Moringa oleifera

Moringa thrives in the sandy alkaline soils and sub-tropical climate at Lizq Oasis

Moringa oleifera is a species of the Moringaceae family of shrubs and trees. Native to northwestern India, this remarkable vegetable tree has spread to semi-arid, tropical and sub-tropical lowlands worldwide due to its drought and heat resilience. All parts of the moringa tree (leaves, seeds, roots and flowers) are edible and have potent medicinal properties. Traditional uses of the tree as food, medicine, fuel, and seed oils have a rich history dating back to antiquity.

As a source of nutrition, moringa is outstanding. Its leaves (cooked like spinach), pods (eaten like green beans), and seeds (eaten like peas) and stems are rich in protein (unusually high levels for a plant), vitamins, minerals and powerful antioxidants. Many studies suggest that high levels of polyphenols in moringa leaves underpin its use in Ayurveda medicine as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antidiabetic, and antitumour treatment.

Moringa seed kernels yield a high-grade oil known as ‘Ben oil’ which is edible and used for cosmetic purposes. Most remarkably, the seed cake by-product of oil extraction can be used as a natural coagulant to clarify dirty water, as a protein animal feed or as an organic fertiliser.

Moringa thrives in the sandy alkaline soils and sub-tropical climate at Lizq Oasis. It grows very quickly from seed or cuttings, often exceeding 4m in height in its first year. We grow moringa intensively for leaf production and as trees for vegetable and seed pods. Alley planting of moringa provides shade for perennials and seasonal vegetables while increasing the overall water holding capacity of our soil. We make extensive use of moringa on the farm as a green manure, chop and drop mulch and foliar feed.

Check out our recipe section for inspiration on how to incorporate this potent plant in smoothies, curries, soups and other dishes.

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