Why Moringa can reduce sickle cell crisis..
Moringa plant an A-Z superfood.
Imagine a tree that will meet all your nutritional and medicinal needs and even help to ensure potable water in your home. This tree actually exists. For centuries, natives of Asia and Africa have known the many benefits of Moringa oleifera. Its uses are as diverse as the names it is known by, such as clarifier tree, horseradish tree and drumstick tree (referring to its large drumstick shaped pods).
In developing tropical countries, Moringa trees have been used to combat malnutrition, especially among infants and nursing mothers. The immature pods are extremely nutritious, containing all the essential amino acids along with many vitamins and other nutrients. The immature pod can be eaten raw or prepared like green peas or green beans, while the mature pods are usually fried and possess a peanut-like flavour.
The pods also yield between 38 and 40 per cent of non-drying, edible oil known as Ben Oil. This oil is clear, sweet and odourless, and never becomes rancid. Overall, its nutritional value most closely resembles olive oil.
Now, researchers in a new study, which investigated the potentials of the seed, flower and leaf of Moringa oleifera, have suggested this multipurpose plant could play a role in the management of Sickle cell disease, if incorporated into their diet.
In the study, the researchers tested the effects of extracts made from Moringa oleifera seeds, flower and leaf extract on red blood cells and found they were able to reverse a red blood cell that had sickle back to its normal shape.
The study found that the extracts (namely methanol, ethanol, butanol, chloroform, and ethyl acetate) of the seed and flower demonstrated a higher antisickling activity in comparison to the leaf extract. But the seeds’ aqueous extracts exhibited a higher percentage reversal of sickling of all the tested parts of the plant. However, sickling reversal was more pronounced at the highest tested concentration (20 mg/ml).
Although the antisickling activities of all the tested extracts/fractions compared favourably with that exhibited by PHBA, the exhibited antisickling activities were found to be concentration dependent.
The 2012 study, which was documented in the Journal of Pharmaceutical and Bioallied Sciences, was carried out by Olufunmilayo E. Adejumo, Adelodun L. Kolapo, and Akintomiwa O. Folarin. It was titled: “Moringa oleifera Lam. (Moringaceae) grown in Nigeria: In vitro antisickling activity on deoxygenated erythrocyte cells.”
The study was a follow up to another which corroborated the effectiveness of Moringa oleifera in the treatment of rheumatic and articulary pain, a common practice in African folk medicine.
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