Munaga (Drumstick) Moringa olifera – Valuable for food and medicine
Image Source: Philip Tellis
‘Moringa Olifera’ is a useful plant both for food and medicine. It is a very commonly grown tree and grown by many people traditionally as a backyard plant for using its long pods for food. The pods are delicious and in southern India they are commonly used in the preparation of sambar a favorite dish. The sambar gets a particular taste and flavor by using the cuttings of the pods. It is native to the southern foot hills of Himalayas in the northwest part of India. It grows very well in semiarid and tropical climates. It can be grown in poor soils also. The plant can be propagated with stem cuttings and seeds easily without any difficulty. The tender leaves are also used as food by cooking along with dolls (Either green or Red grams). The leaves are a rich source of Iron and it is believed that using the leaves as a food increases the hemoglobin level in anemic patients. Extract of leaves also can be taken to increase the blood levels of hemoglobin. It is a safe home medicine for anemic patients. In addition drum sticks also contain Beta carotene, Vitamin C, Proteins and Potassium.
Medicinal values of different parts of Moringa:
Different regional names of Moringa: