The Malunggay or Moringa plant in the Philippines has traditionally been used by lactating mothers as a supplement to induce increased milk production when taken as a soup. Aside from that it was more popularly used as plain old fencing posts. Recently though the new found uses of the plant have spurred interest in propagating the plant for commercial use.
The medicinal value of the plant has been proven via a range of uses that have been discovered for its parts. From it are derived antibiotic’s, medicines to treat arthritis, rheumatism, gout, cramp, boils, and sexually transmitted disease. It can also help lower cholesterol in people. The roots could even be used to treat snake bites. It has been discovered recently that intake of malunggay can increase sperm count in infertile men.
Because of its anti-oxidant properties it has been used in the manufacturing of perfumes, personal care and therapeutic products, as well as cosmetics.
Since the leaves have been traditionally used to increase milk production in lactating mothers, it has been tried, with successful results, to feed them to milking cows in order to increase their milk production.
Oil extracted from the seeds can be used to make biofuels. Malungai oil is edible and looks like olive oil in its fatty acids composition. It is rich in monosaturated fatty acids, it is believed to be more stable to oxidative rancidity. Also, it is stable as deep frying oils and is usually healthier as it lowers risk of coronary heart disease. The oil content of seeds ranges between 30 to 40% by weight.
The left over press cake from the pressed seed during the extraction of the oil can be used in water filtration as it acts as a coagulant to absorb particulate matter and bacteria in the water. Other uses for the presscake is as an animal feed as it contains high amounts of protein.
According to a study, a gram of leaf of a moringa plant contains 7 times more vitamin c than an orange, 4 times more calcium than milk, 4 times more vitamin A than a carrot, 3 times more potassium than a banana and 3/4 more iron than a Chinese cabbage (pechay/bok choy).
Where can you plant Malunggay?
Basically anywhere since it is a hardy plant, it doesn’t require much water and good soil. The notes from this article however were taken from a study done in tropical conditions. It is unknown how the plant will perform in northern climates.
Category : Business Tips, How to, Agriculture