All The Incredible Info You Need To Know Right Now About Moringa Seeds

Moringa seeds, weighing in at less than ½ gram each, are having a massive impact on health worldwide!

Moringa Seeds

Moringa seed uses include:

  • Planting for nutrition programs — these are making a huge difference for countless people!
  • Eating for numerous health benefits — this is on the rise!
  • Pressing for Moringa seed oil — it’s medicinal and amazing!
  • Crushing for water purification — a low tech solution to a major problem!

It’s true, people in the developing world have the most extensive use for Moringa seeds, but Moringa seeds can have a significant impact on your health too!

In this article, we will discuss:

Since this article covers several topics related to Moringa seeds, feel free to jump to the section where your interest lies. Just click the link above to make the jump.

Note: There are 13 species of Moringa.  Species range in size from smaller herbs to massive trees. The focus of this article is exclusively Moringa Oliefera: the highest praised and most widely used of the all the Moringa species.

* This page contains numerous reference to journal articles. They may not display correctly using Microsoft Edge. If you are having trouble please use Chrome or Safari.

Eating Moringa Seeds

Eating Moringa Seeds

It is quite challenging to find information about eating Moringa seeds. To be very clear it’s because little information about eating Moringa seeds is known. I have talked to many people, however, who eat Moringa seeds and they tell me about the positive results they’re experiencing. As we collectively learn more, I’ll keep this page updated.

How To Eat Moringa seeds

Moringa seeds have a unique appearance having an outer shell, called a seed coat, with three wings. The wings are very thin and fragile when dry — like tissue paper. When still growing these wings help position and space the seeds within the tri-lobed seed pod.

Dry Moringa Seeds

The outer seed coat can be easily cracked and removed by hand revealing the kernel. The kernel is much smaller and white in appearance if it’s a viable seed. The kernel is also somewhat soft and feels like very dense foam. With some effort, it’s possible to squish the kernel between your thumb and index finger. Although much harder to see, the inner kernel also has a thin seed coat.

It is strongly advised only to eat the kernel as the seed coat is hard and very difficult to chew. Just imagine eating a peanut shell. Don’t worry, removing the inner seed coat from the kernel, which is much more difficult, is not required.

You can eat Moringa seeds in two ways:

  • Chew and swallow like regular food
  • Swallow whole just like a pill

It seems there are as many people swallowing the kernel whole as there are chewing seeds. We recommend chewing the seeds as it doubtful the seeds are fully broken down and metabolized if swallowed whole. If you chew the kernel prepare yourself for a powerful blast of bitterness. And if you want to send your taste buds on a roller coaster ride, drink a glass of water after chewing the kernel. The seeds seem to reprogram taste buds making plain water temporarily taste very sweet. Seriously – give it a try!

How many Moringa Seeds Should You Eat

Currently, there are no official recommendations regarding the number of Moringa seeds to eat per day. The general advice is to start slow, one seed per day, and slowly increase your intake over a few weeks. Most people advice 3-5 seeds per day as a reasonable upper limit.We recommend eating traditional Moringa seeds as they are the most economical. We carry the very best, high purity, large, hand-sorted, traditional Moringa Seeds available.

Moringa Seeds Varieties

Ever ask any of the following questions?

  • Why all the different varieties of Moringa seeds?
  • Which Moringa seeds are the best to buy for eating?
  • Which Moringa seeds are the best to buy for planting?
  • What is a PKM-1 Moringa seed?
  • What are Hybrid Moringa Seeds?
  • Are some types of Moringa seeds GMO?

By the end of this section, all these questions and more should be answered.

Four Main Varieties of Moringa Seeds

There are four main varieties for purchase. The first two seed varieties are readily available with well-documented characteristics. The second two varieties are very expensive, hard to find, and we haven’t been able to verify the production numbers from a 3rd party. Additionally, there are a few other Moringa seed varieties which have even less information available about them or are very new to the market.

The four main varieties of Moringa seeds are:

  • Traditional Moringa Seeds (Highly recommended)
  • PKM-1 Moringa Seeds (Highly recommended)
  • PKM-2 Moringa Seeds (Informational Only – Unsure if claims are True)
  • MOMAX3 Moringa Seeds (Informational Only – Unsure if claims are True)

Note: We sell traditional and PKM-1 seeds. We are investigating the claims of  PKM-2 and MOMAX3 Moringa seeds! All seeds from A Healthy Leaf are of high purity and have been hand selected on appearance and size. Seeds are considered Grade A seeds. They show higher uniformity, are larger and darker than average Moringa seeds. Seeds also have an excellent germination rate of over 90% under ideal conditions.  

Traditional Moringa seeds

Traditional Moringa seeds also referred to as ‘local’ variety Moringa seeds produce an annual tree which takes years to reach peak leaf and seed pod production. These are the lowest cost seeds and in turn, also have the lowest leaf and seed pod production. That being said the leaves and seeds pods are incredibly nutritious, as all Moringa is.

