April 18, 2011

Moringay or Malunggay

Beans growing on the trees in my friend's back yard.
Just like long beans. This is too old.
You have to pluck the young leaves from the small branches like the way you get your cangkok manis.
A few bunches of moringa leaves - enough for a big bowl of soup.
Horseradish tree with small leaves which when added to fish soup is nice. The fruit which looks like long beans are best when eaten very young. It is known that these beans contain elements which may cure cancer.

Below is a Nigerian newspaper article to share with you....


ABUJA—The Federal Government of Nigeria has unveiled plans to generate over N500 billion as revenue from Moringa plant and create over one million jobs.
The plant is believed to prevent over 300 diseases and could readily provide the substitute for the chemical, Alum, used for water treatment, which the Federal Government spends about N354.5 million annually to import.
Moringa Oleifera is a popular plant in the northern and eastern parts of the country, used for food and medicines..

The immature green pods called “drumstick” are probably the most valued and widely used part of the tree. Commonly consumed in India and are generally prepared in a similar fashion to green beans these beans taste like asparagus . The seeds are sometimes removed from more mature pods and eaten like peas or roasted like nuts. The flowers are edible when cooked, and are said to taste like mushrooms. The roots are shredded and used as a condiment in the same way as horseradish; however, it contains the alkaloid spirochin, a potentially fatal nerve-paralyzing agent. The presence of this compound is not worrying because large amounts are required to elicit deleterious effects, and spirochin even displays antibacterial properties when consumed in smaller amounts. 

Sonjna (Moringa oleifera) leaf in Kolkata,West BengalIndia.
The leaves are highly nutritious, being a significant source of beta-caroteneVitamin Cproteiniron, and potassium. The leaves are cooked and used like spinach. In addition to being used fresh as a substitute for spinach, its leaves are commonly dried and crushed into a powder, and used in soups and saucesMurungakai, as it is locally known in Tamil Nadu and Kerala, is used in Siddha medicine. The tree is a good source for calcium and phosphorus. In Siddha medicines, these drumstick seeds are used as a sexual virility drug for treating erectile dysfunction in men and also in women for prolonging sexual activity.
Moringa leaves and pods are helpful in increasing breast milk in the breastfeeding months.  The Moringa seeds yield 38–40% edible oil(called ben oil from the high concentration of behenic acid contained in the oil). The refined oil is clear and odorless and resists rancidity at least as well as any other botanical oil. The seed cake remaining after oil extraction may be used as a fertilizer or as a flocculent to purifywater. The barksap, roots, leaves, seeds, oil, and flowers are used in traditional medicine in several countries. In Jamaica, the sap is used for a blue dye.
The flowers are also cooked and relished as a delicacy in West Bengal and Bangladesh, especially during early spring. There it is calledshojne ful and is usually cooked with green peas and potato.

Moringa trees have been used to combat malnutrition, especially among infants and nursing mothers. Three non-governmental organizations in particular — Trees for Life, Church World Service, and Educational Concerns for Hunger Organization — have advocated Moringa as "natural nutrition for the tropics." 


In Moringa trees are found in many backyards. They are not as yet grown in large numbers. Few people know about its great properties. Perhaps one day as more and more people know about this plant and its beans they will start looking for them in the market.

9 comments:

Ann said...

I know from the Indians drumstick. My Indian friends cook them in their curry. I see them here in Fijian Indian shop.

Is it in Sarawak, we call it WONG ZAI HIT, little yellow leaves.

When you mentioned curing cancer, I think it is the same, but the pods don't look like drumstick.

My parents grew them in Embang road. I hated to eat them.

Then a Foochow teacher was looking for them, and came to get them from us, can't remember for leaves, pods, or roots? Hi eldest son, only one uni graduated from Taiwan. ( The rest Ah Dogs, in my dialect, useless bums, sorry your bobbi)

The poor old teacher, his only useful son. I think he died, newly graduated from Uni.

One thing good I learn about Sibu, people help one another.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Dear Ann
If I am not mistaken the Indians do call it drumstick...they eat the young beans. Wa...so long ago your father knew about this plant!! My soil is a little hard but I hope to get one or two trees growing soon especially after August when it is wetter.
Poor boy..the only useful son. Yes. Sibu people do help each other to a certain degree....
Jia nerng. Moh dih yek (own people..no problem)

Ann said...

can grow on hard ground. My parents actually grew under the house. ( our house was on stilts, and the ground was quite hard,)

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Yes..Ann..most people in India and Malaysia grow these on the roadside...

GG said...

Where to get or buy this tree to plant?

Anonymous said...

I am in Sarawak, Malaysia and looking for malunggay plants. I can't identify them. Can anyone here help? Thank you.

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