A Haitian Treasure: Moringa (Benzoliv)

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Common name: Moringa
Haitian name: Pye pwa mirak or Benzoliv
Scientific name: Moringa Oleifera

What is it good for? Nutrition Nutrition Nutrition! It is extremely high in protein, vitamin A and C, calcium, potassium, and iron. It also contains all essential amino acids.

Moringa is considered a miracle plant since every part of it has a specific use. It's kind of unbelievable how beneficial this plant is- root, seed, flower, pods....all of it. It is used for medicine and nutrition, and to maintain livestock and purify water. It is currently being studied more closely for its use as biodiesel.

What makes it a Haitian treasure? The moringa flowers are often used to treat colds and to improve circulation and immunity. It has amazing nutritional benefits that the Haitian people are definitely aware of. Haitians make tea and soup with moringa, and also put it in mayi moulen.
Other thoughts: Moringa is known to have the ability to combat malnutrition, which is great. I think it's super important to take care of our individual and communal health. I have to say I am also interested in the socio-economic opportunities that Moringa can provide to Haiti, and I give props to the Haitian-led initiatives underway to plant Moringa. The moringa tree is a tough cookie. It can grow in a variety of climates and in the harshest of conditions, which is a plus for a deforested place like Haiti. People all over the world are fans of Moringa and I believe that Haiti can totally jump on the bandwagon and become a world-class producer of this amazing plant (as well as other plants), in due time and under the right circumstances.

Truthfully, I can't help but feel a rush of excitement when I think about the benefits of developing Haiti's agriculture and continuing my exploration of our traditional and natural healing systems, for the health of the people first and foremost, as well as other aspects like jobs, education, economic growth, etc. Maybe it's the idealist in me.

I am really interested in learning more about the specific traditional uses of Moringa in our Haitian culture. If you have anything to add, please leave a comment below. :)

Know your treasures and stay engaged,

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The "Haitian Treasures" series explores the magnificent benefits and uses of Haiti's natural resources, which I call "Haitian Treasures" because they are truly national gems.  Naïka in Balance is the premiere source for information on healing herbs used by Haitians. In this series, I explore the tie between Haiti's natural resources and natural, traditional, and holistic healing.

Learn about other Haitian Treasures explored on this blog here!

The two most popular Haitian Treasures on this blog are:

Castor oil/l'huile palma christi
Wonder of the world plant/fey lougawou

Naika, the writer of this blog, has a doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine and a Masters of Science in Acupuncture as of June 2017. Please do not take the information presented on this blog, as medical advice, without consulting your certified health care practitioner. Knowledge is power and your health is your wealth!