Drumsticks grow in clusters of three or four fruits. Each fruit contains a fleshy husk and seeds.
The pods are rich in nutrients such as vitamin C, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese, and selenium.
The fruit is a hanging, three-sided brown capsule. The seeds inside brown globular seeds have three whitish papery wings.
Uses of drumstick seeds
- The seeds can be removed from the mature pods and used for consumption.
- The edible seed oil is used in condiments and dressings.
- Seeds and other parts of the plant are used in traditional medicine.
- Drumstick seed cake, a byproduct of seed oil production, is used to filter water using flocculation to produce potable water for animal or human consumption.
- The seeds and press cake have been used as wastewater conditioners.
- Drumstick seeds are known to purify bacteria-laced water.
Drumstick seed oil
Mature drumstick seeds yield 38–40% edible oil called ben oil. This is because of the high concentration of behenic acid in the seeds. The refined oil is clear and odorless and resists rancidity. The young fruits can be boiled, and the oil skimmed off the water's surface. The seed cake remaining after oil extraction may be used as a fertilizer or to purify water. Drumstick seed oil can also be used as a biofuel.
Propagation of drumstick plants using seeds
Drumstick can be propagated easily by seeds. Soak the seeds in water for 24 hours for quicker germination. The seeds are bigger and have to be a bit deeper. Sow the seeds in a light well, draining soil.
The seeds are viable for three months. The seeds germinate in 3-4 weeks and take around eight months to grow to their full potential.
Dr. Vandana K.