Malunggay – Nutritional Value, Health Benefits, Side Effects

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Malunggay is a plant that grows in tropical climates such as the Philippines, India, and Africa. Malunggay is widely used as a vegetable ingredient in cooking, as herbal medicine for a number of illnesses, and other practical uses. The Malunggay plant can grow to as high as 9 meters with erect white trunks.
This leafy vegetable, also known as Moringa oleifera, comes from a tree that can make 10,000 a year. This is also called the horseradish tree or drumstick tree. It is actually very functional and beneficial to have right in your garden. Nearly every part of the Moringa tree is used as an ingredient in traditional herbal medicine or can be eaten. The Moringa’s roots and flowers actually contain pterygospermin. This has fungicidal and antibiotic effects and is known for helping cholera patients. And you can even eat these flowers. They also have a wealth of calcium and potassium in them. You can also find the Moringa’s components in the form of powder, leaves and capsules.

Scientific Name: Moringa Oleifera

Other names:

Arango, Árbol de las Perlas, Behen, Ben Ailé, Ben Nut Tree, Ben Oléifère, Benzolive, Canéficier de l’Inde, Chinto Borrego, Clarifier Tree, Drumstick Tree, Horseradish Tree, Indian Horseradish, Jacinto, Kelor Tree, Malunggay, Marango, Mlonge, Moringa oleifera, Moringa pterygosperma, Moringe de Ceylan, Mulangay, Murungakai, Narango, Nebeday, Paraíso Blanco, Perla de la India, Pois Quénique, Sahjna, Saijan, Saijhan, Sajna, San Jacinto, Shagara al Rauwaq, Shigru, Terebinto.

Malunggay (Moringa Oleifera), is a popular plant known for high nutritional value as well as herbal medicine. Malunggay is a plant that grows in the tropical climates such as the Philippines, India and Africa. Malunggay is widely used as vegetable ingredient in cooking, as herbal medicine for a number of illnesses, and other practical uses.

The Malunggay plant can grow to as high as 9 meters with erect white trunks. The compound leaf has about 3 to 9 leaflets. Malunggay has white fragrant flowers that produce long pods with 3-angled winged seeds.

malunggay leavesMalunggay may be propagated by planting its seeds about an inch in the ground or matured malunggay stem cuttings of about 3 feet in length may also be planted into the ground. Planted malunggay cuttings grows faster compared to planted seeds.

Malunggay (Moringa Oleifera) has been used as herbal medicine in many cultures for hundreds of years, Malunggay is known as a very nutritious plant where it is used to combat malnutrition in third world countries especially for infants and nursing mothers.

The malunggay pods are the most valued and widely used part of the plant. Malunggay pods contain essential amino acids, vitamins, and other nutrients. Malunggay pods may be eaten raw or may be prepared or cooked. Malunggay pods may be fried and may produce a clear, odorless, and sweet oil mostly called – Ben Oil.

Malunggay leaves may be eaten as greens, in salads, and as vegetable ingredients for soups and other tropical viands. Malunggay flowers are cooked and eaten either mixed with other foods or fried in batter.


Moringa oleifera leaf, raw
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy64 kcal (270 kJ)
8.28 g
Dietary fiber2.0 g
1.40 g
9.40 g

Vitamin A equiv.

378 μg

Thiamine (B1)

0.257 mg

Riboflavin (B2)

0.660 mg

Niacin (B3)

2.220 mg

Pantothenic acid (B5)

0.125 mg

Vitamin B6

1.200 mg

Folate (B9)

40 μg

Vitamin C

51.7 mg



185 mg


4.00 mg


147 mg


0.36 mg


112 mg


337 mg


9 mg


0.6 mg

Other constituentsQuantity
Water78.66 g
  • Units
  • μg = micrograms • mg = milligrams
  • IU = International units
Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA FoodData Central
M. oleifera pods, raw
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy37 kcal (150 kJ)
8.53 g
Dietary fiber3.2 g
0.20 g
2.10 g

Vitamin A equiv.

