Your Step-By-Step Guide To Moringa Water Purification
In many parts of the world, communities lack access to safe water. That is why water purification becomes a very essential thing. However, in remote areas, purification may be too expensive for people. Good thing, it has been found that the use of moringa water purification is effective, and in fact, has been used for centuries now in other parts of the world.
Water is essential to human life. In fact, we can live for days by just taking water.
As parents, we owe it to our children and our entire family to ensure that there is clean drinking water on the table. Good thing, today, there are limitless options for drinking water that are readily available in the market.
While in the common case in urban communities, unfortunately, in certain areas on the planet, particularly rural communities, access to safe water is a day-to-day ordeal among families. More so, the limited or no access at all to save water becomes one of the reasons why people get sick. As you may know, there are a lot of water-borne diseases, which transpire when a person drinks unsafe water.
Now, as much as these people want to drink safe water, water treatments are quite expensive. It’s too much for those who live a poor life.
Good thing, in some communities, they know how to use natural or traditional treatment practices that enable them to produce purified water. One of these is the so-called, moringa water purification.
But first, what is moringa?
Moringa Brief Overview
Moringa, also known as moringa oleifera is a plant tree that is native to India. However, since it grows mainly in tropical weather, it can also be found in other countries in Asia, as well as certain parts of Africa, South America, and even in Oceania.
Moringa oleifera is just one of the 13 species of the moringa tree.
While moringa has been popular particularly in Southeast Asian countries for so many years now, it has only been in recent years when moringa gained global attention.
Experts and scientists have found moringa to be very nutritious. In fact, almost all of its parts (leaves, fruit, seeds, flowers, barks and even the roots) are very useful, and each contains their respective nutritional value.
In some parts of the world, moringa is used as a key ingredient during feeding programs among young children to help fight off malnutrition. While for centuries now, moringa oleifera has been used for medicinal purposes, particularly popular among people who practice folk or herbal medicine.
It is not surprising that people in different areas in the world use moringa for such purposes because it has been found that this so-called, “miracle tree” or “tree of life” contains very essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. It comes with such a very impressive nutritional value, which makes it vital to human health. Needless to say, it has also been found that moringa can help prevent or treat certain diseases.
While almost all of its part is nutritious, experts found that the moringa leaves have the most nutritional content. The moringa leaves are packed with vitamins and minerals that are essential to human health and overall well-being. What’s even more interesting is that, moringa leaves, when shade-dried correctly, increases its nutritional value by 300% up to 500%!
While most attention is given to moringa leaves because of its undeniably impressive nutritional profile, experts found out that moringa seeds also have amazing power. Moringa seeds have the capability to purify water, which made us wonder, perhaps this is the answer to help decrease the number of water-borne diseases worldwide. Needless to say, this is probably the cheapest way of addressing unsafe drinking water problems. Later on, we’re going to discuss this further.
Moringa Nutritional Profile
Meanwhile, as we have mentioned earlier, moringa was found to be an excellent source of essential vitamins and minerals that help keep the body healthy. More so, it also helps in preventing and/or treating certain health conditions.
To give you an idea, here are some of the common vitamins and minerals present in moringa oleifera:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)
- Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
- Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
- Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
- Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid)
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin K (Phylloquinone)
Furthermore, since we are primarily discussing the moringa leaves, according to the website, StyleCraze, 100 grams of dry moringa seeds contain the following nutritional value:
- 7 to 40.4 grams of Fat
- 4 to 33.3 grams of Proteins
- 5 to 19.8 grams of Carbohydrates
- 8 to 8.0 grams of Fiber
- 7 to 8.9 grams of Moisture
In addition, it has been found that moringa seeds are also a great source of iron.
As you can see, moringa has so much to offer. More so, each of its parts does contain essential properties that are just very impressive, really.
Moving on, let’s talk about how moringa is very useful when it comes to having access to safe, purified water.
Moringa Seeds Health Benefits
Having such an amazing nutritional profile, here are some of the benefits you will get to enjoy when using moringa seeds:
- Moringa seeds are rich in fiber, which makes it able to help in moving food along your digestive tract.
