Drumstick reserves of medicinal properties
Authors: Rupal Dhoot, Dhirendra Kumar, Meenakshi Dhoot and Varun Kumar Badaya
Department of Plant Breeding & Genetics, B. A. College of Agriculture, Anand Agricultural University, Anand, India
Department of Plant Breeding & Genetics, N. M. College of Agriculture, Navsari Agricultural University, Navsari, India
Department of Plant Breeding & Genetics, Rajasthan College of Agriculture, Maharana Pratap University of Agriculture & technology, Udaipur, India.
Drumstick (Moringa oleifera, belongs to family Moringaceae) also known as moringa, horseradish tree, sahijan, Munaga, ben oil tree (oil from the seeds) or benzoil tree. It is a fast-growing, drought-resistant tree, native to the southern foothills of the Himalayas in northwestern India. It is widely cultivated in tropical and subtropical areas where its young seed pods and leaves are used as vegetables. It can also be used in herbal medicine (Leone et al., 2015).
Drumstick tree, leaves and pods
It can reach a height of 10-12 m (32-40 ft). The bark has a whitish-grey colour and is surrounded by thick cork. Young shoots have purplish or greenish-white, hairy bark. The tree has an open crown of drooping, fragile branches and the leaves build up a feathery foliage of tripinnate leaves. It contains 9.40 & 2.10 g Protein, 185 & 30 mg Calcium, 337 & 461 mg Potassium, 51.7 & 141 mg Vitamin C, 7564 & 74 IU Vitamin A in raw leaves & pods, respectively (Source: USDA National Nutrient data base). Leaves are an excellent source of protein that can be rarely found in any other herbs and green leafy vegetables. Dry, powdered leaves indeed are a much-concentrated source of many quality amino acids. Fresh pods and seeds are a good source of oleic acid, a health-benefiting monounsaturated fat. Moringa as high-quality oilseed crop can be grown alternatively to improve nutrition levels of populations in many drought-prone regions of Africa and Asia. Vitamin A is one of the fat-soluble anti-oxidant offering several benefits, including mucus membrane repair, maintenance of skin integrity, vision, and immunity. Fresh Moringa pods and leaves are excellent sources of vitamin-C. Vitamin C helps the body develop immunity against infectious agents, and scavenge harmful oxygen-free radicals from the body. Its leaves are one of the fine sources of minerals like calcium, iron, copper, manganese, zinc, and magnesium. Iron alleviates anemia. Calcium is required for bone strengthening. Zinc plays a vital role in hair-growth, spermatogenesis, and skin health (Yadav and shrivastava, 2016). It is reported to contain alkaloids, flavonoids, anthocyanin, proanthocynidins, cinnamates. A number of phytochemicals act on animal cells and tissues to inhibit membrane bound enzymes, affects DNA formation, destroy cell membranes. It possess anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antimicrobial, antifertility, antihepatoxic, anticancer and, antiulcer properties (Goyal et al, 2007, Patel et al. 2014).
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4. Yadav S.and Srivastava J. (2016). Moringa Oleifera: a health promising plant with pharmacological characters. Indo Global Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 6(1): 24-33
About Author / Additional Info:
I am currently pursuing Ph.D. in Genetics and Plant Breeding from Anand Agricultural University.