This native tree of the sub-Himalayas in northwest India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan was brought along the ancient trade routes until South West Africa. This multivitamin tree is found in tropical and subtropical regions all over the world with semiarid and monsoonal climates. The also named “magic tree” is a quite drought resistant perennial tree that belongs to the Moringaceae family, a single genus with about 14 species, and all varieties contain strong mustard like taste. Ethiopia holds 2 out of the 14 species including Moringa Oleifera and Stenopetala, mostly extensively found in many arid areas of the Southern Regions between Arba Minch and Konso on an altitude up to 1800m.
The Magic Tree
The “magic moringa tree” is just a more unusual tree. Its leaves are robust, have a hearty flavour and can be harvested at any time once trees are established. It is a tree easy to propagate given its low requirements in terms of nutrients and water and its large climatic and soil tolerance. It’s used as living hedges and wind breaks to reduce erosion. In areas with heavy rainfall the tree develops a bulb-like trunk that stores a lot of water in the case of drought. Konso meet all the elements and becomes therefore the “Moringa Stenopetala Paradise”.
All the parts except the wood are edible and have been long consumed by humans. The plant is a staple food in Konso and good source of balanced diet worldwide. All the parts of this also known “Cabbage tree” are edible and have a variety of uses including dietary and medicinal application. Out of this plant a number of products can be made for a variety of purposes, such as tea powder, vegetable oil or as a nutritional supplement. This multiuse and its high nutrient composition is therefore positioning moringa at the top of healthy, ecological and multivitamin products in western markets.