Original Articles: 2015 Vol: 7 Issue: 6
MoringaoleiferaLam.: Panacea to several maladies
Moringa oleifera Lam. (Moringaceae), a ‘miracle tree’ is grown in many countries of tropics and sub-tropics. It has proved to be an excellent source of phytonutrients and has therefore nutritional and medicinal applications for both human and animals. It is a cost-effective, easily procurable and a rich source of multi-vitamins (vitamin A, B and C), proteins, calcium, potassium and possess a unique combination of zeatin, quercetin, sitosterol, kaempferol and caffeoylquinic acid. The unopened floral buds, immature pods and leaves are used for various culinary preparations worldwide. Every part of this tree possesses some or the other nutritional and medinical property. It is a reservoir of dietary supplements and act as cardiac and circulatory stimulant with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, antiepileptic, antitumor, anticancer, diuretic, antihypertensive, antispasmodic, hypocholestemic, antidiabetic, antibacterial, antifungal, antiulcer and hepatoprotective properties. Apart from medicinal benefits it is deployed in re-forestration program, used as fodder for livestock, as a biosorbent for heavy metals and in water treatment. The seed-oil is frequently used in lubricants, skin lotions and is a promising biodiesel. This review focuses on the explicit economic importance of this versatile and super food tree which miraculously combats malnutrition and serves humanity.