In traditional and naturopathic medicine, healers claim that the Moringa plant can inhibit tumour growth and contribute to cancer prevention and therapy, including acting as a chemoprotective agent to prevent the drastic side effects of radiation. With recent exploration into the anti-cancer potential of Moringa plants, numerous studies have taken place to investigate the overall effectiveness of the plant with regards to cancer prevention. Findings of recent studies suggest that leaf extracts from the Moringa plant have a powerful effect in preventing the proliferation of human cancer cells and inducing cell death. Thus, Moringa leaves have potential for and can be integrated as a therapeutic target for cancer.
Moreover, the use of Moringa leaf extracts can be linked to the use of Cisplatin, a standard chemotherapy drug. Like Cisplatin, human cancer cells treated with Moringa change the fragmentation of DNA and morphology. They also show an increase in reactive oxygen species, symbolizing successful cell death. However, chemotherapy has a myriad of harmful side effects that Moringa doesn’t, and Moringa can be administered at home as well, due to its water-soluble nature.
Research has found Moringa oleifera effective against the following types of cancer cells (Frank 2013):
Moringa leaf extract induces protein levels in certain melanoma cells, reducing their proliferation (spreading).
Moringa leaf extract reduces proliferation and viability of cervical cancer cells.
Benzyl Isothiocyanate, found in Moringa plants induces cell death of cancerous cells in the ovaries, which indicates that Moringa has potential for treating this type of cancer. (Kalkunte et al. 2006, Bose 2007).
Berkovich et al. (2013) found that Moringa leaf extract can increase the efficiency of chemotherapy and has the ability to significantly inhibit the growth of cultured human pancreatic carcinoma cells.
In a rat model of chemical induced with colon carcinogenesis, oral ingestion of Moringa PODS resulted in a dose-dependent reduction in colon tumors by 47% to 71% due to the anti inflammatory properties of Moringa.
Extracts from the Moringa plant were able to successfully prevent, inhibit, and stop the development of tumors in cancerous lung cells (Jung 2014). And Tiloke et al. (2013) have also shown that an aqueous extract of Moringa leaves exhibit antiproliferative activity against cancerous human lung cells.