Monday, August 25, 2008

Moringa Research

While traditional Ayurvedic medicine used this tree to heal or prevent hundreds of diseases, scientific evidence is accumulating to support many of the healing properties of Moringa. Some of its chemical compounds have been isolated and described. Because of its numerous healing and nutritious properties, around the world Moringa is the subject of legends and praise, awe and respect – so much so that it is also called “Miracle Tree,” “Mother's Best Friend,” and “Never Die.”

Below you will find a selection of abstracts from scientific articles published about Moringa Oleifera:

Phytother Res. 2007 Jan;21(1):17-25.
Moringa oleifera: A food plant with multiple medicinal uses.

Anwar F, Latif S, Ashraf M, Gilani AH.

Department of Chemistry, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad-38040, Pakistan.

Moringa oleifera Lam (Moringaceae) is a highly valued plant, distributed in many countries of the tropics and subtropics. It has an impressive range of medicinal uses with high nutritional value. Different parts of this plant contain a profile of important minerals, and are a good source of protein, vitamins, beta-carotene, amino acids and various phenolics. The Moringa plant provides a rich and rare combination of zeatin, quercetin, beta-sitosterol, caffeoylquinic acid and kaempferol. In addition to its compelling water purifying powers and high nutritional value, M. oleifera is very important for its medicinal value. Various parts of this plant such as the leaves, roots, seed, bark, fruit, flowers and immature pods act as cardiac and circulatory stimulants, possess antitumor, antipyretic, antiepileptic, antiinflammatory, 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, particularly in South Asia. This review focuses on the detailed phytochemical composition, medicinal uses, along with pharmacological properties of different parts of this multipurpose tree.

PMID: 17089328 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Bioresource Technology. 2007 Jan;98(1):232-6. Epub 2006 Jan 6.

Anti-fungal activity of crude extracts and essential oil of Moringa oleifera Lam.

Chuang PH, Lee CW, Chou JY, Murugan M, Shieh BJ, Chen HM.

Institute of Bioagricultural Sciences, Academia Sinica, Taipei 115, Taiwan, ROC.
Investigations were carried out to evaluate the therapeutic properties of the seeds and leaves of Moringa oleifera Lam as herbal medicines. Ethanol extracts showed anti-fungal activities in vitro against dermatophytes such as Trichophyton rubrum, Trichophyton mentagrophytes, Epidermophyton floccosum, and Microsporum canis. GC-MS analysis of the chemical composition of the essential oil from leaves showed a total of 44 compounds. Isolated extracts could be of use for the future development of anti-skin disease agents.

PMID: 16406607 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

J Med Food. 2002 Fall;5(3):171-7.

Hepatoprotective activity of Moringa oleifera on antitubercular drug-induced liver damage in rats.

Pari L, Kumar NA.
Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Science, AnnamalaiUniversity, Annamalai Nagar, Tamil Nadu - 608 002, India.

Moringa oleifera Lam (Moringaceae), commonly known as "Drumstick," is used in Indian folk medicine for the treatment of various illness. We have evaluated the hepatoprotective effect of an ethanolic extract of M. oleifera leaves on liver damage induced by antitubercular drugs such as isoniazid (INH), rifampicin (RMP), and pyrazinamide (PZA) in rats. Oral administration of the extract showed a significant protective action made evident by its effect on the levels of glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase (aspartate aminotransferase), glutamic pyruvic transaminase (alanine aminotransferase), alkaline phosphatase, and bilirubin in the serum; lipids, and lipid peroxidation levels in liver. This observation was supplemented by histopathological examination of liver sections. The results of this study showed that treatment with M. oleifera extracts or silymarin (as a reference) appears to enhance the recovery from hepatic damage induced by antitubercular drugs.

PMID: 12495589 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

J Med Food. 2003 Fall;6(3):255-9.

Antioxidant action of Moringa oleifera Lam. (drumstick) against anti tubercular drug induced lipid peroxidation in rats.

Ashok Kumar N, Pari L.
Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Science, Annamalai University, Annamalai Nagar-608 002, Tamil Nadu, India.

The protective effect of Moringa oleifera Lam. (Moringaceae) on hepatic marker enzymes, lipid peroxidation, and antioxidants was investigated during antitubercular drug (isoniazid, rifampicin, and pyrazinamide)-induced toxicity in rats. Enhanced hepatic marker enzymes and lipid peroxidation of antitubercular drug treatment was accompanied by a significant decrease in the levels of vitamin C, reduced glutathione, superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione peroxidase, and glutathione S-transferase. Administration of Moringa oleifera extract and silymarin significantly decreased hepatic marker enzymes and lipid peroxidation with a simultaneous increase in the level of antioxidants. We speculate that Moringa oleifera extract exerts its protective effects by decreasing liver lipid peroxides and enhancing antioxidants.

PMID: 14585192 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

J Ethnopharmacol. 2003 Jun;86(2-3):191-5.

Effect of fruits of Moringa oleifera on the lipid profile of normal and hypercholesterolaemic rabbits.

Mehta K, Balaraman R, Amin AH, Bafna PA, Gulati OD.
Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Technology and Engineering, The M.S. University of Baroda, Kalabhavan, Gujarat, India.

Rabbits were fed Moringa oleifera (200mg/kg/day, p.o.) or lovastatin (6mg/kg/day, p.o.) in banana pulp along with standard laboratory diet and hypercholesterolaemic diet for 120 days. Moringa oleifera and lovastatin were found to lower the serum cholesterol, phospholipid, triglyceride, VLDL, LDL, cholesterol to phospholipid ratio and atherogenic index, but were found to increase the HDL ratio (HDL/HDL-total cholesterol) as compared to the corresponding control groups. Treatment with M. oleifera or lovastatin in normal rabbits decreased the HDL levels. However, HDL levels were significantly increased or decreased in M. oleifera- or lovastatin-treated hypercholesterolaemic rabbits, respectively. Lovastatin- or M. oleifera-treated hypercholesterolaemic rabbits showed decrease in lipid profile of liver, heart and aorta while similar treatment of normal animals did not produce significant reduction in heart. Moringa oleifera was found to increase the excretion of faecal cholesterol. Thus, the study demonstrates that M. oleifera possesses a hypolipidaemic effect.

PMID: 12738086 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLIN

Hypocholesterolemic effects of crude extract of leaf of Moringa oleifera Lam in high-fat diet fed wistar rats.

Ghasi S, Nwobodo E, Ofili JO.
Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria, Enugu.

The leaves of Moringa oleifera Lam (Moringaceae) are used by the Indians in their herbal medicine as a hypocholesterolemic agent in obese patients. The scientific basis for their use in hypercholesterolemia was therefore examined. It was found that administration of the crude leaf extract of Moringa oleifera along with high-fat diet decreased the high-fat diet-induced increases in serum, liver, and kidney cholesterol levels by 14.35% (115-103.2 mg/100 ml of serum), 6.40% (9.4-8.8 mg/g wet weight) and 11.09% (1.09-0.97 mg/g wet weight) respectively. The effect on the serum cholesterol was statistically significant. No significant effect on serum total protein was observed. However, the crude extract increased serum albumin by 15.22% (46-53 g/l). This value was also found to be statistically significant. It was concluded that the leaves of Moringa oleifera have definite hypocholesterolemic activity and that there is valid pharmacological basis for employing them for this purpose in India.

PMID: 10661880 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]