Journal of
Medicinal Plants Research

  • Abbreviation: J. Med. Plants Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0875
  • DOI: 10.5897/JMPR
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 3621

Full Length Research Paper

Phytochemicals and uses of Moringa oleifera leaves in Ugandan rural communities

Josephine N. Kasolo1*,Gabriel S. Bimenya2, Lonzy Ojok3, Joseph Ochieng4and Jasper W. Ogwal-okeng5
1Department of Physiology, School of Biomedical Sciences, Makererere University College of Health Sciences, P. O. Box 7072, Kampala, Uganda. 2Department of Pathology, School of Biomedical Sciences, Makererere University College of Health Sciences, P. O. Box 7072, Kampala, Uganda. 3Department of Pathology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Makerere University, College of Health Sciences, P. O. Box 7072, Kampala, Uganda. 4Department of Anatomy, School of Biomedical Sciences, Makerere University College of Health Sciences, P. O. Box 7072, Kampala, Uganda. 5Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, School of Biomedical Sciences, Makerere University College of Health Sciences, P. O. Box 7072, Kampala, Uganda.
Email: [email protected], [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 23 April 2010
  •  Published: 04 May 2010

Abstract

Moringa oleifera grown and used in many countries around the world is a multi-purpose tree with medicinal, nutritional and socio-economic values. In Senegal and Benin, M. oleifera leaves are dispensed as powder at health facilities to treat moderate malnutrition in children. It established the medicinal uses of M. oleiferaleaves by local communities in Uganda and identified  phytochemicals present inM. oleifera leaves extracts. It used quantitative and experimental methods that established the uses, and identified phytochemicals in M. oleifera leaves. Employed serial extractions, using ether, ethanol and water as solvents. The phytochemicals were qualitatively identified using standard chemicals and standard outcomes. Twenty-four medicinal uses of M. oleifera leaves were established. Phytochemicals present included: tannins, steroids and triterponoids, flavonoids, saponins, anthraquinones, alkaloids and reducing sugars. The local communities in Uganda use M. oleifera leaves to treat common ailments. Presence of phytochemicals in the extracts, indicate possible preventive and curative property of M. oleifera leaves. There is need to standardize M. oleifera leaves use for nutrition and herbal medicine.

 

Key words: Phytochemicals, medicinal plant extracts, herbal medicine, Uganda.

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