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October 27, 2017 11:22 pm

UNBC Researching Miracle Tree

Wednesday, April 13, 2016 @ 11:34 AM


Dr. Chris Opio  washes roots of a young moringa tree-photo 250News

Prince George, B.C. – The  Moringa  tree  is called the “miracle tree”  for it its  medicinal uses.  Now,  researchers at the University of Northern B.C.  are  hoping to  find out if the roots can  be used to  make water safe for drinking.

Dr.  Chris Opio  and  Masters of  Science Student in Natural resources Chandehl Morgan,  are   harvesting the roots of  6 month old  Moringa trees.  “We are looking at Moringa because there have been some studies in the States which suggest the seeds of Moringa can kill   bacteria in  water,  particularly, e-coli and fecal coliform,   about 99%.   So we want to know if the seeds that can do that,  why not try the roots?”.

Dr.  Opio  says  while seeds can only be harvested at certain times of the year, portions of the roots  can be used  more often without harming the tree because the Moringa   recovers quickly from  any root disturbance.

The roots will be tested  both fresh  and dry.   The roots will be ground and the powder tested to see if it has any impact on  E.coli.

Dr. Opio says while the Moringa  is a tropical  tree,  it is being  grown now in the  Southern United States.   If the research proves  positive,   the  growers can  harvest roots and  export them.   He says   if Moringa root powder  is effective in  killing E.coli bacteria  it  could be used   in communities  around the world  where  safe drinking water  is  scarce. or in the case of emergency situations such as earthquakes,  when  safe drinking water  may not be available.

He says  once the research on the  young trees is completed in Prince George,  the researchers will go to Uganda  and harvest from mature  trees  that have been growing  ten to twelve years “We will see if the properties there are similar to those in the young ones.”

He expects to have results  from the  experiments  on the young trees by the end of this year.



Bacterial contamination of drinking water is a huge problem in much of Africa and South Asia so this kind of research is very valuable.

    Yes, it will be interesting to see the outcome of this project.

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