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Moringa tree uses and cultivating | benefits of moringa tree
Moringa tree uses and cultivating

Moringa tree

Moringa  is a fast growing, aesthetically pleasing small softwood tree adapted to arid, sandy conditions. Within the first year of growth, Moringa has been shown to grow up to 4 meters and can bear fruit within the same first year. The history of Moringa dates back to 150 B.C. Historical proofs reveal that ancient queens used Moringa leaves in their diet and in promoting healthy skin. The moringa plant (Moringa oleifera) is known worldwide for its nutritional and medicinal benefits and industrial uses

 

Taxonomy of Moringa tree

Moringa plant is multipurpose tree which belongs to the monogeneric family, Moringaceae. The family Moringaceae consists of only one genus called Moringa. The genus Moringa holds 13 species.

 

Geographical Distribution of Moringa tree

The tree can grow well in tropical and subtropical areas, it is native to the sub-Himalayan tract of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan from the river Chenab

 Moringa stenopetala and Moringa oleifera are the most well-known species which often referred to as the African and Indian Moringa tree respectively. M. oleifera has been naturalized in various tropical and subtropical regions of the world, including the Middle East, Africa, the Americas, Asia, the Philippines, Cambodia, and the Caribbean islands.

 Moringa oleifera belonging to the family of Moringaceae isan effective remedy for malnutrition. Moringa is rich in nutritionowing to the presence of a variety of essential phytochemi-cals present in its leaves, pods and seeds. In fact, moringa issaid to provide 7 times more vitamin C than oranges, 10 timesmore vitamin A than carrots, 17 times more calcium than milk,9 times more protein than yoghurt, 15 times more potassiumthan bananas and 25 times more iron than spinach

Propagating of Moringa tree.

 

The seed sowing and stem cutting are the main ways of Moringa propagation. The direct seeding method is highly recommended as Moringa seeds has high germination rates.

Moringa seeds germinate within 5–12 days after seeding and can be implanted at a depth of 2 cm in the soil. Moringa tree cultivated from cuttings tend to be sensitive to drought and winds due to poor deep root system but grow faster compared to seed propagated plant . The tree can also be propagated from cuttings of 150 cm long to 1 m length and 4–5 cm in diameter. Cuttings can be dried in the shade for three days before planting in the nursery or in the field. Plant one-third of the length in the soil. Moringa seeds have no dormancy period, so they can be planted as soon as they are mature and they will retain the ability to germinate for up to one year.

 

Cultivation of moringa

Moringa grows best in the hot, semi-arid tropics. It is drought tolerant and grows with rainfalls of 250-1500 mm (10-60 in) per year. Temperature ranges are 25-35 degrees Celsius (0-95 degrees Fahrenheit), but the tree will tolerate up to 48 degrees in the shade and it can survive a light frost.

Altitudes below 600 m are optimal, but it has been known to grow at altitudes as high as 1200 m in the tropics. Moringa Stenopelata, grows at high altitudes in Ethiopia and Kenya.

The distance between moringa rows must be 2 to 4 meters, and they must be oriented East-West to ensure that intercrops receive enough sun.

Moringa trees will flower and fruit annually and in some regions twice annually. Moringa tree will grow up to five meters in height and produce flowers and fruit.

Moringa therefore requires a well-drained loamy or sandy soil for optimal growth.

Moringa oleifera is in the family of Moringaceae which has only one single genus with 13 species. The tree can grow well in tropical and subtropical areas, it is native to the northwest region of India, south of the Himalayan Mountains

Moringa tree uses

Numerous medicinal properties have been attributed to the various parts of these highly esteemed trees. In traditional medicine preparation, nearly all parts of the tree: Leaves, fruits, pods, flowers, root, seed and seed oil have been used for treatment of various human diseases.

 

MORINGA POWDER.

