|drumstick trees on the street outside the author's home|
Planting a tree
A shelter for the birds
The very oxygen we breathe
It Helps improve climate
And adorns Mother Earth in beauty
If you help plant some
She shall surely bless you
This blog has described many useful trees but it appears that a full article on one of the most useful ones, the drumstick tree, has been missed. It is time to make up this deficiency now, especially during the monsoon season when nature lovers in India are busy in tree plantations. The Moringa or the drumstick tree is a fast-growing, drought resistant tree that is native to the southern foothills of the Himalayas in northwestern India. But it grows easily in semi-arid areas too. It can be grown in forests, home gardens, schools, offices, farms or as street side trees in cities. It is also an ideal choice for forestation programs. Mixed with other trees such as the white mulberry it virtually produces a food forest of fruits and leafy vegetables. It can be grown from cutting or seed. It is a lovely tree because of its lush light green fern like foliage. A forest of white mulberry (http://someitemshave.blogspot.in/2011/07/godly-hermit-tree-mulberry.html) and drumstick surrounding a human habitation can virtually meet the vegetable needs of an entire community for free. There is an article on the white mulberry as a super food in this blog.
Virtually every part of the tree is edible. The leaves are the most nutritious part of the plant, being a significant source of B, C, K, A vitamins, beta carotene, minerals and protein among other essential nutrients. As with any other edible tree leaf, the new leaves are the best. The leaves may be cooked and used like spinach and you may wish to try your own recipes to suit your taste. The immature seed pods, called "drumsticks", are commonly consumed cooked in a curry until soft. They also make an excellent pickle too. The seeds of mature pods can be used as peas or roasted like nuts. They contain high levels of vitamin C and moderate amounts of B vitamins plus dietary minerals... In seasons its flowers are delicious too provided they are boiled for a few minutes and drained to remove the strong flavor.
Some persons consume the roots too but these are best avoided since they may contain a harmful toxin. It is the defense of this godly tree from unscrupulous humans who uproot trees rather than plant them. Moringa trees have been used to combat malnutrition, especially among infants and nursing mothers in deprived parts of the world. Its leaves can be dried in shade, powdered and added to other foods, even rice or bread, throughout the year to improve nutritional value.
Mature seeds yield 38–40% edible oil called Ben oil. The refined oil is clear and odorless, and resists rancidity. The seed cake remaining after oil extraction may be used as a fertilizer or as a flocculent to purify water. Moringa seed oil also has potential for use as a bio-fuel. When grown on a farm in cultivation, it is often cut back annually to 1–2 meters and allowed to re-grow especially if grown as forage for livestock
UPDATE: Planting more trees helps the climate as well (http://steamcenter.blogspot.in/2013/07/one-fact-about-climate-change-most.html) besides being a wonderful gift for Mother Earth who nurtures us all.