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Las Pinas City, Metro Manila, Philippines

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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Horse Radish ( Moringa oleifera)


            MORINGA Oleifera
                                                         (HORSE RADISH)
          Moringa Oleifera, commonly referred to as Horse radish in English or Malunggay in Filipino is the most widely cultivated species of the genus Moringa. It is very common and widely cultivated in almost any Filipino backyard. It is an exceptionally nutritious vegetable tree and considered one of the world's most useful trees, as almost every part of the Moringa tree can be used for food  and medicinal or beneficial properties. It is used as a metabolic conditioner to aid against endemic diseases in developing counties because of its micronutrient liquid, a natural anthelmintic that kills parasites and adjuvant that aids or enhance another drug.

Moringa tree
                 Moringa  tree is rather slender with drooping branches that grow to approximately 10 m in height. In the Philippines, Moringa is propagated by planting limb cuttings. The green pods have a slight asparagus taste and prepared just like any ordinary green beans. Mature seeds are removed from the pod and eaten like peas or fried like nuts. In Siddha medicines, the seeds are used as a sexual virility and in women for prolonging sexual activity. The seeds yield 38-40% edible oil called ben oil because it contain high concentration of behenic acid. The seed cake remaining  after extraction can be used as fertilizer and as a flocculent to  purify water.

Moringa flower
                The flowers taste like mushrooms when cooked and the roots taste like horseradish. However, the roots contain alkaloid spirochin and is a potentially fatal nerve-paralyzing agent. 

                Moringa leaves are highly nutritious and a good source of Vitamin A(beta-carotene), Vitamin C, Vitamin B1, B2, B3, B6, B7 and B12, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, and Vitamin K, calcium, protein, iron and potassium.  It is cooked like spinach or when dried and crushed into powder is used as a refreshing tea.

                Moringa is a very good source of vitamins and minerals. It can aid in the prevention or cure malnutrition in pregnant women and children. It can aid to prevent stoke, high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, kidney problems, diabetes, and many symptoms of old age such as wrinkles and liver spots on the skin, hair loss, lessened hearing, worse eyesight, slower reaction times and agility, reduced ability to think clearly, difficulty recalling memories and greater susceptibility to bone diseases such as osteoarthritis.

               Here are some recipes you may try preparing in your home:

Mongo bean Malunggay  (Filipino)

Ingredients:

1 cup mongo, boiled
1medium tomato, diced small
1medium onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped finely
¼ cup fine strips pork or
½ cup smoked fish meat
Salt to taste
1 cup malunggay leaves

Procedure:
        Boil pork strips until its natural oil comes out. Sauté garlic, onion and tomatoes. Mix the pre-boiled mongo, sauté . Boil until all ingredients blend. Add malunggay and simmer for a while and serve.

Moringa Tea
Moringa Tea

            1.)    Use one tsp of moringa for every cup of water. Soon it in the coffee filter just like your ordinary coffee. This is a delicious and nutritious green tea that goes well with snacks, meals or by itself. You canadd lemon peel and a little honey for a stimulating nutritious beverage or


           2.)    Boil 1 Moringa tea bag in 2-3 cups water or depending on howstrong or light you would like your tea.  Don’t wait for it to cool down as the tea bag might not produce the taste and color you look for. You can add sweeteners, creamers, lemon  or calamansi. Or just about anything you would add on any other tea. You can also served it cold for a refreshing ice cold tea.

Tinolang Manok (Chicken Soup dish)

                                             Ingredients:

Tinolang Manok
½  kilo chicken cut small
3-4 clovesGarlic minced
1 medium Onion sliced
2 sp. ginger strips
2 chayote sliced or
1 medium unripe papaya slice
1 cup malunggay leaves
2 sp. Oil
2 chicken cubes
1.5  liter water

Procedure:
          Sauté ginger  and garlic in oil until golden brown. Add onion and sauté. Add chicken cubes and sauté until cubes melt. Add chicken, mix and cover. Add papaya or chayote when chicken is half cooked. Add water and continue to boil  until all the chicken and vegetable is tender. Add malunggay leaves, simmer for a while and serve.



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