musings on the Miracle Tree

Moringa Oleifera

We recently assembled a producton team to film an infotainment HD video tour in the tropical rainforest of northern Cambodia
about the many benefits of the tree leaf powder called Moringa.

Siem Reap, Cambodia is the home of the ancient emerald forest

Ankhor Wat

The region consists primarily of small crop farmer-growers across a pristine countryside

In our pre-production research we discovered rather typical western headlines like, "Super tea that boosts your love life: Scientists claim to have found aphrodisiac properties in Himalayan plant" [By Sophie Freeman] "the Moringa, native to North African and the Himalayan mountains, is being hailed as a superfood. The plant can be taken in tea and tablet or powder form and is thought to help the body recover from exercise and could also increase sex drive".

Actually, the tree is native to numerous tropical regions around the globe including southeast Asia, Africa & south America and has been widely used as a health & natural healing panacea for various ailments and conditions for generations.

Research suggests Moringa is a natural "superfood" which has brought much attention to the numerous benefits derived from the leaf, powder & seed oil.

Nutritionist Daniel Herman, founder of the Bio-Synergy nutrition brand, said: ‘Moringa has a number of different benefits for general wellbeing.
Its an anti-inflammatory – if you’ve just done the London Marathon, for example, it’s a great product to take for niggles – and some studies suggest it can regulate blood sugar levels. Moringa can also boost the immune system as it’s a rich source of antioxidants like Vitamin A and C, which fight free radicals".

A recent study in the International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences found that Moringa enhanced sexual behaviour in rats. It’s also known to contain chemical compounds called 'saponins' which have been shown in other studies to support libido and elevate levels of the male hormone, Free Testosterone.

Lorna Driver-Davies, a nutritionist for health product firm NutriCentre, said:
"The Moringa tree leaf can be consumed as a tea, tablet, powder and seed oil and is known to help the body recover after exercise. Moringa is also rich in zeatin, a plant hormone which has an anti-ageing effect on skin cells. The aphrodisiac effect might be because it improves blood flow, which can certainly help men. Moringa looks to be an exciting new food. Good scientific research has shown it has antioxidant effects; it may work as an anti-inflammatory and may be used for liver support".


Nutritionist Daniel Herman of the Bio-Synergy nutrition brand, went on to say:
"It is thought to have been used by the ancient Greeks, Romans and Egyptians and is recommended for 300 health conditions in traditional [ayurvedic] medicine". Mr Herman added: "Moringa has been around for many years but there is suddenly a lot of interest in this from the scientific community."


[ Copyright: ©2005 Jed W. Fahey - an Open Access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License permiting unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction provided the original work is properly cited].

"Moringa appears to be a nutritional
and medicinal cornucopia". 'The author,
Jed W, Fahey is a Western-trained
nutritional biochemist who has studied
some of Moringa’s phytochemicals for
almost a decade, gives a brief commentary
and extensive references, and presents
a table introducing some of the tree’s
intriguing features. This is the first article
in a series, and will be followed by more
detailed analysis of some of the strongest
claims made regarding this edible plant.



Abstract: Moringa oleifera, or the horseradish tree, is a pan-tropical species that is known by such regional names as benzolive, drumstick tree, kelor, marango, mlonge, mulangay, nébéday, saijhan, and sajna.
Over the past two decades, many reports have appeared in mainstream scientific journals describing its nutritional and medicinal properties. Its utility as a non-food product has also been extensively described, but will not be discussed herein, (e.g. lumber, charcoal, fencing, water clarification, lubricating oil).

As with many reports of the nutritional or medicinal value of a natural product, there are an alarming number of purveyors of healthful food who are now promoting Moringa oleifera as a panacea. While much of this recent enthusiasm indeed appears to be justified, it is critical to separate rigorous scientific evidence from anecdote. Those who charge a premium for products containing Moringa species must be held to a high standard.

Those who promote the cultivation and use of Moringa species in regions where hope is in short supply must be provided with the best available evidence, so as not to raise false hopes and to encourage the most fruitful use of scarce research capital.

above: local Cambodia Moringa farmer-growers

Below: left: Cambodia entrepreneur Mrs. Sey Eang is a Cambodia Organic Moringa grower-manufacturer - right: Sreypich, VP, Country Manager, Siam Industries International Co., Ltd.


below: Peace Corps & Brookbridge volunteers make up full time staff members of Siam Reap library & multiple Learning Centers in Cambodia


"It is the purpose of this series of brief reviews to:

(a) critically evaluate the published scientific evidence on Moringa oleifera,
(b) highlight claims from the traditional and tribal medicinal lore and from non-peer reviewed sources that would benefit from further, rigorous scientific evaluation, and
(c) suggest directions for future clinical research that could be carried out by local investigators in developing regions.

