Malunggay is a much-branched small tree growing as high as 9 meters, with a soft and white wood and corky and gummy bark. Leaves are alternate, usually thrice pinnate, 25 to 50 centimeters long. Each compound leaf contains 3-9 very thin
leaflets dispersed on a compound (3 times pinnate) stalk. The leaflets are thin, ovate to elliptic, and 1 to 2 centimeters long. Flowers are white
and fragrant, 1.5 to 2 centimeters long, on spreading panicles. Pod is 15 to 30 centimeters long, pendulous, three-angled, and nine-ribbed. Seeds are three-angled, and winged on the angles.
• Planted throughout the Philippines in settled areas at low and medium altitudes.
• Introduced from Malaya or some other
part of tropical Asia in prehistoric times.
• A common backyard
vegetable and a border plant.
• Now pantropic.
• Propagation by seeds and stem cuttings.
• Mature malunggay cuttings should be 2 centimeters or more in diameter and not less than 80 cm (30 inches) in length. Mature cuttings are preferred as they sprout earlier and grow faster.
• The only pests known to attack malunggay are mites of the Tetranychus spp.
has the taste of horseradish.
• Considered galactagogue,
rubefacient, antiscorbutic, diuretic, stimulant, purgative, antibiotic,
• Anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor activities on mice studies.
• Antioxidant, anti-aging, anti-ulcer.
• Estrogenic, antiprogestational, hypoglycemic, antihyperthyroidism,
hypocholesterolemic, antihyperthyroid, antispasmodic.
• Considered abortifacient and emmenagogue.
• Purported to be beneficial for decreasing blood pressure, relieving
headaches and migraines, reducing inflammatory and arthritic pains,
anti-ulcer, anti-tumor. Purported to be beneficial for decreasing blood
pressure, relieving headaches and migraines, reducing inflammatory and
• Root yields a essential oil, pungent and offensive in odor.
• Seed contains traces of an acrid and pungent alkaloid, Ben of Behen oil, which contains palmitic, stearic, myristic, oleic, and behenic acids, phytosterin;
two alkaloids the mixture of which has the same action as epinephrine.
• Bark exudes a reddish gum with the properties of tragacanth, which is utilized for tanning.
• Gum yields bassorin, dextrin, enzyme myrosin and emulsin. The astringency of the gum is attributed to the presence of moringo-tannic acid
• Studies of MO leaves have yielded phytochemicals to which are
attributed hypotensive effects and anti-cancer properties. The root
bark has sex hormone-related properties.
• Root bark contains alkaloids, moringine which is similar to
benzylamine, and moringinine; traces of essential oil, phytosterol,
waxes and resins. Also contains a rich combination of zeatin, quercetin,
beta-sitosterol, caffeoylquinic acid, pterygospermin and kaempferol.
• Comparative content: Gram for gram, 7 times the vitamin C in
oranges, 4 times the calcium and twice the protein in milk, 4 times
the vitamin A in carrots, 3 times the potassium in bananas.
• 100 gms or 1 cup of cooked malunggay leaves contain 3.1 g protein,
0.6 g fiber, 96 mg calcium, 29 mg phosphorus, 1.7 mg iron, 2,820 mg
beta-carotene, 0.07 mg thiamin, 0.14 mg riboflavin, 1.1 mg niacin,
and 53 mg of vitamin C. (Dr.
Lydia Marero of the Food and Drug Research Institute -FNRI)
• 100 g of edible portion of leaves yield: water 77.5 g; energy 91.0 kcal; protein 6.1 g; fat 1.9 g; carbohydrates 12.4 g; fiber 1.8 g; ash 2.1 g; calcium 346.0 mg; phosphorus 118.0 mg, iron 4.5 mg, vitamin A 1,290.0 µg; thiamine 0.21 mg, riboflavin 0.52 mg, niacin 3.1 mg, ascorbic acid 231.0 mg. (The Philippine Food Composition Tables, 1997. Food and Nutrition Research Institute, Department of Science and Technology [FNRI-DOST]).
-Chemical composition and nutritional analysis of dried M. oleifera leaf powder collected from Mexico yielded varying moisture levels 3.06 to 3.34%, lipids 10.21 to 10.31%, fiber 7.29 to 9.46%, ashes 10.71to11.18%, crude protein 10.74 to 11.48%, and carbohydrate 54.61 to 57.61%. Predominant elements were calcium 2016.5-2620.5 mg/100g, potassium 1817 to 1845 mg/100g, and magnesium 322.5 to 340.6 mg/100g. HPLC yielded phenolic acids (gallic and chlorogenic acids) and flavonoids (rutin, luteolin, quercetin, apigenin, and kaempferol). (46)
- Macronutrient analysis of dried leaves (g/100g) yielded maximum values of 11.8% moisture, 30.3g proteins, 17.1g lipids, 19.9g crude fibers, 11.1g ashes, 63.1g carbohydrates, 355.7 kcal energy, 1488.2 kJ energy.
