Moringa Gateway

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Author(s): Fahey J
Published in: Trees for Life Journal.   Dec 1, 2005
1 5

In the last 20 years, there have been numerous reports in mainstream scientific journals and popular literature describing Moringa oleifera’s nutritional, therapeutic and prophylactic properties. Some of these findings are anecdotal, while others arrive via the routes of indigenous tribal medicine and non-peer reviewed sources. In order to determine the integrity of these claims, the author, a dedicated Moringa researcher, has initiated and called for a thorough scientific investigation. In this way the much needed, cost effective and validated nutritional/phytochemical information may be made accessible to the researcher, field worker and lay communities.

This article is the first of a series of four planned papers on this topic. Citations of moringa’s health effects are summarized at the end of the article in a tabular format and the strength of evidence discussed in very general terms. Based on literature survey, 169 collated references are categorized by the disease treated and/or the major health effects that are prevented; for e.g. asthma treatment, cancer therapy / protection, circulatory/endocrine disorders, etc. Each reference is also correlated with the associated moringa plant part that effects these benefits.

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Author(s): Jahey FW
Published in: Trees for Life Journal.   Dec 1, 2005

Moringa oleifera has many touted uses in folk medicine. There has been some research accomplished to attempt to back up these claims, but they prove inadequate for two reasons. The author calls to stop this problem by doing human test and having control groups in studies in order to have something with which to compare the results.

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Septilin in infective dermatoses

Author(s): Sharma, S.K., H.O. Agarwal, Dharam Pal, Dr Bikhchandani
Published in: The Himalaya Drug Co..   Sep 19, 2005

A study was performed on the effects of septilin, an antibiotic tablet containing extracts from various plants, including Moringa pterygosperma (full list included in article), known for their antibiotical and nutritional properties, on various dermatological conditions. Septilin was used as an experimental substitute for other antibiotics that are much more costly and have side effects, which septilin has yet to show. Of the seven conditions tested, only one (chronic folliculitis) showed a significant amount of improvement in the subjects, while second was the disease acne vulgaris, in which half of the conditions improved. It was concluded that septilin only proves effective on chronic dermatological conditions.

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Role of Septilin in Chronic Tonsillitis

Author(s): Dass, M.R.
Published in: The Himalaya Drug Co..   Sep 19, 2005

This study explores the antibiotic properties of septilin, a tablet containing extracts and concentrations of several plants, including Moringa pterygosperma, known for their medicinal and nutritional uses (full list of composition of septilin is present in the article). In this study, the effects of septilin on chronic tonsillitis were examined, compared with the results of the antibiotic co-trimozaxole. Study results showed that in treating tonsillitis, the septilin tablet was more effective than the antibiotic, though it did not prove neither a cure for tonsillitis or an effective means of avoiding tonsillectomy, and did not show any adverse effects for prolonged used.

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Author(s): Costa-Lotufo, LV, MTH Khan, A Ather, D V Wilke, P C Jimenez, C. Pessoa, ME Amaral de Moraes, M Odorico de Moraes
Published in: Journal of Ethno-Pharmacology.   Jan 1, 2005
99 21-30

Studies of the Anticancer Potential of Plants used in Bangladeshi Folk Medicine by Costa-Lotufo, et al, focuses on the potential of 11 natural extracts from Bangladeshi plants and their potential use as anti-cancer drugs. Extracts from the plants were tested against murine melanoma, human colon carcinoma, and tumor cell lines (leukemia in children).
Extracts obtained from Moringa oleifera possessed moderate inhibitory activity on sea urchin egg development. They also possessed cytotoxic activity, especially against drug-sensitive lines in leukemia and melanoma. Eight of the eleven tested species of plants in Bangladeshi folk medicine presented some activity. However, according to the criteria of the American Cancer Institute, out of the eleven natural extracts only those from Moringa oleifera and Aegles marmelos can be considered as potential sources of anti-cancer compounds. The article calls for further studies.

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Author(s): Lipipun V, M. Kurokawa, R. Suttisri, P Taweechotipatr, P. Pramyothin, M Hattori, K. Shiraki
Published in: Antiviral Research.   Jun 24, 2003
60 1 175-180

This study evaluated the use of twenty Thai plants on herpes simplex virus type 1. Such a virus can cause several life-threatening diseases.

