The moringa tree, Moringa oleifera, has probably been the most popular plant in ECHO's seed bank of underutilized tropical crops. The tree is native to India but has been planted around the world and is naturalized in many locales. Moringa goes by many names. In the Philippines, where the leaves of the moringa are cooked and fed to babies, it is called "mother's best friend" and "malunggay." Other names for it include the benzolive tree (Haiti), horseradish tree (Florida), Nébéday (Senegal) and drumstick tree (India).

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TN #12 The Moringa Tree

Dr. Martin Price

Frank Martin states in Survival and Subsistence in the Tropics that “among the leafy vegetables, one stands out as particularly good, the horseradish tree.  The leaves are outstanding as a source of vitamin A and, when raw, vitamin C.  They are a good source of B vitamins and among the best plant sources of minerals.  The calcium content is very high for a plant.  Phosphorous is low, as it should be.  The content of iron is very good (it is reportedly prescribed for anemia in the Philippines). They are an excellent source of protein and a very low source of fat and carbohydrates.  Thus the leaves are one of the best plant foods that can be found.”  

What’s Inside:

  • Uses of Moringa
  • Cultivation of Moringa
  • Propagation of Moringa
  • Species of Moringa
  • Seed Sources
  • Appendix: Information on a
  • Seed Dehusker