Imaging a tree in your backyard that will meet all your nutritional needs, take care of you medicinally, and purity your water for you and add money to your pockets. This tree actually exists. For centuries, the natives if northern India and many parts of Africa have known of the many benefits of Moringa oliefera. Its uses are as unique as the names it is known by, such as clarifier tree, horseradish tree and drumstick tree (referring to the large drumstick hasped pods) and in East Africa it is called “mother’s best friend”. Virtually every part of the tree can be used. Native only to the foothills of the Himalays, it is now widely cultivated in Africa, Central and South Africa, Sri Lanka, India, Malaysia and the Philippines. This tree, though little known in the Western world, is nutritional dynamite. There are literally hundreds of uses for the this tree.
Moringa oleifera is the most widely cultivated species of the genus Moringa, which is the only genus in the family Moringaceae. English common names include Moringa. It is also known as drumstick tree, from the appearance of the long, slender, triangular seed pods. The tree itself is rather slender, with drooping branches that grow to approximately 10m in height. In cultivation, it is often cut back annually to 1 – 2 meters and allowed to regrow so the pods and leaves remain within arm’s reach.
In development countries, Moringa has potential to improve nutrition, boost food security, foster rural development sustainable landcare. It may be used as forage for livestock, a micronutrient liquid, a natural anthelmintic and possible adjuvant.
India is the largest producer of Moringa, with an annual production of 1.1 to 1.3 million tones of tender fruit from an of 380 km2. Among the states, Nadhra Pradesh leads in both area and production (156.65 km2) followed by Karnataka (102.8 km2) and Tamil Nadu (74.08 km2 ). In other state in so much as it has varied genotypes from the diversified geographical areas and introductions from Sri Lanka,
Moringa is growing in home gardens and as living fences in Thailand, where it is commonly sold in local markets. In the Philippines, it is commonly grown for its leaves, which are used in soup Maringa is also actively cultivated by the World Vegetable Center in Taiwan, a center for vegetable research with a mission to reduce poverty and malnutrition in development countries through improved production and consumption of vegetables.
It is also widely cultivated in Africa, Cambodia, Nepal, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Central and South America, and Sri Lanka.