Malunggay: The Miracle Vegetable

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September 4, 2009 in Abscesses, Anti-inflammatory, Anti-tumor, Antioxidant, Arthritis, Ashma, Blood Glucose, Blood Pressure, Bowel Movement, Calcium, Catarrhal Conditions, Diabetes, Earache, Eyes, Fever, Good Cholesterol, Headaches, Immune System Enhancer, Intestinal Worms, Iron, Lactation, Migraine, Nutrition, Phlegm, Potassium, Scurvy, Semen, Skin, Stomach Ache, Tendons, Tree, Ulcer, Vitamins | Tags: Malunggay : The Miracle Vegetable

“Malunggay” in the Philippines, “Sajina” in the Indian Subcontinent, and “Moringa” in English, it is a popular tree. Many Asians use the leaves of Malunggay (Sajina) like spinach and also the fruit it produces as a vegetable, like asparagus. It only used to be known as a vegetable for lactating mothers. But new scientific studies say that malunggay’s medicinal and market possibilities.

Touted by scientists as a “miracle vegetable,” malunggay has been promoted by the World Health Organization (WHO) for the past 20 years as a low-cost health enhancer in poor countries around the globe.

Malunggay trees are generally grown in the backyards. The small, oval, dark-green leaves are famous vegetable ingredient in soup, fish and chicken dishes. Scientifically, called ‘Moringa oelifera.’ this vegetable, despite its legendary potentials, is still relatively unknown.

“The sale of all forms of vitamins, minerals, and health supplements is a big business,” points out Moringa Zinga, an American company that promotes and sells malunggay products in capsules. “If you are a company selling hundreds of nutritional products, why would you sell a product that will wipe out all your other products? This is true for the pharmaceutical industries as well. These industries would rather that the general public remains ignorant about the moringa leaves.”

According to the Biotechnology Program Office of the Department of Agriculture, the malunggay has been found by biochemists and molecular anthropologists to be rich in vitamins C and A, iron, and high density lipoprotein or good cholesterol.

Due to its high calcium content (four times the calcium in milk), lactating mothers in the Philippines are often advised to consume malunggay leaves to produce more milk for their babies. The young malunggay leaves are being boiled and drink as tea.

Malunggay leaves are loaded with nutrients. Gram for gram, malunggay leaves also contain two times the protein in milk. Likewise, it contains three times the potassium in bananas and four times the vitamin A in carrots.

Health nutritionists claim that an ounce of malunggay has the same Vitamin C content as seven oranges. An important function of vitamin C not known to many is its being an antioxidant. In fact, it has been recognized and accepted by the US Food and Drug Administration as one of the four dietary antioxidants, the others being vitamin E, beta-carotene and selenium. (A dietary oxidant is a substance in food that significantly decreases the adverse effects of harmful chemicals).

There are more health benefits. Vivencio Mamaril, of the Bureau of Plant Industry, told a national daily that in India, malunggay is used in treating various ailments. A 2001 study in India has found that the fresh root of the young tree can be used to treat fever. Asthmatics are advised to drink the infusion from the roots of the plant.

Tender malunggay leaves also reduce phlegm and are administered internally for scurvy and catarrhal conditions, while the flowers are used to heal inflammation of the tendons and abscesses. Unripe pods of malunggay are also reported to prevent intestinal worms, while the fruit also prevents eye disorders.

Other studies have shown that eating malunggay fruits can lead to higher semen count. This is good news for men who are having problems in siring children. They can now count on the malunggay to cork its magic on them.

Because of its nutritional content, malunggay strengthens the immune system, restores skin condition, controls blood pressure, re.ieves headaches and migraines, manages the sugar level thereby preventing diabetes, reduces inflammations and arthritis pains, restricts the growth of tumors, and heals ulcers. This information comes from Dr. Kumar Pati, an Indian doctor who is an expert in natural medicine.

The “next big thing” in Philippine agriculture. That is how the agriculture department considers malunggay. Malunggay can save lives, increase incomes, generate millions of jobs, utilize vast tracts of idle agricultural lands, make the Philippines globally competitive, impact local and international market, and help attain socioeconomic equity,” explained Alice Ilaga, director of the DA’s Biotechnology Program.

Besides being sold in the public market as a vegetable, is there really a market for malunggay products? “The Philippines is currently in the midst of developing the local market for malunggay and its products,” said a statement released by Biotechnology Program, which aggressively aims to develop the agribusiness potentials of various crops as part of the government’s poverty-alleviation program. “Despite being behind other countries such as India and Nicaragua, the Philippines’ malunggay industry is on its way to becoming a global competitor.”