- Phytochemical analysis of ethanol extract of leaves yielded tannins, carbohydrates, saponins, glycosides, reducing sugars, terpenoids, steroids, flavonoids, and alkaloids. (see study below)
- Biochemical study on seed oil
showed the sterol fraction to be rich in ß-sitosterol (45.11%), stigmasterol (19.20%), campesterol (16.90%), and Δ5-avenasterol (10.00%). Major fatty acids identified were oleic acid (65.00%). (58)
- Phenolic and tocopherol content (ppm) of MO oil showed total phenolic compound of 160.00±8.90, α-tocopherol 150.00±7.50, γ-tocopherol 70.80±4.10, and δ-tocopherol 55.50±3.15. Sterol analysis yielded 12 components with ß-sitosterol (45.11±3.11), stigmasterol (19.20±1.33) and campesterol (16.90±0.91) as main components. (58)
- Seed analysis yielded (%dry weight) moisture 4.90±0.55, oil 45.00±4.10, protein 7.10±0.65, fiber 5.30±0.61, ash 31.65±2.90, and carbohydrate 10.95±1.15
- Study shows immature pods contain about 46.78% fiber and around 20.66% protein. Pods yield about 30% amino acid content, leaves 44% and flowers with 31%. Immature flowers and pods showed similar amounts of palmitic, linolenic, linoleic, and oleic acids. (59)
- Preliminary phytochemical screening of leaves yielded carbohydrates, protein, steroid, flavonoids, tannin, alkaloids, glycosides (saponin, anthraquinone, cynogenetic). Protein was maximum in leaves (23.35%) followed by fiber, starch, oil, sugar, alkaloid, tannin, flavanoid, and phenolic. (see study below)
- Phytochemical screening of ethanol extracts of seeds of M. oleifera yielded
4-(4'-O-acetyl-α-L- rhamnosyloxy)benzyl isothiocyanate (1), a mixture of 1 and 4-(3'-O-acetyl-α-L-rhamnosyloxy)benzyl isothiocyanate (2) in a 2:1 ratio, 4-(α-L-rhamnosyloxy)benzyl isothiocyanate (3), a mixture of 3 and niazimicin (4) in a 2.5:1 ratio, triolein (5), β-sitosteryl oleate (6), and a mixture of β-sitosterol (7) and stigmasterol (8) in a 4:1 ratio from the immature seeds; 3, 5, 6, a mixture of 7 and 8 in a 3:1 ratio, oleic acid (9), and 1-octadecene (10) from the mature seeds. The major constituents of the immature seeds are the isothiocyanates 1 and 3, while the major constituents of the brown seeds are the lipids 5 and 9. (96)
Flowers, leaves, young
• Flowers, young leaves
and young pods eaten as a vegetable inn the Philippines, Malaya, and India.
• In Malaya, seeds also eaten as peanuts.
• Seeds can be removed from pods and boiled like peas, fried or eaten like peanuts.
• Leaves can be used as fresh leaves (used like spinach or as supplement for sauces) or dried powder. Dried leaves can be milled and added to sauces or porridges.
• Flowers can be cooked or fried, or added to relishes.
• Roots are used as seasoning because of it horseradish flavor.
• Young leaves are a rich source of calcium, iron, phosphorus and vitamins A, B and C.
• High in HDL (high density lipoproteins); a source of amino acids,
omega oils, antioxidants.
• Young fruit yields a high amount of protein and phosphorus, a fair source of calcium and iron.
Decoction of leaves used
for hiccups, asthma, gout, back pain, rheumatism, wounds and sores.
- Young leaves, usually boiled, used to increase the flow of breast milk.
- Pods for intestinal parasitism.
- Leaves and fruit used for constipation.
- Decoction of boiled roots used to wash sores and ulcers.
- Decoction of the bark used for excitement, restlessness.
- In India pounded roots used as poultice for inflammatory swelling. Flowers used for catarrh, with young leaves or young pods.
- In Nicaragua decoction of roots used for dropsy.
- Roots have been used as abortifacient. In India, bark is used as abortifacient.
- Decoction of root-bark used as fomentation to relieve spasms; also, for calculous affections.
- Gum, mixed with sesamum oil, used for relief of earaches. Same, also reported as abortifacient.
- In Java, gum used for intestinal complaints.
- Roots chewed and applied to snake bites.
- Decoction of roots is considered antiscorbutic; also used in delirious patients.
- Juice of roots is used for otalgia.
- Bark used as rubefacient remedy.
- Decoction of roots is use as gargle for hoarseness and sore throat.
- Leaves used as purgative.
- Chewing of leaves used in gonorrhea to increase urine flow.
- Fresh roots used as stimulant and diuretic.
- Seeds for hypertension, gout, asthma, hiccups, and as a diuretic.
- Rheumatic complaints: Decoction of seeds; or, powdered roasted seeds
applied to affected area.
- Juice of the root with milk used for asthma, hiccups, gout, lumbago.
- Poultice of leaves applied for glandular swelling.
- Pounded fresh leaves mixed with coconut oil applied to wounds and cuts.
- The flowers boiled with soy milk thought to have aphrodisiac quality.
- Root is rubefacient and plaster applied externally as counterirritant.
- In Egypt, powder from dried seeds has been used as a handwash.
- In West Bengal, India, roots
taken by women, esp prostitutes, for permanent contraception (Studies
have shown total inactivation or suppression of the reproductive system).
- In African savannah, used in the treatment of rheumatic and articular pains.
• Dye: In Jamaica the wood is used for dyeing blue color.
• Oil: known as ben oil,
extracted from flowers can be used as illuminant, ointment base, and
absorbent in the enfleurage process of extracting volatile oils from
flowers. |With ointments, the oil allows longer shelf life without undergoing oxidation. The oil, applied locally, has also been helpful for arthritic
pains, rheumatic and gouty joints.
• Water purifier: Moringa seed powder has been used as water purifier. Its water-clarifying property has been attributed to a positively charged protein call MOPC (Moringa oleifera Cationic Protein)—the crushed seeds added to water will kill some of the microbes, clumping together, and settling at the bottom of the container.
