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Miracle Tree: A Review on Multi-purposes of Moringa oleifera and Its Implication for Climate Change Mitigation | OMICS International
ISSN: 2157-7617
Journal of Earth Science & Climatic Change

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Miracle Tree: A Review on Multi-purposes of Moringa oleifera and Its Implication for Climate Change Mitigation

Mekonnen Daba*

Oromia Agriculture Research Institutes, Bako Agricultural Research Center, P. O. Box 03, Bako, West Shoa, Oromia, Ethiopia

Corresponding Author:
Mekonnen Daba
Oromia Agriculture Research Institutes
Bako Agricultural Research Center
P. O. Box 03, Bako, West Shoa, Oromia, Ethiopia
Tel no: +251(0)910699411

Received date: July 20, 2016; Accepted date: July 30, 2016; Published date: August 05, 2016

Citation: Daba M (2016) Miracle Tree: A Review on Multi-purposes of Moringa oleifera and Its Implication for Climate Change Mitigation. J Earth Sci Clim Change 7:366. doi:10.4172/2157-7617.1000366

Copyright: © 2016 Daba M. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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Moringa oleifera is known as “horseradish tree” or “drumstick tree”, native to India, is one of the best useful tree and an enormous amount of benefits in the world. Numerous Research reports have appeared in different national and international scientific journals by studying its nutritional and medicinal properties of Moringa over the past decades. Different reports show that due to its multipurpose uses Moringa tree has recently grown attention in Ethiopia. Moringa oleifera is a tree that is sometimes called a “Miracle Tree” because of all its parts are used for nutritional, pharmacological properties.Moringa is a very valuable food crop (it is highly nutritive, grows very fast and drought resistant) and even beyond food it serves many benefits in developing countries such as having an ability to be used for some crafts (due to being a tree) and cleaning water. The Moringa tree can also play an important role in soil and water conservation and mitigating climate change.This study provides a brief overview about multipurpose of Moringa oleifera tree and its implication for climate Change mitigation. The purpose of this brief reviews was to: (a) to assess the published scientific journalssuggestion on multipurpose Moringa oleifera, (b) to over view itsmedicinal and nutritional properties(c) suggest future directions for policies, research, market and development strategies and (d) finally to review its implication for climate change mitigation.


Moringaoleifera; Multipurpose;Nutrient content; Medicinal use;Climate change mitigation


The background for this study is based on previous study results in Ethiopia and as well as in other countries. Moringa oleifera is native to India but it is widely grown tree in Ethiopia, Pacific Islands, Florida, Sudan Caribbean, Philippines, South Africa, Asia, and Latin America [1]. Moringa has different names in different countries like “Shiferaw” in Ethiopia and drumstick tree or horseradish tree in India.

As reported Arora et al. [2] there were about 33 species of Moringaceae family. Moringa oleifera is one of the moringaceae families. Among those, best known of the thirteen species namely: M.arborea,M.borziana,M.concanensis, M.drouhardi, M.hildebrandtii, M.longituba,M. oleifera, M.ovalifolia, M.peregrina, M.pygmaea, M.rivae, M.ruspoliana, M.stenopetala arewellknownand foundworldwide.Numerous studies have reported its multipurpose use like medicinal and nutritional benefits [3,4].

Moringa tree is adrought-tolerant, fast-growing, multi-purpose and one of mostusefultree due to its medicinal and nutritional properties in world and thereforedescribed as a ‘miracle tree’ [5-8].Moringaoleiferais the most promising tree which has used for nutritional benefits, medicinal properties, environmental conservation, and consumption and is the perennial, multipurpose. Moringa oleifera is reputedly known as “cabbage tree”, ‘‘drumstick tree” or “horseradish tree”, ‘ben-oil tree’ or ‘benzoil tree’, ‘miracle tree’ and ‘mother’s best friend tree’ [9].As reported by different scholars Moringaoleifera has wide range of uses. Among those, water purification, human consumption, medicine, fuel wood, dye, soil and water conservation, livestock forage and green manure [10-14]. According to Dawit et al. [15] Moringa has multipurpose use, well adapted and significant economic importance, as it has vital nutritional, industrial, and medicinal applications.

As reported by researchers in different countries, all parts of Moringa oleifera (leaves, fruits, immature pods, and flowers) are combined into the traditional food for human consumption [16,17]. According to Anhwange et al. [18] in many parts of the Africa use Moringa oleifera as a food. For example, dried Moringa leaves and fresh Moringa are involved in meals in countries such as Ethiopia, Nigeria, Malawi East Africa and Ghana used as food.

