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The Miracle Tree - Moringa  RSS feed

 
Posts: 427
Location: Hartbeespoort, South Africa
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Jonathan_Byron wrote:
Don't get me wrong, Cyara - I think it is an amazing plant, and I am glad that you started this thread.  I had come across the name of the plant before, but didn't know much about  it.  I now plan on putting in a hedge of it near my citrus.

No probs. Just didn't want a few obscure studies to outweigh the well-proven and exceptional qualities of this tree. Not all the uses are nutritional either..... tanning... dyeing... making paper...etc.

I just wanted to take a hard nosed look at it.  I can be skeptical, but I consider myself fair-minded.  And the fact that amaranth or cabbage or any crop has properties that limit their use for a subset of people doesn't mean that they aren't good plants to be celebrated.

I want to look into the matter of calcium locked up as calcium oxalate. It is one of the most frequent recommendations for the leaves... including the medical fraternity.... I'll have to search out what I have... so the information seems to be at odds. Nothing can however refute the astonishing results achieved by those feeding it to the seriously malnourished.... and if they are helped so convincingly then anyone can be helped.

On the amino acid profile, I think we agree that it is a very good protein, and that it can benefit a diet ... I just wanted to re-enforce the idea of a balanced diet, as Moringa is beneficial when included in the mix, but would be detrimental if someone considered it a superfood capable of being the sole source of nutrients. Sure, I give most regulars here more credit than to believe something like that, but there are some people out there that are susceptible to such hype ... I wanted to be affirmative but also emphasize balance.

I wanted to point out that the malnourished seldom have the kind of food balance you are speaking of. They are those who are being most helped. I think it has a real tonic effect on the system... with anyone. I think that the plant offers more than can be separated and analysed in a laboratory. I would not be surprised to find that the malnourished in the first world... some of the most malnourished of all on today's fast foods... with serious health issues......could probably greatly benefit with the addition of powdered Moringa leaf to the daily diet. I think they would achieve health gains with just that addition alone. Not just a couple of pills popped, but serioulsy added to the diet in proportion to size, as done with the malnourished children. Be interesting to test it out.

BTW - eggs can increase cholesterol, but there are many studies showing they only raise the HDL 'good' cholesterol.There are a number of other benefits from including eggs in the diet.  But I agree with your point that there is still a good deal that remains to be learned about diet and heart health, and there is lots of mythinformation, even (or especially) among the medical community.

Most GPs today warn against egg yolks for bad cholesterol - LDL. Egg whites alone are recommended. Most of the nutrition is in the yolk. It was the best source for lecithin until they discovered soy beans. Lecithin will even lift the plaque from the arteries. I have no illusions about how research is funded .... having read of many disillusioned researchers who found answers and were squelched because it was uneconomic or contra- to the results desired by the corporation funding the research. Sad sick crazy world we now live in........ Sometimes it is easier to believe a neighbour who has been helped by a product than professional medical advice that is paid for.

There is at least one website that I found in my searching that is promoting M. stenopetala alongside M. oleifera - they have seeds, growing information and recipes for both, and seem to consider both plants as variants of the same miracle.  There may be differences between the plants and it may be that M. oleifera is not associated with thyroid problems the way that M. stenopetala is.  Or they may be closely enough related to contain the same goitrogenic factors.  I don't know at this point, and am merely raising that as a point of information for people that have thyroid issues (my wife has to be very  careful about what she eats - for example, a cup of chamomile tea will drop her body temperature and make her feel miserable ... but I still think chamomile is a great plant).

Amazing about the chamomile. But it is true that individuals can be seriously affected by certain foods. All new foods need to be started cautiously, perhaps, when in doubt. I have had no ill-effects from Moringa. This is my 2nd year growing and eating the leaves.

Chelle
 
Posts: 196
Location: McIntosh, NM
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Hi Cyara,
      I'll be working with my Moringa's to do just that. Have gotten used to pollinating some of my indoor berry plants (Giant Cape Gooseberry-came from Bryan Au) and if I'm fortunate will be working on expanding them into the great outdoors.
    Have found that almonds, mulberries and jujubes do well here as long as they are not a lollipop configuration, so will keep that in mind while working with the Moringas.

Think initially will lose most trees, even with a thick mulch, but have come up with a few tricks over the years for my peaches( getting fruit here is real iffy without a bit of help), and think that may make a difference. 
 
