Moringa bark may be harmful, herb expert says at FUTA lecture

All doubts and myths surrounding the use of Moringa leaf and tree were demystified at a lecture recently held at the Federal University of Technology, Akure. The lecture organized by the University’s Centre for Research and Development (CERAD) with the topic “Uses and Potentials of Moringa Products for Health Improvement and Wealth Creation” was delivered by a former staff of the University and the National Secretary, Moringa Development Association of Nigeria (MDAN), John Tolani.

Tolani who spoke extensively about the many benefits of Moringa also touched on some of the possible side effects of the wonder tree. Said he, “the unusual endowment of the Moringa tree places it at an exceptionally vantage position to help the human body in fighting and neutralizing the causes of disease; and thereby restores the body to good health. This is because when consumed, Moringa provides an unusual concentration and combination of nutrients which meet the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for the body to thrive healthily and eliminate toxins from the body”. He however warned that the root bark is known to be toxic and may be harmful for human consumption. He also said feedbacks from a few users have indicated diarrhea, hypotension and mouth and throat sores as possible side effects. Tolani specifically cautioned children and pregnant and lactating women not to use the plant and its product without appropriate guidance. . He warned that people should be wary of the source when buying processed Moringa products because of possible adulteration and contamination.

On the benefits of Moringa products, the guest lecturer said “Moringa is so versatile that most of its parts can be converted into useful products that have traditionally been known to cure about 300 diseases. It is also useful for animals and other plants. The leaves, stems, pods, seeds and roots have been applied to cure or relive diverse human and animal/livestock ailments”.

Speaking on wealth creation potential of Moringa products, Tolani confirmed that Moringa is a powerful tool in the hands of whoever wants to create businesses and has high return on investment. According to him, “if the best agronomic, processing and marketing practices are adopted, the input-output ratio is substantial. This implies that an investment of N1 will yield N3.5 and this is achievable within 18 to 24 months in case of leaf powder and tea production”.

Addressing participants at the lecture, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Adebiyi Daramola represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Development), Professor Tolulope Akinbogun affirmed the importance of being in good health for optimal performance and productivity. He said “There is no doubt that the well-being of man today is being threatened by what and how he eats. Some compromise at one time or the other has therefore led mankind to a state where ill-health becomes a major challenge. An unhealthy person or nation cannot be maximally productive. This is why the need for preventive and health care counseling becomes imperative”.

Earlier, in his welcome address, the Director, CERAD, Professor T. I. Ofuya appreciated the Vice-Chancellor for supporting the Centre to develop on its mandate. According to him, organizing lectures and seminars is one of the core mandates of the Centre. This is done to sensitize and equip the public and especially graduating students and undergraduates alike with entrepreneurial skills that can give them wealth creating opportunities in the future. He said the CERAD would work with Tolani to further deepen research works on Moringa for the benefits of users.

Dignitaries at the event included the Vice Chancellor, Wesley University of Science and Technology, Ondo (WUSTO), Professor Tola Badejo, Chairman, Board of CERAD, Professor Femi Ajibola, the staff, students and stakeholders of Moringa Development of Nigeria (MDAN).


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