Moringa, have you eaten this miracle tree?

By Mark Wiens 33 Comments
Moringa trees in Tanzania
Moringa trees in Tanzania

Moringa is also known as the “miracle tree.”

And after learning more about this tree and its extreme nutrition capabilities, it’s easy to understand why.

The most widely grown species of moringa originates in certain areas of India, but other species are also native to parts of Africa.

It’s a medium sized tree, very ordinary looking, and it’s easy and quick to grow. It grows in a wide variety of locations and climates.

The mainly cultivated species is known as moringa oleifera.

When I was in Tanzania, I had the opportunity to eat it, I mean right off the tree by the handful!

Moringa
Moringa

When it comes to food, moringa is extraordinarily healthy.

The leaves are known to contain huge amounts of vitamins A and B, calcium, iron, and lots of protein.

Consuming just a handful of leaves per day (or adding the leaf powder to stews and sauces), has the power to remarkably improve the heath of someone who is malnourished or in need of protein.

Young moringa pods
Young moringa pods

And not only are the leaves incredibly healthy, the moringa pods (also known as drumsticks), which grow about a foot in length, are also incredibly useful.

The young pods can be eaten raw like green beans, and the old tough pods can be cooked and eaten in soups or stews or broken apart to eat the seeds.

According to the research conducted and explained in an article by Africa University, the moringa seeds can be crushed in polluted water and they will purify the water, amazing!

Anyway, I personally don’t claim to know much about this miracle tree (you can read more about it here), but while I was in Tanzania I had an opportunity to eat some leaves.

Moringa leaves
Moringa leaves

You can literally just grab handfuls of moringa leaves right off the tree and start munching.

They taste a little sweet, and very herbal, green, like you’d expect from eating a leaf.

A handful of leaves to munch on
A handful of leaves to munch on

Not only is moringa miraculously healthy, it’s also quite fun to just walk up to a tree and start munching on leaves – couldn’t be more fresh!

Drumstick pods of moringa
Drumstick pods of moringa

I was actually familiar to the pods of moringa before going to Tanzania as they are eaten in Thailand, known as mallum.

However, I had not previously eaten the leaves or eaten the young pods without them being cooked, nor did I realize their health benefits.

Moringa is truly a remarkable tree that has so many healing properties.

Singlehandedly, due to its nutritional value, moringa has been able to transform entire malnourished villages in Africa to better health and a more well rounded nutritional diet.

Moringa still has huge potential for the future.

Have you eaten moringa?



33 comments. I'd love to hear from you!

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  • rayna strahinjevic

    4 months ago

    How can I buay moringa plant to plant in my country in Australia, and where to look for it?

  • Max Steitz

    2 years ago

    This is absolutely amazing!!! I will be traveling to Tanzania in a few months and am wondering where I can find some Moringa! Do you by any remote chance remember where you found these trees?

    Thanks so much!

  • Gladys

    2 years ago

    Your comment:moringa seeds are truly medicinal.am chewing some of its seeds now.for some body pains.

  • Rich

    2 years ago

    Hello Mark, great website. Growing up in Hawai’i we eat Chicken Papaya with the leaves from the moringa tree. Next time you come to Hawai’i feel free to connect for more hole in the wall eats. http://hawaiifoods.hawaii.edu/recipes.asp?id=300002&sid=0

  • Tracy Zao

    2 years ago

    I’ve utilized various aspects of the Moringa tree, although most often through eating the leaves and drinking Moringa tea. To anyone who doesn’t know, there are actually Moriinga lotions for your skin and hair that work the same wonders on their respective location as the plant does on your health

    • Mark Wiens

      2 years ago

      Hi Tracy, thank you very much for sharing, really appreciate it.