• Malunggay leaves
and pods are helpful in increasing breast milk in the breast-feeding
months. One tablespoon of leaf powder provide 14% of the protein, 40%
of the calcium, 23% of the iron and most of the vitamin A needs of a
child aged one to three. Six tablespoons of leaf powder will provide
nearly all of the woman's daily iron and calcium needs during pregnancy
• Preservation Methods: Moringa can be preserved for a long time without loss of nutrients. Leaves can be dried or frozen for storage. Preservation by dehydration improves shelf life. Study (Yang et al.) showed low temperature oven used to dehydrate the leaves retained more nutrients except vitamin C than freeze-dried leaves. (59)
• Dosing: Overuse may cause undue accumulation of iron. High iron can cause gastrointestinal distress and hemochromatosis. 70 g a day is suggested, a dose that prevents over accumulation of nutrients. (59)
• Processing of Moringa: Phytochemicals are higher in raw seed flour and amino acid content was highest in fermented and germinated seed flour. Study evaluated leaves for retention of nutrients after boiling, simmering and blanching. Boiling was the most effective since it reduced the cyanide, oxalate, and phytate contents more significantly than the two other methods. (59)
/ Anti-tumor: A
study showed the crude ethanol extract of dried seeds inhibited the
carrageenan-induced inflammation in the hind paw of mice by 85% at a
dosage of 3 mg/g body weight; the mature green seeds by 77%. The
crude ethanol extract also inhibited the formation of Epstein-Barr virus-early
antigen (EBV-EA) induced by 12-0-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA).
At a dosage of 100 ?g/ml, the extract inhibited EBV-EA formation by
100% suggesting its antitumor-promoting activity. (1)
• Ovarian Cancer: Possible Role of Moringa
oleifera Lam. Root in Epithelial Ovarian Cancer: A hormonal etiology of epithelial ovarian cancer has been long suspected. Study suggests
M Oleifera can interfere with hormone receptor-related and neoplastic growth-related cytokine pathways through centrally acting mechanisms.
• Antiasthma / Seeds: Study evaluated the efficacy and safety of seed kernels of M. oleifera in the treatment of bronchial asthma. Twenty patients of either sex with mild to moderate asthma were give finely powdered dried seed kernels at 3 gm dose for 3 weeks. A majority of patients showed significant increase in hemoglobin and significant reduction in ESR. Treatment showed significant improvement
in forced vital capacity, FEV1, and peak expiratory flow rate by 32.97 ± 6.03%, 30.05 ± 8.12%, and 32.09 ± 11.75%, respectively. No patient showed adverse effects. Results suggest
a usefulness for MO seed kernel in patients with asthma. (3)
• Antibiotic: 50 years ago, a
study yielded Pterygospermin, a compound that readily dissociates into
two molecules of benzyl isothiocyanate which has been shown to have
antimicrobial properties. Unfortunately, many of the reports of antibiotic
efficacy in humans were not from placebo controlled, randomized clinical
trials. Recent studies have demonstrated possible efficacy against
• Hormonal properties / Abortifacient:
Biochemical observations and histologic findings have been correlated
with the anti-implantation action of aqueous extracts, one possible
explanation for its use as an abortifacient. source
Study showed lowering of stone forming constituents in the kidneys of
calculogenic rats with the use of aqueous and alcoholic extracts of
MO suggesting antiurolithiatic activity. (6)
• Antimicrobial / Water Purifying:
Study of MO seeds paste for water purification yielded a steroidal glycoside,
strophantidin, a bioactive agent in the seed. The seed paste was found
effective in clarification and sedimentation of inorganic and organic
matter in raw water, reducing total microbial and coliform counts by
55% and 65% respectively, in 24 hours, compared to alum with 65% and
83% reduction. (7) Study has shown that the water purifying ability of moringa seed powder was due to a positively charged protein called the Moringa Oleifera Cationic Protein (MOCP), which when added to water was observed to kill some of the microbial microorganisms.
• Antipyretic / Wound Healing:
Study of the ethanolic and ethyl acetate extracts of MO showed significant
antipyretic activity in rats; the ethyl acetate extract of dried leaves
showed significant wound healing on rat wound models. (8)
• Analgesic / Seeds: Previous
studies have shown analgesic activity from the leaves of MO. This study
on the alcoholic extract of MO seeds showed potent analgesic activity
comparable to that of aspirin dose of 25 mg/kg BW. (9)
• Hepatoprotective / Antioxidant:
Study concluded that the alcoholic extracts of MO produced significant
hepatoprotective and antioxidant activity, the aqueous extracts of the
fruit less than the alcoholic extract. (10)
• Anti-Ulcer: Study of M oleifera extract showed ulcer by protection by modulating 5-HT secretion through EC dell via 5-HT3 receptors in the gastrointestinal tract. (18)
• Anthelmintic: In a comparative study of the anthelmintic activity of M oleifera and V negundo against Indian earthworm Pheretima posthuma, dose-dependent activity was observed with M oleifera showing more activity than V negundo. (14)
• Comparison with Atenolol: Study comparing the effects of M oleifera with atenolol in adrenaline-induced rats on serum cholesterol, triglycerides, glucose level, heart and body weight showed the M oleifera leave extract made significant changes in each cardiovascular parameter. (17)
• Hepatoprotective: Study in acetaminophen-induced liver disease in mice showed that leaves of MO can prevent hepatic injuries by preventing the decline of glutathione level.
