fresh malunggay leaves

What is Malunggay in English?

A widely grown plant in the Philippines, malunggay is a plant with the scientific name Moringa oleifera. It is simply called “moringa” by English speakers.

Moringa is a tree known as sajina in South Asian countries like India. In English, it is sometimes referred to as horseradish tree or horseradish plant, although it’s a different species from the horseradish that Westerners know. The tree grows fast and survives well in drought conditions.

Malunggay leaves are said to increase lactation in nursing mothers. Filipinos like to say that malunggay is “the most nutritious plant in the world.”  It is rich in vitamins A and C and iron. A study recently found that malunggay increases sperm count in men.

fresh moringa leaves on stalk
Fresh malunggay leaves

Dahon ng malunggay (moringa leaves) are used in Filipino soups and broths, particularly tinola. Another Filipino dish that has them as an ingredient is bulanglang.

Filipina senator Loren Legarda claims her beautiful skin is the result of her eating malunggay soup every morning.

The Philippine government has recently identified malunggay as a potential biofuel source.