Chelle Lewis
Posts: 427
Location: Hartbeespoort, South Africa
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I think that is fantastic. And if you get it seeding you will have a precious commodity there. Hope you will keep us updated. I know I will be very interested.

I had a bit of die off the first year and my climate is very mild. I think I planted too late and they hadn't got enough of a start before the season changed. But it was amazing how they came back the next spring. I thnk if they can get enough protection to start that they can be amazingly tough later. Be interesting to see.

Chelle
 
Pat Maas
Posts: 196
Location: McIntosh, NM
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Thank you Cyara,
    Will happily share results. It's all about helping our planet! ) Have read a fair bit about Luther Burbanks work, had chances to pick Ken's brains over at Oikos trees and done a bit of research on tree breeding from older books on the subject.  It may not turn out like I want it to, but will keep focused on the goal and see what happens. Do know from work that has been done, that  true intent while working with plants can open up potentials and results beyond what modern science dictates.
 
Chelle Lewis
Posts: 427
Location: Hartbeespoort, South Africa
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We're in agreement there! Modern science.....

If true science were able to do what it wants to do unhindered by politico- economic agendas we would surely enjoy some interesting results from their efforts.

I'm dreaming..... But maybe not such a fantastic dream. Sustainability gives freedom to all kinds of dreams.

Sad that there has come this urgent need to shake loose of so many unhealthy controls. But Holzer and Mollison and Fukuoka-san have done just this. The results are undeniable.

Their foundation could lead to a broader spectrum of freedoms... true science is spawned on such freedoms.  Synergism. Didn't someone once say that all the world's problems can be solved in a garden?  It is but a little acorn that grows a mighty oak.... I never say never.... well.... try not to! 

So your exploration... both successes and failures... (though never a failure if knowledge is gained) .... is what true science is about. Watching and learning.

Chelle
 
Pat Maas
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Location: McIntosh, NM
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Thank you Cyara,
    This forum is the biggest positive in my life right now. No matter the good things I have come up with, my work is knocked down daily by the people around me.
      The moringa project will succeed as the many others I have going here. It's because of people like Holzer and Mollison and Fukuoka-san setting a path for those of us who do care about our planet. They showed us what could be done, taught and so much more.
    Watching Steve Cran in Uganda, Geoff Lawton in Aussie land and so many others around the world making it happen in some of the worst conditions on our planet-you know they have the "science" down. They are an inspiration for those of us not living on the edge, but not far off either.
    Look what our own Paul Wheaton has done and in doing so, how many has he inspired through this forum and on You Tube. How many are getting "it" now and doing? Think it might be far more than what would be expected.
    Happy growing Cyara and thank you again. 
Like the notion of "True Science".
 
Chelle Lewis
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I went looking for M. Stenopetala and thought this might interest you Pat....

Ah! the African Moringa tree. We grow it, we eat it, we sell it. Even though the Moringa Oleifera is the most commonly known variety of Moringa, it is not our personal favorite.  Do we grow it? Absolutely! Do we eat it? Most certainly! Do we recommend it? Positively! Do we sell it? We do! But, is it our favorite? No, but it WOULD be, if it weren't for Stenopetala.

The African Moringa tree is just a more unusual tree. Its leaves have a robust, hearty flavor, and the tree develops a REALLY interesting bulb-like trunk. That trunk stores a lot of water for the tree, in case of drought-like conditions. The seeds of the Moringa Stenopetala are quite distinctive, as they are a light tan, with a shape reminiscent of almonds, and they are generally larger than the Moringa Oleifera seeds, which are round and brown with tan "frilled" edges.....

The rest of the article found here....

Definitely worth further investigation! 

Chelle
 
Pat Maas
Posts: 196
Location: McIntosh, NM
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Thank you Cyara,
    In the past she and I have corresponded. Cool gal. Will have to check back with her now that you shared the website-it's been a while.
Thank you again
 
Chelle Lewis
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Just dried and crushed a few more bottle-fills of moringa leaves. All the prunings that I took to keep it from shooting up. I want to be able to get it to a fine powder without any sticks. Might be the easiest way to ingest plenty each day. Super winter tonic.

