What’s in a Name… Moringa Oleifera
Moringa Oleifera is known by many names and known for many benefits. Have you ever wondered where the names come from and if they tell us more about this ancient plant?
The use of moringa for medicinal purposes dates back thousands of years. Some historians have found reference to this super plant as far back as 2000 BC. Ancient Egyptians used oil from moringa as protection for the skin from the desert weather—something like a modern-day sunscreen. The Greeks discovered even more healthy uses of the plant and then introduced it to the Romans.
Moringa is native to the southern section of the Himalayas in the northwestern corner of India. It spread throughout western Asia, and has taken root in the Dead Sea region, because of its nutrient-rich soil and arid climate.
Moringa and its many names…
Drumstick tree— This name refers to the long, slender, triangular seedpods that resemble a drumstick. These are commonly eaten in some cultures after cooking or boiling. It can be added to curries and other sauces. Even after the seed pods are softened from cooking, they still contain a considerable amount of vitamin C and are rich in fiber, potassium and magnesium.
Ben oil tree— The oil from the moringa tree has been used for years as a moisturizer and skin protectant. It also promotes healthy hair. The name “ben oil tree” comes from its high concentration of behenic acid. While a portion of it can be consumed, it has also been used to purify water.
Horseradish tree— The roots of the moringa tree can be shredded and used to top dishes. It provides a sharp taste similar to horseradish due to the polyphenols it contains. Polyphenols are found in plants and have antioxidative properties.
Miracle tree— Moringa is often called the “miracle tree.” It’s hard to pinpoint one reason for this all-encompassing name. The fact that this superfood has such a vast nutrient profile likely gives credit to this name. Its extensive uses and properties promote anything from anti-aging to regulating blood sugar. Is there anything this super-plant can’t do?
Tree of life— Similar to the miracle properties of the moringa tree, its life-giving properties are also astounding. It has been reported to help nursing moms increase milk production and give her the needed nutrition for her own body. Providing life-sustaining nourishment for both mom and baby.
Did you know that moringa also helps fight against malnutrition? Moringa has been used in its native areas as a way to curb malnutrition, especially among children. Malnutrition in older adults is unfortunately on the rise and moringa has been shown to help them as well. No wonder moringa oleifera is known as the tree of life!
Names can tell us a lot about someone or something. As we better understand the root names of this miracle plant, we can appreciate its many benefits. Moringa research is growing and its findings are certain to provide more knowledge about this ancient tree. Have more questions about this super-plant? Contact us today!