Articles / Sc. & Envt. / Science / Moringa oleifera: A Plant of Many Benefits
Saturday, August 18, 2012
Moringa oleifera: A Plant of Many Benefits
By Raysa Mestril Gutiérrez (firstname.lastname@example.org) / Radio Cadena Agramonte
The Moringa oleifera, known in Cuba as “Tilo Americano”, is a tree native to India that was introduced in America in the 1920s. Until now it had been used only as a living fence and for medical purposes; however, the plant is used in several countries around the world as animal and human food, for it is rich in proteins, vitamins and minerals.
Also known in the island nation as “paraíso francés”, “palo blanco” or “palo jeringa”, the moringa is a tree which is claimed to have diverse properties. For instance, it increases bone density, minimizes certain nervous conditions, fatigue, it is useful in people with heart diseases and improves erectile function. Besides, when it is used to raise animals, it is a great supplier of protein which will ultimately mean more milk or meat.
It is said that our grandmas used the flowers of this plant as an infusion to calm nerves, and even when children were anxious, submersing them in a tub of moringa water proved to be very fruitful.
Moringa oleifera is a tree that reaches from 7 to 12 meters high and from 20 to 40 cm wide. Its sheets, branches, fruits and flowers supply vitamin A, B and C as well as a high amount of proteins. Its seed has between 30 and 42 per cent. Its yield is of 2,500 kg kg/ha, and it can provides more than 1,400 liters of bio-diesel.
The detailed study shows that combining the plant with the sugar cane and other vegetal species is effective in animal husbandry. Besides, it is proved that it is a successful alternative for it is resistant to persistent drought facing our countryside nowadays.
In our country, the many properties of this plant have been proved in practice and everyone agrees that the Moringa oleifera is amazing. The tests has shown that this is the most nutritious vegetable, featuring more than 90 compounds, including antioxidants and anti-inflammatories.
All this allows its use as forage for the cattle, to filter the water, as a regulatory hormone for vegetable growth, and as a source of oil, milk and fertilizer.
It is a truth that the moringa contains calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus and sulfur. Its seed also features large amounts of iron, vitamin B-1, and the essential oils: Omega 3, 6 and 9.
In addition, its use as infusion or in salad lets to control high blood pressure in humans, it heals ulcers, relaxes the nervous system and helps people to focus and sleep better.
For all this, farmers and agricultural workers in the Cuban province of Camagüey are engaged in multiplying its seed , for such a purposes they are already working on 9 ha, where they have already collected 300 kg of its seed. Moreover, they are preparing the land to plant some 1,400 ha, especially to use the plant as fresh fodder for animal feeding, although there will be some who will drink moringa infusion to recover energy, as one of the many properties of this wonderful plant.
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