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MORINGA: A miracle tree with both nutritional and medicinal value- Makerere Research

Makerere researcher,  Professor Josephine Kasolo said Moringa leaves have both medicinal and nutritional uses. (PHOTO/File)

MAKERERE– Makerere University College of Health Sciences (MakCHS), School of Biomedical Sciences on Wednesday, July, 10 organized “The Day of Moringa Science” in which studies conducted on Moringa oleifera leaves were disseminated.

The beneficiaries of study findings include; the Ministry of Health, researchers, academicians, ethno botanists, policymakers, herbalists and students.

The activity was supported by the Directorate of Research and Graduate Training (DRGT) under the two year project (2017-2019) dubbed Nurturing Emerging Research Leaders through Post-Doctoral Training at Makerere University (NERLP).

The agricultural project was funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

While speaking to the participants, Prof. Josephine Kasolo who headed the study noted that Moringa was indeed a miracle tree with both medicinal and nutritional uses.

“Moringa oleifera contains multivitamins, amino acids, antioxidants and has been proven to grow well in loam, sandy, and clay soils as well as murram. This means that it can be grown in any part of Uganda,” she said.

Professor Josephine Kasolo who headed the Moringa study at Makerere University. (PHOTO/File)

Prof. Kasolo added that Moringa was massively promoted by the local media in the 19980s as a plant that can cure the visible symptoms of HIV/AIDS the popular plant’s leaves continue to be widely used by herbalists for their medical properties.

The Principal MakCHS, Prof. Charles Ibingira said that outcomes of the ‘Day of Moringa Science’ would mark a turning point in the use of traditional medicinal plants in Uganda to discover drugs that treat chronic illnesses and combat drug resistant micro-organisms.

Moringa’s use continues to multiply rapidly with countless products made from the tree’s leaves and roots lining supermarket and pharmacy shelves. It has however been noted that the use of Moringa oleifera is not well standardized.

Mr. Ibingira commended Professor Josephine Kasolo who headed this study for promoting the standardized use of Moringa.

“I commend the professor for conducting research on the medicinal values of Moringa. It is this research that will help us better understand and modernize what herbalists have been practicing over decades”, the college Principal Mr. Ibingira said.

The commissioner clinical services, Ministry of Health, Mr Jackson Amone called for more widespread adaption of technology by herbal remedy processors.

Moringa oleifera also dubbed the super-food of super-foods or ‘Miracle’ tree is the most widely cultivated species of the Moringa genus of trees with its origins in South Asia.

In Uganda, Moringa oleifera leaves are widely consumed by communities, mostly for their nutritional and medicinal values.

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