PHYTOCHEMICAL INVESTIGATION AND ANTIDIABETIC ACTIVITY STUDIES OF MORINGA OLIEFERA ROOTS
About Authors: Mayank Panchal1*, Biren Shah1, Krishna Murti1, Megha Shah1
1*Department of Pharmacognosy,
Vidyabharti Trust College of Pharmacy,
Umrakh, (Gujarat) INDIA
Reference ID: PHARMATUTOR-ART-1081
Moringa oliefera Lam. is one of the best known and most widely distributed and naturalized species of a monogenetic family Moringaceae. The roots of plant were extracted with ethanol by soxhlet technique and aqueous extract of roots are prepared by maceration technique. Both the extracts are subjected to phytochemical screening. Require quantity of alcoholic and aqueous extracts were obtained from the plant which is used as test drug in Streptozotocin induced diabetic model. The present investigation is undertaken to study the effect of the potential hypoglycemic effect of Moringa oliefera Lam. in Streptozotocin (STZ) induced Diabetes Mellitus.
Drumstick tree, also known as horseradish tree and ben tree in English, is a small to medium-sized, evergreen or deciduous tree native to northern India, Pakistan and Nepal. It is cultivated and has become naturalized well beyond its native range, including throughout South Asia, and in many countries of Southeast Asia, the Arabian Peninsula, tropical Africa, Central America, the Caribbean and tropical South America. The tree usually grows to 10 or 12 m in height, with a spreading, open crown of drooping, brittle branches, feathery foliage of tripinnate leaves, and thick, corky, deeply fissured whitish bark. It is valued mainly for its edible fruits, leaves, flowers, roots, and seed oil, and is used extensively in traditional medicine throughout its native and introduced ranges. Drumstick tree is indigenous to the Himalayan foothills of South Asia from northeastern Pakistan to northern West Bengal State in India and northeastern Bangladesh where it is commonly found from sea level to 1,400 m on recent alluvial land or near riverbeds and streams.
Moringa oliefera is a small, fast-growing evergreen or deciduous tree that usually grows up to 10 or 12 m in height. It has a spreading, open crown of drooping, fragile branches, feathery foliage of tripinnate leaves, and thick, corky, whitish bark. This rapidly-growing tree (also known as the horseradish tree, drumstick tree, benzolive tree, kelor, marango, mlonge, moonga, mulangay, nebeday, saijhan, sajna or Ben oil tree), was utilized by the ancient Romans, Greeks and Egyptians; it is now widely cultivated and has become naturalized in many locations in the tropics. It is a perennial softwood tree with timber of low quality, but which for centuries has been advocated for traditional medicinal and industrial uses. It is already an important crop in India, Ethiopia, the Philippines and the Sudan, and is being grown in West, East and South Africa, tropical Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, Florida and the Pacific Islands. All parts of the Moringa tree are edible and have long been consumed by humans. The root is laxative, expectorant, diuretic, and good for inflammations, throat, bronchitis, piles, cures stomatitis, urinary discharges and obstinate asthma1.
According to Fuglie, the many uses for Moringa include: alley cropping (biomass production), animal forage (leaves and treated seed-cake), biogas (from leaves), domestic cleaning agent (crushed leaves), blue dye (wood), fencing (living trees), fertilizer (seedcake), foliar nutrient (juice expressed from the leaves), green manure (from leaves), gum (from tree trunks), honey- and sugar cane juice-clarifier (powdered seeds), honey (flower nectar), medicine (all plant parts), ornamental plantings, biopesticide (soil incorporation of leaves to prevent seedling damping off), pulp (wood), rope (bark), tannin for tanning hides (bark and gum), water purification (powdered seeds). Moringa seed oil (yield 30- 40% by weight), also known as Ben oil, is a sweet non-sticking, non-drying oil that resists rancidity. It has been used in salads, for fine machine lubrication, and in the manufacture of perfume and hair care products. In the West, one of the best known uses for Moringa is the use of powdered seeds to flocculate contaminants and purify drinking water, but the seeds are also eaten green, roasted, powdered and steeped for tea or used in curries. This tree has in recent times been advocated as an outstanding indigenous source of highly digestible protein, Ca, Fe, Vitamin C, and carotenoids suitable for utilization in many of the so-called “developing” regions of the world where undernourishment is a major concern2.
Moringa oliefera Lam contains several phytochemicals, some of which are of high interest because of their medicinal value, in particular this plant family is rich in a fairly unique group of glycoside compounds called glucosinolates and isothiocyanates3. The root, best known in India and the Far East, is extremely pungent. When the plant is only 60 cm tall, it can be pulled up, its root scraped, ground up and vinegar and salt added to make a popular condiment much like true horseradish. The root bark must be completely removed since it contains two alkaloids allied to ephedrine - benzylamine (moringine), which is not physiologically active, and the toxic moringinine which acts on the sympathetic nerve endings as well as on the cardiac and smooth muscles all over the body. Also present is the potent antibiotic and fungicide, pterygospermin. The alkaloid, spirachin (a nerve paralyzant) has been found in the roots. Even when free of bark, the condiment, in excess, may be harmful. (The key words are "in excess"- the body can detoxify small amounts of a great many things)2.
Recent studies demonstrate that isothiocyanates have antitumor activity in cancers of the lung, breast, skin, esophagus, and pancreas4,5. Small proteins/ peptides were isolated from the leaves of Moringa oliefera possessing antifungal and antibacterial activity6. The methanolic extract of the root (ME) contains moringine and moringinine which are reported
to possess analgesic and anticonvulsive activity7.
A crude methanol extract of the root was also screened for anti- inflammatory effect using the rat paw edema8. Aqueous, methanol (80%) and ethanol (70%) extracts of freeze-dried leaves showed radical scavenging and antioxidant activities9. The methanolic extract of the root exhibited significant CNS depressant activity in Mice10. Aqueous and alcoholic extracts of root and flower of this plant were screened for antihepatotoxic activity in paracetamol treated albino rats11.
So, in the traditional system of medicine, the plant is used for various health problems and diseases12. However, antidiabetic studies of the fresh roots of M. oliefera Lam. have been conducted so far to substantiate this practice.
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