Are you ready for 'Malunggay' as national vegetable?
(philstar.com) Updated September 14, 2012 09:32 AM
MANILA, Philippines - Malunggay may soon be declared as the national vegetable of the Philippines and the month of November as the “National Malunggay Month.”
Rep. Ma. Georgina De Venecia (4th District, Pangasinan), author of House Bill 6462, said Malunggay (Moringa Oliefera), dubbed as a “miracle vegetable or nature’s medicine cabinet” by scientists and health care workers from around the world, is loaded with vitamins and minerals that can be an effective remedy against many kinds of ailments.
“From the roots and branches to the leaves, flowers, fruit and seeds, all parts of the Malunggay tree are of nutritive and medicinal value,” De Venecia said.
De Venecia cited a report by the Biotechnology Program Office of the Department of Agriculture that Malunggay has been found by biochemists and molecular anthropologists to be rich in vitamins C and A, iron, and high density lipoprotein or good cholesterol.
De Venecia said Malunggay is also considered as an effective cure for illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension, inflammations, infections, cancer and aging issues.
She said Malunggay leaves alone contain a powerhouse of nutritional value: seven times the vitamin C in oranges, four times the calcium in milk, four times the vitamin A in carrots, twice the protein in milk and three times the potassium in bananas.
Furthermore, Malunggay contains more than 90 nutrients and 46 types of antioxidants. It has 18 amino acids, plenty of omega 3 oils and chlorophyll, plus 45 compounds with antioxidant properties and 36 anti-inflammatory properties, she added.
Malunggay tress can also help stablize the soil and contribute to the fight against deforestation.
“Our country is presently expanding the local market for Malunggay and its by-products with the aim of enhancing the agribusiness potentials of various crops as part of the government's poverty-alleviation and health care programs,” De Venecia said.
“Now we can say that Malunggay can save lives, increase incomes, generate millions of jobs, utilize vast tracts of idle agricultural lands, and help attain ocioeconomic equity,” De Venecia added.
She said Malunggay is one of the most important plants that deserve national and international promotion and support due to the many biomedical endowments and numerous socio-economic benefits that can be derived from it.