Nutraceutical or Pharmacological Potential of Moringa oleifera Lam

Nutrients. 2018 Mar 12;10(3):343. doi: 10.3390/nu10030343.


Moringa oleifera Lam. (M. oleifera), which belongs to the Moringaceae family, is a perennial deciduous tropical tree, and native to the south of the Himalayan Mountains in northern India. M. oleifera is rich in proteins, vitamin A, minerals, essential amino acids, antioxidants, and flavonoids, as well as isothiocyanates. The extracts from M. oleifera exhibit multiple nutraceutical or pharmacological functions including anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-cancer, hepatoprotective, neuroprotective, hypoglycemic, and blood lipid-reducing functions. The beneficial functions of M. oleifera are strongly associated with its phytochemicals such as flavonoids or isothiocyanates with bioactivity. In this review, we summarize the research progress related to the bioactivity and pharmacological mechanisms of M. oleifera in the prevention and treatment of a series of chronic diseases-including inflammatory diseases, neuro-dysfunctional diseases, diabetes, and cancers-which will provide a reference for its potential application in the prevention and treatment of chronic diseases or health promotion.

Keywords: Moringa oleifera; cancer; chronic disease; flavonoids; metabolism; pharmacological potential.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Infective Agents / therapeutic use
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / therapeutic use
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / therapeutic use*
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use*
  • Chronic Disease / prevention & control*
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Drugs, Investigational / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Moringa oleifera / chemistry*
  • Neuroprotective Agents / therapeutic use
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Plant Leaves / chemistry*


  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
  • Antioxidants
  • Drugs, Investigational
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Neuroprotective Agents
  • Plant Extracts