Date Posted: 04-26-2013
Photo courtesy of ABS-CBN News.



MANILA, Philippines— this low maintenance medicinal plant is found in the backyards of many Filipino homes. 


Filipinos put malunggay leaves on dishes such as tinolang manok and ginataang kalabasa not only because of their nutty taste but also because of the benefits they are believed to give when eaten.


According to SalamatDok, the leaves of this plant are a legitimate source of calcium, iron and phosphorus.

Meanwhile, other parts of the plant such as seeds and flowers are believed to have anti-oxidant and anti-diabetic therapeutic properties.

It is considered to a "wonder fruit" because it can be used to lower blood pressure and get rid of headaches and body pains. It is also believed to have anti-cancer and anti-fungal properties.

According to the Philippine Herbal Medicine Organization (PHMO), a malunggay plant can grow as high as nine meters and is easily recognizable.

The PHMO also said malunggay belongs to the Moringaceae family and is one of the more popular plants that are known to be nutritious and medicinal. 

Health benefits

According to the PHMO, malunggay leaves have high levels of Vitamin A, B & C, iron, and amino acids.

Malunggay can even serve as a wound cleanser by being applied directly to the affected area.

Eating malunggay leaves may also relieve headaches, stop bleeding from a cut, and heal fungal infections.

It has anti-inflammatory factors and may help relieve diarrhea. It can also answer malnutrition problems.

In an interview with ABS-CBN News, Senator Loren Legarda, a big fan of the plant, said, "Malunggay’s young leaves are edible and are commonly cooked and eaten like spinach or used to make soups and salads."

"They are an exceptionally good source of provitamin A, vitamins B and C, minerals (in particular iron), and the sulphur-containing amino acids methionine and cystine," she said.

According to Legarda, “Malunggay pods are dewormers, good for treating liver and spleen problems, pain of the joints, and malnutrition. Likewise, malunggay seeds treat arthritis, rheumatism, gout, cramp, STD, boils and urinary problems, and is a relaxant for epilepsy."

According to Medical Health Guide, malunggay is used to combat malnutrition in struggling countries.

Malunggay pods are known to contain amino acids and vitamins. Malunggay is also known to increase the amount of milk of breastfeeding mothers.

Mix a bit of malunggay leaves in your dishes and you are good to go.