In Burundi, Africa we have 8 women who we have trained to harvest Moringa. What started out as an experimental project has turned into a successful business opportunity. They have sold 647 kgs (about 1500 Ibs) of Moringa seed so far. A Rwandan company has purchased the seed to use in cosmetics. The process involves crushing the seeds with an oil press and then filtering it to remove impurities.
Here the women are harvesting the Moringa leaves which will then be dried and crushed into powder. The dried leaves can be used as a nutritional supplement and the fresh leaves have great amounts of nutrition as well. Moringa leaves can be used fresh and added to salads for an extra boost of nutrition. The fresh leaves from the Oleifera variety have 7 times the vitamin C in oranges, 4 times the calcium of milk, and 3 times the potassium of bananas, 4 times the iron in spinach, as much protein as in eggs, and 4 times more Vitamin A than carrots. This nutrition is exactly what can impact the lives of malnourished children, pregnant mothers, the elderly, and HIV/AIDS patients.
The tree is a fast grower reaching over 20 ft. (6 meters) tall in the first year! The branches can grow 3 – 4 ft. (1 meter) wide in the first year. They can produce seed pods in the second year. Every part of the tree can be used.
These are bags of Moringa seeds that were collected to sell to the company in Rwanda. Collecting the seeds provides jobs for dozens of people in Burundi.
Moringa seeds can be used to purify water by placing them in dirty water and allowing time for the flocculent property of the seeds to absorb the sediment. Moringa has earned the name “miracle tree” and will continue to amaze us as more research is done.