Sunday, December 7, 2008

Moringa oleifera LAM.

Family : Moringaceae

Synonym(s) : Moringa pterygosperma Gaertn.

English Name : Horseradish tree, Oil of Ben tree, Ben nut, Drumsticks.

Origin : India


A small or medium-sized tree up to 10 m tall, with thick, soft, corky, deeply fissured bark and tomentose twigs; roots pungent. Leaves usually tripinnate, to 45 cm long; pinnae and pinnules opposite, deciduous; leaflets 1.2 to 2 cm long and 0.6 to 1 cm wide, the lateral elliptic, the terminal obovate. Flowers white, fragrant, in large panicles. Fruits (pods) pendulous, green, 22 to 50 cm or more in length, triangular, 9-ribbed; seeds trigonous, the wings angled.


Thrives in subtropical and tropical climates, flowering and fruiting freely and continuously. Grows best on a dry sandy soil. Drought resistant.

Parts Used : Bark, root, leaves, seed and fruit.

Herb Effects

Carminative, stomachic, abortifacient, cardiac tonic, rubefacient, stimulant, aphrodisiac, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, diuretic. The seeds are used as antibacterial, anticholeric and anti-viral agents.

Active Ingredients

Alanine, arginine, glutamic acid, glycine, histidine, methionine, phenylalanine, tryptophan, tyrosine, valine (shoot); pterygospermin, spirochin, (roots); ascorbic acid, beta-carotene, niazinin A, niazinin B, niazimicin, and niaziminin A and B, tocopherol (leaf); beta-sitosterol, vanillin (stem); choline, niacin, oxalic acid, riboflavin, thiamin (fruit); kaempferol, quercetin (flower); moringine (root bark); oleic acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid (seed).

Medicinal Use

Used in paralytic conditions and intermittent fever; also useful as rubefacient in rheumatism, in spasmodic affections of the bowels, hysteria and flatulence as well as in epilepsy (roots); in diseases of liver and spleen, in tetanus and paralysis (fruit); in rheumatism (seed oil); in dental caries, otalgia and headache (gum).


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