Investigation of medicinal plants traditionally used as dietary supplements: A review on Moringa oleifera
Keywords:Moringa oleifera, chronic diseases, African diet, cross-kingdom, medicinal plants
Diet and nutrition are important factors in the promotion and maintenance of good health throughout the entire life course. A plant-based diet may be able to prevent and treat chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and hypertension, obesity, chronic inflammation and cancer. Phytonutrient rich foods are found in traditional African diet which is mostly vegetarian, and most of these food plants are often used for medicinal purposes. This review focuses on a peculiar plant Moringa oleifera, called the “Miracle Tree”, considered to be one of nature’s healthiest and most nutritious foods. Countless studies describe the benefits of Moringa leaves, pods, seeds and flowers. Its well-documented role in prevention and treatment of chronic diseases is hypothesized here as a result of possible of cross-kingdom regulation by exogenous vegetal microRNAs and synergistic action of plant bioactive components on endogenous human microRNA regulation. The potential health impact of phytocomplexes from African dietary plants within the context of cross-kingdom and endogenous microRNA regulation on health improvement and the overall economic well-being of the continent is estimated to be enormous.