4 μg

Thiamine (B1)

0.0530 mg

Riboflavin (B2)

0.074 mg

Niacin (B3)

0.620 mg

Pantothenic acid (B5)

0.794 mg

Vitamin B6

0.120 mg

Folate (B9)

44 μg

Vitamin C

141.0 mg



30 mg


0.36 mg


45 mg


0.259 mg


50 mg


461 mg


42 mg


0.45 mg

Other constituentsQuantity
Water88.20 g
  • Units
  • μg = micrograms • mg = milligrams
  • IU = International units
Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA FoodData Central

Various parts of moringa are edible:[rx]

  • Immature seed pods, called “drumsticks”
  • Leaves
  • Mature seeds
  • Oil pressed from seeds
  • Flowers
  • Roots

The nutritional content of 100 g of fresh M. oleifera leaves (about 5 cups) is shown in the table (USDA data).

The leaves are the most nutritious part of the plant, being a significant source of B vitamins, vitamin C, provitamin A as beta-carotene, vitamin K, manganese, and protein.[rx][c] When compared with common foods particularly high in certain nutrients per 100 g fresh weight, cooked moringa leaves are considerable sources of these same nutrients. Some of the calcium in moringa leaves is bound as crystals of calcium oxalate.[rx] Oxalate levels may vary from 430 mg/100g to 1050 mg/100g,[rx] compared to the oxalate in spinach (average 750 mg/100g).[rx] The leaves are cooked and used in ways similar to spinach, and are commonly dried and crushed into a powder for soups and sauces.[rx]


Drumstick vegetable pods at a market

The immature seed pods, called “drumsticks”, are commonly consumed in South Asia. They are prepared by parboiling, and cooked in a curry until soft.[rx] The seed pods/fruits, even when cooked by boiling, remain high in vitamin C[rx] (which may be degraded variably by cooking), and are also a good source of dietary fiber, potassium, magnesium, and manganese.[rx]


The seeds are removed from mature pods and eaten like peas or roasted like nuts.

Seed oil

Mature seeds yield 38–40% edible oil called ben oil from its high concentration of behenic acid. The refined oil is clear and odorless, and resists rancidity. The seed cake remaining after oil extraction may be used as a fertilizer or as a flocculent to purify water.[rx] Moringa seed oil also has potential for use as a biofuel.[rx]


The roots are shredded and used as a condiment with sharp flavor qualities deriving from the significant content of polyphenols.[rx]

Malunggay Traditional Medicinal Uses and Health benefits

Malunggay has a long history of medical usage and has a long list of folkloric health benefits for the following conditions.

Malunggay is widely believed to contain high-value nutrients and consumption of which promotes general well-being. Malunggay is also called a “miracle tree” primarily for the various health benefits it can provide for almost all kinds of diseases and medical conditions. Moreover, almost all of its parts have used – from its roots, pods, barks, flowers and leaves. Listed below are some of the traditional herbal treatments of malunggay.

  • Scalp problems. Malunggay leaves pounded and combined with coconut oil are used to treat scalp problems and to promote hair growth.
  • Boosts immune system. Boiled malunggay leaves contain immune-boosting nutrients used in sickness recovery.
  • Increasing breast milk production. Research regarding the effects of moringa for increasing breast milk production is conflicting. Some early research shows that moringa increases milk production, while other early research shows no benefit. An analysis of data from five clinical studies shows that moringa moderately increases milk product after one week of use when started on postpartum day 3. But it’s not clear if moringa is beneficial when used for longer periods of time.
  • Malnutrition. Early research shows that adding moringa powder to food for 2 months helps improve weight in malnourished children.
  • Menopausal symptoms. Early research shows that adding fresh moringa leaves to food for 3 months improves menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and sleeping problems in healthy, postmenopausal women.
  • Asthma. Malunggay leaves combined with honey and calamsi to treat cough and asthma
  • Skin rejuvenation. Malunggay is used as a skin restorer to promote skin rejuvenation.
  • Hypertension. Malunggay soup is used to lower high blood pressure
  • Relaxant. Malunggay tea from bark or leaves is used to treat insomnia and restlessness.
  • Anthelmintic. Malunggay pod is chewed to treat and prevent intestinal parasites in children.
  • Diabetes. Malunggay is also recommended for sufferers of diabetes
  • Source of calcium. Malunggay is consumed to strengthen the bones especially for growing children and older people due ot high calcium content.
  • Anti-inflammatory. Malunggay oil or poultice is used to treat bone and ligament related conditions that involve inflammations such as gout, rheumatism, back pain, sprains and all srts of swelling.
  • Eye problems. Malunggay is also used to improve eye problems. Believed to contain high amount of vitamin A, more than that of a carrot.
  • Anti-cancer. Malunggay is used along with other herbal medicines to treat cancer.
    Leaves and fruit are used for constipation and as diuretics.
  • Skin diseases. Decoction of boiled roots is used to wash sores, cuts, skin ulcers, wounds and other skin diseases to alleviate pain and promote healing.
  • Stomach problems. Malanga is also used for stomach and intestinal problems such as ulcers and constipation.
    Abortifacient. Malunggay roots and bark have been used as abortifacients.
  • Boosts fertility. Malunggay flower with soy milk is used as an aphrodisiac and promotes fertility for men.
  • Contraceptive. While malunggay roots are believed to suppress fertility, chewed as a contraceptive by women.
  • Snake bites. Malunggay roots are also used to treat snake bites,
  • Ear problems. The juice from malunggay roots is used to treat ear-related problems (otalgia).Tired blood” (anemia).
  • Arthritis.
  • As a nutritional supplement.
  • Birth control.
  • Constipation.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Epilepsy.
  • Headache.
  • Heart problems.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Increasing sex drive.
  • Infections.\
  • Kidney stones.
  • Stomach and intestinal ulcers.
  • Stomach pain (gastritis).
  • Swelling (inflammation).
  • Stimulating immunity.
  • Thyroid disorders.


