moringa tree


Originally Appeared in: Amaranth to Zai Holes, Chapter 10

Dr. C. E. Peterson wrote, “I have removed fresh moringa leaves and left them overnight in my greenhouse, where they very promptly dry and can be rubbed over a screen to make a powder. The fresh weight value of beta-carotene is about 88 ppm and the dried leaves will be about 300 ppm, equal to some of our best high-carotene carrots.

“Even if addition to rice were to be limited to a teaspoon or so without any detectable flavor change, if it were done 2-3 times a day every day it could be a very substantial source of vitamin A where deficiency is causing blindness and other serious health problems.”

I would add that if people eat soups, substantially more of this powder could be added. Joel Matthews in Niger says people there preserve dried moringa leaves (not crushed) for use during the dry season as a food. They use it in their sauces. One popular food is a mixture of leaves and peanut press cake.

Dr. Warwick Kerr in Brazil wrote, “Concerning moringa, Drs. Rodrigues, Godoi and I tested the leaves and found them to contain 22,000 units of vitamin A per 100 g, more than reported in the literature [Ed: my sources list 11,500]. This means that one glass of leaves gives the daily dosage of vitamin A to 10 people!”

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