• Antioxidant / Hypolipidemic / Anti-Atherosclerotic: Study showed lowering of cholesterol levels and reduction of the atherosclerotic plaque formation. Results indicate MO possesses antioxidant, hypolipidemic and antiatherosclerotic activities and has therapeutic potential for the prevention of cardiovascular diseases.(19)
• Chemomodulatory / Chemopreventive: Study showed the possible chemopreventive potential of Moringa oleifera against chemical carcinogenesis. (20)
• Anti-Diabetic / Leaves: Study of the aqueous extract of MO leaves in STZ-induced sub, mild, and severely diabetic rats produced lowering of blood glucose levels, significant reduction in urine sugar and urine protein levels. Study validates scientifically claims on MO as ethnomedicine in the treatment of diabetes mellitus. (21) Study formulated dehydrated green leafy tablets using drumstick leaves for a supplementation study to evaluate for antidiabetic property. Results showed drum stick leaves are a suitable source of green leafy vegetable to reduce diabetic complications. (48)
• Anti-Inflammatory: Study of the aqueous extract of roots in rats reduced the carrageenan-induced edema similar to the anti-inflammatory drug indomethacin. (23)
• Analgesic / Leaves: Study showed the analgesic potential of leaves of malunggay in mice using the acetic acid-induced writhing test. (24)
• Antioxidant Activity / Phenolic Content / Young and Mature Leaves : Study evaluated leaf extracts in two stages of maturity using standard in vitro methods. Results showed extracts of both mature and tender leaves have potent antioxidant activity against free radicals, preventing oxidative damage to major biomolecules and providing protection against oxidative dames. (25)
• Chemopreventive Potential / Colitis-Related Carcinogenesis: Study investigated the chemopreventive effect on azoxymethane (AOM)-initiated and dextran sodium sulfate (DSS)-promoted colon carcinogenesis in mice. Findings suggest M. Oleifera pod exerts suppressive effects in colitis-related induced carcinogenesis models and could serve as a potential chemopreventive agent. (26)
• Antidiarrheal / Roots: Study evaluated a hydroalcoholic extract of root against castor oil-induced diarrhea model in rats. Results showed a significant and dose-dependent reduction in severity and frequency of diarrhea, intestinal fluid accumulation, intestinal content volume and transit time. (27)
• Augmentation of Breast Milk Volume: A double-blind, randomized controlled trial sought to determine if there is a significant difference in the volume of breast milk on postpartum days 3 to 5 among mothers with preterm infants who take malunggay leaves compared to those given placebo. (28)
• Benefits in Chronic Hyperglycemia and Hyperlipidemia: Review of current scientific data showed M. oleifera leaf powder holds some therapeutic potential for chronic hyperglycemia and hyperlipidemia. (29)
• Drinking Water Purification: The powder from seeds of M. oleifera tree has been shown to be an effective primary coagulant for water treatment. The powder acts as a coagulant binding colloidal particles and bacteria to form agglomerated particles (flocs). Study describes dosing methods: optimum dosage to remove turbidity, influence of pH and temperature and shelf life of the seeds. Seeds aged 24 months showed a significant decline in coagulant efficiency. (30)
• Arsenic Removal Using Activated Moringa oleifera: A new low cost adsorbent, activated Moringa oleifera has been developed for aqueous arsenic removal. Study concludes that M. oleifera is an effective and alternative biomass for removing As(V) from aqueous solution due to high biosorption capacity, easy availability, and being environmentally friendly. (31)
• Enhancement of Cytotoxic Effect of Cisplatin: Moringa oleifera synergistically enhanced the cytotoxic effect of cisplatin on Panc-1-cells. It inhibited the growth of pancreatic cancer cells, the cells NF-kB signaling pathway, land increased the efficacy of chemotherapy in human pancreatic cancer cells. (32)
• Leaf Powder as Handwashing Product: Moringa oleifera leaf powder was tested as a hand washing product on hands artificially contaminated with E. coli. In dried and wet application forms, the powder had the same effect as non-medicated soap. M. oleifera could be very useful in places where soap or water is not available, and where the tree grows naturally. (33)
• Gastroprotective / Antioxidant / Induced Ulcers: Study of alcoholic leaves extract in pylorus-ligated, ethanol, cold restraint stress, and aspirin-induced ulcer in rats showed dose-dependent gastroprotective effects attributed to the antioxidant property of the extract. The antioxidant defense mechanism of the extract was probably due to metabolizing lipid peroxides and scavenging H2O2. (34)
• Moringinine / Cardioprotective / Blood Pressure Lowering Effect / Hypocholesterolemic: Root bark yields the alkaloid moringinine. Review reports on bioactive compounds from M. oleifera leaves that exert direct effect on blood pressure. Compounds with blood pressure lowering effect including nitrile, mustard oil glycosides, and thiocarbamate glycosides present in the leaves. (35)
• Adsorption / Municipal Solid Waste Leachate: Study showed M. oleifera seed coagulant could be employed effectively for removal of Chemical Oxygen Demand and Total Dissolved Solids in a municipal solid waste leachate. (37)
• Preformulation Study on M. oleifera Gum: A preformulation study on the gum of Moringa oleifera found the gum to be hygroscopic and organoleptically acceptable, with a potential to be used in different pharmaceutical formulations and food preparations. (38)
• Chelation of Heavy Metals: Study reports the use of Moringa oleifera as a natural chelating agent gave a significant improvement in the depollution of contaminated water sample. (39)
• Stem Bark in Urinary Tract Infection: Study evaluated stem bark of Moringa oleifera as a potential medicine for 30 patients with urinary tract infections. Results showed 66.67% cured, 13.33% improved, 13.33% with no change. Report suggests a large scale study. (40)
• As Biolubricant Blend with SAE40: Study evaluated a blend of Moringa oleifera oil with conventional lubricant SAE40 for industrial application. The MOL 10 blend showed nearly same properties comparable with the base lubricant (SAE 40) in terms of density, viscosity and wear rate, suggesting it could be commercially viable for industrial application. (42)
• Antiatherogenic Effect of M. oleifera & MK-886: Book reports on the antiatherogenic activity of a hydroalcoholic extract of M. oleifera leaves and 5-Lipoxygenase inhibitor MK-886 in experimental animals.
