Thursday, October 29, 2009
Delicate Little Beauties: My First Moringa Flowers
This is my second year growing Moringa oleifera trees, but the first year they have bloomed. If you are not familiar with Moringa, it is a highly nutritive tree, which has the highest protein concentration of any known plant. It is also very easy to digest. Since they did not bloom last year and I was harvesting a good amount of leaves I decided to just let them go over the summer and see if we got any flowers. So here are the first blooms from one of the trees at the Fair Share Garden. I am hoping that we will end up with many seeds to share. All parts of the plant have a variety of culinary and medicinal uses. The most interesting use I have found though is water purification using the seeds. In Natural Medicine in the Tropics Treatments Dr. Hans Martin Hirt gives a complete method for river water purification. About 10 crushed seeds (2 grams of seed) is needed to purify 20 litres of water. The Moringa seed binds the fine particles and bacteria and removes 90- 99.9% of bacteria. The purification can actually be done also with seed that has already been pressed for its oil. Moringa oil has a long shelf life and can be used in cooking, soap making, and as a base for cosmetics.