By Meg Pearson
There’s a new powerful plant in town, a green leafy tree that is taking up plenty of space in the brand new Hacienda organic farm!
Moringa! The Miracle Tree!
This plant is native to the sub-Himalayan areas of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan, but lucky for us, it is also thrives here in the Central American tropics, and is one of the most concentrated superfoods on the planet. While the bark, flowers, fruit, seeds, and root are used medicinally, we love the leaves, and that is where we are going to put our focus today! Rich in protein and amino acids, these green guys have seven times the Vitamin C of oranges, four times the Vitamin A of carrots, 3 times more iron than spinach, and 4 times the calcium in milk. Add some serious doses of Vitamin B, Vitamin C, and many minerals, and you are looking at one true tremendous food so healthy in fact, that it has been a useful tool for fighting malnutrition in some countries.
Not only is this leaf a lovely nutritional powerhouse, but it is also a herbal healer! In one study, Moringa reduced asthma symptoms and the severity of asthma attacks in adults. Got swell? Moringa is also used to reduce swollen body parts thanks to its anti-inflammatory compounds, but also can help increase sex drive! It is also used to treat various stomach and heart ailments, anemia, arthritis and other joint pain (rheumatism),relieve constipation & diarrhea, and can kill germs topically and reduces infection risk. High levels of B Vitamins aid metabolism and emotional equilibrium, and all those rich minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, and phytonutrients keep the brain active and well-nourished so it stays sharp. Moreover, leaves rubbed against the temple can relieve headaches, and tea made from the leaves can give a better energy boost than coffee ever could. Bleeding? Apply a mush of fresh leaves to stop the flow.
While we wish we could send bags and bags of fresh leaves home with our guests, we can’t. But since we feel it important that clients of Hacienda continue to enjoy the benefits of Moringa long after they depart Costa Rica, we have taken a look at the many Moringa supplement products available out there. Recognizing that the nutrition in Moringa is not immune to harsh harvesting and manufacturing practices, we like one company in particular, Zija. At Zija, they have gone above and beyond industry standards to deliver the most nutritious Moringa possible. After all, Moringa without its nutrition becomes just another plant.
While this is a relatively new plant to us, the usage is vast and spans many years in history. We are excited to keep learning more, and we can not wait to share this leafy green addition with you in our super salads and smoothies!