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History of 'Nutritional Value of Shigru (Moringa oleifera Lam.)'

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Nutritional Value of Shigru (Moringa oleifera Lam.)

Author(s): Dhar, B. and O. P. Gupta
Published in: Bulletin of Medico-Ethno-Botanical Research (B.M.E.B.R.).   Jan 1, 1982
III No. 2 to 4 280-288

Dhar and Gupta’s research recommends the use of Moringa Oleifera (a.k.a. Shigru) to prevent and/or obliterate diseases, particularly night blindness so prevalent in the developing world. Moringa, which flowers and fruits twice a year, is cultivated in tropical countries, making it an ideal supplement for vitamin-poor diets. Minerals such as calcium, phosphorous and magnesium are essential for body development, growth, and strengthening bones and teeth. Iodine expedites the thyroid while copper and iron form blood cells. All of these nutrients are found in Moringa to a high degree.
Moringa leaves contain all the essential nutrients to maintain body health, especially Vitamins A and C. Moringa is noted for preventing Xeropthal mia caused by Vitamin A deficiency. It has the highest value of all the vegetables for Vitamin A, making it an ideal choice in treatment of night blindness and other eye diseases. When compared to developed countries, blindness is 10 to 40 times higher in developing countries where forty-two million people, 25% of them children, go blind each year. In India alone, 40,000 go blind annually due to malnutrition.
Moringa oleifera with its rich nutrients of Vitamins A and C provides an inexpensive treatment for malnutrition. Only 4,000-5,000 IUs of Vitamin A per day clears up Bitot spot and cures night blindness in a week. A mere hundred grams of Shigru leaves provide all essential constituents per day and is cost effective, as well. One problem to be surmounted is finding a way to make its slightly unpleasant, bitter taste more palatable to the general public.



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