Numerous research reports have shown the multipurpose uses of most parts of Moringa oleifera in making food for human consumptions such as cake by Kolawole et al. [19], yoghurt [20-22], amla, [23,24], weaning foods by Arise et al. [25], bread Chinma et al. [26], soups [27,28], and biscuits by Alam et al. [29],

The seed of Moringa oleifera is also used for water treatment as water purification and remove bacteria from water up to 99% as indicated [30,31]. According to Foidl et al.[30] from the Moringa fresh leaves a juice can be extracted and used as a growth hormone that can increase yields of crop by 25-35%.

As indicated by Amaglo [32], famine is connected to climate change and therefore planting trees, which can sequester more carbon like Moringa tree, can play important role in climate change mitigation. TheThereisanurgentneedtoimplementclimate -smartpoliciesthatcanbuildmoreresilientfoodsystemsand combatclimatechange.There is great potential for theMoringa tree to not only store carbon, if it is grown on a much larger scale, but to improve the livelihoods of many farmers in sub-Saharan Africa [33].

The objective of this study wasto review a multipurpose uses of Moringa oleifera and its implication for climate change mitigation.

Nutrient contents of Moringa oleifera

The most amazing fact about Moringais that it is a storehouse of nutrients and medicinal chemicals.As it was reported by different scholars [34,35], Moringa tree is rich in nutrients such as minerals, fiber and proteins that can play essential role in human nutritional consumption. Numerous of the research reports have shown that Moringa oleifera leaves has high protein compared to with other leaves eaten as food.

A recent research on dietary iron supplements and Moringa oleifera leaves influence the liver revealed that iron from Moringa oleifera can overcome iron deficiency [36] and Similarly, research done on the relative bioavailability of folate from the traditional food plant Moringa oleiferaindicate that the relative bioavailability of folate from Moringa oleifera leaves using rat model was very high and thereforeMoringa oleifera leaves can be a potential source of dietary folate [37].

According to Villafuerte and Villafurte-Abonal [31] research reports, Moringacontains full of vitamins and nutrients and therefore it is good to have as food for human consumption and as food for animal’s consumption. Also it was reported that seeds Moringa contain about between 30-40% oil, 82% unsaturated fatty acids and 13% saturate fats [31].

Numerous research reports on the medicinal and nutritional of Moringa oleifera now are existent in scientific journals and the widespread literature. Moringa use as medicinal and nutritional purposes was started since centuries Mahmood et al. [38]. Moringaoleiferacontains alltheessentialmedicinal and nutritionalpropertiesand anextremely valuable food source thatarevitalforhuman and livestock consumptions[38,39-44]. Study on the potential uses of Moringa oleifera by Rockwood et al. [45] show that, Moringa contain nutritional value and can be used as bread, milk, spices juices, sauces, tea and Moringa oleifera is a wonderful food tree with a significant source of vitamin C, calcium, proteins and Iron. Research report by Rockwood et al. [45] confirmed that, Moringa oleifera dry leaves of contain 9 times proteins than yogurt, 10 times vitamin A than carrot, 25 times iron than spinach, 15 times potassium than bananas, 17 times calcium than milk and 7 times more vitamin C than orange.Because ofrichinproteins source Moringaoleiferaleavesaresuggestedbydoctors, nutritionistsandcommunityhealth workerstocopewiththeproblemsofmalnutritionworldwide [43,46,47]. As different research reports shown that, from the Moringa tree parts, Moringa leaves are a storehouse of nutrients. The leaves of Moringa oleifera are rich in minerals like copper, potassium, iron, magnesium, zinc and calcium [48]. Vitamins likebeta-carotene ofvitaminA, vitamin Bsuchasfolicacid, pyridoxineandnicotinicacid, vitamin C, DandEalsopresentinMoringaoleifera [49]. Also Yameogo et al. [50] reported that, on a dry matter basis, Moringaoleiferaleaves contained 27.2% protein, 17.1% fat, 5.9% moisture and 38.6% carbohydrates. According to Anwar and Rashid, [51] noticed that on a dry matter basis, Moringaoleiferaseeds contained 34.80% ether extract, 31.65% protein, 7.54% fiber, 8.90% moisture, and 6.53% ash contents. Makkar and Becker [52].

Moringa leavescontainfiber,fatproteins andmineralslikeMg,Ca,K,P,Fe, Cu,andS. Vitaminslike Vitamin-A (Beta-carotene), vitamin B-choline, vitaminB1-thiamine,riboflavin, nicotinicacidandascorbicacidare present. Various aminoacids likeHis, Arg, Trp, Lys, Thr, Phe, Leu, Ile, Met, Val are present.Phytochemicals like sterols,tannins, trepenoids, saponins, alkaloids, phenolics and flavonoids like isoquercitin, isothiocyanates, quercitin,kaemfericitin, and glycoside compoundsare present [45,49,53-56]

Moringa seed containsantibiotic (pterygospermin), fatty acids like linolenic acid, Linoleicacid, behenic acid andoleic acid (Ben oil); Phytochemicalslike saponin, tannins, phytate,phenolics,terpenoids, flavonoids andlectins. Apart fromthese it contains, fiber, fats,minerals, proteins, and vitamins like A, B, C and amino acids [45,47,49,57,58].The Moringa pods rich in lipids, fiber, non-structural carbohydrates, ash and protein.It also contain fatty acids like linoleic acid, oleic acid, palmitic acidand linoleic acid are also present [45,47].

