Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Moringa Leaf Power

Not everyone knows the enormous benefits derived from Moringa Oleifera locally known as Malunggay or Kamunggay in Philippine dialect. Research had shown that ounce for ounce of Moringa leaves contain seven times the Vitamin C found in oranges, four times the Vitamin A found in carrots, four times the calcium found in milk, three times the potassium found in bananas and two times the protein found in yogurt. For this reason, it has put Moringa as the most nutritious vegetable plant around and has been used as fortificant in noodles, bread, biscuits, delicacies, burgers, hotdogs, porridge and as tea due to its richness in vitamins and minerals.

It is also known to be the best nutritional support for nursing mothers because it is not only rich in nutritional content but for its medicinal properties as well. By making vegetable soup out from fresh Moringa leaves, it has been found to increase the volume of breastmilk produced by lactating mothers. Another established medicinal property of Moringa Olfeira is its anti bacterial action. French scientists had found that Moringa contains an anti bacterial peptide (a molecule composed of two or more amino acids, the building blocks of proteins) that can destroy the cell membrane of many infectious bacteria.

Clinical research revealed that Moringa helps prevent Mastitis, an inflammation of the breast caused by the blocking of milk ducts while the mother is lactating which is a common problem in breastfeeding. This can cause a painful sensation on the breasts or nipples that may lead to fever or flu like symptoms. The most common infecting organism is Staphylococcus Aureus, that can be found anywhere which can be passed on to the mothers during suckling by their babies. Studies had shown that the anti bacterial peptide found in Moringa Oleifera is effective against this bacteria.

Aside from its nutritional and health benefits of Moringa, through its seeds it has the full potential of producing biofuel, cooking oil, personal care products, cosmetics, aromatheraphy, perfume, industrial oil and lubricants. Its oil is comparable to sunflower and olive oil. It is much better than palm oil in terms of properties, for it has a low transfatty acids. Twelve kilograms of moringa seeds one liter of oil can be extracted and about eight and a half kilograms of cake among others as by products.