Moringa | Jamaican Teas

Most mornings I’m not greeted with “ Morning Sunshine” or “ How’d you sleep last night?”, no, instead we communicate in a series of grunts and the interrogation begins with “ You eat your moringa?”

Moringa | Merengue | Merenga | Drumstick Tree

History

In my house, we eat Moringa seeds like convenient multivitamin tablets that come from trees. Moringa gummy bears growing on trees would be the next frontier. From root to stem, all aspects of the moringa tree are edible and have been used for thousands of years across tropical climates.

Endemic to South Asia Moringa oleifera originated in the Himalayan foothills according to the FAO and is the most common species of Moringa in commercial use. Various species are found spread across the tropical regions of Africa and the Americas.

Gram for gram Moringa Trees have one of the most nutrient rich leaves of any edible plant known to us.

Moringa, (Moringa oleifera), also called horseradish tree or drumstick tree, small deciduous tree (family Moringaceae) native to tropical Asia but also naturalized in Africa and tropical America- Britannica

My grandparents have mainly used Moringa as an overall immune booster, something to consume regularly to avoid getting sick. Chew two seeds or boil a cup of tea and your granny would be satisfied that you’ll be healthy and let you leave the house without quarrelling.

The tree is said to “bring life” because of its nutrient-rich properties as well as its ability to stay evergreen, even in periods of drought and unreliable water supply. Pregnant women can get a hearty supply of Iron, magnesium, zinc & vitamins A to C from Moringa

Moringa Nutrient Chart

Doctor’s Opinion: Dr. Knight @adventuresfromelle

Moringa can be considered a ‘superfood’ given its high concentration of vitamins, minerals and trace elements, so I have zero objections to it being used regularly for its immune-boosting properties, provided you are healthy with no chronic illnesses requiring medications. If you’re on medications that have hepatic clearance, meaning drugs which are inactivated and broken down in the liver, Moringa can slow down their clearance leading to dangerous levels building up in the blood and perpetuating the drug’s effects leading to side effects and toxicity. Thus, if you are on any medications, consult your doctor for possible drug interactions with moringa, or play it safe and don’t use moringa if you’re taking any medications.

Ways to get moringa into our diets

  • Roast It: Seeds can be lightly roasted with a pinch of salt
  • Boil It: Leaves & Seeds can make tea or flavour soup
  • Curry It: pair it with some potatoes & carrots and it’s AMAZING
  • Dry It: Use any part to make a powder
  • Oil It: Ben oils from the root are used in cosmetics & as a machine lubricant
  • Dip It: Use roots to make horseradish like dip or hummus

Famous Properties of Moringa:

  1. Anti-bacterial & Anti-Fungal: Extracts of the roots are recorded to have antimicrobial properties, some cultures even squeeze the juice of leaves into the eye to fight infections.
  2. Anti-Oxidant: Moringa plants are particularly high in polyphenols that can combat cell damage, similar to green tea.
  3. Blood Clotter: when ingested moringa releases thrombin & plasmin like enzymes that speed up the blood clotting process.
  4. Lowers blood pressure when ingested.

Because of Moringa oleifera‘s rich and diverse nutrient content, it is currently being heavily studied by scientists to counteract growing anti-microbial resistance in our modern world as drug-resistant strains of microbes are causing alarm.

The easiest way for me to consume moringa is just a cup of tea. I’ll show you the best way to make a brew with what you have.

Oolong Moringa TEA

  • Add 1/2 cup of fresh Moringa leaves (1/3 cup if dried) to 1 1/2 cups of boiling water
  • Boil for 30 sec
  • Add 2 tsp loose leaf oolong (teabags can be used)
  • Boil for 15 sec
  • Turn off the fire and let it steep for 2 mins
  • Strain & enjoy!

Always remember, moderation is key

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