Traditional Moringa seeds varieties:

  • Reach a height of up to 33 feet (10 meters)
  • Produce seed pods about 12 months after planting
  • Average 230 pods per year
  • Grow pods that average 3 oz (85 grams) in weight and 25 in long (~65 cm)
  • Produce an average of 18 kg of seed pods per year

Traditional Moringa seeds are best for someone wanting to grow Moringa in their backyard for the lowest price possible. They are also perfect for eating as they are economical and just as nutritious as more expensive seed types.

PKM-1 Moringa Seeds

PKM-1 Seeds were developed by the Periyakulam Horticultural College and Research Institute, in Tamil Nadu India in 1989. They are a pure line seed developed by self breeding a local Indian variety, collected from Eppothumvendran in the Tirunelveli region, for 6 generations. In each generation, only the long pods and desirable features were selected and used for the next generation. PKM-1 seeds produce a larger yield of leaves and seed pods compared to traditional moringa seeds. They have been widely adopted by commercial growers throughout India and are the most popular seed type planted. Many commercial farms will replant PKM-1 seeds after three years to obtain maximum output from their Moringa crop.

Moringa trees planted from PKM-1 seeds:

  • Reach a height of 13-20 feet (4 to 6 meters)
  • Reach maximum production within 2-3 years of planting
  • Decrease in seedpod production after year 3
  • Flower as soon as 90 days after planting
  • Produce seed pods ready to harvest as a vegetable as early as 160 days after planting
  • Average 220 seed pods per year.
  • Grow pods that average:
    • 5.25 oz (150 grams) in weight
    • 30 in (~75 cm) in length
    • 2.5 in (6.3 cm) in girth
  • Produce an average of 33 kg of seed pods per year
  • Can produce 12 tons of leaves per acre (30 tons/ha) with high-density planting
  • Have fleshy pods with up to 70% flesh

PKM-1 Moringa seeds are best for intense Moringa plantings or for realizing earlier fruit-bearing with more increased flesh vs. traditional Moringa seeds. They also have the benefit of higher seed pod production and better leaf taste! These are the most commonly used Moringa seed for plantations.

*PKM-2 Moringa Seeds

PKM-2 Moringa seeds were developed in 2000, 11 years after PKM-1 seeds hit the market. They are a hybrid derivative seed being a cross between MP 31 (Eppothum Vendran local) and MP 28 (Arasaradi local): two local Moringa varieties. Like the PKM-1, this variety was also developed by the Periyakulam Horticultural College and Research Institute.

Moringa trees planted from PKM-2 seeds:

    • Have more lateral branching
    • Reach maximum production within 2-3 years of planting
    • Decrease in seedpod production after year 3
    • Flower as soon as 90 days after planting
    • Produce seed pods ready to harvest as a vegetable as early as 160 days after planting
    • Average 220 seed pods per year.
    • Grow pods that average:
      • 10 oz (280 grams) in weight
      • 50 in  (~125 cm) in length
      • 3.3 in (8.4cm ) in girth
    • Produce an average of 60 kg of seed pods per year
    • Have fleshy pods with up to 70% flesh
    • Have recorded an average production of 98 metric tons of seed pods per hectare

*These seeds are difficult to source reliably. We are unsure if production numbers are verified as limited information is available. 

**MOMAX3 Moringa Seeds

MOMAX3 Moringa seeds were developed from 2008 – 2016 by the advanced Biofuel Center (ABC) in India. ABC is a crop science company whose stated goal is to produce the worlds finest seed varieties. ABC started by collecting 42 high yielding local varieties of Moringa seeds and evaluating them genetically as well as on physical growth characteristics. Through their research, development and years of selective breeding, they created a new variety in 2016: MOMAX3 also known as Maru-Moringa Seeds.

Moringa trees planted from MOMAX3 seeds:

  • Are Perennial with a 15-20 year life-span
  • Flower as soon as 110 days after planting
  • Produce seed pods ready to harvest as a vegetable as early as 176 days after planting
  • Average 350-500 seed pods in year one
  • Average 800-1200 seed pods in year two and later
  • Produce seeds pods with 16-18 seeds per pod
  • Produce seeds with 40% more oil than average
  • Produce an average of 7 metric tons of seeds per hectare (equivalent to more than 950 gallons of oil)

MOMAX3 varieties flower early like PKM-1/PKM-2 seeds and start bearing fruit 4 to 6 months after planting. Seed pod production per tree is an astounding 800-1000 per year and pods are longer with more seeds than average. Also, seeds have up to 40% more oil content than other Moringa seeds. With all of these factors combined the average yield of seeds per hectare is seven metric tons vs. only one metric ton for PKM-1. ABC reports that MOMAX3 will produce more than 950 gallons of Moringa oil per hectare. No other Moringa variety even comes close.

