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Monday, October 3, 2011

Do you know about nutritious Drumstick Leaves? | මුරුංගා කොළ වල ගුණ ගැන දන්නවාද?

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Drumsticks are popular among Sri Lankans because of the pods those we are using as a delicious vegetable. But the unknown fact about the Drumsticks is that nutritious value of their leaves. Though these leaves are added to enhance the taste of curries, rarely used itself as a vegetable.

These leaves are rich in β carotene (Vitamin A), Calcium, Phosphorus, Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) and moderate amount of Iron. They have higher levels of β-carotene seven times than the spinach. Recent studies have found that both β - carotene and ascorbic acids are anti-oxidants which help to protect the body from infections, heart attacks and cancers. They are a very good source of calcium and phosphorus with low levels of oxalate, making the calcium potentially better absorbed. Calcium and phosphorus are important for bone growth in children. Although the iron content in drumstick leaves is moderate, the iron absorption is higher as they have higher levels of ascorbic acids which enhance iron absorption. The nutrient composition of Drumstick leaves is given below with comparison with daily requirement of children aged 1-2 years.

Drumstick leaves
Requirement of 1-2yr children
%RDA fulfilled by 5g(1 Tablespoon)
β - Carotene µg/g
Ascorbic acid mg/g
Iron mg/g
Calcium mg/g
Phosphorus mg/g
Oxalate mg/g

5g of Drumstick leave is equivalent to 1 Table spoon of leaves                              

 It is worth to see the possibilities of using this valuable local leaves in enhancing the nutritious value of Sri Lankan diet, especially for children. In India they have done a study comparing biscuits made from dehydrated Drumstick leaves with synthetic vitamin A in childhood feeding programme. The results revealed that leaves are as effective as synthetic vitamin A. Drumsticks leaves are commonly found in Sri Lanka. So why can’t we use this to prevent vitamin and mineral deficiencies in our country? Now MRI is up to study the possible ways of using it as a powder to be added to diet of young children (complementary food).

*above values are according to standard literature; await our laboratory analysis data soon...

Written by - Dr. Malsha Gunathilake
Facts by -  Dr. Renuka Jayatissa

For the Sinhalese version of this article Click Here | ๧මම ල๢ප๢๧ය๞ ස๢๜හල ප໱ව໮තනය සඳහ๟ ๧මත๠නට යන๞න. 


  1. great work, congratulations on your effort, by the way its really interesting to know that i can get whole my vitamin A and C content by just 1 table spoon of murunga leaves

  2. Better than Spinach! That's a good point!


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