Malunggay Scientific Name : Moringa Oleifera
Also known as: “Malunggáy” in Philippines, “Sajina” in India, “Shojne” in Bengal, “Munagakaya” in Telugu, “Shenano” in Rajasthani, “Shevaga” in Marathi, “Nuggekai” in Kannada, “Drumstick Tree, Horse Radish Tree, Ben Oil Tree” in English, “La mu” in Chinese.
Malunggay (Moringa Oleifera), is a popular plant known for nutritional value as well as a 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 illness and other practical uses. The Malunngay 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 produces long pods with 3-angled winged seeds.
Malunggay 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, Nutrition And Herbal Medicine
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 contains 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.
Medical Uses Of Malunggay – Health Benefits
Malunggay, combat malnutrition, used to combat malnutrition, especially among infants and nursing mothers vitamins A, B and C, calcium, iron and protein
Malunggay – Anti-infectious: Antibacterial; Anti Fungal, . In late 1940’s, 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 int he treatment of prostate cancer and skin cancer. (Ref: Fuglie LJ (2000) New Uses of Moringa Studied in Nicaragua. ECHO Development Notes #68, June, 2000. ttp://www.echotech.org/network/modules.php?
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 aquous seed extract of malunggay has been administered to a carrageenan induced inflammation, its was noted that the aquous seed extract of the Malunggay (Moringa Oleifera) inhibited the development of edema in ratpaw. 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 the sexual activity. Malunggay or moringa oleifera young leaves is also widely used to increase the flow of milk for lactating mothers.
Malunggay (Moringa Oleifera) Herbal Medicine Preparation
Malunggay as food. Malunggay pods may be eaten raw or may also be fried with peanut similar taste. Malunggay leaves and flower 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 decoctionm, 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 Herbal Medicine Precautions, Side Effects
Although malunggay consumption is generally accepted as safe. But according to Indian traditional usage, Malunggay may have an abortificient effects.(Ref: Nath D, N Sethi, et al. (1997) Survey on indigenous medicinal plants used for abortion in some districts of Uttar Pradesh. Fitoterapia 68(3): 223-225)
This information was copied and used from http://www.medicalhealthguide.com/articles/malunggay.htm. The stories referenced are true and verifiable.
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