The rich culinary tradition of our country has helped us to relish and taste several types of vegetables and fruits thereby derive out the umpteen health benefits. One such amazing vegetable that is greatly valued and earns our interest is drumstick or moringa oleifera.
Moringa obtains its name from the Tamil word, murungai, denotes twisted pod. This humble vegetable is used extensively in Indian culinary dishes for more than a hundred years. Be it delectable sambhar or avail, or any meat curry, soups, pickles etc., drumstick renders its unique flavour to the dishes.
Moringa oleifera or drumstick, a drought-resistant tree belongs to the family Moringaceae. It is native to tropical regions of South Asia and India is the largest producer of the drumstick with an annual production of 1-1.3 million tonnes of fruits. It is also grown in other Asian countries like the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Malaysia Indonesia and Taiwan, the World Centre of Vegetable Research.
Moringa goes by several common names such as drumstick tree (refers to the long, slender, seed-pods), horseradish tree (refers to the root which is similar to horseradish), and ben oil tree (refers to oil which obtained from the seed).
Drumstick is a fast-growing tree and widely cultivated for its tender seed pod, leaves used as vegetable heaped with vital nutrients and as a medicine in Siddha for its indispensable medicinal properties.
Moringa, a slender, deciduous tree grows to a height to 10-12 m and a trunk diameter of 45cm. Young shoots have purplish hairy bark and drooping branches that are fragile, and leaves look like feathery foliage of tripinnate. The aromatic flowers are surrounded by five unevenly, thinly veined yellowish-white petals. Generally, the tree begins to flower after six months of the plantation. In a seasonal climate with good rainfall, flowering can happen twice or all-round the year.
The fruit looks like a three-sided brown capsule with a dark brown globular seed with three whitish papery wings which gets diapered by wind and water. Moringa is a sun-loving plant that can withstand the dry climate and can be grown using very minimal irrigation.
Drumstick is also known by several vernacular names such as shevaga in Marathi, shajan in Hindi, murungai in Tamil, muringnga in Malayalam and munagakaya in Telugu. Drumstick is highly prized as every single part of the tree is valued and used as a superfood that beat chronic diseases or as a vital component in traditional medicine. The drumstick tree is imbedded with profuse nutrients and antioxidants that offers you with a plethora of wellness incentives.
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Drumstick pods and leaves are a storehouse of essential nutrients, whereas the leaves are the most nutrient part of the plant and one of the finest sources of calcium, iron, zinc, selenium and magnesium. Fresh pods and seeds are a great source of oleic acid, a healthy fatty acid which is known to promote heart health. Moringa leaves is unique among all the greens as it is heaped with a good amount of protein about 9.8 gram of protein per 100 grams. Dry powdered leaves are an amazing source of good quality essential amino acids. Also Check Out: Drumstick Tree: The Many Benefits of Moringa Oleifera- Infographic
Nutritional Value Of Drumstick Per 100 grams
Energy 64 kcal
Carbohydrates 8.28 g
Dietary fibre 2.0 g
Fat 1.40 g
Protein 9.40 g
Vitamin A 378 μg
Thiamine (B1) 0.257 mg
Riboflavin (B2) 0.660 mg
Niacin (B3) 2.220 mg
Pantothenic acid (B5) 0.125 mg
Vitamin B6 1.2 mg
Folate (B9) 40 μg
Vitamin C 51.7 mg
Calcium 185 mg
Iron 4.00 mg
Magnesium 147 mg
Manganese 0.36 mg
Phosphorus 112 mg
Potassium 337 mg
Sodium 9 mg
Zinc 0.6 mg
* Source As Per The USDA
Moringa leaves are an incredible source of essential vitamins such as vitamin B complex, C, K and beta carotene. The leaves are imbued with a rich array of minerals like calcium, iron, zinc, manganese and magnesium and a good amount of protein and dietary fibre. Moringa leaves are a powerhouse of antioxidants quercetin and chlorogenic acid. Moreover, moringa leaves supplement are well-known to enhance blood antioxidant levels.
Seeds are mostly used to extract oil and the mature pods are roasted and enjoyed as a snack like peas or nuts which comes with a high amount of vitamin C, B and minerals.
Uses Of Drumstick
Drumstick is praised as a tree of life as almost all the parts of the tree are beneficial and used for various purposes. The edible parts of the tree include leaves, stalks, stems, immature green fruit or seed pods, aromatic flower and young seeds and roots are made into nutritious and delicious dishes.
