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Cultivation, Genetic, Ethnopharmacology, Phytochemistry and Pharmacology of Moringa oleifera Leaves: An Overview

1
International Center for the Assessment of Nutritional Status (ICANS), University of Milan, Via Sandro Botticelli 21, 20133 Milan, Italy
2
Department of Food, Environmental and Nutritional Sciences (DeFENS), University of Milan, Via Mangiagalli 25, 20133 Milan, Italy
3
Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences-Production, Landscape, Agroenergy (DISAA), University of Milan, Via Celoria 2, 20133 Milan, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Maurizio Battino
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(6), 12791-12835; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms160612791
Received: 21 April 2015 / Revised: 18 May 2015 / Accepted: 20 May 2015 / Published: 5 June 2015
Moringa oleifera is an interesting plant for its use in bioactive compounds. In this manuscript, we review studies concerning the cultivation and production of moringa along with genetic diversity among different accessions and populations. Different methods of propagation, establishment and cultivation are discussed. Moringa oleifera shows diversity in many characters and extensive morphological variability, which may provide a resource for its improvement. Great genetic variability is present in the natural and cultivated accessions, but no collection of cultivated and wild accessions currently exists. A germplasm bank encompassing the genetic variability present in Moringa is needed to perform breeding programmes and develop elite varieties adapted to local conditions. Alimentary and medicinal uses of moringa are reviewed, alongside the production of biodiesel. Finally, being that the leaves are the most used part of the plant, their contents in terms of bioactive compounds and their pharmacological properties are discussed. Many studies conducted on cell lines and animals seem concordant in their support for these properties. However, there are still too few studies on humans to recommend Moringa leaves as medication in the prevention or treatment of diseases. Therefore, further studies on humans are recommended. View Full-Text
Keywords: Moringa oleifera; ethnopharmacology; phytochemistry; pharmacology; diabetes; dislipidemia; cancer; genetic variability; molecular markers; breeding Moringa oleifera; ethnopharmacology; phytochemistry; pharmacology; diabetes; dislipidemia; cancer; genetic variability; molecular markers; breeding
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Leone, A.; Spada, A.; Battezzati, A.; Schiraldi, A.; Aristil, J.; Bertoli, S. Cultivation, Genetic, Ethnopharmacology, Phytochemistry and Pharmacology of Moringa oleifera Leaves: An Overview. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16, 12791-12835.

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