• Cardiac Benefits and Obstetrical Benefits: Aqueous, ethanol, and ether extracts of M. oleifera leaves contain compounds that cause reduction of heart rate and cardiac muscle relaxation and may have benefit in the management of hypertension. The herb may also have obstetrical uses, but caution is given as it may cause contractions leading to miscarriages and abortions. (44)
• Antifungal / Environmental Impact on Shrimp Farming: The use of M. oleifera in the treatment of water for human consumption has been reported. The plant has shown inhibition of bacterial and fungal species. This study evaluated water treatment and inhibition of fungi in shrimp culture by use of MO extracts. Results showed different M. oleifera extracts exhibited antifungal activity against Candida spp. and H. weneckii. Chloroform extract of flowers showed better antifungal activity, inhibiting all fungal test strains. Results bring perspective to the use of MO extracts as an alternative to the practice of sustainable shrimp farming. (ROCHA, Marcos Fábio Gadelha et al. Moringa oleifera inhibits growth of Candida spp. and Hortaea werneckii isolated from Macrobrachium amazonicum prawn farming with a wide margin of safety. Moringa oleifera inibe o crescimento de Candida spp. e Hortaea werneckii isoladas da criação de camarões Macrobrachium amazonicum com ampla margem de segurança. Cienc. Rural [online]. 2014, vol.44, n.12, pp.2197-2203) (47)
• Adsorption Study / O. oleifera Seeds and Banana Peel / Removal of Pb, Ni, Cd: Study evaluated the effectiveness of MO seeds and Musa cavendish (banana) peels for removing heavy metals (lead, nickel and cadmium) from contaminated groundwater. Results showed Moringa seeds, banana peel and their combination have the potential as low-cost and natural alternative treatment material for the purification of drinking waters polluted with heavy metals such as Pb, Ni, and Cd. (49)
• Treatment of Surface Water with MO Seeds and Alum: Study using a pilot scale water treatment plant evaluated the treatment of turbid surface water from a stream using processed Moringa oleifera seed and alum as primary coagulants. Low residual turbidities were achieved from low, medium, and high initial turbidities. From a high turbidity (163 to 494 NTU), minimum residuals of 1.4, 1.9. and 0.9 NTU were achieved after treatment with MO, alum, and alum with MO as coagulant aid, respectively. The mechanism for turbidity removal by seed was attributed to a combination of partial-charge neutralization and micro-bridging or an electrostatic patch mechanism based on zeta potential measurements. (50)
• Weaning Food and Supplement: Study investigated the use of MO as supplement to West African weaning food produce, and assessing M. oleifera leaves in terms of nutritional values and anti-nutritional factors. Results showed MO not only increases protein value but also essential amino acids. There is also increase in vitamin A and B2 values, together with an increase in mineral values of calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, and phosphorus. Study confirms that the implementation of M. oleifera is positively correlated with the overall dietary quality of West African weaning foods. Although MO is not the single solution, it is a good source of important nutrients. (51)
• Acute Toxicity Study / Leaves: Study investigated the acute toxicity and phytochemical constituents of ethanol leaf extract of Moringa oleifera. LD50 of ethanol leaf extract in mice was found to be less than 5000 mg/kg body weight. (see constituents above) (52)
• Abortifacient / Leaves: Study investigated the abortifacient potential of Moringa oleifera leaves in pregnant Sprague-Dawley rats. Results suggest the leaves may be abortifacient and potentially occurs in the 1st trimester of pregnancy. This information should be made available to women who are considering pregnancy and devotees of Moringa herbal medicine. (53)
• Toxicity Effects on Blood Indices of Graded Doses of Leaf Extract: Study investigated the effect of graded doses (2000, 3000, 5000, and 7000 mg/kg for 21 days) of M. oleifera leaf extract on blood indices of 20 adult wistar rats. Results suggest excessive consumption of aqueous leaf extract may have little effect on blood parameters with slight changes in white blood cells. (54)
• Anti-Migraine Activity / Leaves: Study explored the anti-migraine potential of an alcoholic fraction of leaf juice in three animal models of antimigraine studies. Results showed M. oleifera significantly reduced the apomorphine induced climbing behavior, 1-5-HTP induced syndrome, and MK801 induced hyperactivity in a dose dependent manner. Results indicate MO may be acting via dopaminergic and sertonergic receptors and suggests it may be effectively used in the treatment of migraine. (55)
• MO Cake Residue For Waste Water Treatment: Moringa oleifera cake residue (MOCR) is one of the alternatives to replace chemical coagulants for water treatments. MOCR exhibited an excellent reduction in turbidity (97% removed), together with bacterial reduction, elevation of dissolved oxygen (DO), and reduction of Pb (82.17%). MOCR can also be stored for as long as six months without affecting its biological properties. (56)
• Antibacterial / Leaves: Study evaluated the antibacterial activity of leaf juice and extracts of Moringa oleifera in vitro against human pathogenic bacteria. The fresh leaf juice and cold water extract of fresh leaves displayed potential antibacterial activity against all gram-positive and gram negative test bacteria. Results suggest a promising natural antimicrobial agent with potential applications in the pharmaceutical industry. (57)
• Biochemical Studies of Seed Oil: Study on biochemical analysis of seed oil from Saudi Arabia demonstrated attributes similar to other Moringa oils reported in literature. The fatty acid composition placed it in the category of high oleic oils. The considerable amount of tocopherol and phenolic compounds similar to that found in olive oil suggests it can be utilized as a source of vegetable oil for human consumption. (see constituents above) (58)
• Drinking Water Purification / Seeds: Study of M. oleifera seeds—dried, dehusked, crushed and added to water—has shown it to be an effective primary coagulant for water treatment. Study evaluated the efficacy of seeds on parameters affecting the effectiveness of MO for purification of drinking water. Study showed the most suitable dosing method was to mix the powder in a concentrated paste to form a stock suspension. Seeds up to 18 months of age did not have any noticeable effect on dose level and percentage reduction in turbidity. At 24 months, there was a significant decline in coagulant efficiency. (60)
