Full Length Research Paper
Moringa oleifera is a highly valued ethno-medicinal plant in many countries of the tropics and subtropics. It is a multipurpose plant grown and used in many countries including Nigeria. This study was an attempt to assess knowledge-base of the usefulness and document current utilization of M. oleifera in Nigeria. Data were collected between August and November, 2011 from 280 respondents across Nigeria through the use of a structured interview schedule. Majority (98.9%) of the respondents indicated that they had used or seen people using Moringa plants for food and medicinal purposes. Most Nigerians were aware of the Moringa plant and used it for various medicinal and food purposes, especially the leaves. Specifically, the leaf was used as vegetable in preparing soup, as salad and for making tea; medicinal uses of the leaves included curing of fever (78.7%), treatment of ear infections (71.8%), lowering of blood sugar (diabetes mellitus) (65.2%) and blood pressure (64.7%). There was evidence that the stem and root of Moringa plants also have ethno-medicinal values.
Key words: Moringa oleifera, traditional medicine, food values, emerging crop, Nigeria.
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