Chelle
 
Posts: 112
Location: eastern washington
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cyara and pat, great posts here!

cyaraa, i was wondering about making a tea with the moringa powder or leaves?
 
Pat Maas
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Hi Bunkie,
    For the powdered it's 1 level tsp to a cup.  Personally, I knock that back to 1/2 tsp. On the leaves, I just add a few to a tea ball and dose liberally with local honey.
 
Chelle Lewis
Posts: 427
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There are many claims here for Moringa tea....

Rich in anti-oxidants. Nutritious.

Just google "Moringa Tea"

I drink a lot of herbal teas. Practically all I drink. But I will probably just use the Moringa powder straight into meals though. Get everything it has to offer.

Chelle
 
Pat Maas
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Location: McIntosh, NM
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Hi Cyara,
    I also drink a fair amount of herbal teas, fresh year round from my plants. Even if there is snow on the ground, always there is something for tea. Mountain mint, chickory, rose hips, seed pods from Chamisa, and Douglas Fir needles, etc.
 
Chelle Lewis
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Interesting choices. I must look around and see what I can use....

I tend to make a herbal blend in the morning and drink through the day... rooibos (red bush - locally grown)... green tea with ginger... celery seed... etc ... all in one pot. Is pretty good! Can add some lemon and honey too at times... or just a little fruit juice to sweeten.

Loads of anti-oxidants. I heard Dr Eric Braverman recommend teas and spices as very important additions to diet. Low-cal powerhouses of nutrients.

Have you ever tried Moringa this way?

Chelle
 
Pat Maas
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Fresh rooibos-what a treat! )
    I make the teas according to my health. Drawn to what will help me at a given time and have learned not to ignore that. Think it has something to do with the vibrational value of the teas/food. If anything I've been urged not to buy teas and many foods.
    Know that sounds kind of weird, but just like the store bought potatoes don't smell right to me, an offer come for sunchokes grown locally and offered for growing purposes.
    Tried the Moringa several ways and as long as its just a little bit can do that. So when get the nudge will go to one of my trees and pick a few leaves and steep for a few minutes and add honey.
 
bunkie weir
Posts: 112
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i just got my moringa seeds in the mail. they are pretty things. cyara or pat, have you got any suggestions, tips on getting them started? thanks!
 
Pat Maas
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Hi Bunkie,
      They like it warm  75F and in a good, but light soiless mix. I've tried planting them both in the dark and in light, light is better. Just plant deep enough to cover their depth 1/2" or less deep. Keep moist and warm. They don't take long, maybe 10 days although some may will straggle out over 21 days.
      Give them room after they get started. They transplant fairly well and do like a bit of fish emulsion/kelp once a month or so. You can keep them small by planting in a gallon pot.
      When watering, be sure to replace misplaced soil. They don't seem to like their roots exposed too much.     
      They do like a light environment, not a shade lover indoors. They will lean if not getting enough light.
 
Chelle Lewis
Posts: 427
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Sounds good!

The very best article I have ever seen on cultivating Moringa from seed I kept on file.... found here....

Germinating Seeds for Personal Use

There are several methods of germinating seeds. Some methods may work better depending on the microclimate.  We are sure that there are lots of you that have your own methods of germinating seeds so we will just tell you what we have done and what has worked for us and what has worked for growers around the world.

Moringa seeds have wings and are about the size of a large pea. Seeds don’t need sunlight in order to germinate. Here are some suggestions on germination.

