Nutritional Value Of Drumstick And Its Leaves

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Muringa tree with Drumstick

Nutritional Value Of Drumstick And Its Leaves


Out of all green leafy vegetables available, drumstick leaves (Moringa Oleifera) contains 23791.91mcg total carotene and highest β-carotene content 16165.33 mcg/100gm FW and can be a suitable protocol for dietary diversification/improvement strategy especially to eradicate vitamin A deficiency.

Apart from β-carotene content they are also a good source of ascorbic acid, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin E and has low levels of oxalates. They are a rich source of protective nutrients essential for healthy vision, bones, blood and skin. The are also rich in various polyphenols, which act as antioxidants and are recommended for protecting against (Cardio Vascular Diseases) CVDs.
Epidemiological studies have consistently shown that high intakes of vitamin A/ carotenoids present in fruits and vegetables are associated with reduced risk of several chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, age-related macular degeneration and some cancers.
Medicinal properties
Juice is used for treating insect bites and rheumatism. Leaf paste  has healing properties when applied to wounds. Seed oil is used to treat gout and flowers are used as a tonic.
(Excepts from Dr Vanisha Nambiar’s presentation Nov 2006)
What is Drumstick?
Botanical Name :: Moringa oleifera
Indian Name :: Sanjana
Drumstick tree called the “Power house of minerals” is the most common tree in India. Its leaves,fruits, flowers, barks and seeds have medicinal values and are used in various manners in all dishes. Invaluable in preventing cardiac diseases; researchers have stated that the nutritional value of the leaves is equivalent to 7 times the Vitamin C in oranges plus 4 times the calcium in milk plus 3 times potassium in bananas plus 2 times the protein in milk plus 4 times the vitamin A in Carrot.
It is an exceptionally nutritious vegetable tree with a variety of potential uses. It is antibacterial and a wonderful cleanser.It is considered one of the world’s most useful trees, as almost every part of the Moringa tree can be used for food or has some other beneficial property. In the tropics, it is used as forage for livestock, and in many countries, Moringa micronutrient liquid, a natural anthelmintic (kills parasites) and adjuvant (to aid or enhance another drug) is used as a metabolic conditioner to aid against endemic diseases in developing countries.
A traditional food plant in Africa, this little-known vegetable has potential to improve nutrition, boost food security, foster rural development, and support sustainable landcare.
The leaves are highly nutritious, being a significant source of beta-carotene, Vitamin C, protein, iron, and potassium. The leaves are cooked and used like spinach. In addition to being used fresh as a substitute for spinach, its leaves are commonly dried and crushed into a powder, and used in soups and sauces. Murungakai, as it is locally known in Tamil Nadu and Kerala, is used in Siddha medicine. The tree is a good source for calcium and phosphorus
Moringa leaves and pods are helpful in increasing breast milk in the breastfeeding months. One tablespoon of leaf powder provide 14% of the protein, 40% of the calcium, 23% of the iron and most of the vitamin A needs of a child aged one to three. Six tablespoons of leaf powder will provide nearly all of the woman’s daily iron and calcium needs during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
It is commonly said that Moringa leaves contain more Vitamin A than carrots, more calcium than milk, more iron than spinach, more Vitamin C than oranges, and more potassium than bananas,” and that the protein quality of Moringa leaves rivals that of milk and eggs. However, the leaves and stem of M. oleifera are known to have large amounts of their calcium bound in calcium oxalate crystals, which is not a form of calcium available to the body. Whether the claim of “more calcium than milk” includes this non-bioavailable calcium needs to be addressed.
Food Value of Drumstick
Nutritionaly, drumstick pods and leaves are of great value as sources of acrotene, calcium, phosphorus and vitamin C. The leaves, flowers and fruits of drumstick which are used as vegetable have great nutritional value. The tender fruit is used in samber and most dishes in South Indian homes. The leaves and flowers are used to prepare curry and cake.
Drumstick (Pods)
Food Value
Minerals and Vitamins
Moisture – 86.9%
Calcium – 30 mg
Protein – 2.5%
Phosphorus – 110 mg
Fat – 0.1%
Iron – 5.3 mg
Vitamin C – 120 mg
Fibre – 4.8%
Small amount of Vitamin B Complex
Minerals – 2.0%
* Values per 100 gm’s edible portion
Carbohydrates – 3.7%
Calorific Value – 26
Drumstick (Leaves)
Food Value
Minerals and Vitamins
Moisture – 75.9%