In a press statement, Ilaga reported that the Nutrition Center of the Philippines is setting its sights on fortifying different types of food. “Given its nutritional value, it can be utilized in fortifying sauces, juices, milk, bread, and most importantly, instant noodles,” Ilaga says.

According to Ilaga, a multinational food company reportedly has expressed keen interest in putting up a processing plant in the Philippines for this purpose. “A noodle company is also eyeing malunggay for bio-fortification of noodles as part of its commitment to support the program to fight malnutrition, which is prevalent in the countryside,” she added.

The seeds of malunggay contain 40% oil, which is considered excellent massage oil. As part of its program to promote biotechnology, the agriculture department has strategically positioned itself for the commercial planting of seeds for malunggay oil production.

“The Philippines can penetrate the international market in producing malunggay oil from its seeds using advance technology to extract oil from enzymes,” Ilaga disclosed.

One local company that is leading in malunggay production is SECURA International. After entering into malunggay production for more than a year, it expects a bright future for the malunggay industry.

In an interview with a news dispatch, SECURA president Danny Manayaga admits that for the country to really take advantage of the market, it should first ensure that there is enough supply to support it. “‘The market is developing, but up to now, we still don’t know the extent of this market because we have not yet defined our capacity to produce malunggay,” he disclosed.

“We are involved with contract growers from different towns all over the country such as Valencia in Negros Oriental, Masinloc and Botolan in Zambales, Alaminos and Infanta in Pangasinan, and Bamban in Tarlac, which accounts for 150 hectares of our malunggay supply for our current market but it is not enough to sustain the demands for other products such as moringa oil,” Manayaga said.

SECURA needs at least 20,000 hectares to be able to support the available market for malunggay products. Currently, it is involved in processing dehydrated malunggay leaves to produce tea and as an additive to other medicinal plants to produce herbal tea. “This is the only active market that is running for malunggay now,” Manayaga said.

Unknown to many Filipinos, malunggay has the ability to purify water. “The crushed moringa seeds can clear very turbid water,” said Dr. John Sutherland, of Leicester University’s Department of Environmental Technology. He added that powdered malunggay seeds are appropriate for water purification in rural areas of tropical countries.

Planting malunggay trees can also help stabilize soil and contribute to fight against deforestation. The malunggay tree is highly resistant to drought and needs little care. It is fast-growing and lives for average of 50 years. Each tree can produce approximately 10,000 seeds a year. It also makes an excellent fuel and fertilizer.

A tropical species, malunggay can tolerate temperatures up to 48 degrees Centigrade, but 15 degrees to 35 degrees Centigrade is considered best. It grows in areas with annual rainfall of 760 to 2250 millimeters.

Is planting malunggay profitable? According to Ilaga, for a hectare of malunggay, the estimated net income per year is P150,000.

Source: http://www.agribusinessweek.com/malunggay-the-miracle-vegetable/

Malunggay Leaves

IF UNITED States has apple to keep the doctors away, here in the Philippines, it’s the common malunggay.

Touted by scientists as “miracle vegetable,” malunggay has been promoted by the World Health Organization (WHO) for the past 20 years as a low-cost health enhancer in poor countries around the globe. In fact, during the Marcos administration, there was already a craze about malunggay, being a solution to the malnutrition problem in the countryside.

Perhaps not too many people know that the late President Ferdinand Marcos himself was a malunggay addict, consuming soup littered with green leaves in every meal in addition to the legendary ’saluyot’ and ‘labong’ (bamboo shoots) as his main fare.

Malunggay trees are generally grown in the backyards. The small, oval, dark-green leaves are famous vegetable ingredient in soup, fish and chicken dishes. Scientifically, it is called ‘Moringa oelifera.’ Despite its legendary potentials, malunggay is still relatively unknown.

“The sale of all forms of vitamins, minerals, and health supplements is a big business,” points out Moringa Zinga, an American company that promotes and sells malunggay products in capsules. “If you are a company selling hundreds of nutritional products, why would you sell a product that will wipe out all your other products? This is true for the pharmaceutical industries as well. These industries would rather that the general public remains ignorant about the moringa leaves.”

According to the Biotechnology Program Office of the Department of Agriculture, the malunggay has been found by biochemists and molecular anthropologists to be rich in vitamins C and A, iron, and high-density lipoprotein or good cholesterol.