  • Athlete’s foot
  • Dandruff.
  • Gum disease (gingivitis).
  • Warts.
  • Skin infections.
  • Snakebites.

The bark, sap, roots, leaves, seeds and flowers are used in traditional medicine.[rx][rx] Research has examined how it might affect blood lipid profiles and insulin secretion.[rx] Extracts from leaves contain various polyphenols, which are under basic research to determine their potential effects in humans.[rx] Despite considerable preliminary research to determine if moringa components have bioactive properties, there is no high-quality evidence to indicate that it has any effect on health or diseases.[rx]

Other uses

In developing countries, moringa has the potential to improve nutrition, boost food security, foster rural development, and support sustainable Landcare.[rx][rx] It may be used as forage for livestock, a micronutrient liquid, a natural anthelmintic, and possible adjuvant.[rx][rx]

Moringa oleifera leaf powder was as effective as soap for handwashing when wetted in advance to enable anti-septic and detergent properties from phytochemicals in the leaves.[rx] Moringa oleifera seeds and press cake have been implemented as wastewater conditioners for dewatering and drying fecal sludge.[rx]

Water purification

Moringa seed cake, obtained as a byproduct of pressing seeds to obtain oil, is used to filter water using flocculation to produce potable water for animal or human consumption.[rx][rx] Moringa seeds contain dimeric cationic proteins[rx] which absorb and neutralize colloidal charges in turbid water, causing the colloidal particles to clump together, making the suspended particles easier to remove as sludge by either settling or filtration. Moringa seed cake removes most impurities from water. This use is of particular interest for being nontoxic and sustainable compared to other materials in moringa-growing regions where drinking water is affected by pollutants.[rx]

Science Research: Cassia alata Health Benefits

  • Malunggay, combat malnutrition, is used to combat malnutrition, especially among infants and nursing mothers. Contains vitamins A, B, and C, calcium, iron, and protein.
  • Malunggay Anti infectious: Antibacterial; Anti Fungal, . In late 1940s, The Department of Biochemistry at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore (PLN Rao) have found that malunggay or Moringa Oleifera leaves contain a compound “pterygospermin” that is known in medical science as having antimicrobial, antibacterial, anti-fungal properties.
  • Malunggay Anti Cancer Malunggay or Moringa has been shown in studies to have an anti-tumor capacity. Moringa contains benzyl isothiocyanate. There are many studies that have shown this chemical and compounds derived thereof to have anti-cancer and chemoprotective capabilities. This chemoprotective aspect is critical for those who are battling cancer; this helps strengthen cells so that they can tolerate chemotherapy. Malunggay is also considered in the treatment of prostate cancer and skin cancer. (Ref: Fuglie LJ (2000) New Uses of Moringa Studied in Nicaragua. ECHO Development Notes #68, June, 2000.
  • Malunggay anti-inflammatory: Malunggay has been found to inhibit inflammation in a controlled scientific study conducted by Philippine DOST Scientists (Amelia P. Guevara, Carolyn Vargas, and Milagros Uy). When an aqueous seed extract of malunggay has been administered to a carrageenan-induced inflammation, it was noted that the aqueous seed extract of the Malunggay (Moringa Oleifera) inhibited the development of edema in the rat paw. The Malunggay is traditionally used to prevent and treat inflammations associated with rheumatism, arthritis and joint pains.
  • Malunggay – Reproductive health. Fuglie LJ (1999) The Miracle Tree: Moringa oleifera: Natural Nutrition for the Tropics has reported that Malunggay or Moringa Oleifera is widely believed to have an aphrodisiac action that enhances sexual activity. Malunggay or moringa oleifera young leaves is also widely used to increase the flow of milk for lactating mothers.

