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The many uses of Moringa outside of nutrition

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Moringa Oleifera

By Lowell J. Fuglie

The many additional benefits of Moringa

� 1.�Moringa�s leaves, flowers, bark, wood and roots�are used worldwide for a large variety of medicinal purposes. But there are also many other uses for the tree. Among these:
2.�Alley cropping�: With their rapid growth, long taproot, few lateral roots, minimal shade and large production of high-protein biomass, Moringa trees are well-suited for use in alley cropping systems.
3.�Biogas�: Moringa leaves provide an excellent material for production of biogas.
4.�Dye�: The wood yields a blue dye which was used in Jamaica and in Senegal.
5.�Fencing�: A common use of Moringa trees is as a living support for fencing around gardens and yards.
6.�Foliar nutrient�: Juice extracted from the leaves can be used to make a foliar nutrient capable of increasing crop yields by up to 30%.
7.�Green Manure�: Cultivated intensively and then ploughed back into the soil, Manure can act as a natural fertilizer for other crops.
8.�Gum�: The gum produced from a cut tree trunk has been used in calico printing, in making medicines and as a bland-tasting condiment.
9.�Honey clarifier�: Powdered seeds can be used to clarify honey without boiling. Seed powder can also be used to clarify sugar cane juice.
10.�Honey producer�: Flowers are a good source of nectar for honey-producing bees.
11.�Livestock feed�: The high bioavailability of Moringa leaves and stems make them an excellent feed for cattle, sheep, goats, pigs and rabbits.
12.�Oil�: The seed kernels contain about 40% edible oil, similar in quality to olive oil.
13.�Ornamental�: In many countries, Moringa trees are planted in gardens and along avenues as ornamental trees.
14.�Plant disease prevention�: Incorporating Moringa leaves into the soil before planting can prevent damping off disease (Pythium debaryanum) among seedlings.
15.�Pulp�: The soft, spongy wood makes poor firewood, but the wood pulp is highly suitable for making newsprint and writing paper.
16.�Rope making�: The bark of the tree can be beaten into a fiber for production of ropes or mats.
17.�Tannin�: The bark and gum can be used in tanning hides.
18.�Water purification�: Powdered seed kernels act as a natural flocculent, able to clarify even the most turbid water.


Fuglie, L., 1995. R�pertoire des associations villageoises en Casamance. CWS/Dakar. 132p. Fuglie, L., 1998. Producing food without pesticides. Local solutions to crop pest control in West Africa. CWS/Dakar and CTA/Wageningen. 158p. Fuglie, L. 1999. The Miracle Tree.�Moringa oleifera: natural nutrition for the tropics. CWS/Dakar. 68p. Fuglie, L., and M. Mane, 1999. L�arbre de la vie.�Moringa oleifera: Traitement et pr�vention de la malnutrition. CWS/Dakar. 76p. Fuglie, L. (ed)�et al, 2001. The Miracle Tree. The multiple attributes of Moringa. CWS/Dakar and CTA/Wageningen. 172p. Fuglie, L. (ed)�et al, 2002. L�arbre de la vie. Les multiples usages de Moringa. CWS/Dakar and CTA/Wageningen. 177p.

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Profile Image for Susan K. Susan
  • Sat, Nov 21, 2009 12:22 PM

I am interested in Moringa for animal feed. Does anyone know how many trees it takes to support a goat or a pig?

I read about ongoing research about making a fish food pellet of Moringa leaves mixed with cassava. Does anyone know the results of that experiment?

How do you extract the blue dye from Moringa bark? How is it then used?

How do you extract the gum from Moringa and how is it used in calico printing?

Can Moringa flowers be used in perfume making?

How much biogas can be produced per tree? What percentage of the leaves can be harvested for biogas to keep production of leaves at the peak?

I have read that Moringa wood does not burn well. Can the Moringa wood be made to burn better by making it into charcoal or pellets, maybe mixed with Moringa oil?

Hello dear SUSAN,

You have asked a lot of questions that can not have one answer, I suggest to you to go over them by a  question by questions as topics, for a lot of contribution can be made to help you.Nevertheless, I must start with question 1 by proposing the following interesting article to you to go over it for few information to start with.



Animals are biological systems exactly like we, human beings, are. The same principles apply, particularly the garbage in-garbage out principle. More, when animals are actually raised for human consumption, there a multiplication effect: Animals become what *they* eat, and we, in turn, become what we eat through them. Junk foods generate junk lives, and animals raised in the way of the agro-industrial complex generate sick and obese humans. Look around you, if you are not yet convinced.

Industrial agriculture, with its bottom-line-oriented practices that totally disregard quality in favor of quantity ultimately produces what we have become at large: Obese, chronically ill, sick and pathetic imitations of a what a human being could be. Considering that the chickens we eat are fed each other's carcasses as well as chicken feces and ground diseased animals, that supermarket beef eats ground-up diseased sheep and roadkill, the same for pigs, and that all this happy crowd is filled to the brim with synthetic hormones and antibiotics, how can we wonder if most of us wallow in chronical illnesses, cancer, heart disease, etc? And the same is true for our pets. At least *we* are not fed seasoned processed animal feces in pellet form. Well, at least not yet.

Could this change? Could farm animals and pets alike be fed healthy foods? Definitely, and the Moringa tree is poised to play a major part in such a necessary change. The agricultural experimental station run by Foidl & Foidl conducted extensive trials using Moringa leaves as cattle feed for both beef and milk cows, swine feed, and poultry feed. The results were as expected, except that, as almost always with Moringa, expectations where not only met, but passed. Moringa is not only concentrated nutrition, but in the raw form, also seems to reduce the activity of pathogenic bacteria and molds, and improve the digestibility of other foods, thus helping farm animals as well as pets express their natural genetic potential. In other words, Moringa is both nutrition and an adaptogen and pro-genetic factor.


