Cuba assists Sri Lanka to develop medicines from ’Murunga’

Cuba assists Sri Lanka to develop medicines from ’Murunga’

22 October 2021 06:30 pm

Cuba has offered to help Sri Lanka with technology to manufacture medicinal items from drumsticks or Murunga (scientific name; Moringa oleifera), a statement from the Education Ministry said.

Cuban ambassador Andress Marcelo Gonzalez Garrido said this when he called on Education Minister Dinesh Gunawardane.

According to the statement, the ambassador said Cuba was manufacturing medicinal capsules and powder from properties of Murunga trees. He said such technology could be offered to Sri Lanka where Murunga is abundantly grown.

The ambassador said it would be beneficial for both the countries to promote exchanges between the universities of the two countries. The Minister sought assistance from Cuba to promote the teaching of Spanish language in Sri Lanka.

Called drumsticks in the popular parlance, Moringa is nothing foreign to Sri Lankans from all walks of life.

With its pods used as a vegetable that make some delicious curries and its leaves used both as a ‘mallum’ and an essential ingredient in cooking crab and prawn curries and its bark used in many a concoction of indigenous medicine, Moringa is one of the most useful variety of trees grown in the relatively dryer regions of Sri Lanka.

Scientifically termed Moringa olefeira, it’s a plant native to the Indian subcontinent bearing such distinct features as a light - coloured knotty trunk and highly branched compound leaves.

While it’s been generally hailed as a commonplace plant, now there’s strong research evidence emerging that Moringa offers substantial health benefits. Moringa tea, a unique herbal tea, is rich in nutritious content that Moringa inherently possesses.

 While being a rich source of calcium, it also contains a number of vitamins and minerals. Speaking about the amount of calcium Moringa contains, 100 grams of Moringa leaves contain 17 times more calcium than milk and 25 times more iron than the spinach.