The experiment began with the collection of the plants from both Mae Wong in Kamphaengphet and Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok. The leaves of each plant were extracted with either water and/or ethanol.

Female mice who were six weeks old were used for the experiment. Each mouse was infected with the virus, causing skin lesions. Using different plant extracts on the skin lesions of each mouse, researchers tested the effectiveness of each extract. The Moringa oleifera plant was one of the most effective of the twenty leaves, significantly reducing the mortality rate of the infected mice.

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Author(s): Mehta LK, R Balaraman, AH Amin, PA Bafna, OD Gulati
Published in: Journal of Ethnopharmacology.   Feb 12, 2003
86 1 191-195

The fruit, as well as the leaves and seeds, of the Moringa oleifera is known for its medicinal value. Heart disease is one of many illnesses this fruit may be able to reduce the risk of for future patients. More specifically, the authors of this article tested the fruits' effects on hypercholesterolaemia. If left untreated, this illness can lead to coronary heart disease.

To test this hypothesis, Moringa oleifera fruit was picked and cleaned. The middle portion was then dried and administered to the test subjects. Male rabbits which weighed between 1.5 and 2.5kg were used in this study. They were divided into six groups of six, each group being given varying levels of both the Moringa fruit and of lovastatin in banana pulp. This regimen was given to the rabbits in addition to their normal diet for 120 days.

It was found that the group which had been given 200mg per kg of their body weight of Moringa fruit and 6mg per kg of their body weight of lovastatin had the most advantageous results. This particular group had lower serum cholesterol, phospholipids and triglycerides. More research must be done to correlate these findings with possible evidence for the fruit to be used in such a manner with humans.

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Author(s): Kumar NA, L Pari
Published in: Journal of Medicinal Food.   Jan 1, 2003
6 3 255-259

The leaves of the Moringa oleifera are of much nutritional value to humans. In order to test the possibility of the leaves treating liver disease, a study was completed with Wistar rats at Rajah Muthiah Medical College in India.

The experiment began with the collection of fresh Moringa leaves which were then extracted with ethanol. The participants, male Wistar rats, were then divided into six groups of six. Each group was given a different percentage of the extract per their body weight, with the first group recieving no extract.

Researchers found that the extract lowers several chemicals within the rats including liver lipids. It does, however, simultaneously enhance antioxidants within the rat.

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Author(s): McMahon M, K Itoh, M Yamamoto, S Chanas, C Henderson, L McLellan, CR Wolf, C Cavin, J Hayes
Published in: Cancer Research.   Apr 15, 2001
61 1 3299-3307

Cancer research has shown that edible plants might be helpful as part of future cancer treatment regimens. It has been found that each particular patient is different, however, as each person has a different level of several components in their digestive tract.

To test this hypothesis, researchers examined the small intestines of various ten week old male mice. With the evidence found in this experiment, researchers might be a step closer to determining the enzymes which a person must have in order for the edible plants to be used as a possible form of treatment.

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Chemistry and Pharmacology of Moringa Oleifera LAM and M. Concanensis Nimo

Author(s): Jadhav S.L., Sharma S.R., Pal S.C., Kasture S.B., and Kasture V.S
Published in: Indian Drugs .   Mar 1, 2000
37 3 139-144

Moringa Oleifera Lam is indigenous to the sub-Himalayan region and cultivated in India and Burma. A second species of Moringa is M. Concanensis. This abstract focuses on the first species, Moringa Oleifera.
All parts of the plant are used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine. This article is an attempt to examine the chemical and pharmacological usefulness of the plant for various medicinal treatments. Roots are utilized to treat fever, epilepsy, and chronic rheumatism. They are also used for diuretics, cardiac problems, scurvy, and as an anti-inflammatory agent. Bark is employed as a cardiac stimulant and antifungal agent, and leaves to treat inflammation, helminthesis and scurvy. Seeds are seen as purgative and anti-inflammatory agents, with flowers used as diuretics and as a cholagogue to promote the flow of bile.
Areas of research in this article involve the practicality of various parts of Moringa Oleifera as treatments for cancers, infertility, inflammation, ulcers, and cardiovascular problems. Researchers also investigated its use as an antimicrobial agent.
Conclusions: Moringa Oleifera appears to possess multiple pharmacological possibilities in the conditions listed above. Further clinical evaluation in Western medicine is warranted to determine its therapeutic potential.

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