Home >> Ethnobotany Plants - Part: M >> Moringa oleifera Lam.

Moringa oleifera Lam.

Synonyms:
Moringa moringa (L.) Millsp.
Moringa pterygosperma Gaertn.
Guilandina moringa L.

Group: Dicot
Family: Moringaceae - Horse-radish tree family
Duration: Perennial
Growth Habit: Shrub

Bangla/Vernacular Name: Sajna, Sajina.

Tribal Name: Sazina (Chakma), Gajeley, Dendalum Naisumbi/Sicumbi (Marma), Dain Tho Rai (Mogh) Seachna (Murang), Dendalum (Rakhaing).

English Name: Drumstick Tree, Horse Radish Tree.

Description of the Plant:

A large tree. Leaves pinnate; leaflets opposite, elliptic, oblong, ovate or obovate. Flowers white. Fruits an elongated capsule.

Chemical Constituents:

Bark of the trunk yields a tragacanth-like gum which contains bassorin, ß-sitosterol, enzyme and sugars, arabinose, galactose, dextrose, glucuronic acid and also traces of rhamnose. Root bark contains two alkaloids, moringine and moringinine, also benil, moringinic acid, athonin and spirochin. Seeds contain fixed oil and fatty acids, such as palmitic, stearic, behenic and oleic acids and 4(-L-rhamnosyloxy) benzyl isothiocyanate, an antibiotic principle. Alanine, arginine, glycine, serine, threonine, valine, glutamic and aspartic acids have been reported in flowers and fruits. Flowers and fruits also contain sucrose and glucose. Stem contains 4-hydroxymellein, vanillin, octacosanoic acid, ß-sitosterol and ß-sitostenone.

A glycoside has been isolated from the leaves. Leaf is rich in protein, vitamins and minerals. Leaves also contain aspartic acid, glutamic acid, glycine, threonine, alanine, valine, leucine, isoleucine, histidine, lysine, arginine, phenylalanine, tryptophan, cysteine and methionine (Ghani, 2003; Rastogi & Mehrotra, 1990, 93). Each part of the plant contains considerable amount of K, Mg, Zn and Ca. Mn and Fe also present in adequate amount (Sahito et al., 2004).

Mode of Uses:

  • The tender leaves and fruits are cooked as vegetables (Chakma, Tripura).
  • Rub the stem in a stone and collect the extract and the extract is applied to the head and whole face twice daily for three days for the treatment of general weakness, blindness and headache. An infusion of the leaves is taken for the treatment of paralysis (Marma).
  • Leaf extract is taken in gastric problem. Stem and Root extract is carminative and laxative. Leaves and fruits (Pods) are taken as vegetable (Murang).
  • Leaf extract is taken two tea spoonfuls twice daily until cured from burning, general weakness, headache and insomnia.
  • Extract prepared from root and leaf taken half cup twice daily for three-five days in high blood pressure.
  • Root crushed on stone and juice taken three tea spoonfuls twice daily until cured from leucorrhoea.
  • Extract prepared from root, mixed with water used in rice wash during cooking and taken one cup for three months for leucorrhoea. Root extract is applied to the irritated palm and toe (Rakhaing).

Distribution:

Cultivated throughout Bangladesh in homestead.

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