Moringa has been used since ancient times as medicine for different ailments. It was used in traditional Indian medicine and Ayurvedic medicine. All the parts of the moringa tree from the leaves to the roots are edible. Moringa is considered a superfood because of the many healthy compounds and minerals it has: vitamin A, vitamin B1 (thiamine), riboflavin, vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B6, folate and ascorbic acid (vitamin C), phosphorous, vitamin E, calcium potassium, iron, magnesium and zinc.

The moringa leaves are richer in nutrients than the pods which contain a higher vitamin C content. The seed contain a high amount of oleic acid.

It is said that moringa contains 7 times the vitamin C in orange, 17 times the calcium in milk, 9 times the protein in yoghurt, 15 times the potassium in bananas,10 times the vitamin A in carrots and 25 times the iron in spinach.

Moringa is also considered great for women because of the healthy nutrients it has, like iron which is great since some women go through anaemia. It has vitamin e which is great for skin, hair and nails, as well as the overall health during the menstrual days. Moringa is also said to uplift the mood especially when experiencing PMS.

Moringa develops more easily and grows stronger with direct sowing. Make sure that the young seedlings can be easily noticed and well protected from animals, children and other dangers. Compared to trees planted from seed, trees from stem cuttings grow faster but develop a shallow root system that makes them more susceptible to moisture stress and wind damage. Make stem cuttings using branches of a tree that is at least one year old.

 

Properties of moringa.

  • Anti-inflammatory- it has the ability to soothes any inflammations in the body and skin.
  • Antibacterial- fights bacterial infections while preventing bacteria occurrences.
  • Antioxidant – acts against free radicals in the body.
  • Multivitamin- it is rich in vitamins.
  • Antifungal- fights against fungal infections.
  • Antimicrobial- it has the ability to kill viruses hence protecting the body from infections.
  • Healing- aids in healing of wounds.
  • Antiaging- it slows down the process of aging.

How to use moringa effectively.

Moringa can be applied topically and ingested.

  • As a facemask

You will need moringa powder, an essential oil of your choice and water or aloe vera gel. Mix the ingredients together in a bowl to form a paste and apply on freshly washed skin. Leave for 15 to 20 mins and rinse off with lukewarm water.

  • As a hair mask.

You will need moringa powder, avocado, olive oil and an essential oil of your choosing. Mash the avocado fruit in a bowl to form a paste then add the moringa powder and the oils to create a thicker paste then apply on freshly shampooed hair. Leave for 30 minutes and rinse off with lukewarm water then final rinse with cold water to tame frizz.

  • As a hair growth oil.

You will need moringa powder and olive oil and an essential oil of your choosing like peppermint oil. In a bottle put the powder in and add the olive oil and essential oil. Shake the mixture vigorously and let it settle for a few hours for the ingredients to incorporate together. Use when needed and apply on the scalp and, roots and ends of the hair and leave for a few minutes then rinse off.

You can also use moringa oil instead of the powder for this process.

  • Adding moringa in your smoothie.

To obtain all the benefits of the moringa powder you can use a table spoon of moringa powder in your smoothies each day.

  • As tea.

Moringa tea is sold in the market in sachets. You can drink the tea once a day to receive the benefits.

You can also add moringa powder in a cup of hot water and let it sit for about 5 minutes and then drink.

Safety precautions when using moringa.

Anyone considering using moringa should consult the doctor first.

It is not recommended for pregnant women since it possesses antifertility properties.

People using thyroid medication are advised not to mix the medication with moringa.

Any medication that needs breaking down by the liver should not be used alongside moringa since it slows down the process.

When using diabetes medication or high blood pressure medication alongside moringa to lower blood sugar levels and high blood pressure, it is advised to watch out so that the levels don’t go too low.

Sickle cell anaemia patients and those suffering from anaemia are advised to moderate the use of moringa alongside medication to prevent the iron levels from going up causing complications.

By Eila Oketch.

Sources,

https://kulikulifoods.com

www.meicalnewstoday.com

www.healthline.com

www.aduna.com

www.everydayhealth.com

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