Most Shared

Moringa is known as 'The Miracle Tree,' and its powers are spreading worldwide.

Put it on a salad or drink it in a cocktail. Moringa is about to be everywhere.

Moringa is known as 'The Miracle Tree,' and its powers are spreading worldwide.
True
Gates Foundation: The Story of Food

Would you know if you had treasure in your own backyard?

What if it grew right in front of you?

For some farmers, that's the moringa tree, which is anything but ordinary. Those who utilize it don't call it "The Miracle Tree" and "Mother's Best Friend" for nothin'.


No ordinary leaf: Moringa tree leaves are said to be full of vitamins, minerals, protein, fiber, and amino acids.

Posted by Upworthy on Thursday, January 5, 2017

The moringa tree is an exciting and tasty solution to ending global hunger and poverty.

"We've helped farmers in Ghana earn over $350,000 worth in income from what was just a backyard tree called moringa," says Kwami Williams, from the organization MoringaConnect.

The reason why? Its leaves are ridiculously amazing. They are tiny but pack a punch, containing more vitamin A than carrots, more protein than eggs, more calcium than milk, and more iron than spinach.

Move over, kale.

Handfuls of moringa leaves. All images via Upworthy.

Moringa has a bitter taste, similar to green tea, and it's a good source of energy. While the benefits of the plant are still being studied, advocates say it has potential as an anti-inflammatory and that it can help diabetic patients lower their glucose levels. It can also help new moms with milk production, and its seeds are said to produce one of nature’s finest cosmetic oils for hair and skin care. The list of its benefits goes on.

Moringa smoothie time.

While moringa, native to parts of Africa and Asia, has been utilized as food and medicine for thousands of years, its true impact has barely scratched the surface. And that has researchers excited.

It's being considered a "superfood" for those who consume it and also for those that grow and sell it. The fast-growing and drought-resistant tree thrives in the exact locations that have high malnutrition and poverty rates in parts of western Africa, southern Asia, and South America. The thinking is that by encouraging more local consumption and sustainably spreading it globally, it might be the way out for many struggling families.

Hannah Mensah, a single mother of three, can send her kids to school because of her moringa trees.

Hannah with her children.

She is one of 2,000 local farmers working with MoringaConnect, a young organization tapping into the true potential of the plant. By growing and selling it with the group, she'll be able to put her kids through secondary education with the money she makes and invest more in equipment to keep her farm running for the long term.

So far, MoringaConnect has worked with local farmers, like Mensah, to plant over 250,000 moringa trees in Ghana, which has helped farmers multiply their incomes by 10. And that's just one group.

Be on the lookout for moringa near you.

You can use the leaf powder to make a marinade or put it in a smoothie; the sky is really the limit on this one. In the United States, energy bars, supplements, and powder made from moringa are starting to pop up on shelves and on new trend lists.  With all the hype surrounding the plant, odds are you're about to see it a lot more.

And if you do try it, you'll have the satisfaction of knowing that moringa isn't just good for your health, it might also be good for the entire world.

It's one thing to see a little kid skateboarding. It's another to see a stereotype-defying little girl skateboarding. And it's entirely another to see Paige Tobin.

Paige is a 6-year-old skateboarding wonder from Australia. A recent video of her dropping into a 12-foot bowl on her has gone viral, both for the feat itself and for the style with which she does it. Decked out in a pink party dress, a leopard-print helmet, and rainbow socks, she looks nothing like you'd expect a skater dropping into a 12-foot bowl to look. And yet, here she is, blowing people's minds all over the place.

For those who may not fully appreciate the impressiveness of this feat, here's some perspective. My adrenaline junkie brother, who has been skateboarding since childhood and who races down rugged mountain faces on a bike for fun, shared this video and commented, "If I dropped in to a bowl twice as deep as my age it would be my first and last time doing so...this fearless kid has a bright future!"

It's scarier than it looks, and it looks pretty darn scary.

Paige doesn't always dress like a princess when she skates, not that it matters. Her talent and skill with the board are what gets people's attention. (The rainbow socks are kind of her signature, however.)

Her Instagram feed is filled with photos and videos of her skateboarding and surfing, and the body coordination she's gained at such a young age is truly something.

Here she was at three years old:

And here she is at age four:


So, if she dropped into a 6-foot bowl at age three and a 12-foot bowl at age six—is there such a thing as an 18-foot bowl for her to tackle when she's nine?

Paige clearly enjoys skating and has high ambitions in the skating world. "I want to go to the Olympics, and I want to be a pro skater," she told Power of Positivity when she was five. She already seems to be well on her way toward that goal.

How did she get so good? Well, Paige's mom gave her a skateboard when she wasn't even preschool age yet, and she loved it. Her mom got her lessons, and she's spent the past three years skating almost daily. She practices at local skate parks and competes in local competitions.

She also naturally has her fair share of spills, some of which you can see on her Instagram channel. Falling is part of the sport—you can't learn if you don't fall. Conquering the fear of falling is the key, and the thing that's hardest for most people to get over.

Perhaps Paige started too young to let fear override her desire to skate. Perhaps she's been taught to manage her fears, or maybe she's just naturally less afraid than other people. Or maybe there's something magical about the rainbow socks. Whatever it is, it's clear that this girl doesn't let fear get in the way of her doing what she wants to do. An admirable quality in anyone, but particularly striking to see in someone so young.

Way to go, Paige. Your perseverance and courage are inspiring, as is your unique fashion sense. Can't wait to see what you do next.

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

Keep Reading Show less