The Wonders of Moringa

Posted by HealthAid 20/09/2018 0 Comment(s) Super foods,

wonder moringaMoringa oleifera is a natural plant which belongs to the family Moringaceae. Moringa is one of the richest plant sources of Vitamin A, B, C, D, E, K and Anti-oxidants. The vital minerals present in Moringa include Calcium, Copper, Iron, Potassium, Magnesium, Manganese and Zinc. The leaves,  pods, seeds, gums, bark and flowers of Moringa are used in more than 80 countries  to relieve mineral and vitamin deficiencies, support  a healthy cardiovascular system, promote normal blood-glucose  levels, neutralise  free radicals, provide excellent  support  of the body's anti-inflammatory  mechanisms, enrich anaemic blood  and  support  the immune system. It is also known to improve eyesight, mental alertness and bone strength. It has potential benefit in malnutrition, general weakness, lactating mothers, menopause, depression and osteoporosis. Since 1998, the World Health Organisation has promoted Moringa as an alternative to food supplies in treating malnutrition.

 

Content of

Moringa

Other food

Vitamin A

6,780 mg

Carrot: 1,890 mg

Vitamin C

220 mg

Orange: 30 mg

Calcium

440 mg

Cow milk: 120 mg

Potassium

259 mg

Banana:  88 mg

Protein

6.6 g

Cow milk:  3.2 g

 

 

Pharmacological properties of Moringa oleifera

 

Anti-bacterial and Anti-fungal effect

Moringa is known for its antibacterial effect. Kekuda et al. (2010) tested the extract of M. oleifera on several bacterial and fungal species. Among the bacteria tested, significant inhibition was observed in the case of E. coli followed by S. aureus, K. pneumoniae, P. aeruginosa and B. subtilis. Inhibition of fungi was also observed as reduced colony diameter in plates poisoned with distillate as compared to control plates; significant inhibition was observed in the species of A. niger, followed by A. oryzae, A. terreus and A. nidulans.

 

Anti-oxidant effect

The extracts of Moringa oleifera, both mature and tender leaves have potent antioxidant activity against free radicals, and contribute to significant protection against oxidative damage.  Moringa contains important bioactive compounds including glucosinolates, isothiocyanates, thiocarbamates, and flavonoids, with β-carotene being the major antioxidant compound.  These compounds quench ROS, chelate metal ions and regenerate membrane-bound antioxidants (Kumar & Pari, 2003). In a study done by Sreelatha & Padma (2009), the aqueous extract of Moringa oleifera exhibited strong scavenging effect on 2, 2-diphenyl-2-picryl hydrazyl (DPPH) free radical, superoxide, nitric oxide radical and inhibition of lipid per oxidation. In this study the free radical scavenging effect of Moringa oleifera leaf extract was comparable with that of the reference antioxidants.

 

Anti-inflammatory effect

Previous research demonstrates strong anti-inflammatory properties of Moringa due to presence of isothiocyanates (comparable to those found in broccoli) and polyphenols (like those found in berries and other fruits). The anti-inflammatory properties of Moringa may have beneficial effects on inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). A study done by Minaiyan et el. (2014) investigated the anti-colitis effect of oral administration of Moringa seeds hydroalcoholic extract (MSHE) and its chloroform fraction (MCF) on acetic acid-induced colitis in rats, in comparison with related controls. This study suggested useful therapeutic activity of Moringa and further demonstrated that an oral administration of MSHE, even with low doses, could be considered as an alternative remedy for IBD conditions and/or prevention of its recurrence.

 

Cardio-protective effect

Moringa possesses significant cardio-protective effect, which may be attributed to its antioxidant, anti-peroxidative, and myocardial preservative properties. A study done by Nandave et al. (2009) evaluated the cardio-protective effect of lyophilised hydro alcoholic extract of Moringa oleifera in a isoproterenol (ISP)-induced model of myocardial infarction, and demonstrated significant effects of Moringa in preventing the rise of lipid peroxidation in myocardial tissue. In another study, Moringa treatment demonstrated positive effect on hypertensive rats by reducing the nocturnal heart rate, improving cardiac diastolic function, and reducing left ventricular and relative anterior wall thickness (Randriamboavonjy, 2016).

 

Wound healing effect

The aqueous extract of leaves of M. oleifera was investigated for its wound healing activity. The extract was studied at dose level of 300 mg/kg body weight using incision, excision, and dead space wound models in rats. The observed healing actions in this study were demonstrated to be due to increased collagen deposition as well as better alignment and maturation. From the study results obtained, it may be concluded that the aqueous extract of M. oleifera has significant wound healing properties.

 

Written by

Vesna Manasieva

BSc Alternative Medicine; MSc Pharmacology

 

Any information or product suggested on this website is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any medical condition. Never disregard medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. Consult your primary healthcare physician before using any supplements or making any changes to your regime.

 

Reference:
Kekuda, T.P., Mallikarjun, N., Swathi D. (2010). Antibacterial and Antifungal efficacy of steam distillate of Moringa oleifera. Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research. 2(1), 34-37.
Kumar, A., Pari, L. (2003). Antioxidant action of Moringa oleifera Lam (drumstick) against anti-tubercular drugs induced lipid peroxidation in rats. Journal of Medicinal Food. 3(6), 255-259.
Minaiyan, M., Asghari, G. et al. (2014). Anti-inflammatory effect of Moringa oleifera Lam. seeds on acetic acid-induced acute colitis in rats. Avicenna Journal of Phytomedicine. 4(2), 127–136.
Nandave, M., Ojha, S.K. et al. (2009). Moringa oleifera leaf extract prevents isoproterenol-induced myocardial damage in rats: evidence for an antioxidant, anti-peroxidative, and cardio-protective intervention. Journal of Medicinal Food. 12(1), 47-55.
Randriamboavonjy, J.L., Loirand,  G. et al. (2016). Cardiac Protective Effects of Moringa oleifera Seeds in Spontaneous Hypertensive Rats. American Journal of Hypertension. 29(7), 873-881.
Sreelatha, S., Padma, P.R. (2009). Antioxidant activity and total phenolic content of Moringa oleifera leaves in two stages of maturity. Plant Foods Human Nutrition. 64(4), 303-311.

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