Moringa and ECHO

In 1981, ECHO’s co-founder Dr. Martin Price first learned of moringa during a visit to a Haitian orphanage. Once he discovered its tremendous benefits, Price wrote many articles in the first issues of ECHO Development Notes (EDNs) to share moringa’s outstanding nutritional value.

Since then, this once little-known tree has quickly become one of the most respected and requested seed and plant species at ECHO.

Growing Moringa

Moringa is propagated by seeds and cuttings. Seeds should be planted 1 inch deep in soil that is kept moist until germination. They should sprout in 1-2 weeks. Moringa seedlings grow very quickly: 9-15 feet in one year. Branches 2 inches in diameter and 3 feet long can be cut and placed in moist soil to root and grow into another tree. This is best done during the rainy season. 

Pruning the moringa tree will increase leaf production, promote further branching, and help it maintain a particular height; otherwise it can grow 50 feet tall! Leaf harvest can begin once the tree is established.

Moringa needs soil with good drainage. Once established, it suffers when heavily watered. 

Moringa around the world

Malnutrition is a leading cause of high infant mortality throughout the tropics. Moringa has helped in bringing nutrition to these hungry children. High in protein, vitamins, and minerals, it is considered one of the most nutritious vegetables in the world. It is an important nutrient source for nursing mothers as well as developing children.

People who are lacking nutrition find the healthful benefits of moringa a bright hope in the midst of desparation. It was found that a diet of moringa leaves with porridge made from amaranth grain has substantially reduced or alleviated the symptoms of HIV in patients.

Following is a story of how moringa improved the health of a two-year-old boy named Jonathan, who lives in South Africa.

 I met Jonathan a year ago. Two-years-old, he was underweight, listless, had sparse hair, dull dry skin, a large belly and a pronounced umbilical hernia. He did not play; he simply sat and stared or cried. What disturbed me the most about Jonathan was how thin and red his hair was. This is a common symptom of severe vitamin deficiency.

I recently sat across from him at meal time and he was slapping the table, he held eye contact, and he smiled and laughed! His hair is black; I laid my face against his head and felt how soft and full his hair is. I noticed how heavy he is and how fat and shiny his cheeks are when he smiles. I also saw that his umbilical hernia is receding. Jonathan is healthier and happier due to the moringa powder that is mixed into his food each day. “

ECHO's staff features many experts on the various facets of moringa. Invite Tim Albright or another qualified ECHO representative to speak to your organization about moringa through our Speakers Bureau.