How to Get and How to Use Malunggay

Where can I get or buy Malunggay?

Malunggay trees can be found in the wild as well as cultivated in warm tropical countries. The pods and leaves are harvested and are sold in wet markets and in the vegetable section in Asian grocery stores.

For other countries where malunggay trees don’t grow, food-grade preparations in forms of powder, tablets, syrups and capsules can be bought in respected health stores and Asian stores. Liniments, creams, and lotions containing malunggay oil may also be available.

There are few online stores that sell malunggay tablets and capsules, Amazon is one, a sample product is Organic Moringa Powder 120 Veg Capsules. We do not endorse this product just for sample purposes only, and there are a ton of other related moringa products listed, we, therefore, suggest that you examine carefully the background of the manufacturer and analyze product reviews to be certain of the quality.

How to use Malunggay herbal medicine?

  • Malunggay as food. Malunggay pods may be eaten raw or may also be fried with peanut similar taste. Malunggay leaves and flowers may also be cooked together with other vegetables and meat to form soups or viands.
  • Malunggay decoction for washing sores and wounds, Boil malunggay roots and let it cool to tolerable warm temperature and use it to wash wounds and sores. By gargling the Malunggay decoction, it may also be used to wash mouth sores and sore throats.
  • Malunggay poultice. Grounded Malunggay seeds, leaves, and bark may be applied topically as poultice onto swollen flesh to relieve inflammation.
  • Malunggay oil may be taken internally as mixed with foods, it is known to be a powerful antioxidant even used by the early people from Egypt. Malunggay oil also known as Ben oil is widely used as oil base for perfumes and cosmetics. The oil is extracted from Malunggay seeds by pressing.

Malunggay Tea Preparation
(as shared by Ms. Rhea Rodrigo – from comments thread below)

  • Pick out 4 to 5 branches from the tree. Choose those with lots of leaves.
  • Place them on a tray and leave in a dry place anywhere in your home for 3-4 days or until the leaves dry up and become crumpled. No need for sunlight.
  • Pick out the crumpled leaves from the twigs and place in a dry pan over a low fire. Do not place water or oil in the pan.
  • Cook the leaves, turning them over with a cooking spoon so that the leaves are cooked evenly. They are cooked when they are toasted but not burned.
  • Store the cooked leaves in any container with a cover.
  • To make the tea, take a tablespoon of the cooked leaves from the container and place in a cup of hot water. Let sit until the water absorbs the green color and nutrients of the leaves. It takes the same amount of time as making ordinary tea from tea bags.
  • Remove the leaves from the cup.
  • Option: add honey.

Dosage, Warnings, and Side Effects of Malunggay

Malunggay is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth in food quantity. The long-term safety of its herbal preparation is unknown. Just like any herbal medicine, moderation in use is recommended.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding. There is no sufficient studies done to investigate the adverse or side effects of Malunggay herbal medicine during pregnancy and breastfeeding. It is recommended to avoid its use.

Toxicity data in humans is limited, although lab studies indicate that certain compounds in the bark and roots or their extracts may cause adverse effects when consumed in excess.[rx] Supplementation with M. oleifera leaf extract is potentially toxic at levels exceeding 3,000 mg/kg of body weight but safe at levels below 1,000 mg/kg.[rx] M. oleifera may interfere with prescription drugs affecting cytochrome P450 (including CYP3A4) and may inhibit the anti-hyperglycemic effect of sitagliptin.[rx]

Children: Moringa leaf is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth, short-term. Moringa leaf has been used with apparent safety in children for up to 2 months.


LevothyroxineInteraction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.Levothyroxine is used for low thyroid function. Moringa might decrease how much levothyroxine your body absorbs. Taking moringa along with levothyroxine might decrease the effectiveness of levothyroxine.

Some brands that contain levothyroxine include Armour Thyroid, Eltroxin, Estre, Euthyrox, Levo-T, Levothroid, Levoxyl, Synthroid, Unithroid, and others.

Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) substrates)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver. Moringa might decrease how quickly the liver breaks down some medications. Taking moringa along with some medications that are broken down by the liver can increase the effects and side effects of some medications. Before taking moringa, talk to your healthcare provider if you are taking any medications that are changed by the liver.

Some medications changed by the liver include lovastatin (Mevacor), ketoconazole (Nizoral), itraconazole (Sporanox), fexofenadine (Allegra), triazolam (Halcion), and many others.

Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination. Talk with your health provider.Moringa might lower blood sugar. Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking moringa along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to go too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed.

Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (Diabeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), and others.

\Medications for high blood pressure (Antihypertensive drugs)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.Moringa might lower blood pressure. It has the potential to add to blood pressure lowering effects of antihypertensive drugs.

Some medications used to lower blood pressure include captopril (Capoten), enalapril (Vasotec), losartan (Cozaar), valsartan (Diovan), diltiazem (Cardizem), amlodipine (Norvasc), hydrochlorothiazide (HydroDIURIL), furosemide (Lasix), and many others.


The appropriate dose of moringa depends on several factors such as the user’s age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for moringa. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

Recipes to try

Corn and Malunggay Soup

Sometimes, it’s the simplest dishes that provide the most solace. This Corn and Malunggay Soup recipe is a perfect go-to for when you’re craving something akin to the comfort provided by Chicken soup, but with more health benefits. Whipping out 4 servings of this mild-flavored soup will only take you 30 minutes. And it should be the best food to have after a long day of work. You can also slice up some boneless chicken breast and sauté it to give the dish a bit more flavor. Alongside the malunggay and shredded white corn, the chicken slices will add some more texture and savor to your bowl.

Tinolang Tahong with Malunggay

If you’re an avid fan of Filipino food, you’re probably aware of how well the Chicken Tinola already works beautifully as it is. But have you ever thought of switching out that chicken for something a little closer to the sea? Because I’ve got just the thing! It is sure to add a saltwater-esque flavor to your soup. The Tinolang Tahong with Malunggay dish is a very popular tinola variant. And this is no surprise to anyone who’s tried it.

healthy moringa malunggay

The ginger broth and lemongrass mingle with the taste of the mussels flawlessly. And the malunggay leaves make the dish all the more nutritious. Not unlike the previous recipe, you’ll be making this soup with some ease. It doesn’t involve a lot of steps. and will only take about 25 minutes. It is also best for me with some fried or grilled fish. You can make it a seafood party all together with a great source of protein!

Chicken Sotanghon Soup with Malunggay and Sayote

Just like malunggay, you might know sayote for its special appearances in various Filipino soup dishes. And this is a lucky collaboration too because both vegetables are rich in nutrients and chock full of health benefits. Sayote similarly has a great amount of Vitamin C content. This is very helpful in defending the body from radicals causing cancer. It can also be beneficial in keeping bones and teeth strong because of its high Vitamin K content. This dish does it all in working best for your health, while being very tasty in its light, salty flavor.

Ginataang Alimasag with Malunggay

Moving on to recipes that make for great viands, this Ginataang Alimasag with Malunggay dish is delicious with some rice. It also makes use of a great seafood ingredient, the alimasag. This is a species of crab that gives a somewhat sweet and savory taste to this dish. And it mixes well with the texture of malunggay. And just like most ginataang dishes, the coconut-y flavor makes for a creamy taste you’ll want more and more of. This dish uses various ingredients with great flavor-adding properties. These include chili pepper, fish sauce and coconut milk. But even with all of these flavors at play, the dish makes use of the ingredients harmoniously. And together, they make an exciting, yummy Filipino meal.

Ginataang Langka with Malunggay and Daing

This dish and the previous one are similar in utilizing the creamy taste of the coconut milk to integrate with a seafood ingredient. The combination, after all, is known to work extremely well. But the Ginataang Langka with Malunggay and Daing provides some special flavors. You can taste this in how it gracefully adds langka or jackfruit into the mix. You might be wondering how these might taste together. But the jackfruit actually adds a note of fruity sweetness to a dish. And it could benefit from this because of the yummy saltiness of the daing.

Cooking tips

Moringa offers such a bounty of vitamins and minerals that trying plenty of recipes that incorporate it will always sound like a great idea. But you might need a couple of tips in cooking it. And this is especially true if it is your first time encountering the leafy superfood. For one, the leaves and seed pods are best when tender. They can be hard to chew and digest if not! Make sure that you cook them through fully by boiling them so you end up eating them at their best.

moringa leaves

Also, make sure that if you get your hands on malunggay, you store them in a cool, dry place. Refrigeration could also help your malunggay last longer. But keeping it somewhere away from light and outside the refrigerator would still work.

