Moringa oleifera is a new topic for me, I was only introduced to it in the New Year. Before I delved into the topic, I wanted to know how many other people from the industry were in my boat. So, I took to Twitter and The Farming Forum. These were the results:
Unsurprisingly, the majority of people who answered, had not heard of moringa. Apparently, in 2006 the Discovery Channel aired a documentary on moringa, this was the first time the west had been exposed to it. Hopefully this blog post will teach you something about it.
Moringa – The Facts
- High in nutrients and antioxidants: vitamins: A, B, C and E, minerals: iron, calcium, selenium, phosphorus and potassium, essential fatty acids: omega-3 and omega-6, protein, fibre
- Lowers blood sugar levels
- Reduced inflammation
- Maintains cholesterol levels
- Reduces fatigue
- Aids digestion
One hundred grams of dry moringa leaf contains:
- 9 times the protein of yogurt
- 10 times the vitamin A of carrots
- 15 times the potassium of bananas
- 17 times the calcium of milk
- 12 times the vitamin C of oranges
What about the market value? It was reported that the global market amounted to around €363 million in 2016. Looking ahead, this is forecasted to reach €626 million by 2020. Got your attention? Moringa is the source of multiple products such as, tea powder, vegetable oil, cosmetics, nutritional supplements and medicine.
2. How easy is it to grow? What are the ideal conditions?
The Moringa Oleifera tree is quite easy to grow as long as you give it the right conditions to prosper. Moringa likes a fertile rich soil with a consolidated bed, but can grow in the toughest most arid terrain. Moringa is drought, pest and disease tolerant and also loves to be pruned and cut. The best attribute of Moringa’s great attributes is that you only have to plant it once. If maintained properly as it is perennial, the speed of growth is amazing, I have been able to achieve from planting to harvest 60 days of 6-foot trees.
3. What is your most popular product and why do you think moringa isn’t well known within the agricultural sector in the U.K.?
The most popular retail product in our range is ‘Life of a Tree Moringa Slimline Tea’. This is because our organic Moringa tea is the best natural alternative to Green (Matcha) tea, it has all the benefits and more. Life of a Tree organic Moringa tea is high in natural antioxidants which don’t need to be added unlike Green tea. We have no caffeine in our tea but it still gives you that pleasant boost in energy and mental clarity with a palatable taste unlike the bitter caffeinated taste of Green tea. My favourite product is our organic Moringa cold pressed extra virgin oil. Like all our products, we don’t add or take anything from the product, but with the seeds of the oil that are cold pressed, this seed cake has a special attribute which allows it to purify stagnant dirty water naturally because it acts as a coagulant that brings all dirt and bacteria to the bottom of the water and creates a firm base so the 94% purity water can be decanted. This is the basis of our Gofundme Life of a Tree Clean Water Project which provides clean water to our local farming communities using our by-product (not waste) giving us a closed loop production system. Moringa is not well known in the UK agricultural sector because it can’t be grown in our temperate climate condition but if grown in controlled climate e.g. greenhouses it can be a very good crop with a variety of uses and benefits. To name a few, it is great for bio fuel as in burning the stalk and bark since the trees can be harvested 6/7 times a year. Or converting the oil to biodiesel and the by-product makes rich animal feed and good fertiliser.