**We couldn’t find any 3rd party with experience growing MOMAX3 seeds. All information came from ABC directly. We include for informational purposed only but we are unsure if the claims are true. 

Other Moringa Seeds

There are a handful of other companies who have also selectively bred desirable traits and have added a name to the seeds. One such variety is named ODC Moringa seeds. A selective variety of the ODC has also been marketed recently and referred to as ODC3.

ODC3 harvesting of seed pods begins as soon as 160 days after planting. Average seed pod production is 300 pods per tree per year. Seed pods are reported to reach an average length and girth which is nearly identical to the PKM-1. The weight, however, is claimed to be only 2.5 oz (75 grams) per pod which is only about half the weight of PKM-1 seed pods.  The ODC3 variety is said to be highly productive for 10-15 years averaging 20-30 tons per acre of seed pod production. Since this variety has only recently hit the market, time will tell if it has real benefits over PKM-1 seeds. It appears to offer close to PKM-1 productivity with a potential longer production life.

Finally, a so-called ‘dwarf’ variety of Moringa seed is available online from a major seed retailer. It is stated to be from India and especially suited for container growing. The claim is that the tree will remain short when grown in a container allowing easy overwintering indoors. We have no experience with this ‘dwarf’ Moringa seed. From our experience, however, any Moringa tree planted in a container will act as a ‘dwarf’ Moringa tree. As soon as the large and fast-growing taproot becomes root bound in a container the upward growth is limited. We suggest taking a pass on the ‘dwarf’ variety and buying a well known Moringa seed variety.

Final Thoughts On Moringa Seed Varieties

Whatever your Moringa seed needs are we can help. We sell traditional and PKM-1 seeds with PKM-2 and MOMAX3 Moringa seeds coming soon! All seeds are of high purity and have been hand-selected on appearance and size. Seeds are considered Grade A seeds. They show higher uniformity, are larger and darker than average Moringa seeds. Seeds also have an excellent germination rate of over 90% under ideal conditions.   

Thankfully there currently are no genetically modified Moringa seeds. All seed varieties are from selective breeding for desirable traits.

Moringa seeds for Water Purification

Each year more than 5 million people worldwide are killed by water-related diseases. That reality is staggering — especially to those in developed countries that have never gone without purified tap water.

Unfortunately, most research and development of water purification systems is carried out in developed countries for developed countries. Typically a water purification system uses aluminum sulfate as a coagulant to clarify water and chlorine as a disinfectant to purify the water.

Turbid vs. Clear water

In developing countries, particularly in rural areas, a water purification system designed around using aluminum sulfate and chlorine isn’t feasible. Sadly it’s these same places that have grossly contaminated groundwater and desperately need a solution.

Imagine drinking water from the bottle pictured on the left. This is known as turbid water as it has small particles suspended throughout. These particles make drinking turbid water taste terrible and gritty but that’s not the worst part! The particles and water contain very harmful and even deadly microorganisms.

If a solution existed that was low cost, and readily available that could clarify turbid water and kill the microorganisms the impact could be enormous!

One such solution is the tiny Moringa seed!

Studies testing the effectiveness of Moringa seeds for treating water were first conducted in the early 1970’s.  The studies have shown that Moringa seeds are very effective at removing suspended particles from the water and also 90-99% effective at killing bacteria within the water .

For water purification seeds can be crushed and ground to a powder for use or the leftover seed cake from pressing seeds for oil can be used. Typically about two seeds treat one liter of water. The powder or seed cake can be added to a container with the turbid water and mixed in well. In an hour or two, the water is clear and all previously suspended particles will be settled on the bottom of the container. The clear water should then be poured off the top of the container for direct use, storage or secondary purification.

It’s exciting to see all the ways Moringa seeds are being used to really make a difference in the world.

BUY MORINGA SEEDS NOW


Bibliography

Jahn, S. A., Musnad, H. A., & Burgstaller, H. (1986). Tree that purifies water: Cultivating multipurpose Moringaceae in the Sudan. Unasylva, 38(152), 23–28.
Pritchard, M., Mkandawire, T., Edmondson, A., O’neill, J. G., & Kululanga, G. (2009). Potential of using plant extracts for purification of shallow well water in Malawi. Physics and Chemistry of the Earth, Parts A/B/C, 34(13), 799–805.
Doerr, B., & Staff, E. (2005). Moringa water treatment. ECHO Technical Note. Educational Concerns for Hunger Organization, Florida, 4.

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Mark Reese

Founder at A Healthy Leaf
Mark Reese founded A Healthy Leaf in 2015. He has grown thousands of Moringa trees and helped countless others grow, learn about, and experience Moringa for themselves. He holds a Bachelor's of Science Degree from Lake Superior State University and a Masters of Science from the University of Hawaii were he worked as an Associate Researcher. He has published in peer-reviewed journals and presented his work at the national conference level. Mark continues to enjoy learning first-hand as well as researching about Moringa so he can write about it and educate others.
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