It has seven times the vitamin C of oranges and four times the calcium of milk, Dylan Terry says.
Herbologist Paula Diaz says its potassium content makes it good for lowering your blood pressure.
They are talking about the moringa – several varieties of trees that have a growing reputation.
“This is a very potent medicine, and very excellent form of nourishment. It really is a miracle tree,” Diaz said.
There have been documentaries, infomercials and testimonials about it – not to mention songs, and attention from Dr. Oz.
In the heart of Coconut Grove, in a garden along a sidewalk, Terry planted several of the so-called miracle trees. Their leaves are edible.
“Once people learn about it and all of its magical properties, I guess, there’s a pretty high demand for it,” he said.
At Verde Gardens in Homestead, Jason Long said, “In Africa they dry this and add it to honey to feed starving infants to cure them of their starvation.”
Moringa trees grow wild in the Dominican Republic. Locals there are buying it so much that the prices have shot up, driven by speculation that the aging and ailing Fidel Castro endorses moringa and wants it planted all over Cuba. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who has been fighting cancer, is also said to be an advocate.
In the United States moringa, which has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, is sold as an herb. It’s great in salads.
Diaz said that though people are just hearing about moringa in the U.S. now, it comes from India, where it has been used for centuries as “a complete cure-all.”