Drumsticks: The Powerhouse of Minerals

“The miracle tree” Moringa oleifera is the tree from which the drumsticks (popularly called ‘sahjan’) is obtained have been used for culinary purposes, immense nutritional benefits and use in traditional medicine. The nutritional value of Sahjan is well established now and it has become a promising food for developing countries where malnutrition is prevalent.


Photo from Flickr

Drumsticks and Food Facts

  • The drumsticks are prevalent as part of cuisine in India.
  • In South India, the pods are used to prepare a variety of sambhar and other curries.
  • In West Bengal of India, drumsticks are made into a variety of dishes mixed with poppy seeds, coconut and mustard.
  • The state of Maharashtra uses drumsticks in preparing specialty sweet and sour curries.
  • In Gujarat and Maharashtra, the pods are used in preparing a spicy curry preparation known as saragava ki kadhi.
  • They are also used sometimes to add flavor to the food.
  • Tender drumstick leaves are also used for garnishing vegetable dishes and salads.

Nutrition Value of Drumsticks
The tree of life, Moringa or drum stick tree is considered to be the most nutrient rich plant on earth. Drum stick is a tree that is extremely nutritious and has many potential and healthy uses.

In a gram per gram comparison:
Drumstick ≡ 7 times Vitamin C in oranges + 4 times Vitamin A in carrots + 4 times Calcium in milk + 3 times Potassium in banana + 2 times Protein in yoghurt + 4 times Fiber of oats + 9 times Iron of spinach!
Drumstick has emerged as a valuable food resource to prevent malnutrition and other childhood diseases such as childhood blindness associated with vitamin deficiency, diabetes, blood sugar, viral infections, and endless diseases which result from lack of nutritional elements in the diet. All parts of the plant are edible and the content of minerals, protein and vitamins is outstanding.

It is loaded with nutrients, oxidants and healthy proteins. The various constituents present in it are:

  • Proteins
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B complex
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Iron
  • Calcium
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • Phosphorus
  • Sulphur
  • Zinc
  • Selenium
  • Copper
  • Essential amino acids

Home Remedies and Drumstick

  • All parts of the tree, the small, white flowers, the rounded leaves, the drumstick pods, seeds and fruits are used for different purposes in traditional medicine and for their nutritional value.
  • A few home remedies of drumsticks are;
  • Juice of drumstick is mixed in milk and given to children for strengthening the bones of children and also provides them calcium.
  • Drumsticks are commonly used as blood purifier.
  • Drumsticks should be eaten by pregnant ladies to prevent any pre and post-delivery complications.
  • Drumstick soup is taken for relief from chest congestion, cough and sore throats.
  • Water in which drumsticks have been boiled is inhaled for comfort in asthma and lung diseases.
  • Leaves are taken for their benefits in catarrhal affections.
  • A curry is made from unripe pods to remove the intestinal worms.
  • A soup made from pods is taken in diet for enlarged liver and spleens, articular pains, tetanus, weakness of nerves, paralysis, pustules, patches and leprosy.
  • Drumsticks in the form of juice or as such is given to the infants and growing children as tonic.
  • A mixture of drumstick juice and lime applied on the face adds to the glow of the face.
  • Leaves rubbed against the temple can relieve headaches.
  • A poultice of fresh leaves is applied to stop bleeding from wounds.
  • The powder ground from dried drum stick leaves is used in the treatment of scurvy skin diseases.
  • Flowers juice improve the quality and flow of mother’s milk when breast feeding.
  • Flower juice is useful for urinary problems.
  • The mature pod seeds are roasted, pounded and mixed with coconut oil and seed oil are applied to the problem area for the treatment of arthritis, rheumatism, gout, cramp, boils and sexually transmitted diseases.

Drumsticks in Ayurveda
Drumstick has a tremendous potential in the field of ayurvedic medicine. It is known to have been used for treatment of a multitude of diseases ranging from gout to various inflammations and fevers.

It has been known to be effective against skin infections, in lowering blood sugar, reducing swelling, healing gastric ulcers, lowering blood pressure, and even calming the nervous system.

The drumstick has been used as a natural antibiotic, an aid in childbirth, and for treating liver disorders.
Various parts of drumstick tree are used in ayurvedic medicine:

  • Leaves: have shown antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effect, gastric ulcers or diarrhea, fever, bronchitis, eye and ear infections, and inflammation of mucus membrane.
  • Flowers: useful for urinary problems.
  • Drumstick pods: it is used as de-wormer, in treatment of liver and spleen disorders, pain of joints, diarrhea and malnutrition.
  • Seeds: used in the treatment of arthritis, rheumatism, gout, cramps, sexually transmitted diseases and boils, epilepsy.
  • Roots, bark and gum: it is also used in the treatment of cardiac and circulatory problems, inflammation, rheumatism, articular pains, lower back or kidney pain.

