In previous blogs, we have mentioned the nutritional and therapeutic properties of Moringa. The leaves are traditionally used by lactating mothers for making soup to improve their milk production. The possibility of making Moringa capsule and tea has widened options for the intake of this plant.
Recently Prof Hope Patricio, Goducate’s volunteer agricultural consultant, demonstrated to Indonesian farmers in Kg Gunung Tinggi in North Sumatra and in Kg Gedung Mulyo in Central Java how to make Moringa capsules and tea. Before the hands-on training, she highlighted the importance, production, and utilization aspects of Moringa.
Prof Patricio explained that only 3-4 green compound leaves should be placed inside a screen bag for drying under a shade, because direct sun drying can destroy the vitamin C packed in the leaves. After drying, the leaflets should be shaken off from the leaf petioles, then roasted over a low fire for 2-3 minutes only, with continuous stirring to reduce the moisture and sanitize the leaves. Roasting helps to preserve the leaves and improve the tea’s flavor.
The roasted Moringa leaves are powderized with a blender or mortar and pestle before being sifted to remove the larger particles. The powder is then poured into empty capsules that can be obtained from local drugstores. The Moringa capsules are stored in amber bottles or other airtight containers that keep out light, and these are stored in a dry place or in the refrigerator.
To make Moringa tea requires one cup of Moringa leaves, one cup of ginger, and one cup of lemon grass. These are placed in a pan containing four cups of water, brought to the boil and simmered under low flame for 2 mins. After the concoction is placed in a pitcher, the juice of an orange can be added to improve the flavor.
Most of the participants prepared their own Moringa capsules later on and experienced the simplicity of the procedure. They were reminded to always sanitize their hands with alcohol or else use disposable plastic gloves before handling the powder and capsule.
Their next request is for Goducate to teach them how to cook Philippine Chicken Tinola with Moringa leaves, green papaya, and lemon grass.
The Goducate Training Center (GTC) has been encouraging its neighboring communities to plant and eat moringa, and as part of its health feeding program it has been distributing moringa powder to malnourished children. At first the powder was made only at GTC, but as our community work increased, we have taught the communities to make the powder themselves.
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