The Moringa oleifera tree is native to India, and is cultivated widely throughout many countries of Africa, Asia, and Latin America. (It is not tolerant to frost- so would only grow in some climates.) Many parts of this tree are edible and highly nutritious. (It’s called the ‘drumstick’ tree for it’s edible immature green pods.) Organizations like Trees for Life advocate Moringa’s use in human malnutrition and disease prevention, and for livestock fodder.
Now Science News reports about the use of this tree for low-cost water purification in the developing world. This article makes the use of Moringa seeds for water treatment sound pretty miraculous. How nice if it were true!
So checking out the actual Moringa seeds water treatment study it states seeds can be used for the initial (critical) pre-treatment, with final disinfection (by sun, acidification, chlorine, or sand filtration) to then make water safe to drink. But as in conventional water treatment, the resultant sludge requires proper handling. Looking at all of the steps involved, it still looks like water treatment would be done by at least a group of users rather than by individuals. The study did point out that this is initial research, but the results do look promising.