Discover its incredible nutritional and medicial properties

Uses and benefits of the Moringa oleifera tree

Moringa trees are extremely useful as a source of food and oil, and are grown in many tropical countries around the world. Having a high nutritional value, the leaves and seed pods are eaten in a variety of dishes and all parts of the tree are used medicinally. It is widely used in Malaysia (where it is known as Malunggay), India, Thailand, the Philippines, Nepal and China.

The scientific name for the Moringa tree is Moringa oleifera. It can grow to 10 metres in height, and is a slender tree, with drooping branches and white flowers. In English, the Moringa is also called the drumstick tree, the horseradish tree, and the "ben" oil tree.

The long, thin pod looks like a drumstick and the leaves have a horseradish-like flavour, hence its common names. The oil from Moringa seeds has recently been promoted as a potential source of oil for making biodiesel.

In 2007, I grew Moringa trees from seeds obtained locally and documented their development. We live in the subtropics, on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia, and the soil is clay over shale. Here you can find out the ideal conditions for growing Moringa.

Click on Moringa oleifera images to see photos of one-month-old, two-year-old and five-year-old Moringa trees. After two years, the trees were pruned at five foot tall, to make harvesting easier.