Due to its high calcium content (four times the calcium in milk), lactating mothers in the Philippines are often advised to consume malunggay leaves to produce more milk for their babies. The young malunggay leaves are being boiled and drink as tea.

Malunggay leaves are loaded with nutrients. Gram for gram, malunggay leaves also contain two times the protein in milk. Likewise, it contains three times the potassium in bananas and four times the vitamin A in carrots.

Health nutritionists claim that an ounce of malunggay has the same Vitamin C content as seven oranges. An important function of vitamin C not known to many is its being an antioxidant. In fact, it has been recognized and accepted by the US Food and Drug Administration as one of the four dietary antioxidants, the others being vitamin E, beta-carotene and selenium. (A dietary oxidant is a substance in food that significantly decreases the adverse effects of harmful chemicals.)

There are more health benefits. Vivencio Mamaril, of Bureau of Plant Industry, told a national daily that in India, malunggay is used in treating various ailments. A 2001 study in India has found that the fresh root of the young tree can be used to treat a fever. Asthmatics are advised to drink the infusion from the roots of the plant.

Tender malunggay leaves also reduce phlegm and are administered internally for scurvy and catarrhal conditions, while the flowers are used to heal inflammation of the tendons and abscesses. Unripe pods of malunggay can prevent intestinal worms, while the fruit also prevents eye disorders.

Other studies have shown that eating malunggay fruits can lead to higher semen count. This is good news for men who may not be able to sire children. They can now count on the malunggay to work its magic on them.

Because of its nutritional content, malunggay strengthens the immune system, restores skin condition, controls blood pressure, relieves headaches and migraines, manages the sugar level thereby preventing diabetes, reduces inflammations and arthritis pains, restricts the growth of tumors, and heals ulcers. This information comes from Dr. Kumar Pati, an Indian doctor who is an expert in natural medicine.

The “next big thing” in Philippine agriculture. That is how the agriculture department considers malunggay. “Malunggay can save lives, increase incomes, generate millions of jobs, utilize vast tracts of idle agricultural lands, make the Philippines globally competitive, impact local and international market, and help attain socio-economic equity,” explained Alice Ilaga, director of the DA’s Biotechnology Program.

http://allbestofphilippines.blogspot.com/2007/10/malunggay-leaves.html

Malunggay is a Miracle Vegetable

By Dr. Lydia M. Marero
Food and Nutrition Research Institute

Malunggay, known scientifically as Moringa oleifera Lamk, is one of the world’s most useful plants.  It is used as food, effective flocculant or water treatment, antibiotic, source of oil, and coagulant for turbid waters.

It is also called mother’s best friend, and miracle vegetable by many who know malunggay’s beneficial uses.  It is cultivated in all countries of the tropics.  It is easy to plant and is available year-round.

Malunggay’s image was even used as the official logo of the Food and Nutrition Research Institute, an agency of the Department of Science and Technology.

One hundred grams or 1 cup of cooked malunggay leaves contain 3.1 g. protein, 0.6 g. fiber, 96 mg calcium, 29 mg phosphorus, 1.7 mg iron, 2,820 mg ß-carotene, 0.07 mg thiamin, 0.14 mg riboflavin, 1.1 mg niacin, and 53 mg ascorbic acid or vitamin C.  The antioxidant activity of malunggay is about 71%, with µ-tocopherol (vitamin E) equivalent of 45.

Malunggay leaves are an excellent source of vitamin A and B, and minerals such as calcium and iron.  It is even an excellent source of protein, being higher than the amino acid pattern of Food and Agriculture Organization-reference protein, yet contains very low fat and carbohydrates.  The leaves are incomparable as a source of the sulfur-containing amino acids methionine and cystine, often the natural minerals humans lack.

Due to its high vitamins A, C, and E, which are very potent antioxidants, malunggay is a very good quencher of unstable free radicals that can react with and damage molecules that cause aging.  Antioxidants reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.  They also prevent the onset of various chronic diseases like arthritis, cancer, and heart and kidney diseases.

Malunggay contains the phytochemical niaziminin, which is found to have molecular components that can prevent the development of cancer cells (Faizi et al., 1992) and correlated with inhibitory ability against superoxide generation.  The first naturally-occuring thiocarbamates, novel hypotensive agents niazinin A, niazinin B, niazimicin and niaziminin A and B were isolated from malunggay.

