Drumstick: Ice Cream, Musical Instrument or Poultry Limb?

25 May

Well actually, the drumstick I’m referring to is not any of these things; it’s a vegetable also known as Moringa oleifera and my family cooks this in Indian curries. Available in fresh and canned form, the outside of the drumstick is fibrous and you split it open to scrape out the soft flesh and pods. The drumstick itself has a mild flavour which is characteristic of most vegetables, so it is enhanced by the curry and carries the spices well.

It is said that the fast growing moringa tree (miracle tree) is highly regarded in Indian traditions and Ayurveda to treat over 300 medical conditions and most parts of the tree can be used including the leaves, oil, pods, seeds, flowers, roots, gum and bark. Due to the high protein and fibre content, moringa has been used to aid cases of malnutrition and the leaves are believed to possess more nutrition than any other known plant source on the planet. This ‘tree of life’ can be taken internally as a nutritional health supplement through capsules containing the powdered leaves.

The edible oil, also known as ben oil, contains a fatty acid called behenic acid ; the seeds are used to enhance sexual stamina in men and women and the flowers are revered as a delicacy in Bangladeshi cuisine.

Sometimes referred to as the Horseradish tree due to the comparable flavour of the leaves, moringa is also used as a natural flocculant which aids in the filtration and removal of microscopic impurities from drinking water. Drumstick oil is commonly used in cosmetics, hair treatments and perfumes.

Is there anything that this tree can’t be used for?!

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