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PIA Press Release
2007/09/25

DA to promote malunggay

Quezon City (25 September) -- The Department of Agriculture (DA) has committed to promote and develop the planting of the lowly malunggay as a revenue-generating industry under its biotechnology program, considering its myriad health and medicinal benefits.

Malunggay, dubbed as the "miracle vegetable," is among the many indigenous plants in the country that has promising health benefits, which could be developed as an export crop and primary income source for farmers, according to the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR).

Recent findings from the Medical College in Kolkota, India revealed that among the different medicinal herbs that can be a potential source of anticancer compounds, only malunggay can help in the treatment of female reproductive disorders like epithelial ovarian cancer.

In a report to DA Secretary Arthur Yap, BAR said the malunggay will be showcased at the launching of the BAR's "Indigenous Plants for Health and Wellness Program" in line with the proclamation of National Heath and Wellness Month.

The effectiveness of malunggay in the treatment of ovarian cancer is attributed to a combination of anti-tumor and hormonal properties that can be found from the plant's root bark extracts. As a green-leafy vegetable, malunggay is also found to contain phytochemicals that can prevent the development of cancer cells.

Aside from cancer, the onset of other chronic diseases like arthritis, heart complications and kidney diseases can be prevented because of the potent antioxidants from malunggay.

Malunggay is highly rich in vitamins A, C, and E, which combat free radicals that can impair the body's metabolism and eventually cause cell death.

It also helps maintain good eyesight and facilitates digestion and bowel movement, and is used to cleanse wounds and ulcers, cure stomach aches, scurvy, asthma, earache and headaches.

Malunggay, also termed as the drumstick tree or horseradish tree, is the most widely cultivated species of the genus Moringa.

It can be grown almost anywhere using seeds and cuttings.

Three months after germination, the young leaves can already be harvested, providing Filipino families a highly affordable and readily available source of vitamins, niacin, iron, calcium, and protein. (PIA) [top]

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