India

UP launching major plantation drive for ‘miracle’ Sahjan tree

Lucknow, July 1 (IANS) The Uttar Pradesh government is preparing to promote plantation of ‘Sahjan' trees (moringa oleifera), commonly known as drumsticks, in a big way.

Nearly 1.7 crore saplings of the plant have been prepared for the mega tree plantation drive that will take place in the state in the coming days.

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Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has urged every household in the rural areas to plant at least one ‘Sahjan' tree.

He has also asked forest officials to spread awareness about the nutrition benefits of the tree and increase its plantation so that malnourished women and children can avail of its benefits.

A senior forest official said that while ‘Sahjan' had been planted in Dalit dwellings last year, the focus now would be on rural households across the state.

‘Sahjan', the new superfood, is often referred to as a ‘miracle' tree because of its immense nutritional and medicinal value.

According to the literature prepared by the state forest department, 283 grams of ‘Sahjan' contains calcium equivalent to four glasses of milk. It has Vitamin C equivalent to seven oranges, potassium equal to three bananas and three times more iron than spinach.

The leaves, fruits and flowers of ‘Sahjan' can all be cooked as replacement for vegetables.

The tree is used extensively in Ayurveda. It can help cure liver disorders and has anti-cancer properties too.

The leaves of ‘Sahjan' have antibiotic properties and the paste is used to heal wounds.

Its seed oil is used to check arthritis pain and control fever.

The ‘Sahjan' fruit has anti-diabetic properties while its bark can cure skin ailments.

In all, ‘Sahjan' contains 92 vitamins, 46 antioxidants, 36 pain relieving agents and 18 amino acids.

–IANS

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