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More, more Moringa

Moringa oleifera, is a fast-growing, drought-resilient tree which is native to India. Image source:

Most of us can remember our grandparents and parents cooking, usually by currying, Saigen sticks claiming that it was very good for you. In the past three years to present, scientists have done extensive research on the Saigen Plant proving that it is a miracle plant.

Moringa oleifera, is a fast-growing, drought-resilient tree which is native to India. Moringa is grown throughout semi-arid, sub-tropical and tropical areas. Moringa is now branded as a ‘superfood’, where the leaves and flowers are used in teabags and eaten raw; the seed pods and seeds are consumed and essential oils are extracted from them; and the roots are shredded and used as a condiment.

The benefits of Moringa are endless. The seed oil is used in protecting and nourishing your hair and skin, preventing and curing skin diseases. It possesses a very high vitamin and mineral content, antiviral, antifungal, anti-inflammatory and anti-depressant properties.

Moringa can help control weight, cholesterol and high blood pressure. Scientists are also claiming that the extract contains properties that prevent cancer. In countries where starvation is very high, Moringa is given to mothers and infants to help combat malnutrition.

If you do not own a Moringa plant, you can easily grow your own tree using the following methods:

By Cuttings—Take a branch from an adult tree and make a cutting at least 1” (2.5cm) in diameter and at least six feet (1.8m) long. In a spacious area, dig a hole 3ft (1m) x 3ft (1m) and 3ft (1m) deep and place cutting in this hole. Fill the hole with a mixture of soil, sand and manure (horse manure is ideal). Pack the mixed soil firmly around base of the cutting. Water generously, but do not drown the cutting in water and do not allow water to touch the stem of the cutting.

By Seeds—Choose an adult seed pod, remove the seeds and allow them to air dry for a few days. When sowing seeds, plant the seeds directly where the tree is intended to grow. It will thrive much better rather than growing it elsewhere and then transplanting.  Ensure that you choose an area that has sandy, light soil and not prone to waterlogging. Dig a hole approximately 1ft deep and fill in some mixed soil. Plant three to five seeds in a hole and cover with more mixed soil. Keep the soil moist but not waterlogged. When seeds germinate, keep the strongest seedling from the seeds planted and remove the weaker, thinner seedlings.

By Transplanting—If you purchased a Moringa tree or received one as a gift, ensure that you transplant it in a spacious area with light sandy soils, not prone to waterlogging. The day before transplanting, dig an appropriately sized hole and water the hole generously. Add mixed soil to the hole. The next day, transplant the tree into the hole and fill the hole with more mixed soil. Packing the soil firmly around the base. Water lightly for the next week.

You can water your Moringa tree twice for the week once it has established itself. Usually, very little fertiliser is needed for growth due to the use of manure in the soil. However you can use an all-purpose fertiliser mix every two months. Moringa is also resistant to most pests and diseases which makes it very easy to maintain.

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