Agriculture Minister Sam Sesay says that every part of the Moringa plant is chock full of both nutritional and medical value and that it is able to treat or cure more than 300 illnesses. While doctors don’t necessarily agree with that claim, they do agree that it has value. Local doctors are using it to complement their treatments.
Sierra Leone is a poor country and many of the children die before the age of five. There are few doctors or nurses and most live on less than $1 a day. The Moringa plant is also helping in that department, as farmers are being shown how to plant and harvest the “miracle” plant. The United Methodist Committee on Relief is promoting the use of Moringa in Africa and brought the seeds of the Moringa to Sierra Leone more than 10 years ago and gave it to 150 farmers to raise.
Samples of the plant have also been distributed to more than 2,000 area residents in the city of Makeni to encourage its use. It comes as a tea or a powder that can be sprinkled on foods. Besides being a health aide, it is also helping people with jobs and more than 250,000 seeds have been distributed to encourage people to grow and sell it to earn money.
A factory has also been build to market the plant to other areas of the world.
The Moringa is said to have seven times the vitamin C found in oranges, four times the calcium in milk, four times the vitamin A in carrots and three times the potassium found. It also has more than 46 antioxidants and lots of phytonutrients, which get rid of toxins in the body, cleanse the liver and boost the immune system.