• Review of Safety Studies: Safety studies have reported no adverse effects in any human studies to date, including a human study conducted with whole leaf powder at up to a single dose of 50 g or in a study using 8 gm per day dose for 40 days. Various animal studies on the general safety of extracts have demonstrated a very high degree of safety. (61)
• Healing Effect on UV-B Induced Psoriasis Changes in Rats / Aerial Parts: Study evaluated the healing effects of a methanolic extract of aerial parts on Ultraviolet light-B induced psoriasis-form changes in rats. Results showed enhanced fibroplasia, reduced inflammation and production of high amounts of scar tissue and enhanced rate of wound healing and re-epithelisation. (62)
• Anti-Termite / Leaf and Seed: Study evaluated the efficacy of leaf and seed extracts of M. oleifera polar and non-polar solvents on the mortality of workers and soldiers of subterranean termites, Odontotermes obesus (Ramb.) Minimum LT50 values were recorded in N-hexane leaf extracts at all concentrations, while the seed extract at 1% concentration showed a minimum LT50 of 181.87±9.13. (63)
• Anti-Hyperglycemic / Leaves: Study investigated the possible mechanism of action of M. oleifera extract in animal diabetic models. Results showed no significant changes in insulin secretion in vivo. There was substantial effect on retarded glucose absorption and in the in situ perfusion study of rat intestinal model. There was also inhibition of a-amylase action. Combined in vitro, in vivo and in situ test results justified an anti-hyperglycemic activity at a tissue level mechanism. (64)
• Water Treatment / Seeds: Seeds of M. oleifera are used as primary coagulant in drinking water clarification and water water treatment due to the presence of water-soluble cationic coagulant protein which reduces turbidity of treated water. Seeds are powdered and added to the water directly or after preparing crude extract. Protein powder showed more removal efficiency followed by de-oiled and shelled blended powder. (65) In search of a simple, effective, and low-cost technical solution for the access of safe drinking water, study suggests M. oleifera as an alternative, since the seeds yield a natural coagulant able to effectively reduce the turbidity of raw water. (66)
Mo-LPI / Protein Isolate / Antihyperglycemic and Antioxidant: Study isolated a leaf protein, Mo-LPI, and assessed its hypoglycemic and antioxidant effects of alloxan-induced diabetic mice. The Mo-LPI showed hemagglutinating activity and cross-reaction with anti-insulin antibodies. Results showed the protein to be a promising alternative as complementary agent in the treatment of diabetes. (67)
• Effect on Red and While Blood Cell Counts: Study evaluated the effect of ethanolic extract of leaves of M. oleifera on blood cell counts of Wistar rats. Results showed a significant increase (p<0.05) in both red and white cell counts suggesting the presence of active ingredients required for the formation and maturation of blood cells. (68)
• Hepatoprotective / Antioxidant / Leaves: Study evaluated the antioxidant capacity and hepatoprotective potential of M. oleifera against liver degradation caused by AS-AQ (Artesunate-Amodiaquine) antimalarial combination in female albino rats. The combination causes liver damage, neurotoxicity, agranulocytosis, and hemolytic anemia as adverse effects. The aqueous-methanol extract reduced liver cell distortion induced by high doses of AS-AW. Results suggest the leaves be useful in the mitigation of free-radical initiated disease conditions. The bioprotective activity of the leaves is attributed to its antioxidant properties due to phenolic, flavonoid, and ascorbic acid contents. (69)
• Resin as Polymer Electrolyte in DSSC Solar Cells: Preliminary study reports on the application of M. oleifera resin as polymer electrolyte in dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC). (70)
• Effect on Winter Season Skin Sebum Secretion: Study evaluated the efficacy of M. oleifera on undersirable skin sebum secreted by sebaceous glands during winter season in humans. A cream formulated from 3% leaves extract significantly reduced undesirable skin sebum secretion during winter months. The results also suggest potential applications against acne vulgaris, acne rosacea and others. (71)
• Effect on Osteogenic Differentiation of Porcine Bone Marrow: Study investigated the effect of M. oleifera leaves extract on osteogenic differentiation of porcine bone marrow derives from mesenchymal stem cells. Results showed enhancement of osteogenic differentiation and suggest a potential for use in bone marrow regeneration in pre-clinical models and bone alternative medicine. (72)
• Antibacterial: Study evaluated powdered leaf, stem, and root methanol extracts for antimicrobial activities. The extracts showed antibacterial activities against all test bacteria. The stem extract showed better effectiveness against Salmonella typhi than standard Gentamicin with MIC of 10.89 and 13.88 mg/ml, respectively. (73)
• Moringa Leaves as Spice Component: Study evaluated the sensory, chemical, and microbial assessment of Moringa based spice in various formulations of nine blends of moringa-ginger-garlic. The moringa-ginger blend showed significantly low microbial count when compared to other blends. Results suggest moringa based spice products with 20% inclusion of moringa are acceptable for use in household consumable products. (74)
• Anxiolytic / Leaves: Study evaluated the anxiolytic effect of drumstick leaves using elevated plus maze (EPM) and staircase models at four doses. Results showed anxiolytic activity in both models at higher doses (200 and 400 mg/kg). (75) Study evaluated the anxiolytic effect of ethanolic extract of M. oleifera leaves in Swiss albino mice using EPM (elevated plus maze) and LDA (light dark arena) tests. Results showed significant (p<0.001) anxiolytic activity in both models of anxiety. The antianxiety effect may be due to its antioxidant property and its modulating effect on neurotransmitters. (92)
• Potential Oral Anticancer Drug / Human Hepatocellular Carcinoma / Leaves: M. oleifera has been reported to have anticancer activity against various human cancer cell lines. Study evaluated leaf extracts in human hepatocellular carcinoma HepG2 cells. Results showed significant reduction (44-52%) in proliferation of HepG2 cells and A549 non-small cell lung cancer cells. Results suggest the water soluble MOL extract may be a novel and promising natural anticancer drug candidate. (76)
• Antidiarrheal / Leaves:
