Queen of green
Moringa, "The Queen of Green", is a medium-sized (about 10 meters high) tree belonging to the Moringaceae family. Moringaceae is a single genus family with 13 known species. Moringa trees are commonly known by names such as ‘horse-radish’ tree or ‘drum stick‘tree. Trees are graceful, deciduous with sparse foliage, often resembling a leguminous species at a distance. Moringa is native to parts of Africa and Asia. It is called sitalchini in Nepali. They are available in the mid-hills and Terai of Nepal.
Moringa is considered one of the world’s most useful trees, as almost every part of the tree can be used for food or has some other beneficial property. The roots, leaves, bark and pods are said to have medicinal properties. It can provide rural families with income, food, nutritious vegetables, animal feed, etc.
At household level, it can be a perfect option to fulfill the nutritious supplement of families. Growing Moringa is like growing multivitamins at the doorstep as it contains vitamins like A, B1, B3, C, and calcium, chromium, protein, zinc and many more.
Nutritional analysis has shown that Moringa leaves are extremely nutritious. In fact, they contain larger amounts of several important nutrients than the common foods often associated with these nutrients, for instance: two times more protein in milk, four times the calcium in milk, four times the vitamin A in carrot and more. So, they can help to combat malnutrition.
In a country like ours where maternal and infant mortality is high and malnutrition is persistent. Consumption of Moringa can be one of the important solutions.
Not only is Moringa good for humans but also for cattle. Feeding Moringa to animals as fodder helps to increase daily weight gain up to 32% and milk production up to 43% to 65 %. Addition of Moringa leaves in mulch and manure making helps to improve soil fertility and productivity.
Records show Moringa trees being used in Indian medicine some 5,000 years ago. Moringa root has been shown to contain 0.105% alkaloids, especially moringinine and a bacteriocide, spirochine. Moringa is a multipurpose tree species. Besides, being the basket of all the nutrients and treasure of medicinal values they play a vital role in making bio-fuel. It is estimated that more than 4,400 cubic meters of methane could be produced per hectare of Moringa per year. Moringa seeds are used to purify water.