- Moringa seeds also contain zinc, which makes it able in regulating blood sugar levels, thus, preventing diabetes.
- Moringa seeds contain iron, which is ideal especially for people with iron deficiency or blood problems like anemia.
- Moringa seeds contain a good amount of calcium, which helps those who are suffering from joint pain.
- Moringa seeds help promote a healthy cardiovascular system by reducing the amount of oxidizes lipids.
- Moringa seeds contain almost 30 antioxidants, which helps fight free radicals.
- Moringa seeds are packed with antioxidants, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, which makes it beneficial for promoting healthy skin.
Moringa Water Purification
Apart from moringa seeds nutritional or medicinal use, it has also been found to be one of those natural coagulants, which means it can be very helpful in treating unclean water. Based on studies, moringa seeds can, in fact, help clarify and purify water, which makes it suitable for domestic use, as well as it is also significant in reducing the bacterial concentration in the water – making it safe for drinking.
Based on studies, moringa seeds contain 40% by weight of oil, while the remaining press cake contains the active ingredients that are beneficial for natural coagulation. Apparently, the high market value for the oil makes people cultivate more moringa seeds. But with such an amazing feature of having the ability to purify water, moringa seeds must be further cultivated and promoted among farmers.
The use of natural materials to purify and clarify water has been used for centuries. While people have used several other types of seeds to do so, it has been found that moringa seeds are the most effective of all.
In the early 1970s, there were studies conducted to particularly test the efficacy of moringa seeds in purifying water. These studies, in fact, confirmed that moringa seeds are highly effective. Moringa seeds remove suspended particles from water that were found to have medium to high levels of turbidity.
As mentioned, moringa water purification has been used in many communities even from way, way back – especially among poor communities who cannot afford the more expensive and modern ways of water purification. By using moringa seeds in purifying the water, it replaces the use of chemicals like aluminum sulfate, which can be dangerous not just to people but also to the environment. Needless to say, it can be quite expensive too.
Furthermore, the use of moringa seed powder has been found to be effective as a fast and simple method that is vital in cleaning dirty river water. According to studies, this very simple method of filtering does not only diminish water pollution but also helps in reducing the presence of harmful bacteria.
Moringa water purification was found to have the ability to remove 90 to 99.9% of the bacteria contained in the water. When it comes to execution though, particularly with the number of moringa seeds needed to purify the water, it differs on a case to case basis. Depending on where the water was from, it may need lower or more moringa seeds powder. This is basically because the impurities present in water from different sources differ from one another.
The best way to know how much moringa seed powder is needed is by experimenting by using a jar. You pour the water and the seed in there and see how much you needed to put before it purifies. This may be very simple, but it definitely makes a lot of difference.
Moringa Water Purification Theory
According to the website, Miracle Tree, moringa seeds have two levels of treating the water. First, it acts as a coagulant, and then then the second level would be, it acts as an antimicrobial agent.
Generally, it is recognized that moringa seeds work as a coagulant because it contains positively charged, water-soluble proteins. This binds with negatively charged particles like clay, bacteria, silt, toxins, and many more, which results in having “flocs” settle at the bottom or be removed by filtration.
Although the antimicrobial part of the moringa seeds is still being studied, there are findings that say that the recombinant proteins help remove microorganisms through coagulation, and at the same time, it acts directly as growth inhibitors of the microorganisms.
Although there is continuous research about this matter, particularly on moringa seeds nature and characteristics, as mentioned earlier, moringa has been found to have the capability to remove 90 to 99.9% of water impurities.
Moringa Water Purification Using the Seeds
To be honest, the uses and benefits of moringa are just so amazing and impressive. We’ve used these words a couple of times already, but these are just the right words that define this so-called “tree of life”.
Anyway, for moringa water purification purposes, solutions of moringa seeds may be prepared from seed kernels or solid residue that is usually left after oil extraction. The process is also called press cake.
