Validating Phytomedicinal Potentials of Moringa Oleifera: Comparative Evaluation of Nutrients and Phytochemical Groups of Nigeria-Bred Moringa Oleifera Plant Parts

Abstract Moringa oleifera is arguably the most popular and useful specie of the very useful moringacea family of plants that have become well known due to their economic values and phytomedicinal and nutritional qualities. However, there is the need for adequate and thoroughly scientific information about the several acclaimed potential benefits of the plant. It is however worthy of note that most recent publications on the acclaimed potential benefits of the plants parts components and their usefulness have been positive, thus, confirming several available traditional and past literatures available on the plant’s usefulness. While scientists in different walks of life work to explore the values of this plant that has been dubbed the Miracle Tree in certain places, there is no doubt that the understanding and validation of the distribution of components and phytochemicals across the plant parts is vital towards exploring optimal benefits of the plant. This investigation was conducted to assess the distribution of nutrients and phytochemical groups in the various parts of the plant and to observe the pH values of each part extract- ethanolic and aqueous. Results will be very important in guiding researchers and product developers as well as farmers, the consumers, policies makers and the general public towards appreciating the possible variations in the usefulness and benefits of the various plant parts. Aqueous and ethanolic extracts of the plant were prepared from the various parts of the same plants which were air-dried at maintained room temperature, thereafter macerated and powdered with the grinder. The available of nutrients including carbohydrates, fats, proteins and steroids as well as phytochemical groups including alkaloids, anthraquinones, flavonoids, glycosides, saponins, tannins and terpenoids were assayed in the ethanolic and aqueous extracts of each plant parts. Plant parts that were tested included the root, bark, leaf, whole pod, seed and flower. The pH value of each extract sample was also tested. Results showed that all extracts were acidic except aqueous extract of the bark that was slightly alkaline. Nutrients and phytochemicals’ distribution in the various plant parts also vary considerably. Researchers, users and product developers should be considerate of these variations.

Keywords Moringa, Nutrients, Phytochemicals, Extracts, Nigeria

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Updated: April 17, 2016 — 2:07 pm