   1. Soak the seeds for 24 hours; the seed will imbibe the water it needs to germinate from this procedure. Remove the seeds from the solution.
   2. Put the seeds in a plastic sandwich bag and store in a warm, dark place like a drawer or cabinet.  Germination times range from 3-14 days.  Do not add extra water to the bag.
   3. Check them every two days.  Once the seeds have broken loose from the winged shell, you will notice two shoots protruding from the seed.
   4. Do not let the shoots get too long and thin as they may get fragile and break when handled. One of the shoots will have some ruffled growth at the extremity; this is the shoot that contains the first leaves (cotyledons) and should be the shoot exposed to the sun.   Plant the seeds about ¾ inch beneath the soil surface with the ruffled extremity to the sun. Plant the sprouted seed(s) in a commercial band or a peat pot using a high quality potting soil. Sandy loamy soils will work well also. Use a pot that is at least 18 inches deep if this is the final home for the tree.  Moringa loves the sun so make sure they get plenty. Although the tree is drought tolerant, they may be watered daily, just don’t allow the roots to get soaked for extended periods of time.  If you live in a particularly hot zone, don’t expose the baby plants to all day sun. Keep and eye on them, they will tell you if they are getting distressed from too much sun, water or lack of food.
   5. It is a good idea to use pots to get the trees started since you have more control over the care of the tree. Critters will eat the moringa babies if they can. We recommend that you let the potted plants grow at least 8 weeks or longer before transplanting to the ground.  When transplanting try not to disturb the root system at all. Like many plants the roots are very vulnerable until they are established in the ground.
   6. If using a plastic pot, before transplanting to the ground, use a long thin blade to loosen the soil from the inside edges of the pot. Turn the band or pot upside down to allow the entire plant and soil to slide out of the container. This prevents disturbing the roots. Have a hole already dug and gently place in the hole. If you are planting more than one tree, space the plants 7-10 feet apart for optimum access to the mature tree. The tree will branch out 3-4 feet from the trunk so this spacing will allow you to walk between trees and let the sunlight to do its job. Of course if you want a wind break, just plant them all at 1 foot intervals, like they do in Africa and India. Moringa is like any plant that appreciates plant food and fertilizers and ample supply of water
7.  Don’t forget, you can always just put the seeds in the ground or a large pot and water.  We have found that Moringa is sensitive to the volume of soil in which it begins its life cycle.



I have merely soaked for 24 hours and placed in growing bags with soil and had success. I am, however, in a warm cllimate. The warning about protection from critters is good though.... the babies do get eaten sometimes if not protected.

Chelle
 
Pat Maas
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Hi Cyara,
      Will add one more thing to that. They get bushy after being pinched at 2-3 tall.

That is the same method I used on some of the seeds, just didn't stay on top it like I should have, thus not great results.
 
Chelle Lewis
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I agree with you Pat. Best to pinch out the growth point at about 60cm... your 2-3 feet. Otherwise they shoot up as much as 12 meters and you just wave goodbye to the leaves and pods!!! 

Then as the laterals grow out 20cm... about a foot... these get pinched back too. This can be done up to 4 times.

I have been pinching out all round continually all summer and it bushes out wonderfully...

The pic below is about ready to start.....  That is only a few weeks old. The trees would have grown to 3 meters easily if I hadn't been pinching them back so much.

At some point stop pinchng back so that flowers can form.

If pinching back has not been done and it has shot up then just pollard the tree.... that is cut back at a height you wish... pollarding is just coppicing up high.... and allow the laterals to grow out. Not as pretty as managed pinching but brings an overly tall tree back into usefulness.

Chelle

100_2004-3-(Small).JPG
[Thumbnail for 100_2004-3-(Small).JPG]
 
Chelle Lewis
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Some other things worth mentioning....

Moringa can be grown closely together as an annual field crop to maximise yield.

Moringa oleifera is adapted to a wide range of soil types but it does best in a well-drained loam to clay loam. The pH from 6.5 all the way to 8.5 is acceptable. It is said that slightly acidic to neutral is best but it has been introduced successfully to Pacific atolls where soil pH is commonly greater than 8.5.

Temperature ranges from 26 to 40°C. Sorry... not sure what that is in F. I bet Pat knows...

It is recommended that it grows well from sea level to 1000 m in elevation. I am 1200m and it is thriving.

It does not do well where there is prolonged waterlogging. When young it needs water but is very drought resistance when older.

Chelle

 
bunkie weir
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i looked it up cyara! 26C = 78.8F, 40C = 104F

thanks for all the info you two!

about the flowers, when are they supposed to start flowering?
 
steward
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Location: Northern Zone, Costa Rica - 200 to 300 meters Tropical Humid Rainforest
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Would you believe I have 12 KILOS of seeds? And you are going to hate this, I paid 20 dollars for them. I know a farmer in Guanacaste who uses moringa as food for cattle - and we are starting off doing the same for sheep. After reading about all this, my sheep might have some competition....

