Scientific Name: Moringa Ovalifolia
Common names: Sprokies boom (Afrikaans)
Description: Could grow into an tall sparsely leaves tree of about 5 m tall. The bark is off-white in colour and soft. Small oval leaves, with long triangular seedpods.
Medical uses: It has antibiotic properties and use in the treatment of stomach ailments.
Nutritive uses: Basically all parts of this tree could be eaten, and considered in many parts of the world as highly beneficial tree for food and its medicinal properties. Leaves are used in salads or as supplement to meals. Seeds cooked similar to peas and taste nearly the same.
Other uses: The seeds from the Moringa is also used to help clear up murky river water. Crushed and put in murky river water, it act as an flocculent and make the particles sink to the bottom. About 2 to 3 seeds per litre of water is used.
Interesting Facts: In the desert regions of Southern Africa, water is not often found, and the San / Bushman people will make a small hole in the bottom of the trunk (the wood is quite soft), and fit an little pipe made of bone or reed into the hole. after an while sap from the tree would start to flow from it. They collect the watery sap in either an empty ostrich shell or little clay pot. It taste quite bitter, but if there is no water, it will keep you alive. The San people will carefully seal the hole with a bit of clay made from the tree sap and sand, to prevent the tree from rotting. The Moringa is generally found in mountainous areas of Namibia and a few places in the Namib and Kalahari regions. The waterhole at the Halali Camp in the Etosha National Park of Namibia, is named after this tree.
Credits: Christian Fourie.