One such plant, Moringa oleifera Lam., invites attention of the researchers worldwide for its pharmacological activities ranging from anti-inflammatory to anticancer activities. Moringa oleifera Lam. (Family: Moringaceae) is a small or middle sized tree, about 10 m in height, cultivated throughout India. It is a multipurpose tree, used as vegetable, spice, a source of cooking and cosmetic oil and as a medicinal plant. It is known as Drumstick in English, Saragvo in Gujrati, Soanjna in Hindi, Sajna in Bengali, Nugge in Kannada, Sigru in malyalam, Shevga in Marathi, Shobhanjana in Sanskrit, Munaga in Telgu and Murungai in Tamil.
It is reported to contain alkaloids, flavonoids, anthocyanins, proanthocyanidins and cinnamates. It is used in abortion 1-3, diabetes 4 and as an antipyretic 5, anthelmentic 6 and antiherpes simplex virus type I (HSV-I) 7. All parts of the tree are considered to possess medicinal properties and used in the treatment of ascites, rheumatism, and venomous bites and as cardiac and circulatory stimulant.
The root is laxative, expectorant, diuretic, and good for inflammations, throat, bronchitis, piles, cures stomatitis, urinary discharges and obstinate asthma 8. The root bark is useful in heart complaints, eye diseases, inflammation, dyspepsia, and enlargement of spleen. The root and bark are abortifacient 9. The leaves are anthelmintic, aphrodisiac, cures hallucinations, dry tumors, hiccough and asthma. Dried powder of leaf extract produces abortifacient activity in rats 3.
The flowers cure inflammations and muscle diseases. The fruit cures biliousness, pain, Leucoderma and tumor. The seed cures eye diseases and head complaints. Oil is useful in leprous ulcers and as external application for rheumatism 8. The roots and seeds are prescribed for the treatment of snakebites and scorpion stings 9. Seeds extracts have been proposed as an eco-friendly alternative, due to their traditional use for the clarification of drinking water.
[Dan notes: many references cited on this one ]