- Family name: Moringaceae
- Japanese name: WASABINOKI
- English name: moringa, drumstick, horseradish tree, Ben oil tree
- Scientific name: Moringa oleifera
- Country of origin: Northwestern India (foot of the Himalayas)
It is a deciduous shrub with a height of approximately 5–15 m. It blooms and bears fruit 1–5 years after planting. In the Arid Land Research Center, it blooms from early May to early June. Propagation is performed by seeding or cutting. It has strong xerotolerance, and can be cultivated in areas with annual precipitation of 250 mm–2,600 mm. Can be cultivated in low nutrient and acidic to alkaline (pH 4.5–9.0) soil, but it has weak tolerance against flooding and frost.
The seed contains 35–40% oil, of which 65–75% is oleic acid. In recent years, seed oil has also been studied as biofuel. Because seeds have action to purify and sterilize muddy water and kill insects (mosquito larvae) action, they have been used to purify the water of the Nile River in Sudan. Cloudy water can be purified in 1–2 hours with 30–200 mg (1–2 grains) of seeds per liter. In Africa, southern/southeastern Asia and the United States, leaves and young capsules are used as vegetables and tea. The capsule may reach a length of approximately 45cm and has a taste similar to asparagus. Leaves and young capsules are rich in essential amino acids, vitamins A and C, protein, potassium, iron, and calcium. Because the root tastes similar to wasabi, it is used as a condiment.
Leaf (food, animal feed, medicine), flower (food, medicine), young capsule (food), seed (food, medicine), seed oil (water purification, food, lamps, soap, cosmetics, biofuel), root (food, medicine), gum (tannins, dyes), trunk (blue dyes, papermaking)
Hayder, M. 2011. Oil trees for energy in the Near East region. Food and
Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Regional Office for the
Near East, Cairo, Egypt. (http://www.fao.org/docrep/015/i12559e/i12559e00.pdf)
Jahn. S.S.A., Hassan, A.M. and Burstaller, H. 1986. The tree that purifies
water: cultivating multipurpose Moringaceae in the Sudan. Unasylva. 38(2):
Lea, M. 2010. Bioremediation of turbid surface water using seed extract
from Moringa oleifera Lam. (drumstic) tree. Current Products in Microbiology IG.2.1-IG.2.14.
Lim, T.K. 2012. Moringa oleifera. In: Edible Medicinal and Non-Medicinal Plants. Volume 3, Fruits. Springer, Netherlands, pp.453-485.
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