In Hawaii it is almost a cliche that Filipinos have in their back or front yards a malunggay plant. Malunggay (Moringa oleifera) commonly referred to simply as “Moringa” is the most widely cultivated species of the genus Moringa, which is the only genus in the family Moringaceae (Wikipedia).
The plant is an exceptionally nutritious vegetable tree with a variety of potential uses. In the Philippines and Africa the young leaves are eaten as vegetable leaf, either stewed, mixed in soups or sautéed, and often used in thin coconut milk to make a high nutritious soup. In some regions the fallen flowers are gathered and cleansed to be cooked. Malunggay leaves are also sometimes used as ingredient in tinola, a traditional chicken dish consisting of chicken in a broth.
The tree is rather slender, with drooping branches that grow to approximately 10 m in height. The tree’s bark, roots, fruit, flowers, leaves, seeds, and gum are also used medicinally. Uses include as an antiseptic and in treating rheumatism, venomous bites, and other conditions.
Mabuhay ang malunggay!