Background and Aim: Moringa, an exceptionally nutritious food plant distributed in the tropical and subtropical regions of the world, is increasingly being used for nutritional supplementation along with a variety of medicinal uses. Being rich in nutrients, various parts of the plant such as the bark, root, fruit (pod), flower, leaves, seed and gum are widely used by traditional healers, nutritionists, and doctors in a variety of illnesses. The immature green pods, called ‘drumsticks’ are probably the most valued and widely used part of the tree for water purification (e.g. desalination of ocean salt water). The leaves being good source of beta-carotene, vitamin C, protein, iron and potassium are used in soups and sauces. Despite an impressive medicinal use and the fact that different parts are being employed for the treatment of various ailments in the indigenous system of medicine, little is known scientifically about the scavenging potential of this plant. Therefore, the present study was undertaken to analyze and compare concentration-dependent hydroxyl radical scavenging ability of Moringa oleifera fruit and leaf extracts (alcoholic and aqueous).
Methods and Results: The activity of extracts at different concentrations (10-250μg/mL) was determined both in the presence and/or absence of ascorbic acid and ethylenediamine tetra acetic acid using deoxyribose degradation assay. It was observed that moringa extract scavenges hydroxyl radical at lower concentrations and subsequent increase in concentration suppresses scavenging activity.
Conclusion: Based on our observations, it may be inferred that moringa extract especially from the fruit (pod) and leaf part has strong antioxidant property as assessed by its property of scavenging hydroxyl radical formation.