Chemical Constituents of Moringa oleifera Leaves and Seeds

P. M. Aja, N. Nwachukwu, U. A. Ibiam, I. O. Igwenyi, C. E. Offor, U. O. Orji
Moringa oleifera is a medicinal plant widely used in folkloric medicine of Africa and Asia for the treatment of ailments such as ulcer, wound, inflammation, heart problem, cancer, stroke, obesity, anaemia and liver damage. The chemical constituents of the methanolic extract of Moringa oleifera leaves and seeds were investigated using Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Sixteen chemical constituents were identified in the leaf methanolic extract; they are 9-octadecenoic acid (20.89%), L-(+)-ascorbic acid- 2,6-dihexadecanoate(19.66%), 14–methyl-8-hexadecenal (8.11%), 4-hydroxyl-4-methyl-2-pentanone (7.01%), 3-ethyl-2, 4-dimethyl-pentane (6.14%), phytol (4.24%), octadecamethyl-cyclononasiloxane (1.23%), 1, 2-benzene dicarboxylic acid (2.46%), 3, 4-epoxy-ethanone comprising (1.78%), N-(-1-methylethyllidene)-benzene ethanamine (1.54%), 4, 8, 12, 16-tetramethylheptadecan-4-olide (2.77%), 3-5-bis (1, 1-dimethylethyl)-phenol (2.55%), 1-hexadecanol (1.23%), 3, 7, 11, 15-tetramethyl-2 hexadecene-1-ol (1.17%), hexadecanoic acid (2.03%) and 1, 2, 3-propanetriyl ester-9 octadecenoic acid(1.23%). Five chemical constituents were identified in methanolic seed extract and they are oleic acid (84%), L-(+) – ascorbic acid- 2, 6-dihexadecanoate (9.80%), 9-octadecenoic acid (1.88%), methyl ester-hexadecanoic acid (1.31%) and 9-octadecenamide (0.78%). Results obtained showed that the methanolic leaf extract of Moringa oleifera has more chemical constituents than the seed with 9-octadecenoic acid (20.8%) as the highest in the leaf and oleic acid (84%) in the seed. These relatively diverse chemical constituents may be responsible for the medicinal properties of Moringa oleifera leaves and seeds.
GC-MS analysis; Chemical constituents; Methanol extract; Moringa oleifera.
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Moringa Seeds

How to Grow Moringa in Cold Climates It can be done, but it will take some effort on your part.

Moringas prefer a tropical climate!

Moringa trees love warmth, sunlight, and some water. If you live in an area where the temperatures get below 32° F, you can still grow Moringa, but it will most likely not survive unless you take some precautions. If the root freezes, the tree will die.

1 – The BEST option, is to grow it in a greenhouse-type setup, where the tree will have protection from the cold. They will not require as much water, as in the summer, so do not overwater the trees.

2 – Another way to insure your Moringa’s survival, is to plant it in a large potting container, and seek out a friendly greenhouse in your area, to “winter” it for you.

3 – You can plant your Moringa seeds in large containers, and bring the seedlings inside during the cold months – HOWEVER – they will need plant lights on them, warmth around them, and some water.

4 – Moringa can be grow as an annual. You can start them indoors, and put them outside when the weather is about 70° F. Follow the “How-To” link on the right hand side of this page, for Prune Moringa Trees, to get the most leaves from your Moringa trees.

5 – Large, outdoor Christmas tree lights strung around the trees will give them some warmth. We did that one year, and also ran some lawn sprinklers on them, 4 times a day for about 3 minutes. That helped keep the Moringas warm, as the water evaporated – creating warmth for the trees.

6 – Some of our customers have bundled straw and hay around the trunks of their Moringa trees. That helps, but will not keep them alive during a rough winter, when the ground freezes.

7 – You can take cuttings from your Moringa trees, too, to propagate them for the following year. Cut them at least 15 inches long, with a 1 inch to 2 inch woody diameter, and put them into soil in potting containers. Keep them watered so they are moist, but not soggy, and keep them inside where it is warm. They will still need plant lights on them, but you should see new leaf buds sprouting within about 3 weeks.