Archive for January, 2011

MORINGA IN THAILAND

January 27, 2011

I received this information from an email forwarded to Trees For Life from Dr. Jed Fahey, Moringa Researcher and author. Moring oleifera: A Review of the Medical Evidence for Its Nutritional, Therapeutic, and Prophylacatic Properties, Part 1, Jed W. Fahey, Sc.D.  http://www.tfljournal.org/article.php/20051201124931586.

The original email is from Vilaiwan Sunthorn, author of a book about Moringa in Thailand. Vilaiwan had been invited to be a Moringa specialist advisor to the science students at Sathatham High School in Phangna Province, Thailand. Thanks to her knowledge of Moringa and dedication to her students a number of them recently won gold medals in several different research competitions in Thailand. They then submitted their research for competition at The First AMRON International Conference where they were awarded gold medals. Their research studies covered a variety of medical problems. Studies were conducted with patients suffering from acid reflux, artery cancer, bone fractures, chronic allergies and post cesarean surgery. Using the inspiration gained from Dr. Fahey’s work, “the students approached a study population who were given introductory education on potential medical benefits of Moringa in treating their various conditions. Of this control population, approximately 70% were very receptive to the information and achieved satisfactory improvements in their conditions, whereas 30% viewed the use of Moringa with suspicion and thus either declined or were not committed in the intake  and achieved poor results.

Congratulations: Vilaiwan and students.

MORINGA IN THE MOMENT

January 18, 2011

Lately I have been wondering why, why it has taken so long for Moringa to be noticed by western cultures and for those cultures to become interested in adopting the plant for use in their diets. In most of its 26 years Trees for Life has been a proponent of the Moringa Tree. During this time we have seen it spread to numerous countries in the plus or  minus 10 degree belt of the equator where it thrives. Internationally, there are now hundreds of Moringa organizations and networks around the world with thousands of members dedicated to the planting, growth and consumption of the Moringa tree.

 In “developed” countries in Europe and the US awareness of the Moringa tree really started to expand after the Discovery Channel aired its special documentary approximately 10 years ago. That prompted numerous articles in newspapers and magazines. Within the past couple of years the expansion of the internet and social media sites which now have daily postings of Moringa updates from around the world attest to the public awareness of Moringa. On Earth Day 2008 the National Institute of Health (NIH) named Moringa as plant of the year. In naming the Moringa as plant of the year NIH again pointed out the great nutritional benefits of the Moringa tree: 7 times the vitamin C of oranges, 4 times the calcium of milk, and twice the protein of yogurt and all of the antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents the body requires plus all essential amino acids.

So, where am I going with this? In about this same time period the Journal of the American College of Nutrition published a research article noting the changes in USDA Food Composition Data for 43 Garden Crops. The article mentions considerable loss of nutrient levels in the 43 garden crops over a 50 year period but an even greater loss in farming crops such as wheat, corn and rice. The authors (Davis, Epp and Riordan) stated, “refined sugars, separated fats and oils and white flour and rice have all suffered losses much greater and broader than the losses suggested here for garden crops …. thus, for those concerned about nutrient losses, the most important measure is to partly replace these known-depleted staples with more nutrient-dense whole foods, especially vegetables, fruits, whole grains and nuts”. It has also been published in articles that in the past 40 years our average adult caloric intake has gone from 1500 calories a day in the 1970’s to over 3600 a day in 2010 in this country (NIH). We have become a nation, over-fed and under-nourished; with a national obesity problem that is having a growing an economic and health impact on our society. 

To me one of the best solutions is Moringa. Monica G. Marcu, Phar.D., Ph.D., points out in Moringa:  An Introduction, in looking at what Moringa would bring to the Westerners’ Table: “Concentrated vitamins, minerals, all necessary protein constituents, beneficial fats, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory substances, all in a readily absorbable form and easy to digest = an energy food. Tasty but with very little sugar and salt”. Moringa is as Dr. Marcu points out is a “super-food”, it is unique because in even small amounts it can supply all of the vital nutrients the body needs with very few calories. This may be starting to sound like a commercial “lose weight – feel great” use Moringa. In reality Moringa does offer the western diet a nutritional balance that is too often missing.

MY MORINGA STORY – SEND ME YOURS

January 6, 2011

What is your Moringa story? Did you grow up in an area where Moringa was grown and used on a regular basis, were  you in the Peace Corp or with an NGO that helped establish Moringa farms or cooperatives, have you been involved with Moringa as a biofuel or livestock feed? We would like to hear your story and how you use our favorite plant.

 Email me at: mike@treesforlife.org

 About 18 months ago I became a volunteer at Trees for Life. At that time I got involved in the Moringa information program and this September I became responsible for the three Trees for Life blogs. My interest in Moringa went from an abstract interest of gathering educational, research and health related information to one of personal interest and application. The more articles I read about the amazing properties and  the anti-inflammatory aspects of Moringa the more interested I became in how it might work on the arthritis in my shoulders. After reading the emails that I had received from Moringa users and looking at the numerous Moringa based products, I decided it was test time. I first met with my physician regarding getting off of the 6 prescriptions that I had taken for the past several years. As I began taking Moringa he gave me a schedule for gradually phasing out most of the medications I had been on. After reading numerous articles I had decided to give myself a three month trial but by end of the third week was starting to get discouraged. I had noticed that my back was not stiff when I got up in the morning (at age 68 that’s not a bad thing in itself) but I still had not had any noticeable change in the arthritis in my shoulders except the number of pain pills that I took had dropped to almost zero. Suddenly during the fifth week it was like magic, within that one week period the aching, stiffness and pain was gone. Now into the third month the pain and stiffness has never returned and I can assure you that I plan on taking Moringa for a very long time.

 If you are considering using Moringa in place of any medical prescription or as a means of phasing out prescriptions, be sure to consult with your physician first. Here are some of the articles and books that I read that convinced me to try Moringa because of its anti-inflammatory properties.

 Anti-inflammatory Properties of Moringa Oleifera

hhtp://www.oleia.net/clinical_studies/moringa.pdf

 Moringa oleifera: A Review of the Medical Evidence for Its Nutritional, Therapeutic, and Prophylactic Properties. Part 1. Jed W. Farley,

http://www.tfljournal.org/article.php/20051201124931586

 

Miracle Tree by Monica G. Marcu, Pharm.D., Ph.D,

Moringa – An Introduction, Monica G. Marcu, Pharm.D., Ph.D,