The mature seeds yield edible oil called ben oil, which is odourless, clear with high strength of behenic acid and resists rancidity. Seed cake after oil extraction is used as manure or as a floc to purify water. The shredded root with a distinct flavour is used as a condiment. Furthermore, the bark, sap, roots, leaves, seeds and flower find a prominent place in traditional medicine. Also Read: Drumstick Benefits: 10 reasons Why Moringa Is The New Superfood
Wellness Incentives Of Drumstick
Drumstick being an incredible source of essential mineral’s calcium, iron and phosphorus, strengthens the bones in growing children. Regular addition of drumstick in the diet also reinstate bone density in older people and easing the symptoms of osteoporosis. Potent anti-inflammatory properties of drumstick are beneficial in treating conditions like arthritis and also heal minor bone fractures.
Augments Immune System
High on vitamin C and antioxidants, drumstick helps to combat against common cold, flu and stave off several common infections. The anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties of drumstick assists in lessening the symptoms of asthma, cough, wheezing and other respiratory problems. For quick relief from common cough and other illnesses relish drumstick soup to bolster the immune system and keep diseases at bay.
Promotes Gut Health
Drumstick blessed with a richness of essential B vitamins like thiamine, riboflavin, niacin and vitamin B12 plays a crucial role in stimulating the secretion of digestive juices and helps in the smooth functioning of the digestive system. It also aids the digestion process by helping in the break down of carbs, protein and fat into simpler forms. Moreover, the umpteen amount of fibre in drumsticks regularise the bowel movement and maintains the gut health.
The goodness of bioactive compounds niaziminin and isothiocyanate in drumstick assists to circumvent the thickening of the arteries and lessens the chance of developing high blood pressure. The rich antioxidant profile in drumstick improves the circulation of blood and nutrients to the heart thus regulating hypertension.
Regular addition of drumstick in the diet may help in reducing the development of stones in the kidney and bladder. The presence of a good amount of antioxidants might help in clearing the toxins from the kidneys.
Lowers The Risk Of Cancer
Regular addition of drumstick to your meal plan is a great way to boosts up the antioxidant profile. The abundance of vitamins A, C, beta-carotene and niazimicin help in suppressing the formation of cancer cells. In addition, the rich antioxidant profile scavenges the free radicals and averts oxidative damage to cells.
Improves Liver Health
The liver is the vital organ that is responsible for flushing out the toxins from the system and supports the gall bladder in bile secretion. The hepatoprotective function of the drumstick shield the liver from harmful toxins. Drumstick stimulates the production of glutathione – the detox antioxidants known to counter free radicals that increase the stress to the liver. Furthermore, the drumstick is valuable in shielding the liver against the damage caused by ant-tubercular drugs and speeds up the healing process.
Edema is a condition where fluid builds up in specific tissues in the body and it is painful. The natural analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties of drumstick can lessen the swelling and also modulate the immune response, thus averting further aggravation of the condition.
The potent anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of drumstick are efficient in battling infections caused by E. coli, salmonella and Rhizopus. The superior anti-bacterial profile of drumstick is beneficial in preventing infections of the throat, chest and skin. Drumstick contains quercetin the potent antioxidant which is efficient in treating tuberculosis. Moreover, it is also valuable in treating fungal skin ailment.
Drumsticks being naturally low in calories and heaped with essential minerals, vitamins and fibre help to significantly bring down blood sugar spikes. Several studies reveal that the plant compound isothiocyanates in moringa are effective in reducing weight, improving glucose tolerance and regulating blood sugar levels.
Promotes Good Vision
The richness of antioxidants in drumstick is beneficial in treating cataracts and dry eyes. The eye-friendly nutrients in drumstick avert the thickening of the capillary membrane and impede retinal dysfunction.
Benefits Of Drumstick For Pregnancy And Lactation
Drumstick comes with a nutrient punch such as vitamins A, C, K, B and minerals -iron, calcium and magnesium and a good source of fibre and protein all of which are beneficial in promoting the overall health of pregnant women. Adding drumstick in the diet can help pregnant women to combat symptoms of morning sickness and make them feel energetic. Furthermore, the richness of folate in drumstick can avert the risk of spina bifida a neural tubal defect which may lead to serious birth defects in the new-born. Moringa leaves juice blended with ghee is given to women post-delivery which improves the secretion of breast milk.
Enhances Skin Health
Moringa is now a popular ingredient in most of the beauty products which promote skin glow and health owing to its incredible nutritional profile. Drumstick extracts have hydrating and cleansing properties that counteract the skin against the harmful effects of pollutants.
Delays Sign of Ageing
Moringa oil and leaf powder work as an amazing natural remedy to lessen wrinkles, blemishes and firm up the skin tone. Apply moringa leaf paste on the skin and allow it to stay for 15 minutes and rinse, this enhances the skin complexion and makes you look younger.
