Moringa oliefera  
 

 

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Botanical Name : Moringa oliefera syn. M.pterygosperma
Common Name : 
Moringa, Horse-radish tree
Distribution :
West Africa, Madagascar, India, Pakistan, Indochina.
Description :
Action : 
Antirheumatic, Antiseptic, Astringent, Carminative, Digestive, Hemostatic,Stomachic, Vulnerary.
Part used : Leaf, Seed and Bark
Chemical components : 
Effective Ingredients : 
 

Photo: moringa oliefera, Horse-radish tree board

Therapeutic uses : Studies show that moringa leaves are packed with potent vitamins, minerals and essential amino acids; all of which are capable of treatment and prevention of many life-threatening diseases and illnesses. As compared with other food sources, the leaves have amazingly higher levels of nutrients. It is said that the Vitamin A content of moringa leaves if four times better than that of carrots, while its Vitamin C content is seven times better than oranges. It has triple the potassium of bananas and twice the amount of protein found in milk.

Photo: Horse-radish tree leaf

Photo: Horse-radish tree seeds


The juice extracted from Moringa leaves is said to help normalize blood pressure and stabilize sugar level in the blood as well. A concoction of leaf juice and honey is believed to help remedy dysentery, diarrhea and colitis. The leaves can also be made into an herbal tea and the therapeutic properties of moringa are transferred into this refreshing drink. The leaves can also be used to improve the volume and quality of breast milk for nursing mothers. For pregnant women, moringa can provide essential nutrients such as Vitamin D, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, folic acid, iron, and calcium.

Decoction. The young shoots and flowers may alternatively be steamed and eaten with chili sauce or in soups.
Decoction of the bark of the horseradish tree is a digestion stimulant used traditionally for combating flatulence, indigestion, and bloated stomach.
Decoction of the root is a disinfectant and may be used as an astringent to stop bleeding and help promote the healing of wounds. The seeds, when roasted and ground are made into a poultice for arthritis.
 
Water treatment : Moringa oliefera seeds can be used as a natural coagulant (primary coagulant) in household water treatment as well as in the community water treatment systems. Natural coagulant properties were found in 6 different Moringa species by laboratory studies. The seed kernels of Moringa oliefera contain significant quantities of low molecular weight, (water-soluble proteins) which carry a positive charge. When the crushed seeds are added to raw water, the proteins produce positive charges acting like magnets and attracting the predominantly negatively charged particles (such as clay, silk, bacteria, and other toxic particles in water).

The fl occultation process occurs when the proteins bind the negatives charges forming flocks through the aggregation of particles, which are present in water. These flocks are easy to remove by settling or filtration. The material can clarify not only highly turbid muddy water but also water of medium and low turbidity. The level of turbidity influences the required time for the flocculation. As with all coagulants, the effectiveness of the seeds may vary from one raw water to another. The practical application of dosing solutions is exactly the same as for all other coagulants. Studies have been carried out to determine the potential risks associated with the use of Moringa seeds in water treatment. To date, no evidence has found that the seeds cause secondary effects in humans, especially at the low doses required for water treatment (done up to the year 2000).

The powder from crushed moringa seed kernel works as a natural Coagulant (a substance that causes a fluid to change to a solid or semi-solid state) binding to the solids in water causing them to sink to the bottom, since bacteria in water is generally attached to solid particles. Treatment with moringa powder can leave water clear with 90-99% of the bacteria removed. Moringa has an active ingredient called polyelectrolyte; 100kg of moringa kernel will produce about 1kg of almost pure polyelectrolyte.

 

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Resources:
- Lavit KHAM  B.Sc (Chemistry),B.Pharm, MPS,MAACP, MNHAA
Medicinal Plants of Cambodia Habitat, Chemical constituents and Ethno botanical Uses
Bendigo Scientific Press   ISBN 0-646-43703-8  / 9780646437033
- Somanith BOUAMANIVONG & Onvilay SOURIYA Ministry of Health, Traditional Medicine Research Center, Editor Prof. Dr. Bouhong SOUTHAVONG, Vientiane 2005.
- Lily, M. PERRY. Medicinal Plants of East and Southeast Asia, London, England 1978
- WHO Regional Publications, Western Pacific Series No 2
- Jules VIDAL, Noms vernaculaires de plantes (LAO, MEO, KHA) 1959
- Medicinal Plants in China 1989
- C. Pierce SALGUERO A Thai Herbal, Traditional Recipes for Health and Harmony, 2005
Silkworm Books www.silkwormbooks.info   ISBN 974-9575-74-1 

Acknowledgements:
- Dr. Sabine WILKINS Plant Physiology & Dr. Pauline Mc CABE Naturopathy, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Victoria Australia.
-
Prof. Roger KING, Pharmacology Toxicology, Monash University, Australia.
-
Chea SOK MENG, Cambodian pharmacist
-
Prof, Ka SUNBAUNAT Cambodian psychiatrist, Vice Dean, Faculty of Medicine, Phnom Penh.

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