MORINGA NIGERIA PROJECT: Are moringa roots poisonous?

Are moringa roots poisonous?

Yes! Moringa roots are not necessarily poisonous in themselves. But excessive consumption of the roots poses danger, especially the root bark.

"The root, best known in India and the Far East, is extremely pungent. When the plant is only 60 cm tall, it can be pulled up, its root scraped ground up and vinegar and salt added to make a popular condiment much like true horseradish...

The root bark must be completely removed since it contains two alkaloids allied to ephedrine -- benzylamine (moringine), which is not physiologically active, and the toxic moringinine which acts on the sympathetic nerve endings as well as on the cardiac and smooth muscles all over the body. Also present is the potent antibiotic and fungicide, pterygospermin. The alkaloid, spirachin (a nerve-paralyzing agent) has been found in the roots.... Even when free of bark, the condiment, in excess, may be harmful." 
The above quote is from Dr. Julia Morton in Economic Botany.
My recommendation is to use very little quantity of moringa roots at a time. In Rivers State, Nigeria, the folks usually cut moringa roots into a bottle, add dry gin (alcohol) and allow it to stay for a number of hours. This gives rise to an alcoholic drink which the men drink for stamina. I do not approve of this method either!

Health benefits of Moringa Roots

The following are some health benefits of moringa roots. 
  1. A decoction of roots is used to cleanse sores and ulcers.
  2. Roots are used as an abortifacient, diuretic and as cardiac and circulatory tonic.In India, roots are used as a carminative and as a laxative.
  3. Roots are considered useful against intermittent fevers and are sometimes chewed to relieve cold symptoms.
  4. Juice from roots is applied externally as a rubefacient.
  5. Roots are used to treat epilepsy, nervous debility and hysteria.
  6. In Senegal and India, roots are pounded and mixed with salt to make a poultice for treating rheumatism and articular pains. In Senegal, this poultice is also used to relieve lower back or kidney pain.
  7. Roots are used as a purgative.
  8. In India and Indo-China, Nicaragua and Nigeria, a root poultice is used to treat inflammations, especially pedal odema and arthritis
  9. In India and Indo-China, roots are used to treat cases of scurvy.
  10. Root juice mixed with milk is considered useful against asthma, gout, lumbago, rheumatism, enlarged spleen or liver, internal and deep-seated inflammations, and affections. Crushed root mixed with run has been used as a liniment of rheumatism.
  11. A snuff made from roots is inhaled to relieve ear ache and toothache.
  12. A juice made from a combination of fresh roots, bark and leaves is inserted into nostrils to arouse a patient from coma or stupor.
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