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Abstract

AN OVERVIEW LITERATURE OF MEDICAL SUPPORT, FOOD, CURATIVE, AND PROPHYLACTIC PROPERTIES OF MORINGA OLIFERA

Neelima*, T. C. Shami, Narendra Shukla, Priya Mishra and Pawan Mishra

ABSTRACT

The aim of this literature review was to provide advance research information for the future scientists to discover new drug molecules from the medicinal plant, Moringa oleifera Lam. (Moringaceae). Moringa oleifera, or the horseradish tree, is a pan-tropical species that is known by such regional names as benzolive, drumstick tree, kelor, marango, mlonge, mulangay, nébéday, saijhan and sajna. Over the past two decades, many reports have appeared in mainstream scientific journals describing its nutritional and medicinal properties. Its utility as a non-food product has also been extensively described, but will not be discussed herein, (e.g. lumber, charcoal, fencing, water clarification, lubricating oil). As with many reports of the nutritional or medicinal value of a natural product, there are an alarming number of purveyors of ―healthful‖ food who are now promoting M. oleifera as a panacea. While much of this recent enthusiasm indeed appears to be justified, it is critical to separate rigorous scientific evidence from anecdote. Those who charge a premium for products containing Moringa spp. must be held to a high standard. Those who promote the cultivation and use of Moringa spp. in regions where hope is in short supply must be provided with the best available evidence, so as not to raise false hopes and to encourage the most fruitful use of scarce research capital. It is the purpose of this series of brief reviews to: (a) critically evaluate the published scientific evidence on M. oleifera, (b) highlight claims from the traditional and tribal medicinal lore and from non-peer reviewed sources that would benefit from further, rigorous scientific evaluation and (c) suggest directions for future clinical research that could be carried out by local investigators in developing regions. The plant provides a rich and rare combination of zeatin, quercetin, beta-sitosterol and kaempferol. In addition to its high nutritional value, Moringa oleifera Lam is very important for its medicinal value. Various parts of this plant such as leaves, roots, seed, bark, fruit, flowers and immature pods act as cardiac and circulatory stimulants, possess antitumor, antipyretic, anti-inflammatory, 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. This review gives the scientific information regarding pharmacological potentials of Moringa oleifera Lam. (Moringaceae).

Keywords: Moringa oleifera, eatin, quercetin, beta-sitosterol and kaempferol.


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