Study evaluated the in vivo anti-diarrheal potential of M. oleifera leaves in a castor oil-induced model. At 150 and 300 mg/kbw, the extract showed significant )p<0.01) anti-diarrheal activity compared to control. (see constituents above) (77)
• Fodder Potential of Leaf Meal: Four thesis studies characterized Moringa oleifera as a fodder for dairy cows under dry tropical conditions in Nicaragua. A study of Moringa leaf meal as a protein source in concentrates to dairy cows found no significant difference in milk production. Moringa as sole roughage resulted in higher digestibility of both CP and fiber with no effect on milk yield. Results suggest that with optimal planting density-fertiliser D2 and N3 combination, moringa leaf meal can successfully replace commercial concentrate ingredients for dairy cows. (78)
• Anticancer Potential / Breast and Colorectal Cancer Cell Lines / Leaves and Bark: Study evaluated the anti-cancer effect of Moringa oleifera leaves, bark, and seed extracts against MDA-MB-231 and HCT-8 cancer cell lines. Extracts of leaves and bark showed remarkable anticancer properties, and, surprisingly, seeds hardly exhibited activity. There was significant increase in number of apoptotic cells. GC-MS analysis yielded numerous known anti-cancer compounds viz. eugenol, isopropyl isothiocynate, D-allose, and hexadeconoic acid ethyl ester. (79)
• Moringa Tree as a Local Solution to Malnutrition: The paper presents moringa as a possible solution to malnutrition in Africa, discussing its nutritional value, its use in malnutrition prevention programs. (80)
• Implications for Climate Change Mitigation / Review: Study provides a brief overview on the multi-purpose uses of Moringa oleifera and its implication for Climate Change mitigation. MO is fast-growing and well adapted to growing in adverse climate conditions. It has a direct effect on agriculture, nutrition, health, water, environment, biodiversity and sanitation. Research has shown it potential to reduce the occurrence of water-borne disease. The tree has the capacity to mitigate the adverse effect of climate change. The rate of atmospheric absorption of carbon dioxide (CO) by MO is 20x higher than the general vegetation with great potential in storing carbon. It is an ideal crop for sustainable food production that thrives as the climate changes. MO should be promoted for nutritional consumption, medicinal functions, and climate change mitigation. (81)
• Hand Washing Potential / Leaf Powder: Study evaluated M. oleifera leaf powder as a hand washing product. Results showed 4 grams of M. oleifera leaf powder in wet and dry applications had the same effect as non-medicated soap when used for hand washing. (82)
• Protection Against Chronic Disease / Leaves: Studies have been studied for health benefits attributed to numerous bioactive components viz., vitamins, phenolic acids, flavonoids, isothiocyanates, tannins, and saponins. The plant has been shown to be beneficial for several chronic conditions, including high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, insulin resistance, cancer, and inflammation. This reports presents information on the use of the plant for prevention and alleviation of chronic conditions in various animal models and cell studies. (83)
• y-Aminobutyric Acid Extraction / Leaves: y-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) is a non-protein natural amino acid with many physiological activities, such as lowering of blood pressure, anti-aging, and antianxiety. Study reports on the extraction of GABA instant tea powder from M. oleifera leaves using raw leaves and pure water as extraction solvent. (85)
• Antidiabetic / Pods: Study evaluated the effects of M. oleifera pods in alloxan treated diabetic rats. Alloxan treated rats showed significantly increase blood glucose and impaired glucose tolerance. Results showed decrease in blood glucose in improved in GTT at the end of 21 days. The MOP also significantly decreased the elevation of SGPT, SGOT, and creatinine in alloxan treated rats indicating reduction in secondary complications. There was improved in body weight. Results maybe to due to the presence of flavonoids. (86)
• Hypoglycemic Effect / Sensory Acceptability / Leaf Powder: Study evaluated the hypoglycemic effect of leaf powder on Saharawi people living in refugee camps, its ability to inhibit a-amylase activity, and its sensory acceptability in food. Results showed a hypoglycemic effects as evidenced by a earlier peak of a postprandial glucose response. However, because of a poor taste acceptability of a 20 g MO meal, evaluation of lower doses was suggested. (87)
• Taste Comparison of Wild and Domesticated MO / Glucosinolate and Glucomoringin Content: Study compared wild and cultivated variants of M. oleifera for phytochemicals, particularly glucosinolates which is responsible for its pronounced harsh taste. Results showed substantial variation in glucosinolate composition. The domestication of M. oleifera seems to increase the levels of glucomoringin and substantially reduce glucosoonjnain, with marked changes in taste. (89)
Effect on Metabolic Syndrome / Leaf Powder: Study evaluated evaluated the preventive effects of M. oleifera in male Wistar rats on induced metabolic syndrome induced a high-fat diet and drinking water containing 10% fructose for 6 weeks. Results showed treatment with MO attenuated metabolic syndrome in rats as evidenced by significantly improved glucose tolerance, triglyceride levels, and abdominal circumference. (90)
• Alleviation of Homocysteine-Induced Alzheimer's Disease-Like Pathology: Study investigated the effect of MO before and after Hcy (homocysteine) injection as preventive and curative treatment. Hcy increase brain Aß levels in APP transgenic mice, and Aß levels, tau phosphorylation and memory deficit in 3XTg AD mice. Study showed MO could alleviate tau hyperphophorylation induced by Hcy. Results provide new insight and a potential candidate for treatment of AD and other tauopathies. (91)
• Antifertility / Leaves: Study on MO have suggest boosting of pregnancy while some studies suggest abortive activity. In this study, MO at dose levels of 250 and 500 mg/kg led to defective implantation with smaller and dull-colored implants which could be due to defective decidualization. Results suggest antifertility activity via inhibition of implantation in female rats, and suggest further evaluation for its potential contraceptive action. (93)
• Cardiovascular / Hypotensive / Electrolyte Effects / Leaves: Study evaluated the effects of M. oleifera leaf powder on levels of serum sodium, chloride, and potassium in healthy human subjects. Thirty participants took 5.0 g of MO for 7 days. Results showed a significant decrease (p<0.05) in sodium and chloride ions, and a non-significant decrease in potassium ions. Results suggest that MO leaf has beneficial hypotensive potential and cardiovascular benefits in humans. (94)