Calcium – 440 mg
Protein – 6.7%
Phosphorus – 70 mg
Fat – 1.7%
Iron – 7 mg
Vitamin C – 220 mg
Fibre – 0.9%
Small amount of Vitamin B Complex
Minerals – 2.3%
* Values per 100 gm’s edible portion
Carbohydrates – 12.57%
Calorific Value – 92
Natural Benefits and Curative Properties of Drumstick
Almost all parts of the drumstick tree have therapeutic value. The leaves are especially beneficial in the treatment of many ailments due to their various medicinal properties and their rich iron content. They are used as food also.
Tonic for Children:- The leaves serve as a tonic for infants and growing children. For better results, juice should be extracted from leaves, filtered and mixed with milk. This mixture becomes an excellent tonic for healthy and strong bones and for purifying bloodstream.
Pregnancy and Lactation:- Taking this tonic regularly by expectant mothers will provide them with necessary calcium, iron and vitamins. It will also help them overcome sluggishness of the uterus, facilitate easy delivery and reduce post delivery complications. A vegetable prepared from leaves increases breast milk after child birth. The vegetable is prepared by boiling the leaves with salt and water. The water is then drained off and they are smeared with ghee and eaten.
Respiratory Disorder:- A soup prepared from drumstick leaves is highly beneficial in the treatment of respiratory diseases like asthma, bronchitis and tuberculosis. This soup is prepared by adding a handful of leaves to 80 ml. of water and is allowed to boil for five minutes. It should then be allowed to cool. A little salt, pepper and lime juice may be added to this soup
Infections:- Drumstick soup made with leaves and flowers as well as boiled drumsticks are highly valuable in preventing infections of all kinds such as that of the throat, chest and skin. This is because drumstick has antibacterial properties very much like penicillin and other antibiotics.
Sexual Disorders:- A soup made with drumstick flowers boiled in milk is very useful as a sexual tonic in the treatment of sexual debility. It is also useful in functional sterility in both males and females. The powder of the dry bark is valuable in impotency, premature ejaculation and thinness of semen. About 120 gm. of the powder of the dry bark should be boiled in 600 ml. of water for about half an hour and 30 ml. of this. mixed with a table spoonful of honey, should be taken three times daily for a month to cure these conditions.
Digestive Disorders:- Drumstick is also valuable in digestive disorders. A teaspoonful of fresh leaf juice, mixed with honey and a glassful of tender coconut water, is given two or three times as a herbal medicine during the treatment of cholera, dysentery, diarrhea, colitis and jaundice.
Urinary Disorders:- A tablespoonful of coagulated fresh leaf juice, mixed with a glass of fresh juice of cucumber or carrot, is an effective medicine for scanty urination and constant burning in urethra due to high acidity of urine. A teaspoonful of the juice with 10 gm. of rock salt once daily, is used to cure excessive urination of non diabetics.
Beauty-Aid:- Fresh leaf juice applied with lime juice is useful in the treatment of pimples, black heads and keeps one’s face fresh.
{Source: Various reference materials. Photo courtesy – Arjun. Inspiration : KBG Menon}
If you are in Abu Dhabi and wish to have this tree for planting in your kitchen garden, feel free to contact me. I can have it arranged. The tree require minimal amount of water only and with good care you are sure to get good yield. (On Twitter: @rameshmenonauh)

Added reading:

Gujarat Govt. Will Soon Be Using This Desi Superfood to Fight Malnutrition!
The scientists of the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda (MSU) have been advocating for the inclusion of moringa leaves in one’s daily diet after discovering that these have miraculous healing properties.
The scientists of the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda (MSU) in Gujarat, who have been advocating for the inclusion of moringa leaves in one’s daily diet after discovering that these have miraculous healing properties.
Consuming drumstick leaves on a daily basis can not only improve one’s immunity and tackle malnutrition but also fight inflammatory ailments that have been identified as potent causatives to cancer, heart ailments and even diabetes (reports Times of India).

Based on this information, the state National Health Mission (NHM) department has now decided to widely publicise the benefits of Moringa across Gujarat and encourage the citizens to consume not just drumstick fruits but also its leaves and bark in a statewide bid to fight malnutrition.

One thought on “Nutritional Value Of Drumstick And Its Leaves

    city said:
    January 3, 2013 at 2:05 am

    thanks for sharing.


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