By : R K Nigam

Sehjan / Munga / Moringa ( Drumstick tree – Moringa oleifera )

Moringa is a plant that is often called the drumstick tree / munga / sehjan , it has been used for medicinal , food and health benefits. Moringa is a perennial  deciduous tropical plant, rich in many bioactive compound including Flavonoids and also considered as a remedy to fight malnutrition. The moringa tree is native to India but also grows in Asia, Africa and South America. It is also extremely low in fats and contains no harmful cholesterol. Moringa have many benefits and its uses range from health and beauty to help prevent and cure disease. Drumsticks are very useful plant whose seeds , flowers, leaves and pods are edible and extremely nutritious which are also treated as a super plant for its powerful properties .

Drumsticks / Sehjan Tree Properties –

1- Moringa tree has ayurvedic property like ; Taste (rasa) – katu ( pungent ), tikta ( bitter), guna (quality ) -Laghu ( light to digest ) , dryness ,strong piercing , Vipaka – katu , Veerya –ushna ( hot potency ), effect of Tridosha – balance kapha and vata.

2- Drumsticks pods promotes or develops healthy bone structure due to presence of high amount of Calcium , phosphorus , Iron and others. It is also good for strengthening bones and it is also called as a poor mans food. Its anti-inflammatory properties are beneficial in treating condition like arthritis and in minor bone fracture .

3- Fresh moringa pods are Immunity booster and rich in vitamin C, with anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, which fights cold and flu, improve Blood circulation, and strengthens nervous system. Drumstick also contain sufficient quantity of essential Vitamins, Fiber and Antioxidant which are very useful to fight infection, an immunity booster and keep diseases away.

4- Moringa pods have excellent quantity of Iron which, makes skin glow , help improve digestive system, relieves respiratory tract, and reduces blood sugar level. The flower, leaf, fruit, seed and all are good diuretic property and used in renal disorder. The presence of natural anti-oxidant help in clearing the toxins from the kidney.

5- Moringa help reduce weight gain, cholesterol and blood pressure. Antioxidants properties of moringa might help to prevent cardiac damage and has also be maintain healthy heart.

6- Moringa contains protiens which are helpful in protecting skin cells from damage. It also contains hydrating and detoxifying elements, which also boosts the skin and hair. It can cure skin infection also.

7- Moringa helps to protect the liver against damage caused by anti tubercular drugs. The hepato-protective function of drumstick shield the liver from toxins. Drumstick stimulates the production of Glutathione –the detox anti-oxidant known to counter free radicals that increase the stress to the liver.

8- Various vitamins and minerals present in moringa helps to reduce glucose level in blood, as well as sugar and protien in urine. This improves the haemoglobin levels, and also help a persons body absorb more iron, therefore increasing RBC count.

9- Due to anti-inflammatory properties and presence of vitamin C in drumstick, which helps in inhibiting the growth of allergies in the respiratory tract due to allergens and prevents them from developing into infection and congestion.

10-The Moringa tree has 7 times more vitamin C than Orange, 4 times the amount of Calcium in the same amount of Milk and 3 times more Potassium than Bananas . It also has Calcium, Protein, Iron and Amino acid, which help our body heal and build muscle.

11-Moringa leaves are most nutritious part of the tree are, rich in Vitamin C, while the roots are Mineral rich. The stem is rich in Vitamin C and flower and seed are rich in potassium. The pods and flower also have enzyme that help bring down cholesterol level.

12-Moringa seeds are mostly used to extract oil and mature pods are roasted and which comes with a high amount of Vitamin C, B and minerals .Its seed oil called Ben oil, which is odourless, clear with high strength of behenic acid . Moringa seed oil is beneficial for protecting hair against free radicals and keeps it clean and healthy.

Chemical Constituents of Moringa Tree

1- In Moringa tree maximum natural nutrients, anti-oxidant, vitamins, aminoacids found in one place. Near about 90+ more natural nutrients and 45 anti-oxidant are available only in moringa tree.

