Moringa oleifera is a plant that is often called the miracle tree, drumstick tree, the ben oil tree, or the horseradish tree.
Moringa has been used for centuries due to its medicinal properties and health benefits. It also has antifungal, antiviral, antidepressant, and anti-inflammatory properties. Fast facts on moringa:
- The tree is native to India but also grows in Asia, Africa, and South America.
- Moringa contains a variety of proteins, vitamins, and minerals.
- Moringa oleifera has few known side effects.
- People taking medication should consult a doctor before taking moringa extract.
What is in moringa?
Moringa has medicinal properties and contains many healthful compounds.
Moringa contains many healthful compounds such as:
- vitamin A
- vitamin B1 (thiamine)
- B2 (riboflavin)
- B3 (niacin), B-6
- folate and ascorbic acid (vitamin C)
It is also extremely low in fats and contains no harmful cholesterol.
To grow from a cutting:
After the trees have stopped
producing fruits each year, branches
need to be cut off so that fresh
growth may take place. These
branches are excellent for growing
- Make a cutting at least 1″ (2.5cm) in diameter and at least six feet (1.8m) long.
- Dig a hole 3 ft. (1m) x 3 ft. (1m) and 3 ft. (1m) deep.
- Place cutting in this hole and fill with a mixture of soil, sand and composted manure. Pack firmly around base of the cutting. Form a slight dome or cone shape, sloping down away from the cutting. It is desirable that water not touch the stem of the new tree.
- Water generously, but do not drown the cutting in water.
To grow from seed:
Moringa seeds have no
dormancy periods and can
be planted as soon as they
In the ground:
It is best to plant the seeds directly where the tree is intended to grow and not transplant the seedling. The young seedlings are fragile and often cannot survive transplanting. To plant seeds directly in the ground:
- Choose an area with light and sandy soil, not heavy with clay or water-logged.
- Dig holes 1 ft (30 cm) square and 1 ft deep. Back-fill the holes with loose soil. Compost or manure will help the tree grow better, even though Moringa trees can grow in poor soils.
- Plant 3 to 5 seeds in each hole, 2 in. (5 cm) apart. Plant the seeds no deeper than three times the width of the seed (approximately ½ in. or 1.5 cm – the size of one’s thumbnail).
- Keep the soil moist enough so that the top soil will not dry and choke the emerging saplings, but it should not be too wet or else the seeds can drown and rot.
- When the saplings are four to six inches tall, keep the healthiest sapling in the ground and remove the rest. Termites and nematodes can kill a young sapling. Take measures to protect saplings from these two dangers using organic methods which do not hurt the environment.
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