Moringa – the miracle protein plant

Freda Linde-Gaisie and husband Richard Gaisie, founders of Akan Moringa, share their journey  to discovering the many health benefits of the 'miracle tree' called Moringa.
Freda Linde-Gaisie and husband Richard Gaisie, founders of Akan Moringa, share their journey to discovering the many health benefits of the 'miracle tree' called Moringa.
Akan moringa
Our journey with Moringa has been very interesting.

The miracle tree

About 3 years ago, Richard's sister, who is a nutritionist living and running her own health retreat in Spain, told us about this amazing ‘miracle’ tree called Moringa. This tree with its multitude of health benefits simply sounded too good to be true! As we had never heard of it, and living in the information age with so much knowledge available at the click of a button, we were very suspicious.

Read: Coconut – the 'fruit of life'

We thought, if this is such a miracle tree that seems to be the answer to so many of man’s modern ills, why have we never heard about it?

We were slightly intrigued and started our investigations online. There was so much information on Moringa, including numerous searches that brought up scientific research. We found research from the likes of The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in the U.S., amongst many other reputable institutions.

We decided we had to try it. The next step was strange. Talking to health conscious individuals and even health shop staff, we discovered that like us, people had never heard about Moringa! Which of course made it an almost impossible task to know where to buy it!

Eventually Richard found a seller online who imports Moringa from India. So we ordered a kilogram and started taking it.

moringa people

Image: Freda Linde-Gaisie and husband Richard Gaisie, founders of Akan Moringa

I must admit it was hard. It was very hard to swallow!

Moringa was bitter

Even in a delicious fruit smoothie it was so bitter, it made me want to gag. We persisted and began to feel the benefits. After a few weeks I felt so energized. Richard could also feel the benefits of consuming the Moringa leaf in it’s powdered form. So we continued taking it.

At that stage in our lives we both wanted to make a career change and start a business together. We had both been wanting to do this for a while but couldn't decide what we would do.

Around that time we were planning a family trip to Ghana. Richard is British born but his parents were immigrants from Ghana and his extended family still lives there.

We booked a family holiday and that was when it all changed.

Read: The many wonders of Goji Berries

Richard had become interested in the natural and organic farming system of Permaculture and discovered a few farmers on the internet who farmed using that system in Ghana and wanted to visit their farms. Being vegetarian and travelling in Africa is not an easy thing to do.

We did however discover quite a few vegetarian restaurants on our travels. To our surprise these offered Moringa in juices, or as tea. One could even buy Moringa leaf powder.

The powder we bought was so easy on the palate in that you could simply sprinkle it on fruit like mango and eat it just like that. We loved this new discovery!

Even our children were enjoying Moringa now. We had a wonderful time visiting family and traveling across the country. Just a few days before our departure, Richard expressed regret that he didn't get to visit the Permaculture farms that he intended to.

This is when the penny dropped. We realised that we could build a business combining and promoting Richards passion for Permaculture and bringing the awareness of this wonderful Superfood called Moringa to South Africa and the world.

Watch: A documentary on the Moringa tree


Richard set off to meet the farmer and to forge a relationship that would lead to us importing Moringa to South Africa. On our return we immediately started the ball rolling by registering our business, and to this day we do not regret a single moment, or the decision to start this business. We now have over 70 stockists around the country.

Read: The magic of Chia

We enjoy spreading the news of Moringa and its benefits to South Africans and beyond our borders.

People say it’s important to have a job you enjoy, and for us this is it. In fact it’s not a job – we enjoy mixing business with pleasure.

Everybody wins with Moringa

We also love the fact that everybody wins. We get to support the farmers and communities in Ghana that are passionate about Permaculture. We get to make a living and support our family, while educating people about the benefits of Moringa and changing lives as consumers benefit from optimum health. It’s a win-win-win situation.

Moringa leaves are packed with naturally occurring vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants (47), anti-inflammatories (36), all essential amino acids (protein 27%), omega 3, 6 and 9 and a lot more.

In Ayurvedic medicine Moringa is used for over 300 ailments. It’s no wonder that the Moringa tree is referred to as "The Miracle Tree".

Read More:

Maca – save your sex life the natural way
Acai berries – nature's 'filler'
'Superfoods' everyone should eat

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