Moringa oleifera popularly known as drumstick tree has many common English names. The Moringa tree is draught resistant. It grows in dry sandy soil and is grown mainly in tropical and sub tropical regions. India is the largest grower of drumstick trees. This vegetable is used in cooking all over India. Drumstick soups and curries with various spices are savored by one and all.
The tree is slender and grows to a height of 10meters. The branches are droopy. The flowers are bluish white and occur in bunches. Seed pods are long, slender and triangular, resembling drumsticks. Seeds are triangular in shape and have wings. The tree trunk is soft.
The medicinal properties of Moringa Oleifera or drumsticks are very well explained in texts of ayurveda. It is has many synonyms depending on its medicinal properties. It is known as “shobhanjana” as the tree increases the greenery of the surroundings and gives a good look to surrounding area. The name “shigru” is gained due to its hot potency. “Theekshnagandha” is another synonym for its pungent smell. The tree is eulogized as “mochaka” as it gives relief (mochana) from many diseases.
Studies have shown that this plant contains many alkaloids, flavanoids, anthocyanins etc. These constituents have helped drumstick tree to possess anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antimicrobial, antifertility, and many more medicinal properties.
Based on principles of ayurveda this plant is light to digest and causes dryness of tissues. It is hot and bitter to taste. On consumption increases the body temperature. Due to these properties the usage of plant vitiates pitta and alleviates vata and kapha.
As it possesses anti inflammatory properties, its external application is recommended in inflamed conditions like wounds, joint pain and arthritis. The seed powder is administered through nose during nasya karma to reduce headache.
Leaves and bark of this plant is used in ayurvedic treatment methods implemented for paralysis, nervous debility and other nerve disorders.
Leaves and fruits increase digestion, appetite and reduce stomach cramps. The seeds of drumstick help to eradicate intestinal worms.
Use of moringa plant leaves and fruit is highly recommended in women who suffer from menstrual cramps. But it is contraindicated in pregnancy as it may cause uterine contractions.
Leaves of moringa contain antioxidants. They help to reduce blood cholesterol level and maintain heart’s health.
According to texts of ayurveda drumsticks adversely affect quality and quantity of semen. Its effectiveness in erectile dysfunction has yet to be ascertained.
Warning and Precaution
Some people may experience severe allergic reaction to drum stick. When you experience such reactions never try to use it again.
Use of drumstick or moringa tree roots and its extract can cause paralysis and death. Hence use only leaves, fruits and seeds.
It is unsafe to use drumstick fruits and leaves during pregnancy and lactation period as it causes uterine contraction.
This vegetable is not recommended for persons suffering from kidney diseases.
Consult a qualified ayurvedic physician before using this plant as medicine.
Dr.Savitha Suri is an ayurvedic Consultant Physician. She has an experience of 26 years in the field of ayurveda. The content is copyrighted to Dr.Savitha Suri and may not be reproduced on other websites. You can contact her for free online ayurvedic consultations at [email protected]
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