2- Fresh moringa pods and seeds are an excellent source of Oleic acid and vitaminC. Nutrients value of 100 gm of drumstick pods contains near about are; 8.50 gm of carbohydrates, 3.2 gm of fiber, 2.1 gm of proteins, 42 mg of sodium and 88.2 gm of water and others.

3- Moringa green leaves are excellent source of Proteins and Vitamins; Nutrients value of Leaf in per 100gm near about are; Energy – 64 kcal, Carbohydrates – 8.28 g, Dietary fiber- 2.0 g, Fat-1.4 g, Protiens – 9.0g and rest are aseverals Vitamins, Minerals(Calcium, Iron, Copper, Maganese, Magnesium, Zinc and others.), Water and others.

4- Moringa leaves are main best sources of natural Phytochemicals, which are mainly Tannins, Steroids, Triterpenoids, Flavonoids, Saponins, Anthraquinones and Alkaloids etc., which are very useful for us. Moringa leaves are an rich source of vitamin B complex, C, K and Beta-carotene. Its leaves are a powerhouse of antioxidants Quercetin and Chlorogenic acid. Quercetin are useful in heart and blood vessels problem, and also used for arthritis, bladder infection and diabetes. Chlorogenic acid and its isomers have abilities to inhibit oxidation and also promote various phormological activities such as antiobesity, reduction of plasma and liver lipid .

5- Tannins are water soluble phenolic compound that precipitate alkaloid, geletin and other proteins. Their concentration in dried leaves range between 13 to 20 g tannins per kg . This natural tannins have anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-atherosclerotic and anti-heapatoxic properties. 6- Alkaloid are group of chemical compound, which contain mostly basic nitrogen atom. Several of these compound like rhamnopyranoside, glucopyranosyl and other found in moringa, which have cardio protective

7- The Bio-active compound Niaziminin and Isothiocynate in drumstick assist to circumvent the thickening of the arteries and lesser the chance of developing high blood pressure.The rich anti-oxidant profile in drumstick improve the circulation of blood and  nutrient to the heart thus regulating hypertension.

8- Moringa pods blessed with a richness of B vitamins ,like thiamine, riboflovin, niacin and B12 plays role in stimulating the secretion of digestive juice and help in the smooth functioning of the digestive system and help maintings the gut health. It also aids the digestive process by helping in the break down of carbs, protein and in to simpler form.

Uses of Moringa

1. All the parts of Moringa tree are beneficial and used for various purpose . The edible parts of the tree include leaves, stem, immature green fruit or seeds pods, aromatic flower and young seed and roots are made into nutritious and delicious dishes.

2. Moringa oil and leaf powder work as an amazing natural remedy to lessen wrinkles, blemishes and firm up the skin tone. Apply moringa leaf paste on the skin and allow it to stay for 15 minut and rinse, this enhance the skin complexion and makes look better. 3. Moringa are eaten for Anemia, Atheritis, Asthma, constipation, Diarrhea, Stomach pain, Intestinal ulcer,Headache, Heart problem, High blood pressure etc.

4. Moringa leaves are used to treat Asthma, Hyperglycemia, Dyslipidemia, Flu, Heart burn, Malaria, Pneumonia, Diarrhoea, Headaches, Skin disease, Bronchitis and also reduces the blood pressure and cholesterol and act as  an anti-microbial, anti-oxidant, antidiabetic, neuro-proctectant agents. Where as Moringa pods are mainly used to treat Diarrhoea, Liver and joint pain etc.

Side Effect of Moringa / Drumstick

(People taking moringa as medication should consult a doctor before taking moringa extract )

1. In some people sometimes suffer by Low blood pressure and slow heart rate because of the presence of Alkaloids in Moringa plant.

2. Moringa leaves – excessive use may increase the risk of liver and kidney damage and excessive use of moringa pods too should be avoided.

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