We Always Knew Moringa Was A Superfood
Mainstream popularity budding for this ECHO staple
By: Gina Riendeau
Have you shopped at your local health food store recently and seen little packets of dried Moringa available for sale? Or noticed the supplements, energy bars or teas extolling Moringa’s health benefits? Or seen it mentioned in research as one of the newest superfoods on American shelves? Moringa has even been called “the new kale” in efforts to promote its health properties.
But if you know ECHO, then you already know Moringa oleifera, otherwise known as the Miracle Tree or, simply, Moringa. It’s “old news” at ECHO, but good news for its sustainability and potential in increasing the well-being of the poor around the world. For Americans, Moringa may simply join other forgotten foods as an addition to their diet—somewhat like the emergence of superfoods like chia, quinoa, or kale. For much of the developing world, Moringa offers so many more benefits:
- It grows fast, requires little water, is disease and insect resistant, and lives a long time. Resilience in marginal growing conditions makes it especially useful for small-scale farmers and global households.
- Every part of the tree (or shrub if kept trimmed) is useful, much of it for food, medicines, or to purify water.
- Leaves and seed pods are supercharged sources of vitamin C, iron, potassium, vitamin A, and calcium.
- Seeds consist of 42% oil, which can be used for cooking, as biofuels for machinery lubricants, fertilizer, antibacterial ointments, and skin conditioners.
- Seeds can be used to purify water by settling out particles and killing 90% of bacteria.
- Roots taste like horseradish when ground.
- Flowers, young pods, and small seeds can be eaten or made into teas.
- Wood makes paper pulp, and its bark has fibers to make ropes. Sap from its bark is used in medicines.
- It makes excellent animal forage and green manure.
So while researchers continue to find new uses for Moringa, and marketers continue to extol its benefits, ECHO remains focused on its decades-old commitment to promoting Moringa as a tree with life-saving properties for people who are hungry.
ECHO’s little packages of Moringa seeds have been known to produce hundreds of thousands of seeds for distribution. Stories from ECHO partners continue to tell of its life-saving properties and ability to build good health by strengthening immune systems. Whole villages have credited Moringa leaves and tea with saving lives and increasing health.
We knew it all along: Moringa is, indeed, a superfood—a gift from God to the world!