Opinion: Miracle tree

POSTED: 01/27/12 2:43 PM

Honestly, we had never heard of the Moringa-Oleifera-tree in our life. But now we have, and this freshly acquired knowledge got us thinking about what such a tree could do for St. Maarten. It is also known as drumstick tree and its main attraction is that practically everything on it is edible.
Aid workers call it the miracle tree and claim that it works under certain conditions as well as international food aid. The tree is fast-growing and widely used in “South-Africa to combat undernourishment.
Scientists say that one hundred grams of ground Moringa-Oleifera-leaves contain that same amount of calcium as four glasses of orange juice; the same amount of vitamin C as seven oranges; an amount of calcium equal to that in three bananas; three times as much iron as spinach; four times as much vitamin A as a carrot: and twice the amount of proteins milk has.
The tree is grown mainly in semi-arid tropical and sub-tropical climates; it flourishes on sandy ground, but it also manages to survive on poor soil and in coastal areas. In other words, that tree would do well in St. Maarten. Experts say that the tree is able to flourish anywhere in the world where drought and undernourishment are an issue.
The Volkskrant reported this week about a former teacher on the African continent who set up a fifteen hectare Moringa-plantation in Limpopo, one of the poorest provinces in South-Africa. When the ground leaves were sprinkled over the food of 400 undernourished children in a local crisis center, improvements became visible almost instantly. Their children’s health improved rapidly; skin irritations and open wounds disappeared, and their resistance improved, making them less vulnerable to catch diseases. The center’s manager claims that the children are also better able to concentrate at school.
Researchers in South-Africa have confirmed that the Moringa-leaves help to cure skin infections, battle high blood pressure and the blood sugar level; they diminish swellings, cure ulcers and have a calming effect on the nerve system.
We further learned that the immature green pods that grow on the tree are widely used in India, where they are prepared the same way as green beans. The pods are called drumsticks, hence the alternative name drumstick tree.
While we are not starving on our island, we sure have a lot of children who go to school hungry every day – at least, that’s what we hear. Recently there have also been concerns about food supply to the island in general; there are also initiatives to boost local farming. Good idea, just add the Moringa-Oleifera-tree to the mix.

Did you like this? Share it:
Opinion: Miracle tree by

Comments are closed.