K E L O R ( Moringa oleifera ) Kelor is the Javanese name for a common growing plant found all over Indonesia. There are several local designations for this plant. In bahasa it is known as Moringa. This plant can be considered to be a bit of a ‘wonder’ plant as its medicinal qualities are multiple and farmers love its potential for fertilization and as a natural pesticide.
In Java Moringa plants are used traditionally for fences. The leaves are often used in the cooking as vegetables. However, its most widespread use is in traditional medication especially the bitter tasting parts of the plant. According to several sources, the Moringa plant can indeed be used as medicine as it contains a potent essential oil. Oily seeds contain myrosine , emulsine , non-toxic bitter alkaloids and vitamins A , B1 , B2 and C. Pharmacologically speaking the chemical constituents of the Moringa tree has anti – inflammatory , anti – pyretic and anti- scurvy properties. Holistically kelor is a a source of YIN (cooling) energy. Traditionally treatments use the roots, leaves and seeds of Moringa in local concoctions, considered effective for some types of diseases including: 1. Herpes and purulent skin wounds. Treatment: Mash Moringa leaf with lime and then apply on eczema or injury. 2. Loss of appetite, epilepsy, hysteria , ulcers , difficulty urinating , weakness , jaundice , rheumatism and muscle pains . Treatment: Boil moringa roots as much as 1 finger with 2 cups of water until reduces to a remaining 1 cup, then strain this liquid. Drink ½ cup twice each day. 3. Beriberi vitamin B1 deficiency. Treatment: Mix crushed Moringa root , papaya roots , and mace pulp or cloves each 1 finger . Add water, wring it out, and strain. Drink filtered water 2 times a day. 4. Urticarial and allergies. Treatment: Boil 3 Moringa leaf stalk, 1 red onion, add fennel and pulasari to taste in 3 cups of water, boil until remaining 2 cups . Filter and drink boiled water twice a day. 5. Crushed Moringa seeds have traditionally been used to purify drinking water from germs and impurities. Sources mention that in traditional societies Moringa roots are very good for the treatment of malaria, reduce pain, lowering high blood pressure etc. Leaves are used for lowering high blood pressure, diarrhea, diabetes mellitus (diabetes ). Moringa crop cultivation is not too difficult, because of the nature of these plants they do not need much fertilizer, are natural pest resistant (by insects) and disease resistant (by microbes) . In fact, they are often grown by farmers along with other crops especially legumes (green beans, soy, long beans) for their fertilizing and resistant properties. Kelor also has tremendous mystical efficacy among Javanese practitioners of kejawen. Moringa trees are believed to have natural properties to neutralize witchcraft magic and various negative auras, and so they are often grown in backyards at the four cardinal corners around the house. Leaves are said to be effective neutralizers of magical amulets’ power worn by some people. In combination with the betelnut tree they are used to avert sorcery or spirit attacks. Moringa is linked to the North (Lor) astrologically, which means death or bad luck; essentially this translates in a use as a sedative or YIN energy source appropriate for problems of insomnia and hypertension. Truly a multi-purpose plant of the already rich Javanese “natural drugstore”! By Moko Pramusanto SEPTIM Institute of Traditional Healing