Moringa trees as seen at Mthembanji, Dedza East, Malawi.
Moringa Oleifera is a drought-resistant tree that grows in Asian and some African countries . In Several parts of the World , its also known as Horse Radish tree, Drumstick tree , the Tree of Life , Miracle Tree, Ben Oil Tree , Zogale and Sahijan.
In Africa, it is known by several names such as Mlonge , Mulinga, and Moringa . In Malawi , its known by six names depending on the area. Its mainly known as Chammwamba , kangaluche , sangowa and therere. Recently mulinga and moringa is now becoming popular among Malawi against the local names.
How did this Tree of life eventually found its roots on the soils of Malawi ?
Several hundreds of years ago , the tree was brought in by Asians who settled mainly along the shores of the Lake Malawi. It is not surprising that the tree is mainly found along the lakeshores of Nkhatabay , Nkhotakota , Salima , Dedza and Mangochi. It further spread along the Shire river in Chikhwawa , and Nsanje. The miracle tree flourishes in this area due to high temperatures prevalent in these areas.
The Asians planted the Ben Oil tree along the boundaries of their compounds locally commonly known as cottages . They mainly ate its fruit especially , young tender ones. The locals liked the tree because it was easily propagated through stems then they too planted them along the boundaries of their compounds and ate the leaves as relish , commonly known as therere.
Between 1995 and early 2000, moringa in Malawi was promoted by mainly Non Governmental Organization for its nutritional and health benefits . This is because of its high content of proteins , carbohydrates , vitamins , minerals and anti oxidants. Despite being scientifically proven as a power food, it is traditionaly believed to treat several ailments including hypertension, diabetes, cancer,asthma , regulating cholesterol levels and more.
In Africa , its cultivation and consumption is now being promoted by a pan-african not-for-profit organisation called AMH NGO , with its headquarters in Ghana. AMH stands for Africa Moringa Hub. The promotion is being implemented under the slogan ‘’ Eat and plant Moringa !
MORINGA PRODUCTS – SUPERFOODS
MORINGA PRODUCTS – COSMETICS ( SKIN , NAILS & HAIR )
Moringa Oil has been widely used in several cosmetic products due to its enomous benefits. It has about 70% Oleic acid , almost the same level as Oleic acid content of Olive Oil. It also has Vitamin E . It moisturises , smoothes and hydrates skin hence making radiant . It promotes hair and nail growth. It removes and prevents dandruff.