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Moringa oleifera and inflammation: a mini-review of its effects and mechanisms

S. J. Ray, T. J. Wolf, C. N. Mowa
Acta horticulturae 2017 no.1158 pp. 317-330
Moringa oleifera, anti-inflammatory activity, arthritis, bark, bioactive compounds, chronic diseases, diabetes, flavonoids, flowers, inflammation, interleukin-6, isothiocyanates, mechanism of action, necrosis, neoplasms, nutritive value, phytopharmaceuticals, seeds, solvents, transcription (genetics), transcription factors, trees, tumor necrosis factor-alpha
Moringa oleifera Lam. is an ancient tree best known for its rich medicinal and nutritional properties. Different parts of the plant, namely leaves, seeds, flowers and bark contain a variety of unique or overlapping clusters of phytochemicals that exert a spectra of biological effects, notably anti-inflammatory. These bioactive compounds can be extracted using different solvents. Some of the most commonly identified phytochemicals involved in anti-inflammatory responses, include flavonoids and isothiocyanates. These compounds (flavonoids and isothiocyanates) and others are thought to modulate the master transcription factor of inflammation, namely nuclear factor-κß (NFκß) and its downstream pro-inflammatory factors, such as tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin-6 (IL-6) and others. Because a broad range of diseases, particularly key chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer, arthritis, lupus, are closely associated with inflammation, moringa could potentially be used to either prevent or treat these disorders. Here, we review M. oleifera's anti-inflammatory activities, the potential underlying mechanisms of action and a list of selected inflammation-associated disorders.