By: Joy Angelica Subido The Philippine Star, Truth Shall Prevail
What was once considered a humble vegetable grown in rural backyards is now widely recognized and appreciated as a miracle tree. Moringa oleifera or malunggay is the main component of a nutritional supplement called Malungai Life Oil.
Why malunggay? The vegetable has captured the attention of health experts as a cheap, accessible, yet excellent source of nutrients. “Malunggay contains seven times more vitamin C than oranges; four times more vitamin A than carrots. It has three times more potassium than bananas; three times more iron than spinach, three times more vitamin E than almonds, and two times more protein than yoghurt,” the health experts claim. The vegetable has also been shown to improve milk production in breast-feeding women.
More than this however, malunggay has been shown to be a rich source of glucosinolates and isothiocyanates. These are compounds that have been shown to have anti-inflammatory, hypotensive (blood pressure-lowering), antiviral, anticancer and antibacterial properties.
Benzyl isothiocyanate (BITC) particularly, has been shown to prevent chemically induced cancer in laboratory animals. It has been suggested that BITC might also be chemoprotective in humans, and studies are underway.
“We believe that malunggay ca be Philippines’ version of Korea’s ginseng, and China and Japan green tea—a local health treasure recognized worldwide,” says pediatrician and public health development advocate Dr. Marhony P. Basco, who also serve as adviser for the Community Pediatrics Division of The Medical City. He deems it a positive development that a health supplement such as Malungai Life Oil (MLO) is now available locally.
Malungai Life Oil is extracted from plants grown under the best possible environmental conditions. “The malunggay is from organic plantations in rural Philippines, where both water and soil are free of chemical contaminants,” says Dr. Basco. After thorough cleaning and air-drying, the leaves and seeds undergo a cold-pressing procedure to preserve the nutritional value of the extracted oil.
What makes the Manila Nature’s Link supplement distinct from other malunggay products? “Not all malunggay supplements are created equal,” explains Dr. Basco. “Most capsules contain only dried powdered leaves rather than oil. This leads to variations in quality and the strength of the nutrients. Malungai Life Oil is the only oil-form malunggay supplement in the Philippine market.” It contains behenic acid that is believed to smoothen skin as well as enhance sperm motility. The acid levels are minimal in powder capsules which are made from leaves and stems.
For those who believe in the health benefits of chlorophyll for detoxification, the main attraction of Malungai Life Oil is its high chlorophyll intake is believed to prevent anemia, stimulates the immune system and helps to rejuvenate and energized the body overall. “All green plants have chlorophyll, but the leaves in malunggay are exceptionally high,” says Dr. Bsco. “By distilling both seedsand leaves into a pure, cold-pressed oil, MLO renders the chlorophyll preserved, conserved and available.”
Without a doubt, the uses of malunggay are manifold. The fast-growing tree can be used in erosion control as reforestation cover for denuded slopes, the seeds have been shown to be effective in simple water purification systems, and the results of scientific studies worldwide continue to bolster claims that malunggay has various health benefits.
Not surprisingly, the Depatment of Science and Technology has recently included in its priority list, research and development on malunggay. Meanwhile, in the House of the Representatives, Rep. Luis Villafuerte (3rd District, Camarines Sur), Vice Chairman of the House Committee on Banks and Financial Intermediaries, field House Bill 67 for the creation of the Philippine Moringa Research and Development Authority (PMRDA.) This agency will focus on studying the varied uses of the so- called “siper gulay.”
Malungai Life Oil is available at Mercury Drug and Watsons outlets, South Star Drug, Century Chinese Drug Stores (SM Malls), Emmanflor, Shopwise, Rustan’s, and Farmacia Peralta. It is manufactured by Manila Nature’s Link Corp., Unit 1606 Orient Square Building, F. Ortigas Jr. Road, Ortigas Center, Pasig City. Call 474-2499 or log on to www.malungailifeoil.com . For a free sample of Malungai Life Oil, text LIFEOIL to 2600.