A Moringa root was used by early Romans, Greeks, and Egyptians for its therapeutic properties. It has higher nutrient quantities then seeds and leaves, but it also contains some alkaloids and phytochemical compounds that are powerful toxins. Consumed in large enough quantities one of the toxins can paralyze the nervous system, and cause death. So, we think that it is wiser to use Moringa roots as a medicine than as a food. If you decide to use roots as a food, remove the bark from the roots, because it is toxic. In some rural and tribal areas of the West Bengal province in India, those roots are taken by women as permanent contraception. It has been shown to inactivate or suppress the reproductive system. Moringa root has a taste similar to horseradish, so it could be shredded and used as a condiment in the same way as horseradish (small amount at the time). But the harvested roots from Moringa Oleifera trees serve a lot of other purposes than cooking. Those roots are used to create medicines, perfumes, natural pesticides, fertilizers, animal food, cleaning agents, water purification. Moringa Oleifera Roots are known for their antibiotic properties and based on that, they are used to treat variety of conditions and illnesses like Asthma, Circulatory / Endocrine Disorders, Digestive Disorders, Gastritis, Inflammation, Rheumatism, Nervous Disorders, Reproductive Health, Skin Disorders. Some medical studies have been able to prove that some compounds in Moringa Oleifera roots can be successfully used in ovarian cancer treatment, as well as some hormonal propertyes to help with blood glucose level and Thyroid problems.
Moringa seeds are large and circular-shaped, and grow inside the pods of the Moringa Oleifera tree. The pods can reach over a foot in length and contain over a dozen seeds. These seeds have their own wings so the wind can carry them to fertile ground far away from the parent plant.
Fresh Moringa seeds are usually soft, and as they dry out, they harden until they resemble a dried bean or pea.
Seeds could be harvested for oil production in which case they are immediately processed. If cold-pressed they produce up to 40 % oil by weight. If not used for oil, they can be used as food. They are also packed with nutrients. Moringa seeds can be steamed or boiled, either in the pod or shell, just like peas or green beans. Another way would be to season, roast and use them as a snack food. Roasted they have a pleasant “nutty” taste.
The seed cake, which remains after the oil has been extracted, or seed powder are both effective flocculent (coagulant) to purify cloudy or dirty water. When added to dirty water and stirred, seeds pull together floating particles (dirt, other solids, and some germs and worms), and when the water settles, the particles sink to the bottom. Note: Moringa seeds should not be used as the only method of treating water because it does not make water completely germ free. Next step would be to filter water through fine cloth or solar disinfection; chlorine should never be used because of its chemical reaction with Moringa seeds.
Moringa seeds medical uses:
Moringa seeds are used for their antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties to treat arthritis, rheumatism, gout, cramp, sexually transmitted diseases and boils. The seeds are roasted, pounded, mixed with coconut oil and applied to the problem area. Seed oil can be used for the same ailments.
- Roasted seeds and oil can encourage urination.
- They can also be used as a relaxant for epilepsy.
- Moringa seeds are effective against skin-infecting bacteria – Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. They contain the potent antibiotic and fungicide terygospermin.
- The seeds are used against fevers.
- In Aruba, the seeds are crushed and made into paste that is applied to warts.
- It is also used to treat skin disease.
Moringa Oleifera tree is fast growing tree, and just after eight months comes it’s first bloom. Moringa flowers are approximately one inch in diameter and a creamy white color. They could be harvested at any time, but younger flowers are better, quality wise. These flowers are considered a delicacy in many places on the planet. They contain good amount of both calcium and potassium. Some people say that they taste like mushrooms. You can mix Moringa flowers in a salad or fry them in Moringa oil, as well as add them to many dishes like: lasagna, omelets, soups, sea food, pasta dishes, pizzas… Just one note, be careful how much you eat, because they have laxative effect on the body.
Moringa flowers could be either dry in the shade, or in the oven under low temperature to be stored for tea making. The flowers sit in hot water for at least five minutes to let the distinctive flavor brew. After that tea could be sweetened with honey or sugar.
Moringa tea has both nutritional benefits and works as a medicine. In some countries people drink very strong Moringa flowers tea on a first sign of the cold to boost their immune system, or to treat a sore throat. In Puerto Rico the flowers are made into an infusion and used as an eye wash. For a long time in Ayurvedic medicine, Moringa flowers are used to treat inflammations, muscle diseases, tumors and enlargement of the spleen. Be aware: flowers can act an abortifacient so do not use in pregnancy.
People in India and Philippines drink Moringa tea regularly for nutrition and general wellness. Breastfeeding mothers drink it to increase milk production. Women drink Moringa tea for cramping and bloating connected to their menstrual cycles, and man report increasing in stamina during their working day.
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