Benefits/uses of Moringa

There are many uses of Moringa tree and these will all be: medicines, Human food, Water purification, Animal fodder, Alley cropping, Fertilizer, Living fence, Living fence, Domestic cleaning agent, Fuel wood and other uses. Moringa increased physical energy - Tune your body up with naturally occurring nutrients to make your energy last longer. Numerous research reports reveal that, parts of Moringa plant can be used in different techniques. Moringa oleifera seed and leaves isadvantageous source of nutrients, medicines, clean dirty water and it can be used for alley cropping; because, it has lots of leafy material. The uses Moringa oleifera are well documented by Fahey [1], asnutritional, industrial, medicinal, and agricultural advantage

Moringa oleifera has great potential for prevention of different diseases likenutrientdeficiency,cancer,anemiaaswellasfordirtywater purification. Moringa powder contains sufficient amount of vitamins, nutrients and chemicals in it. This makes the tree a medicine for many different diseases [33]. Moringa oleifera has also promoted by World Health Organization (WHO) as an alternative to imported food source to treat malnutrition [59].

Medicinal benefits/uses of Moringa

Moringa has long been used in herbal medicine by Africans and Indians.Moringaoleiferaisoftenreferred as a panaceaandcanbeused tocuremorethan300diseases. In thissection, medicinaluses of Moringa leaves are reviewed.Different studies shown that, all parts of Moringa oleifera (leaves, fruits, immature pods, and flowers) are incorporated into the traditional food of humans in many tropical and subtropical countries.

Medicinal uses of all parts of Moringa

Various parts of Moringa tree act as cardiac and possess antitumor, circulatory stimulants, antiepileptic, antipyretic, antiulcer, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, anti-hypertensive, diuretic, antioxidant, anti-diabetic, cholesterol lowering, antibacterial, hepatoprotective and antifungal activities.

Leaves: Moringa leaves are the most commonly used part of the plant. Moringa leavestreathyperglycemia, asthma, flu, heart burn, Dyslipidemia, malaria, syphilis, diarrhea, pneumonia, scurvy, headaches, bronchitis, skin diseases, eye and ear infections.Alsoreduces, blood pressure and cholesterol and acts as an anticancer, Antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-atherosclerotic and ant diabetic agents, neuroprotectant [45,49,53-56].

Seeds: Numerous researches reported that, Moringa seed powder can be used as for cleaning dirty water in a simple and quick method. Seeds of Moringa help in treating Chrohn’s disease, hyperthyroidism, rheumatism, antiherpes-simplex virus arthritis, cramp, epilepsy gout, and sexually transmitted diseases, can act asantimicrobial and anti-inflammatory agents [45,47,48,57,58].

Root: Root bark acts as ananti-ulcer, anti-inflammatory and cardiac stimulant agent [55,60,61].

Flower: Many scholars shown that Moringa flowers act as anti-arthritic; hypocholesterolemic agents can cure urinary and cold problems [53,58].

Pods: Moringa pods treat liver, diarrhea and spleen problems, and joint pain [45,48].

Animal feed fortification: Study on the potential of Moringa oleifera for agricultural and industrial uses and on the naturalized exotic tree species shown that, Moringa leaves supplementary to livestock feed can increase up to 32% of daily weight gain.Supplementation of fresh Moringa leaves with 15 to 17 kg of daily feed of livestock can increase milk production by 43%. Milk production can be increased by 58% with the supplementation of 2kg dry matter feed and milk production increased by 65% with the supplementation of 3kg dry matter feed [30,62]. Generally, milk production increased with increased Moringa supplementation.

Water purification: The study on the Moringa oleifera as a natural gift point out that, A billion people across world like; Latin America Africa, and Asia areassessed to depend on untreated water sources for their daily needsMahmood et al. [38]. Numerous research reports shown that, Moringa seed powdered can be used cleaning dirty water in simple and quick method simple. The Moringa seed powder joins with the solids in the dirty water and sinks to the bottom. This actioncan removebacteria contained in water up to 90-99%. Rather than using aluminum sulphate, which are dangerous to people and the environment, using Moringa seed powderto purify water is cheap. Water can be purified by adding 2 grams of Moringa seed powder to 20 liters into a bottle and shake for 5 minutes.