Malunggay is called miracle vegetable because it is not just a food, it is also a medicine.  It may therefore be a functional food.  Malunggay promotes good eyesight, digestion, facilitates bowel movement, and is a cure for stomach ache.

It is also used to cleanse wounds and ulcers.  It helps alleviate scurvy, asthma, earache, and headaches.  For its high calcium content, lactating mothers are advised to eat malunggay leaves to produce more milk.

Malunggay is usually cooked with chicken as tinola, or with fish and other vegetables, mongo soup dishes, and blanched as salads.

[For more information on food and nutrition, you may write or call The Director, Food and Nutrition Research Institute-Department of Science and Technology, Gen. Santos Avenue, Bicutan, Taguig, Metro Manila, Tel/Fax: 8372934, 8373164; E-mail: cvcb@fnri.dost.gov.ph; FNRI-DOST website: http//www.fnri@dost.gov.ph]

Therapeutics of Malunggay

Sometimes, people think that solutions to their problems are expensive and hard to find. But more often than not, real solutions to basic problems are abundant, cheap and even free. Health problems are especially solvable with natural inexpensive gifts from nature.

Moringa, for example, is a wonderful blessing for us all. Locally, it is called malunggay and is easily available everywhere. Unfortunately, it is little appreciated by many Filipinos. Today, I would like to share with the good news about Moringa, as written by Mark Fritz of the Los Angeles Times.

“Scientifically speaking, Moringa sounds like magic. It can rebuild weak bones, enrich anemic blood and enable a malnourished mother to nurse her starving baby. Ounce for ounce, it has the calcium of four glasses of milk, the vitamin C of seven oranges and the potassium of three bananas.

“A dash of Moringa can make dirty water drinkable. Doctors use it to treat diabetes in West Africa and high blood pressure in India. Not only can it staunch a skin infection, but Moringa also makes an excellent fuel and fertilizer.

“Memo to Popeye: Moringa has triple the iron of spinach and more impressive attributes than olive oil. Both Moringa and the common carrot are diamonds in the roughage department, but Moringa has quadruple the beta carotene, which is good for the eyes and effective against cancer.”

Fritz also reports on the positive results of using Moringa as a substitute for expensive whole milk powder in nutrition projects.

Source: http://www.malunggay.com/therapeutics.htm

Nutritional
• Flowers, leaves and pods eaten as a vegetable.
• Source of calcium, iron, phosphorus and vitamins A, B and C.
• High in HDL (high density lipoproteins); a source of amino acids, omega oils, antioxidants.
• Comparative content: Gram for gram, 7 times the vitamin C in oranges, 4 times the calcium and twice the protein in milk, 4 times the vitamin A in carrots, 3 times the potassium in bananas.
• 100 gms or 1 cup of cooked malunggay leaves contain 3.1 g protein, 0.6 g fiber, 96 mg calcium, 29 mg phosphorus, 1.7 mg iron, 2,820 mg beta-carotene, 0.07 mg thiamin, 0.14a mg riboflavin, 1.1 mg niacin, and 53 mg of vitamin C. (Dr. Lydia Marero of the Food and Drug Research Institute -FNRI)

Breastfeeding women
• Malunggay leaves and pods are helpful in increasing breast milk in the breastfeeding months. One tablespoon of leaf powder provide 14% of the protein, 40% of the calcium, 23% of the iron and most of the vitamin A needs of a child aged one to three. Six tablespoons of leaf powder will provide nearly all of the woman’s daily iron and calcium needs during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Folkloric
Decoction of leaves used for hiccups, asthma, gout, back pain, rheumatism, wounds and sores.
Young leaves increases the flow of milk.
Pods for intestinal parasitism.
Constipation: Leaves and fruit
Decoction of boiled roots used to wash sores and ulcers.
Decoction of the bark used for excitement, restlessness.
Pounded roots used as poultice for inflammatory swelling.
Juice of roots is used for otalgia.
Decoction of roots is use as gargle for hoarseness and sore throat.
Boiled leaves used to help increase lactation.
Seeds for hypertension, gout, asthma, hiccups, and as a diuretic.
Rheumatic complaints: Decoction of seeds; or, powdered roasted seeds applied to affected area.
Juice of the root with milk used for asthma, hiccups, gout, lumbago.
Poultice of leaves applied for glandular swelling.
Pounded fresh leaves mixed with coconut oil applied to wounds and cuts.
The flowers boiled with soy milk thought to have aphrodisiac quality.
In West Bengal, India, roots taken by women, esp prostitutes, for permanent contraception (Studies have shown total inactivation or suppression of the reproductive system).

