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Latin NamesMoringa pterygosperma Gaertn. syn. Moringa oleifera Lam. (Moringaceae )
English NamesHorse Radish, Drumstick
Sanskrit NamesShigru, Shobhanjana
Local NamesSahijna, Sainjna, Munaga
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Found wild in the sub-Himalayan tract, from Chenab eastwards to Sarda and cultivated all over the plains of India. Habit:
M.pterygosperma is a small or medium-sized tree. The bark is thick, soft, corky and deeply fissured; the leaves, usually tri-pinnate; the leaflets, elliptic; the flowers, white, fragrant in large panicles; the pods, pendulous, greenish, triangular and ribbed with trigonous, winged seeds. Hypotensive principles niazinin A, niazinin B, niazimicin, and niaziminin A and B were obtained from ethanolic extracts of the fresh leaves. These compounds are mustard-oil glycosides and are very rare in nature.They are rare examples of naturally occurring thiocarbamates (Caceres, J Ethnopharmacol, 1992, 36, 233; Chem Abstr, 1993, 119, 529). Pharmacology:
Aqueous extract of M.pterygosperma was given orally at a dose of 200 mg/kg to different groups of rats for 6,12,18 and 24 days. Parallel controls were run with each group which received gum acacia suspension as vehicle. Throughout the experimentation the vaginal smear of each rat was examined daily at a regular interval of 24 hr. At the end of the experiment the entire record of different stages of the oestrous cycle of each rat was analyzed. It was found that the dose of 200 mg/kg disturbed the normal regular estrous cycle in all the animals, however, the response was duration dependent. (Shukla, S.,et al., Ind. J. Pharm. Sci., 1987, 49(6), 218-219.) Aqueous extracts of the roots and of the root bark of M.oleifera were effective in preventing implantation. The anti-implantation activity ofM.oleifera root was consistent regardless of its time and place of collection. (Shukla, S., et al., Int. J. Crude Drug Res., 1988, v. 26(1). 29-32.) The aqueous extract of stem bark of [M.pterygosperma] was investigated for its effect on various pharmacological parameters. It also produced a dose dependent hypotensive effect on dog blood pressure. It failed to elicit any effect on isolated guinea -pig ileum, rat stomach fundus or frog rectus abdominis muscle. (Limaye, D.A., et al., Phytotherapy Research, 1995, v. 9(1), 37-40.) The methanol fraction of [M.oleifera] leaf extract (at 100 mg/kg and 150 mg/kg) was found to possess significant protective actions in acetylsalicylic acid, serotonin and indomethacin induced gastric lesions in experimental rats. A significant enhancement of the healing process in acetic acid-induced chronic gastric lesions was also observed with the extract-treated animals. ( Pal, S.K., et al., Phytotherapy Research, 1995, v. 9(6), 463-465) Pterygospermin (in concentrations of 0.5-3 µg./cc.) inhibits the growth of many gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria includingMicrococcus pyogenes var. aureus, Bacillus subtilis, Escherichia coli, Aerobacter aurogenes, Salmonella typhosa, S. enteritides, S. paratyphosus Shigella dysenteriae, Mycobacterium phlei and M. tuberculosis var. hominis. In higher concentrations (7-10 µg./cc.), it is active aganist fungi. It is stable in the presence of blood and gastric juice but breaks down in the presence of pancreatic juice. Its effect is counteracted by thiamine and glutamic acid but reinforced by pyridoxine. It is toxic to experimental animals, but in low concentrations protects mice against staphylococcal infections. In view of its activity against moulds and fungi and its negligible effect on seed germination, pterygospermin may find application in the preservation of fruits and vegetable and in seed treatment (Rao et al., Nature, Lond., 1946, 158, 745; Rao & Natarajan, Proc. Indian Acad. Sci., 1949, 29B, 148; Kurup & Rao, J. Indian Inst. Sci., 1952, 34A, 148; Kurup, Indian J. Pharm., 1952, 34A, 219; Rao & Kurup, Indian J. Pharm., 1953; 15, 315; Kurup & Rao, Indian J med. Res., 1954, 42, 85, 101; Gopalakrishna et al., ibid., 1954, 42, 97).

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