Dirty water that is to be treated can be filteredthrough a clean cloth into the container. Until the water becomes clear and the impurities have sunk to the bottom leave the bucket undisturbed for one hour then filter the water through a clean cloth boil the water before drinking [63-66].

Implications of Moringatreeto climate change mitigation

In developing country climate change is affecting to smallholder farmers who dominate the agriculture sector. The study on the opportunities for linking adaptation and mitigation in Agroforestry systems indicated that, the impacts of climate change are handled at the level of natural resource base upon which smallholder farmers depend, at the individual and farming system level Vershot et al. [67]. The research reported on the environmental and medicinal value analysis of Moringa oleifera specified that, Farmers need to formulateadaptation strategies and mechanisms to reduce the climate change impacts [33]. To combat efficient for climate change mitigation and food shortages it is good to look at the potential that is already available in developing and third world countries. Moringa is therefore a very simple and readily available solution.Moringaoleiferais called a “Never Die” plant because of its adaptability to weather, soil and other environmental vagaries according to [41]. There is clear evidence that Moringaoleiferais, no doubt, a suitable crop for climate change in Nigeria given its high level of adaptability and numerous nutritional, medicinal, agricultural, domestic and industrial values Ndubuaku et al. [68]. The heavy flushes produced by the trees even during the dry season act as good sink for carbon dioxide absorption and utilization, thus reducing the level of atmospheric carbon dioxide which is one of the major courses of ozone layer depletion and global warming.Moringa tree is a climate-change-adaptable crop for life sustenance against food insecurity threats Ndubuaku et al. [68]. Large production of the trees is, therefore, advocated especially amongst the women.It does not only add to the home-use foodstuff but also creates job opportunities for women and their children for their capacity building. It reduces death toll due to malnutrition and diseases Ndubuaku et al. [68]. The ability of the tree to mitigate the effects of climate change is also impressive. According to the study [31] the rate of Moringatree to absorb carbon dioxide (CO2) is fifty times (50x) higher when compared to the Japanese cedar tree and also twenty times (20x) higher than that of general vegetation. Study on Moringaand global warming revealed that, 1 person emits 320kg of CO2/year; it takes 23 Japanese Cedar trees takes 50 years to absorb this amount of CO2; it takes 2 Moringa trees 2 years to absorb this amount and 1 family car emits 2300kg of CO2/year; it takes 160 Japanese Cedar trees 50 years to absorb this amount of CO2; it takes 10 Moringa trees 2 years [69]. Therefore, Moringa tree is useful tool in the prevention of global warming; because it sequesters more carbon with its all parts. Therefore, planting such important tree in different parts of the country will mitigate the impacts of climate change.


Moringaoleifera tree is indeed a miracle tree with enormous potentials yet to be fully explored in medicinal and food application.All parts of Moringaoleifera tree is said to have usefulassets that can helphumankind.

This study has tried to reviews a multipurpose uses of Moringa oleifera and suggestion for the future mitigation of climate change.Numerous researchers concluded that, Moringa oleifera is a multipurpose treeand fast growing and well adapted to growing in adverse climate conditions and therefore,that is difficult to overlook in today’s battlewith the climate.Different studies reveal that, Moringa has a direct effect on agriculture, nutrition, health, water, environment, biodiversity and sanitation.

The latest research has documented that,Moringa oleifera is one of the medicine to reduce the occurrence of waterborne disease which is on record as one of the main causes leading to high incidence of deaths in the developing countries. Thus, Moringa oleifera seedsare capable of appealing and sticking fast to bacteria and viruses that are found in contaminated and turbid water.

The capacity of the Moringa tree is inspiring in mitigating the adverse effects of climate change. The research report by Japanese has displayed that the rate of absorption of carbon dioxide (CO2) by the Moringa tree is twenty times (20x) higher than that of general vegetation. There is great potential for the Moringa tree to not only store carbon, but also to improve the livelihoods of many smallholder farmers.Therefore, planting of this tree in different parts of the country will mitigate the impacts of climate change.

Moringa oleifera really recognized to be a "Miracle tree", because it has multipurpose use for humankind and thus named as a nature gift at very low price.In order to discover and utilize full uses of this miracle tree, market development strategies, Strong policies, and research were required.

Given its multiple uses and wide range of adaptability, Moringa is an ideal crop for sustainable food production that thrives as the climate changes.

Generally, Moringaoleiferaoffers very interesting opportunities for smallholder farmers as food supplement, medicine, nutrition, water treatment, livestock feed, vegetable, oil,foliar spray, green manure, natural fertilizer,cosmetic, fooder, care products, soil and water conservation and reduce greenhouse gas emission.

Moringa should be promoted for further consumption to improve nutrition and medicinal functions and as well as for climate change mitigation.


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