Looks like murungai or as it is known in the West – moringa or drumstick, has joined the ranks of superfoods, and appears to be the next big green superfood craze. Just check out the number of murungai products on Amazon in link below. I’ll stick to the original Tamil pronunciation, murungai (முருங்கை, meaning “drumstick” from the shape of the fruits). The NIH (National Institute of Health) Record celebrated Earth Day 2008 with the moringa tree as the Plant of the Year.
See NutritionValue, per 100g of raw/fresh leaves (raw leaves are 78% water, so for powdered form multiply by at least 4x, with a few exceptions like vitamin C which diminishes, unless the process is freeze-drying). I wouldn’t obsess too much over the nutrition data. People in India (and other indigenous cultures across Africa and Asia) have known its benefits for ages without such details. But for those of us dislocated from traditional practices and diets (and brainwashed by industry) need such validation. For those brainwashed by the milk industry, foods like spirulina, finger-millet, and murungai are far superior source for calcium and protein than milk.
Gram for gram, murungai has more calcium and more protein than milk. It also facilitates the absorption of calcium. Like spirulina (the most well known green superfood), it is rich in amino acids, including all eight essential amino acids.
For many years my mom has taken murungai tea (from murungai leaves from our backyard). This news of the “discovery” of yet another indigenous/village food reinforces just one thing: that we are all better off sticking to our traditional village foods.
A side note: observe that murungai fruit resembles a long bony structure, and is good for bones. That is, goes along with the holographic universe theory (found throughout Hindu philosophy and traditions), in which the macrocosm reflects the microcosm.
Another novel use of the murungai tree is in water purification – adding crushed murungai seeds to dirty water removes 90% of impurities (see Water Treatment):