Growing Moringa (Drumsticks): The Miracle Tree
The Moringa tree, popularly known as drumstick tree is a native Indian plant. It is one of those rare plants that belong to ‘perennial vegetable’ category despite being a big Tree. Each & every part of the plant is edible & useful. Because of its known health benefits & overall usefulness, Moringa is called ‘The Miracle Tree’ of the modern world.
Nutritional value: Moringa has a wide variety of nutrients in high amount, with low calorie & low sodium. Moringa leaves, flowers & pods are a perfect source of complete nutrients. It has extremely high vitamin content, particularly Vitamin A, Vitamin E & C. It’s a rich source of calcium, iron, potassium & magnesium. Plant parts are full of ‘Antioxidants’ that protect our body cells from cancer.
Medicinal properties: All parts of the tree including stem, bark gum & roots are reported to be used as cardiac and circulatory stimulants. The entire plant has a tremendous amount of medicinal properties.
Uses of Moringa plant parts:
Moringa Leaves: Moringa leaves are eaten as green leafy vegetables, cooked in various Indian dishes. Moringa leaf powder is an ideal energy food supplement. It contains plant proteins with nine essential amino acids that our body cannot produce. It is used as a supplement to combat malnourishment in African countries. Leaves are also added in herbal tea.
Moringa Flowers: The fragrant white flowers are edible & used in various salad preparations.
Pods (The Drumsticks): Everyone loves drumsticks. These highly nutritious Moringa fruits are a favorite in the Indian kitchen. The mouth watering South Indian ‘Sambar’ is incomplete without Drumsticks.
Moringa Seeds: Edible oil is extracted from dry Moringa seeds called as ‘Ben oil.’ Remaining seed powder is used in water purification.
Roots: Shredded stored roots are used as condiments for spicy flavors in foods.
How to grow Moringa: The plant is Easy to grow in Indian conditions. It is fast growing & hardy. Drumsticks can be grown by seed sowing or by planting stem cuttings obtained from old drumstick plants.
Sow seeds in big polythene grow bags & let the seedling grow in this bag for the first year. Make a pit of 1x1x1 mt. size for transplantation. In monsoon, transplant a one-year-old seedling in sunny open space at the corner of your backyard that has plenty of room for the tree to grow tall. Plant starts producing drumsticks within one year.