Pastor Mateo is our pastor from the Servant Ministries church in the village of Oquen. We started Pastor Mateo working with the moringa trees as a cottage industries project. He planted some trees on the church property and learned how to dry the leaves and grind it into powder. Pastor Mateo continues to provide us with the moringa powder and also fill the capsules, with the capsule machine that we recently purchased. He started out filling about 600 capsules a day and is now up to over 1500! The clinic has the powder and capsules for sale and some people come directly to the ministry center for what they want as well.
We have received quite a few orders from the US and I will be transporting back a good supply with me, as I travel in September to do my northern fundraising trip. We will have a supply at the MI office to fill orders and for refill orders.
An environmental institution is working with schools in 3 departments (what we would call counties). They got the moringa seeds from us (over 5000) and are giving each school 25 seeds to plant on their school properties. With even a low estimate that each school will wind up with 10 trees that grow, they believe that it can make a big difference for the children. The government pays 1Q (about 12 cents) per student per day to give some kind of a mid-morning snack. The students’ mothers take turns coming in to prepare the snacks. They want the schools to begin to incorporate the moringa leaves in the snacks that are served, to give the children the benefits that moringa can provide. We are talking about thousands of children that will be benefited by this outreach.
We have started our own nursery and will grow seedlings to hand out to our Embrace families and teach them how to utilize the benefits of the moringa tree. We began in August to give the Embrace children that are in +yellow or red (in levels of nutritional health that they need to be brought out of) an ounce of moringa powder to put on their food each month. We will be tracking 51 children to see how they do with this program.
I am so happy to see the interest and projects that are being done with the moringa. I brought the first seeds to Guatemala about 12 years ago. There are some U Tube videos being circulated now, that name me and the ministry as bringing the first seeds into this region. We did a lot in reforestation for several years, trying to combat the common droughts and deforestation that exist here. At that time the experts were estimating that there was a need to plant 10 million trees in the Jocotan/Camotan areas to have it be properly forested. Servant Ministries planted almost 1 million and 83,000 of those trees were the moringa. I have no idea how many are still alive but I’m sure there is a good number. At the time we were focusing on using the moringa for firewood, since it grows so quickly and the deforestation is an on-going problem here. People cook their food over open campfires and the cutting of wood continues, but the people need to learn to replant. The moringa tree gives so many other health benefits and it seems that everyone is becoming aware of that now and wanting to get on board. Just in the last two months we have distributed about 15,000 seed and handed out 300 seedlings to continue to help the ministry and others to implement projects with this tree that can give assistance in the people’s healthcare, in an easy and natural means .
We have asked another one of our pastors to become involved in this project. Pastor Oto, from Agua Zarca, is beginning to plant the limbs on his property, which is a faster way than starting from seedlings. He came to trim back the moringa trees that we have at the clinic and used the limbs to plant, harvested the leaves that were on those trees and saved the seeds that were in the tree pods. We hope to see this project really take off. It can be a blessing to our pastors who get involved in the work, be a blessing to many people as they begin to use the moringa for their health needs and provide some revenue for the ministry.
Pastor Mateo, from the village of Oquen, has learned how to grind the leaves into powder and has been bringing us that. He also has been selling the limbs for firewood, since firewood is particularly hard to find in this village. We are adding another form of the moringa to put into use. The ministry purchased a manual machine that fills capsules. It fills 24 capsules at a time and we are using gel capsules that are easier to swallow. We have had numerous people stop by to see if we had the moringa for sale. We even had a newspaper reporter that came to do an interview in June, having found us on the internet as being involved in the production of moringa in this region of Guatemala. We are starting to carry both the powder and capsules in our clinic. We have a cancer patient that did research on the internet, and has decided to use natural means to combat the cancer that she has and believes that the moringa will help. The ministry also has direct sales to some of our workers and to in-coming teams. I will be taking some back with me for sale during my fundraising trip in September and we are taking orders now for anyone who is interested. We are selling, at a special introductory prices; either the 90 capsules or ¼ lb. of the powder for $12.00. Please let us know if you are interested!
Pastor Mateo is coming to the ministry center to fill the capsules and we may have in-coming teams assist with this as well. We harvested the moringa leaves from the trees that we have on the clinic property, to give us more to convert into powder and capsules .
There is a lot of information about the moringa tree available on line now. There are uses for the limbs, flowers, leaves and pods that it produces. Here are just some of the areas that are reported to give help to through the leaves:
I put moringa in smoothies “almost every day” and I can attest to the fact that I have more energy when I do that consistently.
Here are some more statistics about the moringa:
Moringa is most well known for having more vitamins and minerals per by weight than many other nutritious foods that are well known to provide an abundance of specific nutrients. These include:
While these amazing statistics are indeed impressive, they are really only the beginning of moringa's true nutritional values. Moringa oleifera contains over 90 vitamins and minerals in trace amounts, making it one of the world's most complete and naturally-occurring sources of trace elements. And because moringa is an easily digestible and highly bio-available food source, your body receives great nutritional value from these vitamins and minerals, unlike alternative delivery methods such as multivitamins, which can have very low absorption levels into the human body.
In addition to vitamins and minerals, moringa oleifera is one of only a few important plant species on earth that provides a well-rounded blend of every essential amino acid required for to synthesize protein. The human body requires several specific amino acids, called essential amino acids, to form other amino acids, called non-essential amino acids, which together create protein, the substance that powers our bodies and enables us to stay healthy and strong.
Plant foods do not generally provide every essential amino acid, and so a plant-based diet must incorporate several different plants, each with different essential amino acids, in order to create a complete protein source. There are, however, a few notable exceptions, which are plants that do provide every essential amino acid and gives the body everything it needs to synthesize protein. Moringa oleifera is one such exception; it is perhaps the most notable exception, because moringa oleifera provides a healthy amount of every essential amino acid and is an amazing 20% protein by weight.
You can do your own study on line but you can see that this moringa powder has many uses and many benefits.
We are helping other institutions to start moringa projects. Just in the last month, we have given out almost 5000 seeds that be used to start some seedlings. These include the local Health Department who plan to distribute the seeds to the families of malnourished children, to plant at home and begin to have a source to help improve their child’s health. A high school that is about an hour away from us is doing a project with their students. Another children’s sponsorship program, similar to Embrace, is starting a nursery so that they can give their families some seedlings to plant. Other institutions that work in the area, are beginning projects. People come to our gate regularly to ask us for seed and information on how to get started.