The health of a human being is based on nutritional rich consumables which help to build up body cells, boost the immune system and make the body strong, according to health experts. This then helps the body fight against diseases.
However, to compliment the government and other health institutions that provide health services in the country, a Bulawayo based peri- urban farmer and trees grower, Violin Marimo Dlodlo has started a moringa project with the aim of assisting the community and the nation by enriching people’s immune systems through nutrition found in the “miracle tree”.
In an interview with Newsday, Dlodlo said she started the project in 2007 after retiring from her formal employment with the National Railways of Zimbabwe.
Dlodlo said she learnt about moringa’s “miracles” from a friend, Mavis Mogasie Mathabatha in South Africa who told her how the tree performs miracles in people’s lives when their immune systems collapse.
Mathabatha had 1 500 moringa trees in her plantation at Tooseng in SA and is reported to have made strides in the Moringa business internationally.
“I currently grow moringa at my home in Montrose and some of the trees have grown very tall. The tree’s leaves have a lot of nutrients and can boost one’s immune system fast. After growing the tree, it takes only one year to be ready for harvesting. I harvest the leaves and the bucks which I grind into soft powder that one can put into meals or eat take them with nothing else,” she said.
Dlodlo said since she started her project she had assisted a lot of community members and rural people with deteriorating immune systems.
“I am not a herbalist but the passion to assist people with the nutritious rich powder from the tree’s leaves after I learnt about its miracles in SA made me start this project. So far a lot of people had their immune system boosted after consuming the powder.” said Dlodlo.
She said she inherited this passion for trees from her mother Gogo Marimo. She said though she sometimes sells “the miracle tree’s” produce to other people, members of the community, mostly those disadvantaged, were getting the powder for free from her.
“At some point I visit people in the community and find that their children’s immune system is down. I give them the moringa powder and after a short time the children will be strong. Even those who come to ask for the miracle tree’s powder I give them,” she said.
Dlodlo said scientific research has shown that the tree’s leaves are rich with vitamin A and C, Iron, potassium and proteins. In her terms she said the tree provides poor children with more vitamin C than oranges, more vitamin A than carrots, more iron than roast beef, more potassium than bananas, and more proteins than milk and eggs.
A Research by the South African Star newspaper in February this year showed that a tablespoon of moringa oleifera leaves powder provides 14% proteins, 40% calcium, 23% iron and most of the vitamin A that children at ages of one to three need much.
Six tablespoons of moringa provide all requirements of women’s daily iron and calcium needs during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Dlodlo said many people easily go ill because whatever they eat thinking was nutritious rich was in fact not much but moringa come as all nutrition in one.
“If you just put the powder in any food you are eating every component of nutrition you want you will have it added in your system,” she said.
Dlodlo said people lacked knowledge about the tree and she would assist her community in understanding that the tree may save their immune system from collapse.
She said even those who have HIV and Aids can regain their strength by adding nutrients in their body through moringa intake.
Dlodlo said she was running the project with her children and all the years since she started it she is show casing her harvest at the annual international trade fair.
She said she was facing challenges that include land shortage to run her project and had approached the council to ask for the land but was disappointed as the council would not entertain her.
She is appealing for land from government so that she becomes a big producer of the “miracle tree” so that she can become an exporter.
“Those I learnt this from are now big people who are role models in SA, Zambia and Malawi. I wish to be one day an exporter of the tree’s harvest.” said Dlodlo.