Jay is a freelance writer. He is the founder and chief editor of JMP Creative Media and editor in chief of Valencia Weekly Journal.
Malunggay Tea at a Glance
Malunggay is a widely cultivated plant in the Philippines. It is also known as Moringa, West Indian tree, horseradish tree, ben oil tree, drumstick tree, la mu (Mandarin), arzan taiga (Burkina Faso), windi bundu (Niger), etc.
Malunggay is a very nutritious plant and its benefits have been acknowledged by nutritionist, dietitians, and nutrition researchers. Considered a miracle plant, the tea derived from the leaves of this tree has high levels of flavanoids or polyphenols. These are antioxidants that can help detoxify your body and strengthen the immune system.
If you are lucky enough to have a Malunggay or Moringa tree in your backyard, then you will be able to easily make tea with the plant’s leaves and reap its full nutritional benefits.
Steps to Making Malunggay Tea
- Harvesting of leaves
Step 1: Harvesting of Leaves
Collection and harvesting fresh Malunggay leaves is easy. Just pick the leaves from the tree branch; they come off quite easily. Special tools are not needed to do this step.
You must pick the greenest mature leaves and make sure to remove those that have signs of yellowing. It is up to you to harvest as much or as little as you want.
Step 2: Sorting
Place the harvested leaves in a clean dry pan. Shake the leaves to remove dust or cobwebs. Then carefully pick and remove impurities such as dirt, twigs, and small insects, like ants.
Step 3: Air-Drying
After sorting and cleaning your harvest, transfer the leaves into a larger flat container for air-drying. Place the container in a shaded and cool area. Air-drying takes about three days. After the third day, the leaves become wilted and will then be ready for crushing.
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Tips: Do not sun-dry the leaves. This is important because sun-drying can diminish the nutritional content of the leaves.
Step 4: Crushing
Get a fine wire mesh and place the wilted Malunggay leaves on top of it. Start the crushing process by vigorously shaking the leaves on the wire mesh. This will remove more impurities from the leaves and will eliminate leaf petioles that were shed during the drying process.
Step 5: Pan-Drying
Pan-drying removes moisture to make the leaves brittle. The process deactivates oxidative enzymes and prevents the leaves from rotting. The application of heat also stops the growth of molds. This is a delicate step and proper care must be followed to ensure that the leaves will retain their flavor and nutritional value.
Place the pan over low fire and allow it to get warm for about one to two minutes. Pour the dried leaves into the pan and continuously turn them over for about three minutes. Quickly remove the completely dried leaves from the pan and place them in a clean open container to cool.
Note: You have the option to further crush the dried leaves to make them more powdery. If you don’t want a powdery consistency, just allow the leaves to cool so you can prepare them for packaging and storage.
Step 6: Packaging and Storage
Moringa tea is best stored in an air-tight, colored glass container. This is done to minimize oxidation, increase shelf life, and retain the full flavor of the brew.
You can buy small tea bags and pack each bag with two teaspoonfuls of the dried leaves. If you do not have tea bags or you don’t want to use one, storing the tea in a glass container will do. Just make sure to use a thoroughly dry teaspoon for scooping the tea leaves.
Step 7: Brewing
When brewing, it is best not to boil the leaves so that you can get the full nutritional benefits of Malunggay tea. What you need to do is steep two teaspoonful of Malunggay tea in boiling water. Allow the leaves to settle at the bottom of the cup before drinking the brew. You can add honey or sugar to the brew if you want a sweet-tasting tea.
Buying Moringa Tea
If you do not have the time to make your own Malunggay (Moringa) tea, you can buy from Amazon. Not many people have a Malunggay tree in their backyard so buying a month's supply of Moringa tea online is a good option. Try the available Moringa tea from Amazon.
Brewed Malunggay tea has a leafy and earthy flavor. It tastes like vegetable soup. You and your children will surely love it.