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Moringa Oleifera: A Natural Gift


Moringa Oleifera: A Natural Gift


The plants have always been vital for mankind irrespective of the era and area all over the globe since the begining of life. These were, are and will remain ever beneficial from nutritional, social, cultural, religious, environmental and human’s health etc. The medicinal plants have greatest potential for benefitting people, especially those living in countries {like Pakistan} suffering from poverty, poor health, malnutrition, unemployment and isolation in international trade. The 21st century is the century of biology powered and propelled by scientific knowledge and technological expertise. Three technologies namely “Biotechnology”, ”Herbal technology” and “Information technology {Bioinformatics}” are going to be the most powerful elements that are crucial for prosperity and welfare for the people of nations. All technologies for the manufacture of value added plant products can be called as herbal technology. The global trade in herbals is increasing swiftly and in hundreds of billions in US$.Pakistan is included among major players of import as well as export.

Some time we do not see gold which is present before our open eyes. There are many under utilized plants in Pakistan which have the potential to bring lot of prosperity. “Moringa” an edible plant, is at the top of underutilized resources of Pakistan. “Its tree could easily and cheaply be cultivated and grown in Pakistan. Antiquity; The indigenous knowledge and use of Moringa is referenced in more than 80 countries including Pakistan and known in over 200 local languages. Moringa has been used by various societies {Roman, Greek, Egyptian, and Indian to mention a few} for thousands of years with writings dating as far back as 150 AD. The history of Moringa dates back to 150 B.C. Historical proofs reveal that ancient kings and queens used Moringa leaves and fruit in their diet to maintain mental alertness and healthy skin. Ancient Maurian warriors of India were fed with Moringa Leaf Extract in the warfront. The Elixir drink was believed to add them extra energy and relieve them of the stress and pain incurred during war. These brave soldiers were the ones who defeated “Alexander” the Great. ” {17, 32, 44 } Traditional Medicine ; Moringa has been used in the traditional medicine passed down for centuries in many cultures around the word, for skin infections, anemia, anxiety, asthma, blackheads, blood impurities, bronchitis, catarrh, chest congestion, cholera,conjunctivitis, cough, diarrhea, eye and ear infections, fever, glandular, swelling, headaches, abnormal blood pressure, hysteria, pain in joints, pimples, psoriasis, respiratory disorders, scurvy, semen deficiency, sore throat, sprain, tuberculosis, for intestinal worms, lactation ,diabetes and pregnancy The present review is intended to create public awareness regarding benefit of an edible plant Moringa which is also known as miracle tree. The healing properties of Moringa oil, have been documented by ancient cultures.

Moringa oil has tremendous cosmetic value and is used in body and hair care as a moisturizer and skin conditioner. Moringa oil has been used in skin preparations and ointments since Egyptian times. {17, 33, 38, 39, 44 }. There are about 13 species of moringa trees in the genus Moringa of family Moringaceae These are Moringa oleifera M. arborea,M. borziana,M. concanensis,M. drouhardii, M. hildebrandtii,M. longituba,M. ovalifolia, M. peregrine,M. pygmaea,M. rivae, M. ruspoliana, and M. stenopetala The most widely known species Moringa oleifera reported as “Mpringa”{34,44}. Moringa oleifera is indigenous to south Asia, where it grows in the Himalayan foothills from northeastern Pakistan to northern West Bengal, India. It has been introduced and become naturalized in other parts of India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Southeast Asia, West Asia, the Arabian peninsula, east and west Africa, southern Florida, throughout the West Indies, and from Mexico to Peru, Paraguay, and Brazil. In Puerto Rico, it is grown chiefly as an ornamental and in fencerows and hedges and has become naturalized along roadsides on the coastal plains and lower foothills. In its native habitat, annual temperature fluctuations tend to be very large, with minimum and maximum shade temperatures ranging from -1 to 3o C and from 38 to 48o The taxon name moringa comes from murunggi or muringa from Tamil and Malayalam. Moringa is available and known by more than 50 common names in Asia Africa, Europe South and Central America, Caribbean.

Some are Drumstick tree, Horse radish tree, Mother’s best friend, West Indian ben are in English , Ben, Árbol del ben, Morango, Moringa in Spanish, C during the coldest and warmest months, respectively. In this region annual rainfall ranges from 750 to 2200 mm. Reseda is highly drought tolerant and is cultivated in semiarid and arid regions of India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia and east Africa, receiving an annual rainfall as low as 300 mm, although such sites are probably irrigated or are characterized by a high water table. In Puerto Rico, Reseda has become naturalized to a limited extent on sites with an annual rainfall between 1000 and 1800 mm. {14, 26, 33, 34, 36, 38}. Moringa oleifera is cultivated in Sind province of Pakistan. {32}. Mupulanga in Zimbabwe:, Moringa is very impressive and amazing plant due to its tested, trusted and potential benefits from nutritional as well therapeutical point of views. This friendly plant is of great significance as shown to be useful in water purification, cosmetics, livestock fodder, plant growth enhancer and biogas. In the last ten years, hundreds of research articles, theses, reports, and patents have been published on Moringa. Newspapers, scientific journals, documentaries {Discovery Channel} feature Moringa more and more. The Church World Service recently organized the first ever Moringa Tree International Conference to educate about Moringa’s use as an indigenous resource for fighting hunger and malnutrition {15, 16, 17, 33,44}.


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