The following is intended to be useful for both scientific and lay audiences. Since various terms used herein are likely not familiar to the lay reader, nor are many of the references readily available to either scientific or lay audiences, we encourage active on-line dialog between readers and both the author and the journal staff. Both will attempt to answer questions and to direct readers to the experts in an open and public manner."



"Moringa trees have been used to combat malnutrition, especially among children, infants and nursing mothers.

Three non-governmental organizations in particular—Trees for Life, Church World Service and Educational Concerns for Hunger Organization—have advocated Moringa as “natural nutrition for the tropics.” Leaves can be eaten fresh, cooked, or stored as dried powder for many months without refrigeration, and reportedly without loss of nutritional value.

Below Eco Village SPLE Moringa processing and packing factory





Moringa is especially promising as a food source in the tropics because the tree is in full leaf at the end of the dry season when other foods are typically scarce.


A large number of reports on the nutritional qualities of Moringa now exist in both the scientific and the popular literature. Any readers who are familiar with Moringa will recognize the oft-reproduced characterization made many years ago by the Trees for Life organization,
Moringa leaves contain; gram for gram;
• 7 times the vitamin C found in oranges,
• 4 times the calcium of milk,
• 4 times the vitamin A of carrots,
• 3 times the potassium of bananas
• 3 times the iron of spinach
• Its tiny leaves are also high in protein, with twice the amount found in yoghurt.

Widespread claims of the medicinal effectiveness of various Moringa tree preparations have encouraged the author and his colleagues at The Johns Hopkins University to further investigate some of these possibilities.

A plethora of traditional medicine references attest to its curative power, and scientific validation of these popular uses is developing to support at least some of the claims.

Moringa preparations have been cited in the scientific literature as having antibiotic, antitrypanosomal, hypotensive, antispasmodic, antiulcer, anti-inflammatory, hypocholesterolemic, and hypoglycemic activities, as well as having considerable efficacy in water purification by flocculation, sedimentation, antibiosis and even reduction of Schistosome cercariae titer (see Table 1 pdf).

Unfortunately, many of these reports of efficacy in human beings are not supported by placebo controlled, randomized clinical trials, nor have they been published in high visibility journals.

Thus, to the extent to which this is antithetical to Western medicine, Moringa has not yet been and will not be embraced by Western-trained medical practitioners for either its medicinal or nutritional properties."


[excerpt] from a blog article titled "Captivating Cambodia" by nature trekke,r Alex Gonzales-Davidson,
[tagged: Areng Valley, Battambang, Elephants, Journey, Jungle, Koh Kong]

"In the afternoon I decided to go with a group of people from my hostel to a bat cave. It was on top of a mountain, about half an hour away from town by Tuc Tuc. On the mountain was also an incredibly beautiful pagoda, with towers carved with flowers, shining in gold. When we arrived on top of the mountain I saw a tree that grew just next to the stupas. It was the same tree that my host family has in their garden. The so called Moringa leaves are growing on the branches and it is one of the super foods that contain all kinds of vitamins and minerals. Buying it in a shop is very expensive and eating the wild grown leaves is even better. I told everyone about it and a minute later all four people that came with me there started to eat the leaves of the tree as if they were starving. A girl from Australia asked me if a little package was really 20 Dollars and when I said yes, she put another hand full in her mouth. It was the funniest thing I had ever seen".

[excerpt] from "On The Road To A Better Life In Cambodia"

'Soroptimist International of Whitefish' provided financial support for the Red Road Foundation of Florida, USA for its mission of helping Cambodian victims of sex trafficking. [by Lynette Hintze]
Donate - Soroptimist International of Whitefish

Rachel Riggio of the Red Road Foundation stated, “We want to make it (the rural Cambodian community) self-sustaining — of, for and by the community.” Her small crew of volunteers planted 1,000 Moringa trees whose leaves and bean pods provide important nutrition to supplement the Cambodian diet of primarily rice.

The tree leaves and seeds can be harvested and their plan is to produce a natural product line of Moringa oil & capsules as a revenue generator for the community.

Good for people - Good for the planet

Please join in & use and support the new NaturePaq, inc. MoringaThon™ Energy Tabs project for better living for all concerned!