Article

Moringa oleifera: a food plant with multiple medicinal uses

Department of Chemistry, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad-38040, Pakistan.
Phytotherapy Research (Impact Factor: 2.4). 01/2007; 21(1):17-25. DOI: 10.1002/ptr.2023
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Moringa oleifera Lam (Moringaceae) is a highly valued plant, distributed in many countries of the tropics and subtropics. It has an impressive range of medicinal uses with high nutritional value. Different parts of this plant contain a profile of important minerals, and are a good source of protein, vitamins, beta-carotene, amino acids and various phenolics. The Moringa plant provides a rich and rare combination of zeatin, quercetin, beta-sitosterol, caffeoylquinic acid and kaempferol. In addition to its compelling water purifying powers and high nutritional value, M. oleifera is very important for its medicinal value. Various parts of this plant such as the leaves, roots, seed, bark, fruit, flowers and immature pods act as cardiac and circulatory stimulants, possess antitumor, antipyretic, antiepileptic, antiinflammatory, antiulcer, antispasmodic, diuretic, antihypertensive, cholesterol lowering, antioxidant, antidiabetic, hepatoprotective, antibacterial and antifungal activities, and are being employed for the treatment of different ailments in the indigenous system of medicine, particularly in South Asia. This review focuses on the detailed phytochemical composition, medicinal uses, along with pharmacological properties of different parts of this multipurpose tree.

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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Moringa is a tree of a not well-understood plant since it has not been fully studied all over the world. Therefore, the aim of the present study is to evaluate the chemical as well as functional properties of the Egyptian Moringa oleifera leaves. Such leaves can be used as a functional food ingredient in the food and pharmaceutical applications. RESULTS: The proximateanalysis showed that moringa leaves are rich in: fiber, protein, carbohydrate and energy contents (11.23±0.16, 9.38±0.23, 56.33±0.27 g.100g-1 and 332.68±0.06 KCal, respectively). Moringa is a good source for essential amino acids especially Lysine (69.13±0.13mg.100g-1), essential minerals such as Na (289.34±0.35), K (33.63±0.24), Mg (25.64±0.25) Ca (486.23±0.11), P (105.23±0.32) and Fe (9.45±0.16) mg.100g -1 respectively and vitamins (A=13.48±0.51, B1=0.05±0.28, B2= 0.8±0.25, B3= 220±0.42, C= 245.13±0.46 and E= 16.80±0.24 mg.100g respectively). It is appeared using HPLC that methanol 70% is the most suitable solvent for extraction of phenolic compounds from moringa leaves (. Scavenging activity results confirmed that Moringa leaves extract might be a potent source of natural antioxidants with a high human health benefits. Antimicrobial activity results indicate that Moringa leaves extracts may be used as an antimicrobial agent with reasonable safety margins to inhibit bacterial growth in pharmaceutical and food applications. CONCLUSION: Moringa is considered as a nutrient-rich plant especially in its leaves. Such leaves might be used to combat malnutrition, especially among infants and nursing mothers.
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    ABSTRACT: Aqueous, methanolic and ethanolic extracts of the leaves, flower, stem bark and pod/fruit (AL, AF, AB, AP, ML, MF, MB, MP, EL, EF, EB and EP),respectively, of Moringa oleifera were evaluated for their anti-oxidantive activities and anti-microbial properties. 2,2-Diphenyl-1-picryl hydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging activity (%), total phenolic contents (TPC) and ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) were used as a means of evaluating the in vitro anti-oxidantive activities of the extracts. All the extracts showed a dose-dependent activity with each method. There was a significant positive correlation (P<0.01) between DPPH values and TPC (r 2 = 0.76) as well as between TPC and FRAP value (r 2 = 0.93). With the DPPH and FRAP methods, EL and AB showed highest and lowest (P<0.05) overall activity, respectively. Moreover, EL exhibited highest activity with all the three methods starting from the lowest concentrations. At the higher two concentrations (7.5 and 10 mg/ml), EF showed highest activity (P<0.05) as compared to all the other extracts and a standard anti-oxidant, BHT. Anti-microbial susceptibility test using the disc diffusion method and minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) assay revealed that ethanolic extracts from all parts of moringa showed highest activity against Aeromonas hydrophila and Micrococcus luteus on concentration dependent manner than the aqueous extract counterpart. Although all the extracts exhibited considerable anti-oxidant activities with either one or both of the assays, EL and EF showed the best results and can be recommended as natural anti-oxidants in food/feed preparation and formulation.