The Uses and Care Of Moringa Seeds
Moringa seeds are produced annually in the tropical and sub tropical countries of Asia and Africa. Like the rest of the plant, they are highly valued, as they give us the incredibly nutritious Moringa Tree. The Moringa oleifera tree, also known as the Tree of Life, has a host of nutritive uses for both people and livestock alike.
Moringa oleifera seeds have a unique and pleasing appearance. They come with their very own wings to ensure the wind carries them to fertile ground far away from the parent plant. When firmly rooted, they produce a bountiful crop of one of the world’s most healthy plants.
Moringa seeds are large and circular-shaped, and grow inside the lengthy pods of the Moringa oleifera tree. The pods can reach well over a foot in length and each pod can provide over a dozen large Moringa seeds.
Moringa seeds have two sets of thin flaps extending from the main kernel of the seeds. These flaps serve as wings to carry the seed away from the mother tree, and with the help of the wind, they move across the ground until they find a resting place to germinate.
Unlike the fast-growing leaves of the Moringa oleifera tree, the seed pods do not grow back every few months. Moringa trees produce seed pods on an annual basis, much like other similar species in the plant kingdom. And as is the case with other healing plants, it is always worth the wait for the trees to produce their seed pods.
Moringa trees give off incredible volume of seed pods during their reproduction months. An average-sized tree of fifteen to twenty feet in height can produce hundreds or even thousands of seed pods, yielding countless seeds each and every year.
Uses for Moringa Seeds
Fresh Moringa seeds are usually quite soft and yield with strong pressure. As Moringa seeds dry out, they harden until they resemble a dried bean or pea.
If the Moringa seeds are to be used for oil extraction, the seeds are harvested and immediately processed. The fresh, soft seeds are broken into pieces and heated with water, and then they are pressed for oil. Seeds that are cold-pressed can produce up to 40% oil by weight.
If Moringa seeds are not harvested for oil, they are most likely to be used as food or in cultivating further crops. Moringa seeds are a popular table food in many cultures around the world. The seeds can be steamed or boiled, either in the pod or shelled, much like peas or green beans. They can also be seasoned and roasted as a snack food. They are packed with nutrients, making them as popular as Moringa leaves in many household meals and recipes.
Growing Moringa Seeds
The increase in the popularity of the Moringa plant is evident by the number of companies offering Moringa seeds for sale. Before you buy, make sure you live in an environment that will support the germination and growth of this unique plant. If you do not live in a tropical environment, you can still grow the plant indoors with proper care. Moringa seeds will germinate in a room temperature environment, and seeds will quickly mature into healthy plants, as long as they are exposed to plenty of sunlight and not over-watered.
The seeds will germinate best if they are soaked first in water for 12-24 hours. This will allow the seeds to absorb the moisture required for sprouting. Remove the soaked seeds, wrap them in a wet cloth, and store the cloth in a warm, dark place. Ensure the cloth remains damp so the seeds do not dry out. Once the seeds have ‘woken up’, continue to keep them moist until they have germinated. Check the seeds daily for a week until you see them sprout. When this happens, bury them in ¼” of clean soil and keep the area moist. The seeds will establish themselves in their new homes and grow quickly.
The rule of thumb for growing Moringa oleifera is to keep temperatures above 70°F. However, this is not a strict rule, and you can most likely maintain a healthy Moringa tree even if temperatures dip below 70°F for a period of time during the year.
Harvesting Your Plant
Because it is such a fast grower, you can harvest the Moringa plant of its leaves every two months under healthy conditions and it will grow back without any detriment to the health of the tree. The leaves make a wonderful addition to any salad. One of the many benefits is that it regenerates quickly – second only to bamboo. In fact, a Moringa tree can grow several feet in its first year after germinating from seed, if it is not pruned to an appropriate height for an indoor plant.
Oil makes up over 40% composition of the Moringa seed. This extract is a light, sweet oil, also known as Ben oil or Behen oil. With an oleic acid content of 72%, the oil penetrates deeply into the skin, carrying essential nutrients and helping the skin refresh and rejuvenate itself.
The seed cake which remains after the oil has been extracted has proved to be a very effective flocculent/coagulant for the clarification of turbid water. It helps remove sediment and bacteria, leaving the water clear and clean. Moringa seed cake is introduced into a volume of water, and the water is stirred or agitated for a period of time. The small pieces of cake work to effectively attract particulate matter, including dirt, sediment, algae, and bacteria, which cling to the seed cake particles, sponging them up. The water is then filtered through a fine cloth, leaving it significantly more pure than it was prior to the introduction of the Moringa seed cake - up to 90% cleaner.
Moringa seeds are as important as the live-giving tree itself. Germinate a seed, and it will produce a tree that grows rapidly and continues to shower you with nutrients for years to come.
At Moringa Source, we provide you with the highest quality seeds, collected from our strongest trees and available in bulk quantities only. Our seeds have excellent germination rates and are completely untreated - straight from the tree to you.