Moringa trees have been used to combat malnutrition, especially among infants and nursing mothers. Since moringa thrives in arid and semiarid environments, it may provide a versatile, nutritious food source throughout the year. Moringa leaves have been proposed as an iron-rich food source (31% Daily Value per 100 g consumed) to combat iron deficiency, though further study is needed to test practical applications.
Moringa has numerous applications in cooking throughout its regional distribution. The fruits or seed pods, known as drumsticks, are a culinary vegetable commonly used in soups and curries. The leaves are also commonly eaten with many culinary uses, and the flowers are featured in some recipes as well.
The bark, sap, roots, leaves, seeds and flowers are used in traditional medicine. Research has examined how it might affect blood lipid profiles, although it is not effective at diagnosing, treating, or preventing any human diseases. Extracts from leaves contain low contents of polyphenols which are under basic research for their potential properties. Despite considerable preliminary research on the biological properties of moringa components, there are few high-quality studies on humans to justify its use to treat human diseases.
In developing countries, moringa has the potential to improve nutrition, boost food security, foster rural development, and support sustainable landcare. It may be used as forage for livestock, a micronutrient liquid, a natural anthelmintic, and possible adjuvant. Moringa oleifera leaf powder was as effective as soap for hand washing when wetted in advance to enable anti-septic and detergent properties from phytochemicals in the leaves.