• Antiurolithiatic / Root Bark: Study evaluated the efficacy of aqueous and alcoholic root bark extracts of MO as an antiurolithiatic agent in experimentally induced urolithiasis in rats. Hyperoxaluria was induced using 0.74% ethylene glycol in water. Both extracts significantly (p<0.001) lowered urinary excretion and kidney retention levels of urea nitrogen, creatinine, and uric acid. The reduction of stone-forming constituents in the urine and decreased kidney retention reduces the solubility product of crystallizing salts such as calcium oxalate and calcium phosphate which could contribute to the antiurolithiatic effect of the root bark. (95)
• Hematological Benefits in Iron Deficiency Anemia / Leaves: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study evaluated the efficacy of M. oleifera leaves extract as an iron booster and supplement in anemic women. Results showed significant increase of mean hemoglobin, ferritin, MCHC, RDW, and decrease of platelets. Study concludes that moringa leaf extracts can improve iron deficiency anemia in women. (97)
• Cardiac Protective Effects in Spontaneous Hypertension / Antihypertrophic / Seeds: Study evaluated the cardiac effects of oral administration of M. oleifera seed powder in spontaneous hypertensive (SHR) rats. M. oleifera did not modify blood pressure in SHR but reduced nocturnal heart rate and improved cardiac diastolic function, along with reduction of LV anterior wall thickness, interseptal thickness on diastole, and relative wall thickness after MOI treatment. The antihypertrophic and antifibrotic effect was associated with increased expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR), reduced cardiac triglyceride level, and enhanced plasmatic prostacyclins. (98)
• Subchronic Toxicity Study / Leaf Powder: Study evaluated the subchronic toxicity of M. oleifera in mice. Results showed that oral administration of M. oleifera dried leaf powder at 1000 mg/kg day showed no changes in clinical signs or gross pathology over a prolonged period exposure of 90 days. (99)
• Decreased Bleeding Time / Potential Use in Epistaxis / Leaves: Study evaluated the bleeding time using M. oleifera leaf extract versus saline control in an experimental epistaxis model using rabbits. Results showed significantly shorter bleeding time in the experimental epistaxis model and suggest further evaluation as a potential hemostatic agent for epistaxis. (100)
• Anticancer / Leukemias and Hepatocarcinoma / Leaves: Study evaluated various leaf extracts for activity against leukemia and hepatocarcinoma cells in vitro. Extracts kill a majority of abnormal cells (70-86%) among primary cells from 10 patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), 15 patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), and a culture of hepatocarcinoma cells--most significantly by hot water and ethanol extracts. Results suggest a potential natural treatment for cancer. (101)
• Anti-Arthritic Potential
/ Amelioration of Adjuvant Induced Arthritis: Study evaluated the anti-arthritic potential of M. oleifera in complete freund's adjuvant (CFA) induced arthritis animal model. Results showed MO treatment reduced pro-inflammatory cytokines (TNF-a, IL-6, and IL-1ß) and inflammatory mediators PGE2 and COX-2 in a dose-dependent manner. Results indicated anti-arthritic potential via inhibition of NF-kB pathway. (102)
• In Leyte, extracted
malunggay juice is mixed with lemonsito juice to make ice candies or
cold drinks, making it more palatable and agreeable to children who
Because of its high vitamin A, C, and E content, all potent antioxidants,
malunggay is a very effective in removing unstable free radicals that
is damaging to molecules and pro-aging.
• For the men: The fruit is reported to increase sperm count!
• For increasing breast milk: One rounded tablespoon of leaf powder provides
14% of protein requirements, 40% of calcium, 23% of iron, and the daily
vitamin A needs of a child aged one to three. Six rounded tablespoons
of leaf powder will provide the woman's daily iron and calcium needs
during pregnancy and breast-feeding.
• Highest Antioxidant Score: In an independent, Moringa oleifera scored the highest antioxidant content of any food yet discovered, beating the record-holding aci berry by over 50% margin, measuring over 157,000 umoles using the Oxidant Source Absorbent Capacity (ORAC) system.
Recent uses and preparation:
- Constipation: Eat one or two cups of the cooked leaves at supper time,
with plenty of water.
Wound wash: Apply crushed leaves directly to the wound, maintaining
cleanliness during the process.
• Moringa oil extracted
from the seed of the malunggay plant is now being tapped as source of
biodiesel. It is gaining preferable status over Jatropha as a source
of biofuel. All parts of the malunggay plant are used whereas Jatropha
is left with poisonous waste after oil extraction. Also, malunggay needs
only one to two years for seedling maturation compared to Jatropha's
three to five years. The math of malunggay's commercial potential is
attractive: Seeds are bought at P10 per kilo, and a hectare of malunggay
seedlings can harvest 20,000 kilos in 2 years with a potential profit
ª Root bark contains
2 alkaloids, as well as the toxic hypotensive moringinine. (Moringinine also stimulates cardiac function through its effect on the sympathetic nervous system.)
ª Has dose-dependent negative inotropic effect, in isolated frog heart
• Niazinin A, niazimicin and niaziminin A and B isolated from
the ethanol extract produced hypotensive, bradycardic and negative inotropic
effects in experimental animals.
• The bark may cause violent uterine contractions that can be
fatal. Chronic high-dose use may cause liver and kidney dysfunctions.
• In frequent or large doses, Interior flesh of the plant can
cause toxic nerve paralysis from the alkaloid spirochin. source
ingestion is avoided in the immediate period after a family member's
death. In the superstitions-laden isms of rural Tagalog
life, as a malunggay branch or twig will shed off all its leaves within a few hours of being snapped off a tree, ingesting malunggay might bring death to a relative. Avoiding
its use is strongly advised during the ritual of nine days of prayers after a death.
- Garden and back-yard cultivation.
- Commercial production of oil extracted from flowers.
- Malunggay capsule (Natalac) each containing 250 mg dried young malunggay
- Seeds, extracts, leaf powder, supplements and various Miracle Tree products in the cybermarkets.