This easily translates in quantifiable results: At the Foidl agricultural station, with moringa leaves constituting 40-50% of feed, milk yields for dairy cows and daily weight gains for beef cattle increased 30%, with no hormones and no antibiotics. Birth weight, averaging 22 kg for local Jersey cattle, increased by 15% to 25%, or 3 to 5+ kgs.

Notice that the high protein content of Moringa leaves must be balanced with other energy food. Cattle feed consisting of 40-50% moringa leaves should be mixed with molasses, sugar cane, young elephant grass, sweet (young) sorghum plants, or whatever else is locally available. The maximum protein and fiber content of livestock feed should be:
Lactating cow: Protein 18%; Fiber 26-30%
Beef cow: Protein 12-14%; Fiber 36%
Lactating sow: Protein 16-18%; Fiber 5-7%
Meat pig: Protein 12-14%; Fiber 5-7%

Because of the particularly high bio-availibity of Moringa proteins and the "natural steroid"-like effect of fresh, raw Moringa, perhaps desirable for human athletes, but dangerous if uncontrolled in animal feeds, particular care must be taken to avoid excessive protein intake. Too much protein in pig feed will increase muscle development at the expense of fat production. In cattle feed, too much protein can actually be fatal, because of the possible adverse effect on the nitrogen bovine digestive cycle.

Nutrient value of Moringa leaves can be increased for poultry and swine through the addition of an enzyme, phytase, to break down the phytates, leading to increased absorption of nutrients such as phosphoric compounds found in Moringa. The enzyme should be simply mixed in with the leaves without heating. It is NOT for use with ruminants. [Companies that sell phytase include Roche (Hoffman-LaRoche), which has distributors worldwide. A typical price for Ronozyme P (also sold as Roxazyme in some regions), a highly active phytase derived from the organism Peniophora lycii, for use in pig and poultry feeds, would be in the order of US$6.00 to $8.00 per kg. One kilo of enzyme at that concentration can treat 3333 kg of broiler chicken feed, the same amount of swine feed, or 5555 kg layer chicken feed. Phytase addition to basal diet linearly increase ash weight in the grower phase. With the exception of proline and glycine, the digestibilities of the other amino acids is linearly increased with phytase. For example, nitrogen excretion is estimated to be reduced by 4.6% when phytase was added to pig diets at a level of 500 U/kg. If you don't know of a local Roche dealer you can find one on the Internet at www.roche.com/vitamins/areas.html or write to their mail order address at Roche Vitamins Inc., PO Box 910, Nutley, NJ 07110-1199, USA.

Cattle were fed 15-17 kg of moringa daily. Milking should be done at least three hours after feeding to avoid the grassy taste of moringa in the milk. With moringa feed, milk production was 10 liters/day and without moringa feed, it was only 7 liters/day. This almost a 45% increase, with NO artificial hormones involved!

With moringa feed, daily weight gain of beef cattle was 1,200 grams/day. Without moringa feed, daily weight gain of beef cattle was 900 grams/day. That's a 33% increase, with NO artificial hormones and NO antibiotics involved!

The only problem was that higher birth weight (3-5 kg) can be problematic for small cattle. Thus, it may be advisable to induce birth 10 days prematurely to avoid problems. Incidence of twin births also increased dramatically with moringa feed: 3 per 20 births, that is, in proportion, 150:1000, as opposed to the usual average of 1:1000. This is actually an incredible increase of 15% in total live births, an astonishing fact that fully illustrates the extraordinary bio-dynamic effects of fresh, raw Moringa greens.


Chickens, for example, will not voluntarily consume moringa leaves or moringa leaf powder. However, about half the protein content can be extracted from the leaves in the form of a concentrate which can then be added to chicken feed (or used in many other ways). The protein content desired in chicken feed is 22%. To obtain the concentrate, mix leaves with water and run the mix through a hammer mill. Heat this mash to 70 degrees Celsius for 10 minutes. The protein will clump and settle to the bottom. After pouring off the liquid, this can then be freeze-dried. Other alternate low-heat or non-heat method can be used to clump the protein.

A somewhat simpler alternative to freeze-drying is to take a pressure cooker and fit in the top a copper tube or steel tube. Take a compressor from an old refrigerator. Link the tube to the compressor inlet and run the compressor. At a temperature of 30 Celsius and about 50 mm of vacuum you can take out most of the water by evaporation in vacuum (in case you need it dry). However, this whole process actually comes to cooking the Moringa, which diminishes its nutritional qualities.

It is preferable to use Moringa raw, as part of a fresh fodder. For this, just take the sludge after sedimentation and mix it with dry fodder until you can handle it as a semidry mass. Then press it through a meat grinder to make homemade pellets. For pig fodder just mix the pellets with the normal fodder. However, be careful not to overdose with protein - fattening pigs need a maximum of 12-14% protein and lactating pigs 16-18% protein.

An alternate method is to use dry leaf cake left after juice extraction, which contain 12-14% protein, and mix it up with other suitable feed components.


What is said here of farm animal feeds is valid for pet foods. It is less important from a human health point of view, since we don't eat our pets, but there is no doubt that the overall health and appearance (coat, in particular) of pets reacts very well to the addition of Moringa to their diet. Actually, a whole new industry of Moringa-based pet food and care product might arise, once pet owners realize the benefits of adding Moringa to the diet of their animal companions.




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