MEDICINAL USES OF MORINGA OLIFERA
Botanical name --Moringa olifera Lam.
Synonyms-- Moringa olifera Gaertn.
English Drum stick tree
Occurrence & Distribution
Indigenous to north –west India . Plentiful on alluvial land in or near sandy beds of rivers and streams. Cultivated frequently in hedges and homeyards
A small or medium sized tree, 10 m high. Bark corky, soft, thick, deeply fissured. Wood soft. Leaves usually tripinnate, 30.5-61 cm long , leaflets elliptic. Flowers bisexual , irregular, fragrant, white , borne in large panicles . Pods triangular, ribbed, pendulous, greenish, 22.5- 50.0 cm or more in length. Seeds trigonous, winged
Flowers in February and fruits in March- April
Part used All parts of the plant and seed oil
Leaves, flowers, and fruits of the plant contain minerals, vitamins, and amino acids . The pods and leaves are rich sources of vitamin C. The plant contain 4- hydroxymellein, vanillin, B- sitosterol, octacosaoic acid, moringine, moringinine, bayrenol, indole acetic acid indole acetonitrile, benzylisothiocynate, pteregospermine and carotene. Quercetin and kaempferol occur in the flowers. The fatty acid composition of the seed oil, polysaccharide and protein components of the gum exudates are also reported.
Antispasmodic, stimulant, expectorant and diuretic .The plant is a cardiac and circulatory tonic and aniseptic
Leaf-- juice is useful in hiccough, emetic in higher doses. Cooked leaves in a vegetable curry are considered efficacious in influenza and catarrhal affections
Leaf juice mixed with honey is applied to the eyelids in eye diseases . Poultice of the leaves is beneficial in glandular swelling.
Bark-- juice mixed with molasses is administrated in headache.
Flowers are diuretic , cholagogue and stimulant.Flowers are sometimes boiled with milk and the preparation is used as an aphrodisiac .
Pods-- are considered to be antipyretic and anti helmintic. Seeds of the pods ground with water and instilled into the nostrils cure headaches due to cold and excess of mucus
Root-- juice is diuretic , rubefacient, beneficial in hiccough , asthma, gout, enlarged liver and spleen, calculus affection and deep seated inflammation. It is taken internally with milk. Decoction of root is prescribed as a gargle in hoarseness and throat sore
Seed oil in combination with ground nut oil , in equal parts, applied locally to relieve pain in rheumatism.
Gum- is used in dental caries, mixed with sesame oil found beneficial in otalgia
Root, bark and gum are also considered to be abortifacient.