Moringa pterygosperma Gaertn

Family ► Moringaceae.

English ► Drumstick, Horse-Radish.

Ayurvedic ► Shigru (white var.), Madhu Shigru, Sigra, Shobhaan-jana, Haritashaaka. Raktaka, Murangi, Mochaka, Akshiva, Tikshnagandhaa.

Siddha/Tamil ► Murungai.

Action ► All parts of the tree are reported to be used as cardiac and circulatory stimulant. Pods—antipyretic, anthelmintic; fried pods are used by diabetics. Flowers—cholagogue, stimulant, diuretic. Root juice—cardiac tonic, antiepileptic. Used for nervous debility, asthma, enlarged liver and spleen, deep-seated inflammation and as diuretic in calculus affection. Decoction is used as a gargle in hoarseness and sore throat. Root and fruit—antiparalytic. Leaf—juice is used in hiccough (emetic in high doses); cooked leaves are given in influenza and catarrhal affections. Root-bark—antiviral, anti-inflammatory, analgesic. Bark—antifungal, antibacterial. Stem-bark and flower—hypo-glycaemic. Seeds—an infusion, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic and diuretic; given in venereal diseases.

Along with other therapeutic applications, The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India indicated the use of the dried root bark in goitre, glycosuria and lipid disorders (also dried seeds), and leaf, seed, root bark and stem bark in internal abscess, piles and fistula-in-ano.

The plant contains antibacterial principles, spirochin and pterygosper-min which are effective against both Gram-Positive and Gram-Negative bacteria.

The leaves contain nitrile glycosides, niazirin and niazirinin and mustard oil glycosides. The mustard oil glycosides showed hypotensive, bradycardiac effects and spasmolytic activity, justifying the use of leaves for gastrointestinal motility disorders.

The roots possess antibacterial, anti-choleric and antiviral properties due to the presence of pterygospermin, Spiro chin and benzylisothiocyanate. The root extract exhibited significant anti-inflammatory activity in carrageenan-induced paw-oedema in rats.

The leaves exhibited hypoglycaemic activity, although the plasma insulin level did not alter much.

The root and bark showed antifer-tility activity through biphasic action on the duration of the estrous cycle of female rats.

Morus nigra Linn. 423

Dosage ► Leaf—10-20 ml. juice. (API, Vol. III); root bark—2-5 g powder; stem bark—2-5 g powder; seed—5-10 g powder (API, Vol. IV). Leaf, flower, fruit, seed, bark, root— 1-3 g powder; 50-100 ml decoction. (CCRAS.)

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