Shigru, Moringa oleifera

Description of plant

Moringa oleifera is graceful, small and deciduous tree with sparse foliage. During flowering season this plant is closely resembling to leguminous species from distance. This tree grows up to height of 10-12mt and diameter of trunk is 45cm. bark is smooth, dark greyish in color and surrounded by thick cork. Young shoots have purple or green whitish hairy bark. This tree is deeply rooted with wide, open and typical umbrella shaped crown with tripinnate leaves. Leaflets are rounded-elliptical dark green above and pale from under surface. Flowers are produced throughout the year. Flowers of this plant are bisexual, fragrant and are surrounded by five unequal, thinly veined and yellow-whitish petals. Fruits are hanging, three sided brown capsules which holds numerous dark brown and globular seeds. Seeds contain three whitish papery wings and are dispersed by air and wind.

Habitat

Shigru is basically native of India and wildly found in Sub Himalayan regions of northern India. Now it is grown in tropical and sub-tropical regions throughout world. It is also found in Ethiopia, Sudan, Philippines, West East and South America, tropical Asia, Florida and pacific island.

Classification

  • Kingdom – Plantae
  • Order – Brassicales
  • Family – Moringaceae

Names

  • Latin name – Moringa oleifera
  • English name – Drumsticks, Moringa, Horse radish tree
  • Hindi name – Shigru, Sahijjan, Munaga
  • Tamil name – Munagai
  • Kannada name – Nugge mara, Nugge kayi
  • Marathi name – Shevga
  • Malayalam name – Muringa
  • Sinhala name – Murunga
  • Gujarati name – Saragyo
  • Oriya name – Sujuna
  • Punjabi name – Surjana
  • Nepali name – Sajiwan
  • Thai name – Ma rum
  • Indonesian name – Kelor

Ayurvedic Properties

Hindi / Sanskrit English
Rasa Katu, Tikta Taste Pungent, Bitter
Guna Laghu, Ruksha, Tikshna Physical Property Light, Dry, Sharp
Virya Ushna Potency Hot
Vipaka Katu Metabolic Property (After Digestion) Pungent

Effects on Doshas

It balances Vata and Kapha doshas.

Charak Samhita Sushrut Samhita and vagbhata
  • Krimighna - Herbs used to treat worm infestation.
  • Svednopaga – Herbs used in sevadana.
  • Shirovirechnopga – herbs used in nasya.
  • Katuka skanda – Herbs that have pungent taste.
Varunadi gana

Ancient verse about Moringa oleifera

Ancient verse about Moringa oleifera - 1
Ancient verse about Moringa oleifera - 2
Ancient verse about Moringa oleifera - 3

1. According to first shalok, there are three types of shirgu:-

  1. Black sahijjan (shyam)
  2. White sahijjan (shweta)
  3. Red sahijjan (lal)

Shobhanjan, shigru, tikshanghandak, akshiv and mochak all are synonyms of shigru. Seeds of shigru are called shwetamarich. Red shigru is called madhu shigru. Shyam shigru is sweet and pungent in taste, causing burning sensation, sharp, have hot potency, sweet, light, rough and bitter in taste. It is used in sperm ejaculation, purgation, cardiac disorders, bleeding disorders and good for eyes. It is used to cure abscess, inflammation, worm infestation, obesity, carbuncles, poisoning, splenomegaly, abdominal tumors, and lymphadenitis and to heal wounds. White shigru possess same quality but it causes burning sensation and it is useful in splenic abscess, wounds, ulcers and bleeding disorders. Special properties of red type of shigru is that it helps to stimulate digestion and it is a purgative.

2. According to second shalok, Leaves and bark of shigru are used to reduce severe pain.

3. According to third shalok, Shigru seeds are good for eyes, have hot potency and are sharp, do not have aphrodisiac properties, pacify kapha-vata and used to cure poisoning. Seed powder is used in shirovirechna to cure severe headache.

Practical uses of Moringa oleifera

  • Moringa is anti-oxidant herb. It protects our body from various infections and prevents our body from free radicals.
  • Hypertension is one of the most serious problem nowadays. Moringa leaf powder and root bark are good for cardiac and circulatory system and it is used to reduce high blood pressure level in body.
  • Drumstick fruit is known to increase quality and quantity of sperms. It gives strength to male reproductive system.
  • Moringa leaves, seeds and seeds pods are known for its anti-inflammatory nature. These are used to reduce inflammation. This herb is very beneficial in arthritis, rheumatism, cramps and gout.
  • Moringa also reduces high cholesterol levels and reduces the risk of heart diseases.
  • Moringa seeds protect body against harmful effects of arsenic toxicity.
  • This herb is rich in calcium and magnesium and it is improves strength of teeth and bones. It is also used in osteoporosis and various bone disorders.
  • Dried moringa leaves are used for healthy and glowing skin.
  • Leaves are rubbed over forehead to relieve severe headache.
  • It is applied over wounds and ulcers and due to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects it helps in quick healing.
  • Tea prepared from moringa leaves are used to treat gastric ulcers and diarrhea.
  • Seed powder of moringa is used in scurvy and various skin infections.
  • It is also antibiotic in nature and prevents body from sexually transmitted diseases and boils.
  • Gum of this plant is diuretic, astringent, abortifacient and also very effective to treat asthma.
  • Leaves are also very effective in bronchitis, fever, inflammation of mucus membrane and in eye and ear infections.
  • It is used to pacify vata and kapha dosha.

Ayurvedic products from Moringa oleifera

Part used

  • Leaves
  • Seeds
  • Fruits
  • Flowers
  • Bark

Dosage

  • Powder – 1-3gm
  • Decoction – 5-10ml
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