  • Neeha

    3 years ago

    Unfortunately here in India,we hate these trees growing near our homes because they harbour caterpillars! But once I came to know about their benefits I am searching for a tree nearby but can’t find any.Still dont want it too near my home though 😉

  • Jade Adele

    4 years ago

    We have a bunch of these in our back yard here in the DR, we actually don’t eat that much of it. While it’s true that it’s very nutritious, it’s also really hard on your digestion.

    We add some leaves to fresh salads from time to time.

    • Mark Wiens

      4 years ago

      Hey Jade, good to hear from you, thanks for sharing!

  • James

    4 years ago

    Moringa truly is the Tree of Life … Mother Nature never ceases to astound!

  • Sachi

    4 years ago

    Yeah, we cook curry from the fruit and also from the flowers. And make mallung(salad?) from the leaves in Sri Lanka.

  • AkwaabaGolden

    4 years ago

    Very interesting! There are plenty of Moringa trees here in Ghana as well. And I heard, that before the locals knew about the health benefits Moringa had to offer, they were happily feeding the leaves to goats. But since the great discovery, the goats are no longer allowed to eat the leaves! 😀

    I have actually had a bottle of powdered Moringa lying around for ages and I didn’t feel like I want to try it.. But who knows,, maybe I just might now 🙂

  • Reshmi Guha Iyer

    4 years ago

    Yes I have eaten this actually. It is called Shojne Phool ( flower ) and Shojne Dnata ( the drumstick ) in Bengali. I am from India : a Bengali ( Eastern part of India ) by birth and a foodie by choice. This is very much a part of our cuisine . You can also find the drumstick part in Southern Indian Cuisine in the sambar they make.

    • Mark Wiens

      4 years ago

      Hey Reshmi, great to hear you’ve eaten it too! Yes, awesome to hear you’re a foodie by choice too!

  • Mike

    4 years ago

    Interesting blog entry. I’ll certainly have to read about this some more and perhaps try to get my hands on some. Thanks for sharing, Mark.

    • Mark Wiens

      4 years ago

      You’re welcome Mike, thanks for checking this out. I thought it was fascinating too!

  • ron

    4 years ago

    Here it is malunggay. I drink the juice of it after pounding a handful of its leaves. It tastes like guava juice ( unripe). Tastes nice. A bit “minty”.

    • Mark Wiens

      4 years ago

      Thanks for sharing Ron. How do you pound the leaves to make juice!?

  • Arti

    4 years ago

    The drumsticks are used in Sambhar curry which is eaten with Dosa/Idli. We also sometimes use it in mixed vegetables. It gives a very unique taste to the food.

    • Mark Wiens

      4 years ago

      Great Arti, thanks for sharing, would love to taste it in Indian food!

  • Geoff

    4 years ago

    Thanks for the knowledge, Mark! More interesting food and nutrition facts like this please!

  • Iza Sanchez

    4 years ago

    Hi Mark! In the Philippines we call it Malunggay. We had a tree like that in our backyard and my mom always stewed some pork cubes, monggo beans and malunggay leaves – delicious! and she always talked about how nutritious the Malunggay leaves were, even our goats loved it! I never tried eating them raw though. Cheers!

    • Mark Wiens

      4 years ago

      Thank you for sharing Iza. Mmm, your mothers recipe sounds delicious! Hah, glad the goats liked it too!

  • GJ @ sweden rt

    4 years ago

    Interesting post, I’ve never heard of this tree. Hopefully it will be more common in other parts of the word, given it’s healthy properties…

    • Mark Wiens

      4 years ago

      Thanks for reading GJ, yah I want to grow this tree wherever I stay!

  • Saimin Kau kau

    4 years ago

    That’s Filipino Malunggay, In Hawaii you’ll see it growing in many gardens in Filipino homes and served in many dishes!

    • Mark Wiens

      4 years ago

      Hey Saimin, thanks for sharing… yah my Uncle’s neighbor in Hawaii actually has a tree, I was excited to see it!

  • Simon

    4 years ago

    Thanks for letting us know. I’ve never heard of it until now.