The history of Moringa may not be long, nor completely accurate on its origins, but it’s quite an interesting study when you realise that this miracle crop has been used for food, medicinal and water purifying needs for thousands of years!
Did you know Moringa Oleifera is grown all over the world now in tropical and subtropical parts of the world, it might help to know its origins and the different names it goes by around the world.
This alone asks many different questions but if you are new to the world of Moringa it’s important to understand what Moringa is, its uses and the origins of the Moringa Oleifera plant.
Where Does Moringa Come From?
Moringa Oleifera belongs to the Morinaceae family of plants that are native to Asia and Africa. The origins are not exactly clear, but it’s widely believed the Moringa tree was first discovered and farmed for purpose in Northern India around 2000bc!
Regardless of where it was first discovered for farming purposes, Moringa was mostly used the same way by different cultures around the world for its amazing food, medicinal properties and as an energy source. After all, Moringa is an amazing superfood that contains a high concentration of proteins, all the amino acids as well as micro and macro elements, anti-oxidants, flavonoids, and glucosinolates. So you can understand the importance of this agricultural masterpiece to these cultures a few thousand years ago. Even now it is still being used as a superfood for malnutrition in certain countries around the world. One of the amazing things about the Moringa Tree is just how nutrient dense it is, one of the main reasons this plant is so important to these cultures. It provides such a medicinal and nutritional value to people in need, this is also why it was named “The Miracle Tree”.
So how does Moringa Oleifera Grow?
(Our Farm in Tamil Nadu)
How Does Moringa Grow?
As mentioned above, Moringa grows best in subtropical and tropical climates. (picture) It is being farmed successfully in many countries around the world including here in Australia.
Moringa is such an important crop in India, The Philippines and Africa, and of the 9 species that are found in Africa, 8 of them are endemic to the continent.
Moringa grows quite easily and very fast, especially when grown in conditions to suit(such as our farm in Tamil Nadu). One of the main issues with farming this tree is leaving the plants unchecked to grow wild. If left unchecked, the Moringa Oleifera tree will grow up to 15m in height (more commonly around the 10m mark). This makes picking the leaves and seeds pretty difficult and they lose a lot of nutritional value this way. So farming the crop does take a lot of care and patience.
It is an extremely drought tolerant plant and will grow rapidly unchecked, so it's best to maintain them at a much smaller height encouraging the growth of the leaves. This way you can get a greater yield of Moringa leaves, easily pick the seeds for the cold pressed oil and keep the plant maintained whilst obtaining maximum nutrition from it.
So since it’s easy to grow, harvest and full of nutritional properties, you can understand its value in developing countries, especially for combating malnutrition.
Another Important Task of Moringa - Water Purification
Another very important task that can be performed with Moringa that is often overlooked, is Moringa's ability to purify water. The seeds from the Moringa tree have a unique water purification property that can separate unwanted bacteria and particulate matter which settle to the bottom allowing them to be easily filtered out.
As a matter of fact the purification process can remove up to 90% of the bacteria from raw water. An extremely useful property to have in countries without access to much clean water.
Other Names Moringa is Known as
Moringa, or Moringa Oleifera is the common name here in Australia. But what about other areas of the world? What is it called in its places of origin?
Southern India (specifically the state of Tamil Nadu) calls it Murungai and it is used plentiful for a variety of reasons. Commonly added to curries and other dishes, it’s a great way to get missing nutrients into a delicious dish. The people of India use most of the plant for cooking or medicinal reasons.
In the Philippines, Moringa is more commonly known as Malunggay. Much like India the Phillipino people have been using this miracle tree for thousands of years in culinary dishes and medicines.
In Ethiopia Moringa is known as Shiferaw and is used in certain parts of Ethiopia commonly as a replacement for cabbage. Ethiopia mainly uses Moringa for cooking, medicinal and as an energy source.
Other Common Names
These next lot of common names can be found in multiple languages but all meaning the same thing. Some of Moringa’s more common names are
- The Drumstick Tree
- The Horseradish Tree
- The Cabbage Tree
- The Tree of Life
- The Miracle Tree
All of these names are in regards to the same amazing Moringa family. Truly amazing when you stop to think just how much Moringa is used worldwide and all the different purposes it has for different countries. It goes by many names, but always serves the same purpose.
Hopefully now you have a somewhat better understanding of where Moringa originates and its many useful benefits around the world, feel free to browse around our store and see if anything piques your interest. Feel free to ask us any questions you may have via email, chat or our contact form.
But most of all, enjoy the many, many benefits that Moringa can offer in its numerous forms.