You may not have heard of the moringa (Moringa oleifera), a tree native to the Himalayan foothills, but peoples across the world have recognized its miraculous potential, and it is now widely planted across South Asia, Africa, and Central and South America.
Governmental and non-governmental organizations have actively started promoting it as a cure for many of the ills associated with poverty worldwide.
The moringa is a drought-tolerant, pest-resistant, fast-growing tree that produces edible flowers and seed pods all year long. Every edible part of the tree is highly nutritious; the pods in particular provide all the essential amino acids and are rich in a fat similar to olive oil.
The leaves are edible and dry easily for storage. These leaves, which are abundant at a time when most food plants in the tropics are no longer producing, are so nutritious that just 25 grams can provide a child with 42 percent of their daily recommended protein, 125 percent of their calcium, 71 percent of their iron and 272 percent of their vitamin A.
And that's only the food uses: The trees and their products can be used in a myriad of other ways. For example, the seeds can be used to clarify water.