai” (Tamil). These are some of the names used for Moringa throughout India, where the species has been used for over 5 thousand years as an integral part of peoples lives, and where just about every part of the plant (leaves, pods, seeds, wood, flowers, bark, roots) are still used. In English, apart from it's official Latin name “Moringa oleifera”, it is also known as the “Miracle Tree” or the “Drumstick Tree”.
Up until now, in the Western world, the use of Moringa has generally been limited to human consumption, with moderate use for domestic animals, livestock feed and some cosmetics. But if we look back in time, we can see that the traditional uses of Moringa are far more diverse. Here's a list of some of the most surprising traditional uses of Moringa.
1. Moringa seeds used for water purification.
For thousands of years, ground Moringa seeds have been used to purify dirty water. Recent studies have revealed that substances released from Moringa seed powder work in two ways; (1) by the strong antiseptic properties, and (2), electrical charges between seed particles and suspended sediment particles force the particles to join and fall to the bottom layer of the water, leaving the upper layer clear.
2. Moringa flowers as a cough remedy.
Cooked Moringa Oleifera flowers, mixed with natural honey, is a traditional and effective cough remedy and has been used to help relieve the symptoms of asthma and other respiratory ailments.
3. Moringa bark used as a cure for eye and ear infections.
The liquid which can be pressed out of Moringa bark has been used to treat eye and ear infections, also rubbed onto tumors and ulcers to remove them.
4. Moringa seed oil, used as a skin cleanser, hair conditioner and mosquito repellent.
Healthy Moringa seeds can be pressed to yield up to 40% volume of edible Moringa oil. This oil has been traditionally used to clean skin, treat skin infections, as an anti-fungal agent, to condition hair, as a base for perfumes, and to repel mosquitos, flies and other insects. The remaining pulp has been used to feed livestock.
5. Fertilize plants with Moringa.
Moringa has been used as a traditional fertilizer for many crops. Recent studies indicate that crops sprayed with a Moringa based fertilizer increase growth by over 25%. Also, Moringa as a fertilizer can trigger the activation of physiological compounds in plants to alleviate the oxidative damage caused by lack of moisture, resulting in improvements in physiological and biochemical aspects for plant growth under drought conditions.
6. Moringa leaves to reduce headaches and migraines.
Moringa Oleifera leaves are frequently eaten raw or cooked to relieve migraines, but another traditional use is to rub fresh leaves on each temple for 10 minutes for immediate relief. Leaves have also been used to help clean and heal sores and wounds.
7. Control pests and crop plagues with Moringa.
The Moringa plant is naturally very resilient against many bacterial or fungal infections, and is also very resistant against many plagues. Moringa leaves, ground and mixed with water, have been traditionally sprayed over other crops to prevent or remedy infections.
8. Moringa roots to reduce muscle spasms.
A traditional use of Moringa roots is to relieve muscle spasms, including those which result in intestinal or stomach spasms. Recent clinical research points to the presence of several substances in Moringa which are generally used in pharmaceutical treatments for gastrointestinal disorders.
9. Accelerate livestock growth and milk yield with Moringa.
A recent study concluded that including Moringa leaves to fodder increased cattle’s daily weight gain up to 32% and increased their milk production by over 40%. This supports the traditional use of Moringa as a staple food for livestock.
10. And finally, Moringa can act as a powerful natural aphrodisiac!
In many parts of India, Moringa leaves, flowers and seeds have been used as an aphrodisiac, to increase male and female fertility, and to remedy male sexual dysfunction. Several recent studies support this, and suggest that more research should be made to explore these attributes before moving onto clinical trials.
Remember, NaturaLeaf Canarian Moringa is not only available in capsule format; you can also purchase it as powder or dried leaves which are both very cost effective formats to obtain the world's finest Moringa Oleifera. So why not experiment with Moringa and make the most of over 5000 years of tradition!