Moringa Oleifera seeds are nutritious and useful botanical products. They are edible in both fresh and dried form. Along with the immature green seed pods that contain them, they can be prepared in a variety of ways like green beans.
They have a slight asparagus taste. From mature pods, the seeds are removed and eaten like peas or roasted like nuts.
In the Philippines where they are abundant, many seniors attribute their strengths and long lives to Malunggay Power, Malunggay being the local translation of Moringa Oleifera. Malunggay is popularly cultivated as backyard vegetable and as border trees.
Moringa Oleifera seeds yield about 40% edible oil (called ben oil because of the high concentration of behenic acid) that can be used for cooking, cosmetics and lubrication. The refined oil is clear and odorless. It also resists rancidity.
Moringa Health Benefits
Moringa Oleifera seeds contain a benzylistothiocyanate derivative and 4-benzoisothiocyanate. 100 grams of seed pods contain 86.9% vitamin A, 0.2 mg niacin, and 120 mg ascorbic acid. They are known for their medicinal properties – they could treat a wide range of illness and conditions, including gouts, urinary infections, boils and gouts.
They are normally pulverized and mixed with coconut oil when used as medicine. In Ayuverda and Siddha medicine, the seeds oil is used as sexual virility drug for treating erect6ile dysfunction in men and also women for prolonging sexual activity.
Moringa seeds contain cationic polyelectrolyte that has proved efficient in water treatment, as a substitute to aluminum sulfate and other flocculent. Its big advantage is that it is completely biodegradable.
Also, the seed cake remaining after oil extraction retains the flocculating properties so it could also be used as flocculent.
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has monopolized the production and distribution of fuels. The decreasing supply from these countries could not meet the increasing worldwide demand resulting to increasing prices.
Many researches are being conducted, looking for alternative energy source. And if possible, an energy source that is environmentally friendly. It is in this area that Moringa Oleifera seeds show lots of potentials and promises.
Worldwide, the main feedstock used for biodiesel production are sunflower oil, soya bean oil, coconut oil, rapeseed oil, palm oil, frying oil, animal fat, jetropha oil and now Moringa oil. The Moringa plant appears to be very promising because it could deliver up to 40% oil from its seeds.
A Filipino biotechnology company in the United States, SECURA International, recently announced that North American Biofuels Inc. (NABI) has tapped Malunggay oil as potential raw material for biodiesel production.
The institution has authenticated that the plant passed the standards of the biodiesel. SECURA is currently developing Malunggay plantations in mass scale. It is now cultivating five hundred thousand hectares of Malunggay plants in its endeavor to meet its requirements.
At the same time, SECURA International President Danny Manayaga is encouraging all Filipinos to plant Malunggay because of this development, assuring them that SECURA could buy all the seeds that they could produce.
Malunggay can easily be grown in the Philippines. It can even be planted by pruning or by seeds. It can easily root once in the ground. It can grow with less intervention, not needing fertilizers and pesticides.
Moreover, Moringa Oleifera is a tropical tree that is resistant to drought It is easy to reproduce. And its growth is very fast.
There are now about 165 companies using soybean as raw materials in the United States. However, it is projected that in about 50 years, Japan and Korea will be the biggest markets of Moringa Oleifera oil because of the number of automobiles that are using biodiesel in these two countries.