So, moringa seeds, seed kernels or dried press cake can be stored for long periods of time. However, moringa solutions for the purpose of water purification must be prepared fresh every time. Usually, 1 seed kernel can treat 1 liter (1.056 qt) of water.
Now, as mentioned earlier, the amount of moringa seeds you need to purify and clarify the water depends on the quality of water. It’s a case to case basis. For your reference though, here’s the dosage rate as published still in the Miracle Tree website:
- Low turbidity NTU<50 1 seed per 4 liters (4.225 qt) water
- Medium turbidity NTU 50-150 1 seed per 2 liters (2.112 qt) water
- High turbidity NTU 150-250 1 seed per 1 liter (1.056 qt) water
- Extreme turbidity NTU >250 2 seeds per 1 liter (1.056 qt) water
Process of Moringa Water Purification
Water is vital to our everyday life, and having access to clean and safe water is the best thing of all. Good thing there are natural ways to help purify water. Otherwise, more and more people will get into trouble because of drinking unsafe water.
Now, to give you an idea on the process of moringa water purification here’s a step by step guide:
- Gather mature moringa oleifera seed pods from the tree. Once done collecting, remove seeds from the pods.
- Remove the seed coat to obtain clean seed kernels. Make sure to use the great-looking seeds only. Otherwise, discard discolored seeds.
- Determine how much kernels you will need based on the amount of water you have, as well as its turbidity. Although in general, 1 seed kernel is capable of treating 1 liter (1.056 qt) of water.
- Crush an appropriate quantity of seed kernels. You may use grinder, mortar & pestle, or other means to crush the seeds. By doing so, you get to obtain a fine moring seed powder. Once done, sift the powder through a screen or small mesh to ensure all you have are a fine powder.
- Mix fine seed powder with a small amount of clean water to form a paste.
- Mix the paste with 250 ml (1 cup) of clean water into a bottle. Shake the bottle containing the water and paste for 1 minute. This process helps activate the coagulant properties from the moringa seed and form a solution.
- To filter this solution, use a muslin cloth or fine mesh screen. By doing so, you get to remove insoluble materials. Once done, put the solution into the water that has to be treated.
- Stir treated water rapidly for at least 1 minute. After this, stir slowly (at about 15-20 rotations per minute) for 5-10 minutes.
- Let the treated water sit at least 1-2 hours. Make sure not to disturb the water for the whole duration.
- Once you see the particles and contaminates settled at the bottom that’s the time you can carefully pour off the clean water.
- Once you have the clean water, you can either filter it or sterilize to ensure it is completely safe for drinking.
The process of moringa water purification may look very simple, but everything must be strictly followed accordingly to avoid any problems like:
– Secondary Infection
During the process of shaking and stirring of moringa solution and water, it must be followed strictly based on the recommended time or duration to help activate coagulant properties. Otherwise, if the flocculation process takes too long, there is a risk of secondary bacteria growth during flocculation.
The settling process is very important. When pouring off the clarified or purified water, be very careful. You have to make sure that the sediments at the bottom, which contains the water impurities, will not mix along with the cleared water. Otherwise, it will cause re-contamination.
– Additional Contaminants
Moring water purification does not remove 100% of pathogens present in the water. The use of moringa seeds as a replacement coagulant for proprietary coagulants helps meet the water need, as well as wastewater technology in some developing countries. This is a simple to use, healthy, and cheap both in installation and maintenance.
Lastly, please note that the water treated using moringa seeds is only acceptable for drinking to those communities where people are currently drinking untreated, contaminated water, and have no means to use the more expensive water treatments available.
We have said this earlier, but we will say it again, water is very important to human life. It is vital in a person’s health and overall well-being. That is why it is very essential to have clean, purified drinking water.
While there are so many advanced water treatments available already, it is unfortunate that there are still communities in the world that cannot afford to have one. Good thing, there are natural coagulants like moringa seeds that can help produce purified and clarified drinking water for communities with unsafe water access.
Moringa water purification may look so simple, but it helps a lot of people have safe water access. Needless to say, it is very cheap. That said, we thought, maybe people should grow more moringa especially those living in areas where clean water is scarce.