Studies
• Moringa preparations have been cited often in scientific literature as antibiotic, antiinflammatory, hypocholesterolemic and hypoglycemic. However, many of the reports are not placebo-controlled randomized clinical trials.
• Antiinflammatory / Anti-tumor: Anti-inflammtory and Antitumor Activities of Seeds Extracts of Malunggay—A study showed the crude ethanol extract of dried seeds inhibited the carrageenan-induced inflammation in the hind paw of mice by 85% at a dosage of 3 mg/g body weight;  the mature green seeds by 77%. The crude ethanol extract also inhibited the formation of Epstein-Barr virus-early antigen (EBV-EA) induced by 12-0-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA). At a dosage of 100 ?g/ml, the extract inhibited EBV-EA formation by 100% suggesting its antitumor-promoting activity. <Abstract:http://www.stii.dost.gov.ph/pjsweb/data/antitumor_of_malunggay.htm&gt;
• Cancer: Possible Role of Moringa oleifera Lam. Root in Epithelial Ovarian Cancer: Study suggests a role for M Oleifera, shown to interfere with cytokine pathways.
• Asthma: Antiasthmatic activity of Moringa oleifera Lam: A clinical study: Study showed improvement in forced vital capacity, FEV1, and peak expiratory flow rate. It suggests a usefulness for MO seed kernel in patients with asthma.
• Antibiotic: 50 years ago, a study yielded Pterygospermin, a compound that readily dissociates into two molecules of benzyl isothiocyanate which has been shown to have antimicrobial properties. Unfortunately, many of the reports of antibiotic efficacy in humans were not from placebo controlled, randomized clinical trials. Recent studies have demonstrated possible efficacy against H. pylori.
• Hormonal properties / Abortifacient: Biochemical observations and histologic findings have been correlated with the anti-implantation action of aequous extracts, one possible explanation for its use as an abortifacient. source
• Antiurolithiatic: Study showed lowering of stone forming constituents in the kidneys of calculogenic rats with the use of aqueous and alcoholic extracts of MO suggesting antiurolithiatic activity.
• Antimicrobial / Water Purifyiing: Study of MO seeds paste for water purification yielded a steroidal glycoside, strophantidin, a bioactive agent in the seed. The seed paste was found effective in clarification and sedimentation of inorganic and organic matter in raw water, reducing total microbial and coliform counts by 55% and 65% respectively, in 24 hours, compared to alum with 65% and 83% reduction.
• Antipyretic / Wound Healing: Study of the ethanolic and ethyl acetate extracts of MO showed significant antipyretic activity in rats; the ethyl acetate extract of dried leaves showed significant wound healing on rat wound models.
• Analgeic: Previous studies have shown analgesic activity from the leaves of MO. This study on the alcoholic extract of MO seeds showed potent analgesic activity comparable to that of aspirin dose of 25 mg/kg BW.
• Hepatoprotective / Antioxidant: Study concluded that the alcoholic extracts of MO produced significant hepatoprotective and antioxidant activity, the aqueous extracts of the fruit less than the alcoholic extract.

Source: http://www.stuartxchange.org/Malunggay.html

Malunggay (Moringa oleifera)

    The parts of the plant that can be eaten as vegetable are the flowers, leaves and pods. It is a significant source of calcium, iron, phosphorus and vitamins A, B and C. It has also been reported to be beneficial in diabetes because it can lower blood glucose. This “wonder vegetable” can be mixed with a variety of food like tinola, fish with coconut milk, corn soup. For daily medicinal use, just prepare malunggay tea which is about 1 cup leaves boiled in 1 and 1/2 glass of water. Drink this daily. You can improve the taste by adding lemon grass (tanglad) or pandan leaves. A single preparation can be stored up to 2 days in a thermos bottle, however, a fresh preparation is always recommended.

Posted by Doc Emil @ 7:03 am

http://gonatural.com.ph/herbalblog/malunggay-moringa-oleifera/

One thought on “Malunggay: The Miracle Vegetable

    elizabeth said:
    March 6, 2012 at 12:42 am

    is it ok if i let my kids (13 & 14 yrs old) drink the malunggay tea?i have a 2yr old son also , is it ok if he will drink also the malunggay tea?

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