Moringa oleifera Lam.

This species is one of the world's most useful plants. Though apparently native only to restricted areas in northern India and possibly extinct in the wild, M. oleifera is cultivated in all the countries of the tropics. M. oleifera is cultivated for its leaves, fruits, and roots for a variety of food and medicinal purposes. The young fruits (sometimes called "drumsticks" ) can be cooked in a number of different ways. An excellent oil is derived from the seeds, which is used for cooking and lubrication of delicate mechanisms. The leaves are extensively used as a vegetable in many parts of the world, and the root can be made into a condiment similar to horseradish (true horseradish, Armoracia rusticana, is a member of the Mustard Family, Brassicaceae). M. oleifera is also of interest because of its production of compounds with potential clinical utility such as (4-(alpha-L-rhamnopyranosyloxy)benzyl glucosinolate. Other research has focused on the use of M. oleifera seeds and fruits in water purification.

It is commonly and incorrectly known under the names M. aptera and M. pterygosperma.

Please visit the International Moringa Germplasm Collection, especially the IMGC Blog, for more information on Moringa oleifera. If you have questions about Moringa oleifera that aren't answered on the blog, please send a message and I will try to post a reply.




Moringa oleifera images

1. tree cultivated in village of Antanimieva, southwestern Madagascar; 2. large trees in agricultural complex near Chennai (Madras), India; 3. field of annual cultivar PKM south of Tiruchirapalli, Tamil Nadu, India; 4. fruits and seeds ready for cooking; 5. side view of flower; 6. tree growing in a village in southern Oaxaca, Mexico, where it is called "paraiso".

1.      2.      3.      4.  5. 6.oleifera in Oaxacao

click on a thumbnail for a larger image

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