The potent antibacterial properties of moringa are effective in preventing acne break out. The goodness of collagen protein in drumstick also acts on large pores of the skin and tightens the skin. Taking moringa leaf or pod powder is helpful in purifying the blood which ultimately makes the skin clearer and healthier.
Drumstick For Improving Sperm Count And Vitality
Drumstick is a highly prized vegetable for its immense nutrient makes up. It is a time-tested remedy for improving vitality and sexual vigour. Drumstick possesses aphrodisiac properties that help in improving libido and treating erectile dysfunction. A study published in the American Journal of Neuroscience reveals that drumstick exhibited amazing aphrodisiac property and improves the testosterone levels, increasing sexual virality and libido. Furthermore, Ayurveda recommends including drumstick flowers to improve the sperm count and treat ED.
An easy way to improve vitality , fertility and sperm count is to add this humble vegetable in your diet, be it sambhar, subzi, soup, curry or salad to harness the wellness perks.
Drumstick Soup Or Saijan Ki Phalli Soup
Drumstick soup is an aromatic and nutritious delight which can comfort your tummy and boosts energy levels. Also Read: Drumstick Leaves: Beat Monsoon Infections With These Moringa Oleifera Dishes
2 cups drumsticks (cut into 2” pieces)
1 tsp butter
¼ tsp finely chopped garlic
¼ tsp finely grated ginger
¼ tsp jeera powder
¼ cup onions
½ cup milk
1 tsp peppercorn powder
Salt to taste
1 tsp celery leaves
In a pressure cooker add butter sauté garlic, ginger for few seconds and then add drumstick and onions stir for 5 minutes.
Add 3 cups of water and salt, pressure cook for 3 whistles.
Open the lid after the steam escapes. Add milk to the mixture and blend well until it turns into a smooth texture.
Strain the mixture using a strainer and transfer the mixture into a non-stick saucepan add jeera and pepper powder boil for 5 minutes while occasionally stirring.
Serve drumstick soup hot with toasted bread.
The goodness of essential nutrients and low in calories and carbs drumstick helps to regulate blood sugar levels, control hypertension and boosts vitality. Butter added to the soup provides the needed energy, milk helps to strengthen the bone. Besides Jeera and pepper added in the soup stimulates digestion, boost metabolism and soothes the throat.
The spicy and tangy drumstick masala curry has its roots from Andhra Pradesh. The aromatic curry goes well with hot rice.
2 cups drumsticks (cut into 2” piece)
6-8 cloves garlic
1 tsp finely grated ginger
1 cup chopped onion
2 tbsp roasted peanuts powder
¼ tsp turmeric powder
5-6 dry red chillies
2 tsp oil
½ tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp urad dal
2 tsp tamarind pulp
salt to taste
curry leaves few springs
In a pan add water, turmeric powder, salt and drumstick pieces and cook for 5-10 minutes.
Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds, black gram, curry leaves and when the seeds splutter, add onions and sauté till lightly browned.
Make a paste of ginger, garlic, red chillies, peanuts with a little water.
Add the cooked drumstick to the onions, add the ground masala and blend well.
Add salt and stir well, now add tamarind pulp and mix well, cook on medium heat for 5 minutes.
Serve hot with steaming rice.
Drumstick loaded with iron, calcium and essential vitamins, fibre and antioxidants fight infections, bolsters immunity and keep diseases at bay. Peanuts loaded with protein and healthy fats boost heart health and promote weight loss. Onions are a storehouse of antioxidants controls blood sugar levels and promote digestive health. Turmeric is a potent anti-inflammatory and antibacterial agent that fights inflammation. Tamarind renders a tangy flavour to the dish.
Drumstick leaves, seeds, pods, flowers are perfectly safe for consumption, however, large quantities of pod and seeds may exhibit certain side effects. Moringa root and root extracts are unsafe when taken by mouth as the root contains spirochin, a toxic substance.
Eating drumsticks in huge amounts may lower blood pressure and slow heart rate due to an abundance of alkaloids. Consuming the bark of drumstick may induce uterine contractions. It is also not advisable to take drumstick with thyroid medication. Moringa in large amounts might also interfere with blood sugar level, hence watch for any symptoms of hypoglycemia. Moreover, it is not recommended to take drumstick supplements with hypertensive drugs as it may lower blood pressure.
Drumstick is highly valued for its indispensable therapeutic properties and nutritional benefits. This versatile vegetable is imbued with immense amounts of essentials vitamins A, C, K, B complex and minerals iron, calcium, magnesium to name a few. Regular addition of drumstick in the diet is well-known to control diabetes and high blood pressure fortifies the bone, improves skin health, treats erectile dysfunction and enhances libido. Right from the root, bark, leaves, pod, flowers, fruits and seeds are used extensively in traditional medicine.