The various ailments for which drumstick has been used in the treatment of the following diseases which even has clinical evidence now:

  • Anemia
  • Anxiety
  • Asthma
  • Blackheads
  • Blood impurities
  • Bronchitis
  • Cold
  • Chest congestion
  • Cholera
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Cough
  • Diarrhea
  • Eye and ear infection
  • Fever
  • Swollen glands
  •  Head ache
  • Abnormal blood pressure
  • Hysteria
  • Joint pain
  • Psoriasis
  • Respiratory disorders
  • Scurvy
  • Semen deficiency
  • Sore throat
  • Sprains
  • Tuberculosis

Modern research on drumsticks

  • The isothiocynate chemicals present in the leaves, fruits and seeds of drum sticks are known to cure many diseases. They are known to prevent cancer which is caused by various chemicals known as carcinogens.
  • These chemicals are also known to regulate blood sugar, normalize the cholesterol levels in the blood and treat diarrhea.
  • They also have aphrodisiac properties.
  • These substances have potent anti-ageing effects, prevent cell death and also help in absorption of nutrients.
  • They also reduce the inflammation associated with arthritis.
  • It is a powerful antioxidant and stimulates the immune system.

A few formulations of drumsticks

  • Shobhanjan oil from VHCA Herbals is used in kidney disorders, abdominal disorders, stimulator and induces sweat.
  • Moringa capsules (Grenera) is herbal dietary supplement, and a rich source of vitamins and antioxidants to boost immune system.
  • Moringa leaf powder (Grenera) is used as a natural multivitamin supplement and is a high source of natural iron and calcium.
  • Moringa tea (Grenera) is an organic loose leaf tea made of Moringa, fruits and herbs. It is available in different flavors of lemon, mint, ginger, apple, strawberry, and pomegranate.
  • Sahjan capsules (Neustras Plantas)
  • Sahjan extracts (Neustras Plantas)

References
1. http://www.miracletrees.org/moringa_medicine.html
2. Miller PF, Vandome AF, McBrewster J (Eds.). Moringa oleifera, Alphascript publishing, 2010, 1-120.

Author: Pooja S. Banerjee

A pharmacist by profession,Pooja has research experience in the field of herbal medicine and medicinal chemistry. She has also authored many International and National research and review papers in peer reviewed journals. Her passion for writing has made her foray into the world of medical writing. She writes travel blogs for creative satisfaction.

Comments

  1. I remember my grandmother used to make tasty side dish with the flowers of this tree.

  2. This is very useful information about Drumstick. I will try to add this vegetable to my food at least once in a week. Thanks for sharing it.

  3. Melissa says:

    This looks like an interesting vegetable for me. My physician advised me to eat food that has lot of minerals in it. Do you know where can I buy this vegetable in Canada? Since it is a Indian vegetable, first I’ll try it in Indian groceries.

  4. daniela. says:

    Can you suggest any good recipes that uses Drumsticks. I searched in the internet but not sure what would be the easy recipe to try this wonderful vegetable.
    Thanks

  5. dr arvind jain says:

    very gd informative illustration given by dr pooja. it is useful in all aspects . it is also easily available in our villages but do to lack of knowledge we are not using accordingly. although it is a good sources of all vitamins and covers many diseases so it is an ideal medicine also.

  6. Hi Dr Pooja thanks for your useful information, but i would like to ask how do u cook in order to give a testy.?

    • Hi.

      A very interesting recipe for drumsticks is cooking it using a paste of mustard seeds and opium seeds, with only salt and turmeric to add to the taste. You can add potatoes to the complete recipe.

      If interested, I can give the full recipe for you to try!

      Pooja

  7. Useful blog, drumstick vegetable is one of my favorite vegetable

  8. Good Info, couple of years back I tried drumstick vegetable in my friend’s house and I loved it. From that point I have been buying it from Indian Groceries store.

  9. Great info, I will try this vegetable soon.

  10. hi mam,
    I am a research scholar and want to research on the bark of moringa oliefera
    can u plzz help me by telling the traditional use of its bark.

  11. ankita gupta says:

    how to mAKe drumstick juice..can u please help me with recipe f freah juice of drumstick

    • Hi,
      I’m aware of Drumstick leaves juice as used in Ayurveda, but don’t know about preparing Drumsticks juice.
      You can have it in the form of vegetable stew or add it to the South Indian delciacy “Sambhar”
      Hope this helps,
      Thanks,
      Pooja

  12. Joakim Asy says:

    Drumstick-a miraculous plant descended for all walk of people as a richest source of nutrients without comparable any single source of any plant in this planet, but disregarded as a cheapest solution for global malnutrition. I am happy for having Drumstick in daily diet and strongly recommended to any effort and policy in eradicating malnuourish problem any where in this universe.

  13. nibedita says:

    Hi pooja,

    my dad is a chronic kidney failure patient,he is under hemo dialysis twice in a week..can he take drumstick in his food often?i am asking about the sticks not leaves ..kindly reply..

  14. I found a perfect combination of the most potent and effective parts of the Moringa – its easy to make, too. I drink the leaves (powdered, shade-dried), seed, drumstick & the juice of the tree all at once for the best health boost. I don’t live in India, but get the best of this tree (from an organic plantation) from there, shipped to US. Awesome!

  15. Mam
    Can we use sour drumsticks just like the sweet ones?

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