Today we are talking about Moringa stenopetala. This Moringa species originally comes from Ethiopia. Today it is widespread throughout the tropics. From the available field reports, one can deduce that Ethiopian Moringa might have even more benefits than its now very popular relative, the Indian Moringa tree. However, Moringa stenopetala is still very little researched.
If an Ethiopian moringa tree is left to stand free, it will grow into a magnificent tree with a thick trunk in a short time. The seeds also look very different from those of the Indian moringa tree.
In recent years, moringa has become increasingly popular in the West. What is less well known is that moringa has been used by small, non-governmental organisations in development aid for decades. Why is Moringa so suitable for this?
There are many reasons. Moringa has many benefits. The three most important are: a) its medicinal properties, b) its use as food, and c) its ability to purify polluted water.
There are 45 medical patents registered in the US alone that contain moringa.
Almost the entire tree is edible. The roots of the young trees can be used like horseradish, hence the nickname 'horseradish tree'. The pods, seeds and flowers are also edible. Harvested raw, the pods and seeds can be cooked like vegetables. The flowers can be used to make tea and even ointment for wounds. - And of course: the leaves!
What fascinates me most are the seeds. If you crush the seeds and put them in water, the substances they contain bind the dirt. And lo and behold: the water becomes drinkable again. Moringa is already mentioned in the Bible:
"He cried to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a tree, and he put it in the water, and it became sweet." (Exodus, chapter 15, verse 22-25)
The oil of the seeds is also interesting. As so-called behe oil, moringa oil was already used in ancient Egypt. Together with labdanum - our old acquaintance: The cistus!