What about Moringa powder?

As previously mentioned in this article, Moringa powder is also a smart way of incorporating the healthy food into your diet without having to boil the leaves and seed pods. It gives a somewhat nutty flavor to your dish of choice. And it is a great way of adding some mildly savory taste to your recipes. It might also add some green color to your dish. With this, use it in dishes wherein the color won’t be too important.
Let us know in the comments how you like to integrate malunggay into your dishes!

Synthetics chemicals that are found


The flavonol quercetin is found at concentrations as high as 100 mg/100 g of dried M. oleifera leaves (Lako et al., ), predominantly as quercetin-3-O-β-d-glucoside also known as isoquercitrin or isotrifolin (Bennett et al., ; Atawodi et al., ; Figure Figure3A).3A). Quercetin is a potent antioxidant (Zhang et al., ) with multiple therapeutic properties (Bischoff, ). It can reduce hyperlipidemia and atherosclerosis in HCD or HFD rabbits (Juzwiak et al., ; Kamada et al., ). It has shown anti-dyslipidemic, hypotensive, and anti-diabetic effects in the obese Zucker rat model of metabolic syndrome (Rivera et al., ). It can protect insulin-producing pancreatic β cells from STZ-induced oxidative stress and apoptosis in rats (Coskun et al., ). Its hypotensive effect has been confirmed in a randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled, human study (Edwards et al., ).

Chlorogenic acid

Chlorogenic acid (Figure (Figure3B)3B) can beneficially affect glucose metabolism. It has been shown to inhibit glucose-6-phosphate translocase in rat liver, reducing hepatic gluconeogenesis and glycogenolysis (Hemmerle et al., ; Karthikesan et al., ). It was found to lower PPBG in obese Zucker rats (Rodriguez de Sotillo and Hadley, ). In OGTT experiments performed on rats or humans, it reduced the glycemic response in both species (van Dijk et al., ; Tunnicliffe et al., ); in rodents, it also reduced the glucose AUC (Tunnicliffe et al., ). Its anti-dyslipidemic properties are more evident as its dietary supplementation has been shown to significantly reduce plasma TC and TG in obese Zucker rats or HFD mice (Rodriguez de Sotillo and Hadley, ; Cho et al., ) and to reverse STZ-induced dyslipidemia in diabetic rats (Karthikesan et al., ).


The alkaloid moringinine was initially purified from M. oleifera root bark (Ghosh et al., ) and later chemically identified as benzylamine (Chakravarti, ; Figure Figure3C).3C). It is also present in leaves. This substance was suspected to mediate the hypoglycemic effect of the plant. An early study showed that Wistar rats provided with drinking water containing 2.9 g/L of benzylamine for 7 weeks exhibited a reduced hyperglycemic response in an intraperitoneal glucose tolerance test (IPGTT), suggesting improved glucose tolerance (Bour et al., ). More recently, the effect was further explored using HFD-fed, insulin-resistant C57BL/6 mice taking an estimated daily dose 386 mg/kg-bw in drinking water for 17 weeks. Compared to untreated controls, these mice gained less weight, had reduced FPG and plasma TC, and were more glucose tolerant (Iffiu-Soltesz et al., ).


Niaziminin (Figure (Figure3D)3D) is a mustard oil glycoside initially isolated (along with other glycosides such as niazinin and niazimicin) from ethanolic extracts of M. oleifera leaves, based on their hypotensive properties on Wistar rats. At 1 mg and 3 mg/kg-bw, these compounds caused a 16–22 and a 40–65% fall of mean arterial blood pressure (MABP), respectively (Faizi et al., ). Other active isothiocyanate glycosides and thiocarbamates were isolated from the plant using the same bioassay (Faizi et al., , ; Saleem, ).

Aurantiamide acetate

This compound was isolated from M. oleifera roots and structurally identified as N-benzoylphenylalanyl phenylalinol acetate (Figure (Figure3E).3E). At 25 μM, this unusual dipeptide derivative inhibited by nearly 90% the secretion TNFα and IL-2 from lipopolysaccharide-stimulated peripheral blood lymphocytes in culture. It had no effect on IL-6 secretion (Sashidhara et al., ). This inhibitory activity may contribute to the anti-inflammatory properties of the plant.


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