Moringa Oleifera is the scientific name for malunggay and it is also called as “miracle tree” because it has a strong reputation of curing many disease and the most widely cultivated plant species worldwide. Many have not yet known that it has a very helpful chemical in aiding to repel malaria.
Malaria is a serious disease produced by parasites that are transmitted to people through the bites of infected mosquitoes. It is transmitted among humans by female mosquitoes of the Anopheles Stephensi. Female mosquitoes take blood meals to carry out egg production, and such blood meals are the link between the human and the mosquito hosts in the parasite life cycle.
Symptoms of Malaria normally developed within 10 days to 4 weeks after the infective mosquito bite. Common symptoms include:
- shaking chills that are moderate to severe
- high fever
- profuse sweating
- muscle pain
- bloody stools
In some patients, symptoms may not develop for several months because some of malarial parasites can enter the body but will be dormant for the long period of time.
According to World Health Organization (WHO) the latest estimates released in December 2014, there were about 198 million cases of malaria in 2013 (with an uncertainty range of 124 million to 283 million) and an estimated 584 000 deaths (with an uncertainty range of 367 000 to 755 000). Malaria mortality rates have fallen by 47% globally since 2000, and by 54% in the WHO African Region.
Mosquitoes are the important vectors of Malaria causing a systemic reaction and in some cases is death. An obvious method for the control of mosquito-borne diseases is the use of insecticides, and many synthetic agents have been developed and employed in the field with considerable success. However, one major drawback with the use of chemical insecticides is that they are non-selective and could be harmful to other organisms in the environment. The repeated or frequent use of insecticides against mosquitoes has led them to adapt and developed resistance against them. After being environmental and human health concerns scientist come up with a study with Moringa Oleifera as a potential repellent against mosquitoes that are malarial vectors.
Plants are considered as a rich source of bio active chemicals and they may be an alternative source of mosquito control agent.The phytochemicals derived from the Moringa can act as larvicides, insect growth regulators, repellents and also have a very deterrent activity observed by many scientist and researchers. In the study of Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine the outcome acquired after the treatment of Moringa Oleifera for malarial vector were encouraging. The plant extracts of Moringa exhibit properties of repellent and showed a great potential against Anopheles Stephensi . The lectin in the extracted of Moringa Oleifera seeds content have shown efficacy of the Anopheles Stephensi. Many of plant extracts are subject to risk factors in mosquito control, but in the study, Moringa Oleifera seed extract showed a good effect on malaria and does not have a toxic effect on the human beings. Moringa Oleifera has an impressive range of medicinal uses. Different parts of this plant such as the leaves, roots, seed, bark, fruit, and flowers contain a profile of essential purposes.
Repellents are one way of protecting man from insects’ bites. An effective repellent should help us lessen our contact with vector borne disease and interrupting the process of transmission. Thus, Moringa repellent could help in saving the lives of upcoming future in preventing and lessening the case of malaria disease that could harmfully affect the public health. By promoting more research studies to scientist about this miracle plant it can essentially be the answer for this serious illness.
By: Rhea C. Sevilla
World Health Organization
Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine