Moringa Helps Plants to Grow & Nourishes Soil
Moringa also contains plant hormones (including Zeatin) that encourages plants and crops to produce greater yields. At Proyecto BIOMASA, an agricultural research program located in Nicaragua, Moringa has been studied for over six years. Researchers have found evidence, for example, that Moringa can be used as a foliar spray to increase plant growth and as a green manure to improve soil fertility. Lowell Fuglie summarised some of BIOMAS's major findings in a report excerpted below.
BIOMASA has discovered that Moringa leaf extract contains a plant growth hormone. Fuglie writes, "Juice from fresh Moringa leaves can be used to produce an effective [spray containing] plant growth hormone, increasing yields by 25-30% for nearly any crop: onions, bell pepper, soya, maize, sorghum, coffee, tea, chili, melon.
. . .One of the active substances is Zeatin: a plant hormone from the cytokinins group. This foliar spray should be used in addition to (and not in lieu of) other fertilisers, watering and sound agricultural practices. "In one trial, use of this hormone [spray] increased maize yields from 60 to 130 sacks per hectare. Using this hormone [spray], BIOMASA was able to grow coffee at 30 meters altitude. Coffee, shaded with Jatropha curcas, produced beans in just 17 months.
Moringa Purifies and Clarifies Water
In the Sudan, dry Moringa Oleifera seeds are used in place of alum by rural women to treat highly turbid Nile water (Jahn, 1986). In Northern Nigeria, the fresh leaves are used as a vegetable, roots for medicinal purposes and branches for demarcation of property boundaries and fencing. Studies by Eilert et al. (1981) identified the presence of an active antimicrobial agent in Moringa Oleifera seeds. The active agent isolated was found to be 4a O'Rhamnosyl Oxy-benzoyl isothiocyanate, at present the only known glycosidic mustard oil.
Madsen et al. (1987) carried out coagulation and bacterial reduction studies on turbid Nile water in the Sudan using Moringa oleifera seeds and observed turbidity reduction of 80-99.5% paralleled by a bacterial reduction of 1-4 log units (90-99.9%) within the first one to two hours of treatment, the bacteria being concentrated in the coagulated sediment.
"If scientists set out to design a tree that would be of maximum benefit to mankind, they would be hard put to do better than the Moringa Oleifera tree."
Moringa Claims of Traditional Medicine
For centuries, people in many countries have used Moringa leaves as traditional medicine for common ailments. Clinical studies have begun to suggest that at least some of these claims are valid. With such great medicinal value being suggested by traditional medicine, further clinical testing is very much needed at this time. If studies conclude that even some of the claims are correct, these leaves could become an invaluable resource for people in areas where other forms of treatment are scarce.
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"By using Moringa daily, you can supply your body with the nutrients it needs to protect and heal it. The best medicine is preventative medicine. Moringa furnishes the body with the nutrients needed to prevent disease and illness."