Senator Loren Legarda has urged Ilocanos to plant malunggay (moringa) in vacant lots to address problems on malnutrition especially in the countryside.
“Malunggay is a good source of vitamins A, B and C and minerals such as iron, among others. We need to formulate a sustainable framework for the growing of malunggay in every backyard so we can maximize its health, nutritional and other benefits,” Legarda said.
Malunggay is often called the miracle tree because it is a rich source of fats, proteins, carotenoids, vitamin C, iron, potassium, and other nutrients.
Practically all parts of the tree from the leaves and flowers to the bark and roots have nutritional and health benefits and are used as nutritional supplements and in the manufacture of cos-metics, perfumes and skin oils.
Health authorities said that chemical compounds found in malunggay have demonstrated beneficial activities that help in combating atherosclerosis and heart disease, in boosting the immune system, and have antiviral, antibacterial, antioxidant, and tumor-suppressive effects.
Other health benefits that can be derived from malunggay:
l. It is a rich source of fiber and serves as a mop that helps clean the intestines and excess waste left over from a greasy diet.
2. It is a powerful antibiotic and highly efficient in eliminating a bacterium that causes gastritis, ulcers and gastric cancer.
3. The seed of this tree is found to purify water, and is even better than most of the conventional synthetic materials being used nowadays.
4. The leaves of malunggay are abundant in vitamins, minerals, essen-tial amino acids and much more ingredients. In 100 grams of dry malunggay leaves there is: 9 times more protein than in yogurt; 10 times more vitamin A than in carrots; 15 times more potassium than in bananas; 17 times more calcium than in milk; 12 times more vitamin C than in oranges.
Because of the many uses of malunggay, Legarda has re-filed her proposed Malunggay Development Act, under Senate Bill No. 104 to spur the production, processing, marketing and distribution of the plant in suitable areas of the country in order to acquire its benefits.#