Seed to Seed (i.e. planting to first harvest of seeds) in Costa Rica is seven months. A bit scary when you think of it. A lot like papaya in growing so fast.

 
bunkie weir
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that's wonderful fred! hope you post some pics.

i bought a packet of 30 plus seeds, and they were packed in a dry moss type substance. i didn't bother to count them and proceeded to soak them in baggies as cyara suggested. i ended up with 179 seeds! oh my! i shan't do that again!

a few seeds did not germinate. i have many growing in 4-inch pots in the greenhouse right now. i lost some due to some critter, maybe a mouse, digging down to the roots and eating the nut like seed. very strange. set traps and never did catch it. i ended up covering the plants at night with severaal layers of reemay.

these plants have survived in the unheated greenhouse with temps outside at 19F. i am readying to repot them in bigger pots very soon. will take some pics later...
 
Posts: 488
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I have a few Moringa O. seedlings growing in containers.  The tallest is now taller than me, with a couple of smaller ones.  The lower leaves in particular keep turning yellow and falling off. 

I am in S. Florida, so it is definitely warm and sunny enough.  Maybe they are overheating (black nursery pots in summer sun).  I wonder if they are too dry, too wet or lack some nutrient?  Any thoughts? 
 
                    
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I am also in Florida (northeast), and my moringas are also losing the bottom leaves. They turn pale yellow or white and eventually fall off, while the rest of the plant seems OK. My soil is very sandy with low nutrients, and I was assuming that low nitrogen was the cause - but it could be something else.
 
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As I understand it Moringa leaves are pretty much devoid of accessible calories, so what else are people eating in order to stave off malnutrition?
 
                                  
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I have a few Moringa trees, which I'm going to circle my house with.  My house is made of bricks.  Bricks are thermal mass.  They release at night, when it's colder, the heat they accumulate during the daytime.  I saw the Sepp Holzer video where he grows fruits at 5,000 feet and ripens them using rocks acting as thermal mass.
 
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I am going to need a green house.
 
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Emerson White wrote:
As I understand it Moringa leaves are pretty much devoid of accessible calories, so what else are people eating in order to stave off malnutrition?



I think the local peoples mix moringa leaves and grain. They get calories from the grain, and nutrients from the moringa.
 
Posts: 153
Location: Davie, Fl
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We just planted 1,800 moringa tree seeds on our 22 acre permaculture farm in Homestead, FL. I wrote a blog post about the many uses of the tree, how we planted them, and what we plan to use them for. The post is called Moringa Man

 
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So far it looks like there are two types of Moringa that are used for food. Specifically Moringa stenopetala and Moringa oleifera which seem to have similar nutritional values and uses. Stenopetala seems to be a bit more cold hardy (I am in zone 7 and from what I've ready it sounds like it may recover from frost in this area but its very much a wait and see kind of thing) but neither seems to like the cold. Are there any other members of the Moringa family that are used for food? I'm going to grow both O and S this year and see how they do but if there are others with similar nutritional value I'd be interested in knowing about it.
 
Jonathan 'yukkuri' Kame
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Was at a friend's yard today in mid-florida.   He had  moringa that died back all the way to the ground last winter.  He gave it up for dead, but this spring it sprouted again and is now 20 feet tall, covered in flowers and pods.
 
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While I do understand that this tree isn't an outdoor food forest one for those of us in Northern climes, it really does have alot of potential for folks like me in Florida.  I really appreciate seeing a thread on a plant relevant to me
 
steward
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While this mono-crop is certainly not permaculture, it sure is pretty.


 
Fred Morgan
steward
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Nice looking trees. Mine are still doing fine. I just walk out and chop down anything above five feet every few weeks, and leave it for the sheep. They adore it.

If there are any stakes left after they eat, I just sharpen them, and stick them in the ground with some fertilizer around them, and now I have another. If they fall over, I am not worried, since I am trying to keep the trees from growing too tall anyway.

 
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"In the late 1940’s and early 1950’s a team from India identified a compound they called pterygospermin. This group was also able to demonstrate its mode of antimicrobial action in the mid 1950’s."



If the Moringa has antimicrobial / antibiotic properties would it not kill bacteria etc in the soil if it is used as a mulch or foliar spray?

 
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My Maringa is having problems in Tampa Fl.


It is roughly 6 months old... about 11 feet high. but the weather is getting around 50 degrees to 40 degrees now and dropping... the leaves yellowing and dropping and the branches are growing
weak and falling off.


any ideas on what I can do to save this miracle tree?
 
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